I bought this book sometime over the summer, probably because I had it confused somehow with On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Oops. I do things like that a lot. Oh well.
Anyway, the book’s premise is pretty simple: a father and son (always referred to as “the man” and “the boy,” never named) are wandering through a post-apocalyptic, burned out America. That’s about the best I can do without stealing from the blurb on the back: “Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there…It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, ‘each the other’s world entire,’ are sustained by love.”
I’m going to be honest here. I finished this book before the New Year and have been avoiding writing about it because I didn’t like it and frankly couldn’t think of anything to write about. The other night, I was talking to a friend about it and told her how I thought it was boring and totally not engaging, and she explained to me that it’s not about the plot—it’s about the love between the man and his son.
Okay, fine, I get that. Except that’s not why I read books. I read books because I like stories. I don’t want to read an exposé of the love between a father and a son. I’m not really into touchy-feely books like this. It’s just not my thing at all.
I also wasn’t a big fan of the writing style…no quotation marks, run-on sentences, really just not a lot of punctuation in general. I am a big fan of punctuation. As a linguistics major, a grammar nerd, a constant reader, and an amateur writer, punctuation is my friend. I may not always use it correctly (I find I’m particularly fond of dashes where they don’t necessarily belong), but at least when I write, it’s usually decently readable. (Readers, tell me if I’m wrong.) Now, The Road was not nearly as bad as some of Faulkner’s “stream of consciousness” BS, but it was still kind of off-putting to me. Rules exist for a reason. Throwing them out the window doesn’t make you “cool,” at least in my eyes. I suppose that was my frustration with e. e. cummings, thinking he was so awesome and special for not using punctuation. But anyway, I digress.
I didn’t really like this book. Like I said, I guess I just didn’t appreciate it for what it was. I’m more of a plot person, not a “let me read almost 300 pages about how much this guy and his son love each other” kind of person. This book was definitely not for me.
This review was originally posted on my personal blog.