The Road by Cormac McCarthy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 15, 2009
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The Road is a unique tale of a father and son traveling through a post-apocalyptic America. Their destination is the coast, where they hope to find some semblance of a better life. Day after day they travel, facing unimaginable difficulties and constant reminders of death. Their life is miserable at best, yet they have each ­other, which seems to be all they need.

The story itself is incredible: a father and son, struggling to survive, find salvation in each other. Unfortunately, the tale begins slowly. Each day the two walk many miles along the road searching for food and signs of civilization. Then the plot becomes more complex and interesting. The characters make discoveries that provide the reader with insight into their personalities and what happened to the world.

The protagonists are fascinating. It is clear that the ­father would do anything for his son. McCarthy indicates that the child is the only reason the man has remained alive. Adapting to ghastly conditions, he tries to teach the boy how to live in this savage world. More importantly, he is determined to instill in his son a desire to live.

While the father is an interesting character, it is the child who will tug at the reader’s heartstrings. This boy has only known a desolate life, and yet still has compassion and a strong desire to help others. He accurately shows that even in a world full of evil, there is still good. The love between the two is intense, pure, and real, and ultimately becomes the moral of the story.

McCarthy manages to eloquently convey the message “love conquers all.” By constantly describing the gruesome setting, he reminds the reader of just how miraculous the protagonists’ survival is. The burned wilderness, ash-filled air, lack of sunlight, and pitch-black nights make the reader feel hopeless. However, love gives the characters the will to survive. At times, the son wonders if death would be better, and as the father’s heart breaks, the reader understands how truly bleak their situation is.

The Road is a beautiful story set in a landscape of depression and hopelessness. The style, setting, characters, and plot come together to make this book one of a kind. However, I felt that McCarthy did not develop the full potential of this story. He could have delved even deeper into the characters and made the story more eventful. Despite this, The Road is still well told. As the book ends, it leaves many questions unanswered, but the theme is effectively conveyed.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Paul wa man savage said...
May 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm
I read this book for my English class not knowing much of it and not even knowing they had a movie out for it. For what it's worth the book kind of has a slower start to it but picks up throughout. As I was reading the seven yardsticks came to mind and how much importance they were throughout this story. Even me having no prior knowledge about the book could pick up on it easily and it was not hard to read. One thing I loved about the book is that I could forget myself and be lost in the book, t... (more »)
ferrari f40 said...
Nov. 16, 2010 at 11:19 am
i love this book because it shows even in the darkest times we still need to love the ones who are still close to us.
bookcrazy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm
I really liked this book too. The lack of apostrophes and quotations, and the clipped conversations worked perfectly with the bleak setting. Nice review!
JohnBosworth said...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm
This book is one of my favorites. I love how he displays that love and beauty can stand out through even a desolate wasteland where poeple eat babies...
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