The Road – A Book Sampling

The Road

The Road by Cormac  McCarthy. Fiction.

This is a postapocalyptic love story between a father and his son. The two walk alone through a burned-up America, always on the lookout and hiding from the bad people, the people who eat other humans because everyone is starving.

The story is written quite simply, with minimal conversation, so minimal that no quotations marks are needed. But each spoken word holds great import.


Will you tell him goodbye?

No. I will not.

Just wait till morning. Please.

I have to go. She had already stood up.

For the love of God, woman. What am I to tell him?

I can’t help you.

Where are you going to go? You can’t even see.

I don’t have to.

He stood up. I’m begging you, he said.

No. I will not. I cannot.


The boy stood up and got his broom and put it over his shoulder. He looked at his father. What are our long term goals? he said.


Our long term goals.

Where did you hear that?

I don’t know.

No. Where did you?

You said it.


A long time ago.

What was the answer?

I don’t know.

Well. I don’t either. Come on. It’s getting dark.


When he woke the fire had burned down and it was very cold. The boy was sitting up wrapped in his blanket.

What is it?

Nothing. I had a bad dream.

What did you dream about?


Are you okay?


He put his arms around him and held him. It’s okay, he said.

I was crying. But you didn’t wake up.

I’m sorry. I was just so tired.

I meant in the dream.


Scene after scene in this book is the same. Walking down the road, looking for something–anything save other human beings–to eat. Trying to stay warm. Dry. Hidden. Always on the move. The relationship between father and son the only hope in the novel, the only thing keeping either of them from lying down to just die. The story is despairing, tragic, hopeless, haunting, yet impossible to stop reading. What will become of these two good souls left to survive in a now horrible world?

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