I read The Road with a element of apprehension after a couple of people had told me it was depressing.
Before I read it I checked put what Amazon had to say about it:
Winner of The Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007, this is the story of a father and son walking alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. It has been hailed as: ‘the first great masterpiece of the globally warmed-generation. Here is an American classic which, at a stroke, makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature…An absolutely wonderful book that people will be reading for generations’ Andrew O’Hagan Harvey Weinstein’s film is to be released in the UK on 16 January 2009 with an all-star cast including Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall and introducing major new young talent, Kodi Smit McPhee with a soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. ‘A work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away’ – Tom Gatti, “The Times”. ‘So good that it will devour you, in parts. It is incandescent’ – Niall Griffiths, “Daily Telegraph”. ‘You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerized. All the modern novel can do is done here’ – Alan Warner, “Guardian”.
Rather than depressing I found it rather heart warming and inspiring. Sure, the background to the story isn’t exactly cheerful, but I thought the relationship between father and son was brilliantly developed, and despite all expectations had a surprisingly happy ending that reinforced trust and honesty in human nature.
Reading the book was a little like swimming under water. The style had a rhythm to it rather like “take a deep breath, swim, surface, take a deep breath, swim, surface …..” It was a pretty unique style, but an easy one to adapt to, and fitted the journey and narrative style of the book perfectly.
Based on the friends comments I was expecting a catastrophe every time I turned a page, and there were certainly some dark moments but all in all I thought it a good story well told that had a lesson in it that many would do well to learn!