Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Road-A Movie and Book Review

I watched The Road last week on HBO.
This movie is based on the novel, a Post Apocalyptic scenario which is both profound and monotonous as to be genius. Written by Cormac McCarthy and published in 2006 it contains a few more dramatic scenes than the movie. Scenes which involve infanticide, pregnant women, slaves, canabalism, farming of body parts, and catalytic destruction are so moving as to cause dreams and nightmares.
I'm still pondering all the implications.

The movie follows the book in mood and theme quite well. If you want a fuller experience, read the book afterwards. Do not be surprised at the lack of sentence structure or normal punctuation, such as quotes. Whole conversations flowing along between the man and boy fill a page, yet the normal constraints and protocol of literature are abandoned.

How fitting. I found it very much in keeping with the end of world scenario. "Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night...
Darkness implacable....There is no god and we are his prophets".
These sentences are examples of McCarthy's talent.
We find ourselves on The Road, along with the man and his son, hunting food, watching over our shoulders, wearing rags, freezing, ever scared of those that follow us. I read the book in two days; I found it so gripping even after seeing the movie.

An entire semester of high school English could be taught with through this one literary work. Ethics, economy, religion, relationships, history, and creative writing, would be just a few areas of exploration.

Many times the book is much better than the movie. I would say they are nearly equal in impact. However, the book does offer more understanding of the breakdown of humanity, the scavanging of trinkets, the years of wasteland invisioned in The Road. Thankfully, we are left with a ray of hope at the very end of the novel.


  1. Yes it is poetry.
    And very hard to rein in one's reading pace.
    The pages fly by...
    One can read in a few hours
    What must have taken Cormac months of rewriting...

    It is masterful.
    Not stream of consciousness,
    But more like:
    A stream of two consciousnesses...

    I'm glad I read the book first.
    As you mention, the book is more frightening...
    Seeing the movie first my have dampened the horror. Much as watching a video of a song stamps the song a certain permanent way in your mind. Whereas, hearing the music first allows your own mind to sail free in a sea of possibilities.

    Imagine if they made videos of poems.
    How horrible would that be?

  2. Interesting idea, Valiant, a video of poems. It would help many people understand poems better, I imagine, or even lose their fear of reading such.
    Yet, as you said with music, could take away our imaginations for interpretation!

    Thanks for commenting.