Monday, June 11, 2012

Books I've Read: The Road

I read this book a while ago but it's such an important book that it needs to be reviewed.
"The Road" is set in a post-apocalyptic world where everything living thing, besides humans, has died. The landscape is barren, burned, and is overshadowed by a smoke filled, sunless sky. The story centers around a man and his son, neither are named, just called the man and the boy. They travel along a road on their way south to a warmer place. Along the road they meet various bad guys who are just trying to survive but who also pose serious risks for the man and the boy.

On all the occasions when they meet strangers, the boy feels like they can be trusted. His father tells him that the others are bad guys and that they are the good guys. The line between good and evil becomes blurred when the man must murder or risk losing the lives of himself and his son. The reader must weigh the intentions of murder and thieving rather than just judging the act at face value. Even in such dire circumstances, the love of the man for his son is prevalent by his treats for the boy. Any time a luxury is available he sacrifices so the boy can know a small amount of happiness. The man lives for the boy. The boy is his only joy.

While reading this book I made the comment to my husband that whenever something good starts happening to them, it is soon followed by something bad. It was discouraging to say the least. While it was discouraging, it was also very eye opening. It made me contemplate a world without vegetation and animals. A world where every convenience we have has been destroyed. The majority of characters in "The Road" are cannibals, not by choice but by necessity. The man and the boy live off of whatever canned food they can scavenge from abandoned communities. When I finished this book I wanted to go buy a lot of food storage and a gun. After further contemplation I realized that those were temporary solutions to such a problem. Food storage and bullets would only last so long. The better solution is to prevent the problem.

A world with no biosphere could result from a number of things, some preventable, some not. Obviously if an asteroid hits the Earth we're out of luck. But I truly believe that most of the things that are going wrong with our planet are human caused. Reading "The Road" made me recommit myself to my stewardship of Earth.

If you are sensitive to violence and graphic situations involving cannibalism "The Road" probably isn't for you.

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