I did not like this book. Which is unusual for me given the profile. It won the Pulitzer, it’s a national best seller, it has rave reviews, etc. I’m not saying that I’ll give into just anything that’s a best seller (I haven’t, and don’t plan on, reading any Fifty Shades books), but very rarely do I read a book and not like anything about it. The Road happens to be that first book.
The story is in a post-apocalyptic world, where a man and his son walk along the road scavenging for food, trying to make their way south for the winter. The desperation of the man to provide for his son is moving, and the son’s cautious optimism is reassuring, but I don’t like either of the characters. The boy was born after the world “ended” per say, so it’s interesting that he has identifiable characteristics with regular, pre-apocalyptic children. The father’s heart breaks for his son’s lost innocence, and the son has nightmares that he won’t share with his father.
The main thing that bugged me about the book is the lack of punctuation. Namely, quotation marks. It took about 20 pages or so for me to realize that the father and son were talking to each other. It’s hard to distinguish what’s going on a lot of the time, and it took it’s toll on me as I would read more and more in one sitting. The narration is very train of thought, which can also be cumbersome and confusing. When it’s told from the man’s point of view he will randomly have flashbacks or start some non sequitur tangent that was hard for me to follow.
There are some twists and turns on the man and the boy’s road that are both gruesome and intriguing, but overall this was not a positive experience for me. I probably lack some sort of abstract thought process that allows me to digest such high brow and interpretive literature, but whatever.