#1  
Old 03-07-2008, 06:06 PM
'The Road' - Comac McCarthy

Finishing it up tonight. McCarthy, needless to say, is a contemporary legend. The vast scope of his work is incredible. Simply put, I've read few books grander or deeper in their themes or emotional broadness.

Any thoughts? Recommendations?
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2008, 07:12 PM
I really wish I could like McCarthy's writing. People seem to love him so much but wow his writing style is soo off putting to me.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2008, 08:47 PM
I'm with you, chinton. The writing simply draws too much attention to itself. Not revealing the name of the father and son maybe works for a while, but then McCarthey refuses to use them even when he wants to show that the two of them are growing closer, and it is especially glaring at the end during the big scene.

Why don't they use each other's names? I can't think of a good enough reason. And ditto with the lack of grammar. At first, it was interesting; then it was just off-putting. I don't know if this is how McCarthy writes all his novels or whether he wanted to 'strip' this one bare in all possible respects. It seemed like he was reaching at several points and making his motives obvious.

The pacing wasn't terrific and I found the intermittent mentions of the mother disruptive and she should have been eliminated as a character. Far more interesting were the themes of suicide, empathy, charity, survival during apocalyptic conditions, a father protecting his son, man at his most natural, etc. I wonder what changes there will be while translating it to the screen.
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2008, 09:12 PM
I'm in general agreement with chinton and Bake.

The Road is the only McCarthy book I've read, and yeah, there are some neat phrases of language here and there, in between intermittent annoyance and some intrigue. I got tired of all the "Are they evil, Papa?" "Can I go to the bathroom, Papa?" "What's that sound, Papa?" "You'll never leave me, right, Papa?" "Papa?" "Papa?" Sorta kinda tedious.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. I'll probably have to give it another read, the ending didn't hit me emotionally like it was probably expected to -- actually, I can't surmise what McCarthy was thinking the ending would do to stimulate the reader, so I'll just say it's an interesting idea, and it works as a portrait of an adult male's thought processes and what exactly should be done in a situation such as the end of civilization. Not so much interesting story of survival, nor could I really give a shit despite identifying somewhat with the man.

Last edited by Lazy Boy; 03-07-2008 at 09:15 PM..
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2008, 04:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Boy View Post
I'm in general agreement with chinton and Bake.

The Road is the only McCarthy book I've read, and yeah, there are some neat phrases of language here and there, in between intermittent annoyance and some intrigue. I got tired of all the "Are they evil, Papa?" "Can I go to the bathroom, Papa?" "What's that sound, Papa?" "You'll never leave me, right, Papa?" "Papa?" "Papa?" Sorta kinda tedious.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. I'll probably have to give it another read, the ending didn't hit me emotionally like it was probably expected to -- actually, I can't surmise what McCarthy was thinking the ending would do to stimulate the reader, so I'll just say it's an interesting idea, and it works as a portrait of an adult male's thought processes and what exactly should be done in a situation such as the end of civilization. Not so much interesting story of survival, nor could I really give a shit despite identifying somewhat with the man.
I liked it a lot, but it gets tiring indeed when I constantly feel McCarthy's pushing themes. They are deep, but only really superficially so...if that makes sense.

THe problem with the grammar-less style was its inconsistency. One contraction has an apostrophe, the other doesn not. The lack of commas interrupted my reading of it too much, but it's whatever.

The guys at the Pulitzer liked it enough.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2008, 02:59 PM
So I finally finished this the other day, and am moving onto 'A Confederacy of Dunces', then likely starting Stephen King's 'Dark Tower' series (en route in the mail).

I was almost disappointed. The ending was predictable from any point past the first 20 pages. It was a heavy-hitting read in terms of emotional depth and scope of themes, I, as a cold, heartless bastard with the emotional range of the desk I write this at, was unaffected.

Pulitzer material? Yeah, but then what isn't?
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