Book review: The Road

Lately I’ve been reading a bunch of books that were recommended by Scott Berkun in one way or another. The next book I’m going to review (slide:ology) actually falls into this category too, but basically I’m done with that batch so I’m reading other things now :-D

I don’t read that much fiction (except in comic form), but Scott’s review really intrigued me and made me want to read it. I should warn you, though, that his review is sort of a spoiler, not in the sense that it gives away the story, but in the sense that it talks about many the kind of things that you can think of while reading it.

I don’t want to risk spoiling anything, so I’ll only say that it’s a (very) dark survival tale involving a man and his son. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you can cope with it you’ll most probably love it. Here’s two anecdotes regarding how dark and powerful the book is:

  • After a couple of days I stopped reading it before going to bed, because the next morning, when waking up, I’d feel anxiety.

  • I can’t remember when it was the last time that a book made me cry. The first time it happened with this book the page number had a single digit (namely, it was page 9). As I said I don’t read much fiction, but still.

The style of the book is really crude, and it matches the theme perfectly: there aren’t “chapters”, the characters don’t have names (they’re simply “the man” and his unnamed son) and he doesn’t even use apostrophes for negations (he writes “dont know” and “I cant”, never “don’t know” or “I can’t”). I found the vocabulary quite complex and I had trouble with a lot of words, but not enough to not be able to follow the story.

A couple of days after finishing the book I actually gave the film adaptation a shot (I didn’t even know there was one when I decided to buy the book). I have to say that, while I didn’t hold my hopes up for a good film, I actually ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It’s sort of a summary of the book (too much to cover in a film), but I think the end result was very good. So, if you’re lazy about reading the book, at least you can watch the film ;-)