FB Movie Book Smackdown: The Road (2006)

The Road

Written by: Cormac McCarthy

Publication Date: September 26, 2006

Published by: Alfred A. Knopf

Genre: Postapocalyptic fiction

Price: $7.99

Movie Adaptation: Directed by John Hillcoat. Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron and Robert Duvall. Screenplay by Joe Penhall. Release date: November 25, 2009. Studio: Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company

First of all, I want to say that when the next Movie Book Smackdown was going to be Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning 2006 novel, The Road, Kai B. Parker from The List and The MILFcast said that it was his favorite book of all time. That’s a big compliment. Comparing the book to the movie is like comparing Granny Smith apples to Washington apples.

This is a harrowing story about a nameless father and son trying to survive in a postapocalyptic wasteland. The Earth has died, but life still goes on in some aspect. Humanity has turned on itself. The father and son are traveling in a gray, desolate world where they have to watch out for robbers and cannibals.

Reading the book was a much different experience than watching the John Hillcoat movie. The book was an epic, chapter-less story about the survival of a father and his son. The reader goes through the trailers of finding clean drinking water, where their next meal is going to be, building a fire to keep warm from the gray, cold snow and rain. McCarthy’s words are simple, direct and unflinching, describing the horrific conditions of living after the world dies. The primary strength of the book is the father and son relationship. It was the anchor that made me wants to see what will happen to them, even thought it already revealed in the movie what happened.

It made it an uncomfortable experience to read about a black, dead, ashen world that wares on your patience. The run-on sequence of event made me uneasy. Having no quotation marks, no distinction between different characters made you disoriented. In the beginning of the book, the son annoyed the hell out of me with his redundant questions.

Final KO: The book and the movie have their strengths and weaknesses. The book had more establishment of the characters and reading McCarthy’s words made the characters feel like they were in more peril. The movie does some of the mental work for you. You see the desolation, the charred remains of houses, cities and forests. It’s a draw.

Decision: ****1/2

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 3, 2011, in FB Movie Book Smackdown and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The book is so moody, and just dark. As was the movie, however it was still your typical Hollywood fare, and the ending was disappointing.

    • Well, a postapoclyptic world is not going to be filled with rainbows and unicorns. That’s for sure.

      Don’t you want to have a little hope at the end?

  1. Pingback: Gray Snow Date

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