The Reading Nook: The Road


Writer, Georgia Whalley

Georgia Whalley

Okay, I must admit, I haven’t read this book recently, but with my busy senior year schedule, I haven’t been able to get through the book I’m currently reading. I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy a while ago, but it continues to sit at the top of my favourites list. Cormac McCarthy wrote this book in a very weird, but interesting manner; however, I’ll talk more about that soon.

An overall synopsis, excluding any spoilers:

This story is set in a post-apocalyptic world with the majority of the landscape having been destroyed by an unspecified disaster. The sky is full of clouds, and it’s always cold. Food is scarce, resources are limited, and people are rarely seen, but when they are, it usually means danger. The book is narrated by a father, accompanied by his young son, as they try to journey across the country, hoping to find safety. The novel details their voyage, and brings you through the troubles the family faces together.

How is this story written in an odd fashion, you ask? There is no punctuation. I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the same thing when I first opened the book. “This is awful! This is a crime against humanity, how could anyone ever read such a thing?!” I almost refused to read this book, but after the first chapter, I realised that it made so much sense! It is written like that to reflect the nature of the world they are in. If you think about it, the narrator probably doesn’t care about punctuation, he probably doesn’t expect anyone to be reading it with the assumption that humanity will soon be extinct, and who’s to say he still remembers every rule of writing?

His son doesn’t speak in complete sentences, growing up without a proper education. His father tries his best to explain things, and define words, but his son doesn’t have the means of which to learn the things he would, if he was in school.

I’ve referred to the characters as “The narrator,” or, “The father,” or, “His son,” but that’s because with the lack of punctuation, their names are never revealed.

I love this book, but I never really got over the lack of punctuation. I had to reread sentences, paragraphs, and even pages, to understand what was happening. Reading this requires some patience and willingness to understand, but it definitely took me a lot longer than usual to read this novel. I understand why it was written the way it was, but I would have appreciated a little more clarification as to when different characters were speaking, and who was saying what. Without quotations, reading the conversations between characters can be difficult. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and am glad that my sister shoved it in my face and forced me to read it. I would recommend it to those who enjoy literature, learning, and those who have a heightened sense of curiosity. It’s truly a thrilling read. There were times when it felt like it dragged a little bit, but I still love this novel. I would happily give this book 3.9 stars.