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Author Topic: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?  (Read 5190 times)

Offline moonspawn

Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« on: April 27, 2014, 09:11:21 PM »
I got to page 60 of The Road and am really not enjoying it at all so far so I stopped reading it and decided to pick up a different book. I'm thinking of resuming after I'm finished with that book but not sure if I really have the desire to. I'm tired of wasting my time reading books I don't like. So far all its been about is a boy and his father wandering around a post-apocalyptic America which to me is very, very boring. There's been very little conflict and almost no real character interaction. I usually need a substantial number of characters in the books I read to enjoy them. I also can't stand the fragmented style that the book is written in. It doesn't seem unique to me, it seems gimmicky. I was just wondering if the book changes substantially at some point and if its worth continuing to the end. Thanks.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 11:19:19 PM »
I got to page 60 of The Road and am really not enjoying it at all so far so I stopped reading it and decided to pick up a different book. I'm thinking of resuming after I'm finished with that book but not sure if I really have the desire to. I'm tired of wasting my time reading books I don't like. So far all its been about is a boy and his father wandering around a post-apocalyptic America which to me is very, very boring. There's been very little conflict and almost no real character interaction. I usually need a substantial number of characters in the books I read to enjoy them. I also can't stand the fragmented style that the book is written in. It doesn't seem unique to me, it seems gimmicky. I was just wondering if the book changes substantially at some point and if its worth continuing to the end. Thanks.

Hmmmm ... I'd say no.  It is an absolutely brilliant piece of literary fiction but clearly not to your tastes.  Just watch the movie which is also very good.
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Offline UnsungStories

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Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 11:19:19 AM »
There's been very little conflict and almost no real character interaction. I usually need a substantial number of characters in the books I read to enjoy them. I also can't stand the fragmented style that the book is written in. It doesn't seem unique to me, it seems gimmicky.

I'll second Gariath there - if you're not getting on with the style then abandon ship now. There're quite a few US writers who adopt that really pared down and stark style - presenting pretty bleak settings in the simplest of terms. Personally I see comparisons with Brett Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero and Imperial Bedrooms, so maybe avoid those too?

Do watch the film though, it pretty much takes the book as a scene-for-scene storyboard and captures the tone as well.
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Offline The Kyngdoms

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 07:35:06 PM »
The Road rates as one of the best novels I've ever read.  If you add to that list All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men, then I guess you could say I'm something of McCarthy fan.  I'm also one of those people who hates to put a book down without finishing it.  But it happens, and if you're not enjoying it, life's too short,so go read something you'll enjoy more :)

Offline moonspawn

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 04:26:06 AM »
Thanks guys for being nice about my er... criticisms. I hope no ones taking personal offense.

I've abandoned ship mainly because I have other stuff waiting around to be read and I received The Black Company a few days ago so I've been enjoying that. I must say that Cook and McCarthy are complete opposites in terms of style. Cook is all about characters and plot and leaves the setting to the readers imagination and The Road is all about setting. That pretty much sums up why I couldn't make it through The Road.

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Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 09:51:26 AM »
Thanks guys for being nice about my er... criticisms. I hope no ones taking personal offense.

I've abandoned ship mainly because I have other stuff waiting around to be read and I received The Black Company a few days ago so I've been enjoying that. I must say that Cook and McCarthy are complete opposites in terms of style. Cook is all about characters and plot and leaves the setting to the readers imagination and The Road is all about setting. That pretty much sums up why I couldn't make it through The Road.

You can't like every book going. And we all have highly regarded books we don't get on with
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Offline Wade Garret

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 01:25:57 AM »
YES!

Offline Sandrilene

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 03:52:07 PM »
No.
I hated it. Bleak and unoriginal.
And as for it being 'literary', Blindness by Jose Saramago uses similar literary devices to much greater effect.

I don't mind some bleakness but if it starts grim, continues grim and ends grim, then it doesn't work for me. I prefer The Death of Grass by John Christopher where the cosy middle class lifestyle is totally disintegrated by the end.

Offline Timstar

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 01:09:48 PM »
I absolutely loved The Road, but it's hard to pinpoint why. It has an eerie chill that creates a brilliant atmosphere and it completely captivated me. But I would also agree with most others if you haven't got into by page 60 then it isn't your sort of thing and will likely disappoint.

The film is also great and captures the essence of the book very well. Many scenes are word-for-word from the book.

Offline whitepawn

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2014, 05:50:25 PM »
There is always audiobook.  The narrator here did an excellent job, sometimes the juxtaposition of the two voices as one makes the book even better than the printed word alone.  Bonus: you can make art or clean your house while reading.

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 02:49:23 PM »
If you don't like it, don't read it - we all have different tastes. Some work and some don't.

Now, I loved the The Road! It is short, and, yes, grim. There is little, or no, humour in the book but the relationship between 'father' and 'son' is done well. There are also some scenes I had to read twice just to make sure what I thought was happening, was... and it was but my natural inclination was to recoil from them (if you've read the cooking over the fire one you'll know what I mean).

At the end, I had to go and give my son (5 at the time) a cuddle.

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Offline The_Wanderer

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 06:20:23 AM »
I liked The Road.  But if you're looking for more then a father/son story then this book probably isn't for you.  This is a Literary fiction story first.  It just so happens to come with a science fiction setting. The conflict is about surviving in a post apocalyptic world and a complete breakdown of society. It's a story about perseverance, it feels very similar to Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. It's one of the most depressing books I've ever read.

That being said, I got through The Black Company this year, too (Books of the North) and those were awesome.  I'm going to start The Books of the South soon... very excited.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2015, 06:10:27 AM »
I'd say no too. No point forcing you, as the style isn't going to get any different.

And if you hook up to the novel and get into it, you'll get out emotionally scared anyway, it's so sickly dark  ;D
I loved it myself, but I should never have read it while visiting Italy. The country and the trip was lovely but the book tinted my mood in a very weird way. Couldn't put the book down, and the lovely spring country side was making a stark contrast that probably made the book even gloomier in my mind.
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Offline Skip

Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 04:30:38 AM »
I didn't like it either. When there is only one tone in the writing, then the writing is ... monotonous. That is, imo, not clever or literary, it's merely relentless.

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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: Should I continue The Road by Cormac McCarthy?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 05:02:11 AM »
Pretty dead topic, but whatever.

I read the first ten/twenty pages about a year ago. Wasn't a fan of the style. Tried the movie. Hated it, but I could see the beautiful themes abounding off the desolation. Or something like that. I'd still suggest every post-apoc lover try and read it, just to see if they get something different or profound out of it. Me? I'll try Blood Meridian instead.

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« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 05:03:43 AM by Doctor Chill »
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