View Full Version : The Road
05-26-2008, 12:37 PM
Got it last weekend, after getting a memo in my mailbox, informing me they will be filming the movie on my block. Never heard of the book, but was curious enough to step outdoors last Sunday evening and see Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortenson standing around in the street behind my house, between takes.
That's Charlize sitting on the stairs, in the jeans and tan sweater.
I just finished the book last night. So many people have told me they couldn't get through the first half, as it was too bleak and depressing.
But the book is an extremely powerful, emotional vehicle that moves one on so many levels. I found a lot of warmth, a lot of hope and strength in it as well. Those obviously aren't the themes at the forefront - but certainly a driving force throughout this very, very wonderful book.
05-26-2008, 02:08 PM
I read "The Road" a couple of weeks ago at the insistance... make that a command from Kradey. Wow. It was one of the most depressing yet beautifully written piece of prose that I have ever read.
05-26-2008, 04:04 PM
Strangely, I kept thinking of the story as sort of a poetry.
It was first in the context of a motion picture that I heard of The Road.
With the turning of each page - I kept thinking - and now, moreso - how in the hell do you make this story into a film that will challenge a viewer to sit through this, and experience it on the screen for two hours? I honestly had to put the book down from time - to -time and just sorta walk away.
It was beautifully written, and there was very much love and beauty within - but the despair was just too overpowering.
How would it be possible to be true to the book when doing an adaptaion - and if you are true to the book - who would want to sit through that??
05-26-2008, 05:53 PM
I haven't read anything else by McCarthy and I hear that this is his most accessible work. I don't know if I could handle anything that was less accessible.
I did love the way he wrote in these long, lovely descriptive sentences, lulling you into a rhythm. Then when things go bad or there is action, the sentences are short and choppy. I got the impression of a piece of music... legatto - long, soothing tones, then stacatto - pointed and intense.
10-04-2008, 11:35 AM
I heard about the movie and was looking around at old reviews of it. Unfortunately the wikipedia entry goes so far as to tell you all the danger points and the ending. Still I had to read it and did so in about a day. Couldn't put it down. It raises too many questions, not the least of which is and what happens when you get south? Why even bother to keep going when you will never live to see it get better?
What a book! Looking at the cast sheet on imdb and the various photos on the web, the film looks to be faithful verbatim. What would keep me as a viewer, would be the hope that they really will find "the good guys." It's easy to see that the boy is the man's heart and that's what keeps him going. Like his wife says in their last conversation about her heart being ripped out of her the day the boy was born. If they didn't have a child, they would have struggled for themselves and made harsher choices sooner. But to give up on the boy is too hard.
In the book, there are vague mentions of structures that aren't named as good or bad. Like communes. They have gates and they cast people out, presumably cutting off the fingers of thieves. What do people inside a commune eat? How do they agree to form one? Do they take in newcomers? Why haven't the man and boy joined one? I kept holding on, hoping we'd have some answer on that.
I wonder if they'll keep the dream sequences. They suggested to me that the dead really were coming through to the man. That he really was being called over to the other side. I think that's why he believed his son would be lucky without him. Also, I think that the boy's instincts at the house with the larder of people was being informed by his mother. Normally, when you have a sort of unreasoning terror of something that looks fairly benign that's your instincts crying out. You've perceived something with your senses that you haven't made conscious sense of but unconsciously you've calculated high danger. But with the boy in this scene, he never says why he's so terrified... I think his high alert is his mother screaming from the other side for them to get the hell out of there.
And there are all the other things that don't have neat answers that you just kind of really want. Like the mystery of the wheel tracks in the snow and the two men who came down the road and hour later. Clearly the wheelbarrow wound up at the plantation house. Was the person pulling it running away from the men on the road and caught and forced into the basement? Or was he one of them? How on earth did they get so lucky as to pass that house when there was no one on lookout or in the house?
Is the little boy in the town that smells of woodsmoke the son of the man who smells like woodsmoke at the end? Did he entreat his father the same as the boy entreated the man to go after him? IF SO, how many months was the man tracking them? And why for so long? Surely he could caught up sooner.
The ending is the real divide. Were these two people guided by grace? Were they lucky because they refused to give up? Because they still believed in a God even if they cursed him? Or was this all really dumb luck? (I find this impossible to accept.) Even if there is still divine guidance in this, what's the point? There is no sunlight, so the ecosystem is destroyed (without plants what is making the air breathable?). The meager hidden food that is still around is dwindling rapidly. There won't be more. At some point everyone will be dead. Things will not improve in the boy's lifetime.
In the end I feel like the man: I want the boy to live, but what a life.
10-16-2008, 04:03 AM
Nice pics, UA though I wish you'd gotten a 'wee bit closer- can barely see them...
If you guys think the Road is depressing, try reading Blood Meridian (McCarthy's masterpiece IMO)...
10-28-2008, 10:15 PM
It was due to open on 11/14 but has now been pushed back to 2009. I was dying to see it. They could at least release it to art houses.
10-29-2008, 07:15 AM
I almost bought this book over the weekend, but I ended up buying Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" instead. Now I'm kinda wishing I had gotten "The Road" instead. :ohwell:
11-10-2008, 12:23 PM
Fun pictures!! I don't think anyone's going to be filming in my neighborhood anytime soon. I must admit, I'd never heard of The Road. But just looked it up on Amazon and looks like it's by the same author of No Country for Old Men -- so i'll have to check it out for sure!
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