The Road, a review by Tanya

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The Road
By Cormac McCarthy
Narrated by Tom Stechschulte

7 hours
Published April 2009 by Recorded Books

I participate in several Reading Challenges each year as I find it takes me out of my comfort zone of genres in to completely new worlds and there are times where I find a really great read where I least expect it. The Road is the perfect example of a successful read that I would never have picked up on my own, if not for the nameless narrator prompt in The 52 Book Club reading challenge for 2021.

The story begins with The Man and The Boy fighting for survival in a world that is devoid of life. The world has burned and there are few survivors. The Man has two things in this world – a gun with two bullets left and The Boy, who he is responsible for trying to keep alive. They have no home, barely any belongings and even less food. Winter is coming and they set out to reach the coast, not knowing what awaits them.

I read a few reviews indicating that some felt hopeless when they read this. Yes, that is definitely one emotion I had. But this slow-paced story offers so many other emotions as well. This is not a thrill ride of a story, nor an adventure book. The landscape is desolate and barren, the characters experiences are at once scary but also thought-provoking and the richness and depth of emotions I experienced while listening to this book I will not soon be rid of. My stress level jumped a few notches while reading this book and I could not stay away for long. I found every reason to squirrel away a few minutes here or there to jump back in to continue the story.

The narration by Tom Stechschulte was spot on for this post-apocalyptic read and made the characters come alive in my mind.

The audiobook description sums up this story best:
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.”

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