Bleak But Hopeful

R picked up a copy of The Road by Cormac McCarthy from the free book exchange thing at his work. He read it and then got me to read it so we could watch the film together as it had come up on Amazon Prime.

I knew the book would be depressing, as most end-of-the-world stories are. I was not wrong.

This book is bleak. It is written in a very simple way and the punctuation is kept to the bare minimum needed for it to make sense (just capital letters, full stops, commas and the occasional question mark). It somehow made it feel more immersive for me, more in the characters head.

The Road 1The Road 2The Road 3
The aim of the book seems to be less about the story and more about getting lost in this scary, bleak world. I think it worked really well. While it is written quite simply and a keen reader could probably finish it in a day, I found I could not read too much in one sitting. I just needed to look at something happy!

Saying that, it is not all bleak. There are small bits of human decency in there and the hope that they can make a difference.

We watched the film on the day that I finished the book. Usually watching a film so soon after reading the book would worry me in case I spent the whole time thinking but that did not happen in the book! They’ve changed EVERYTHING!

But it is actually a very faithful adaptation, I thought it was amazing. Having read the book made me feel much more emotional during the film because I thought back to the characters thoughts during that scene in the book and they complimented each other really well.

So I would recommend both. It is a bit of a hard and bleak read, but I think there is hope there too.

I’d give it: 4/5


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