Plot summary (from the publisher): A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- It’s blissfully short and the annoying father dies at the end.
- This book was so damned REPETITIVE!!! The entire thing consists of the father and the boy aimlessly wandering around looking for food or shelter. They’re cold. They’re hungry. They find food. They build a fire. They hear a noise. They hide from other people. They come to an abandoned house. They bathe. They change clothes. They move on. Again and again and again. And again.
- The Road was exactly like every other “post-apocalyptic” book, film, or TV I’ve ever seen. Different bands of survivors just try to avoid each other while looking for food and shelter. There are inevitable confrontations (with both sides being equally scared), food stores being raided, weapons fiercely guarded, etc. There was absolutely nothing new here.
- I’ve read different reviews that call this book a “metaphor for parenthood” (the father sacrificing everything to protect his child) or a “thought experiment” about what would happen in a world without a biosphere (and thus a cautionary tale about safeguarding the environment). I’ve tried to experience the story from those points of view, but it doesn’t work for me. Even when considered in metaphorical terms, The Road fails to resonate.
The stunning number of positive reviews and lofty accolades (including the Pulitzer Prize) The Road has received baffles me to no end. I’ve done my best to read between the lines and think about what the author is trying to say, but I am completely at a loss as to why everyone is gaga over this book. I guess I’m just too stupid to “get it”. I give The Road 1 star out of 5.