Should I Read "The Road"
  • Hello all my fellow purple popes and lavender lads!

    I love reading. And I subscribe to a general spiritual practice of positive energy. Over the last three years, many acquaintances have suggested I read The Road because it is "so good". And 9/10 times, the next sentence out of their mouth is, "Its really depressing."

    I have no desire to read a book that promotes self-pity or encourages a negative outlook on the future. I try hard to surround myself with positive people, and fill my brain with positive thoughts.

    To those of you who have read The Road: is there potential to gain more insight than despair from reading this?
  • PaulPaul
    Hrair
    It's mostly about the love between a father and son, and what one is willing to do to make sure that the other survives - even if that survival is incredibly uncertain. I personally could not put the book down and read it in one night. I highly recommend it. It does take place in a post apocalyptic setting but it's not really about that. It can be 'depressing' at times, but only because the situation seems so futile - but that is what makes the love so powerful. And the ending is great!
  • Fantastic book. Go for it.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there." Rumi
  • zachszachs
    Hrair
    It has depressing elements I guess, but I highly recommend it. I read it a few months ago and it was one of the best I've ever read.

    Definitely more potential to gain insight than despair. I kept a little moleskin notebook while I was reading it where I would write down passages or quotes that I particularly liked. For me, that really helped me gain some insight.

    The only despair I guess is that I thought I was a decent writer, but after reading McCarthy's incredible work, I realize I'm a but a peon of a writer.

    Give it a shot, I think you will enjoy it!
  • fnordfnord
    Hrair
    loved this book, and it is topical for me in certain way. not literally of course, but i have a young son and have gone through a quasi-apocalyptic scenario in recent years, in which his mom has given up and external forces have presented to me how easily and happily i would give my life for him.
    sunt lacrimae rerum
  • If 'The Road' doesn't do the trick, try reading 'On the Road' by Kerouac to learn how beautiful and heartbreaking the American highway system used to be.
    We elongate our Maaans 'round these parts.
  • That book reminded me of every time I took a really long walk by myself and I was really hungry and thirsty and that sucked balls.

    Shit is fuckin' real, yo.
    Love is what occurs when the universe recognizes itself for what it is.
    owlsa support waned RIP orgone
  • Well said Ladychef.

    It's a good book, it's extremely well written. As DTFH's resident Culinary Queen has pointed out, the brilliance in the book is the "interplay between the beauty of life and the ugliness of human nature". You see this in a lot of great works, whether it's the Russian gulags in "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", a post-apocalyptic hell in "The Road", or the disparity of war torn Africa in "Hotel Rwanda".

    I personally liked The Road and I think it's worth the read. I do think it's slightly overrated and I prefer a few other McCarthy books.
  • @bob_loblaw Agree. It was good, but it's not that good. A little overrated. I would not call a must read.

    In terms of not reading a book because of fear of depression, get a hold of yourself. If your psyche is so easily swayed it could probably use some "stay-on-course" exercise.
  • dhizzo said:


    In terms of not reading a book because of fear of depression, get a hold of yourself. If your psyche is so easily swayed it could probably use some "stay-on-course" exercise.



    Hahaha very good point. Im not as worried of getting depressed after reading it, but more of wasting my time. I am too busy between work, music, and sports to read something I won't enjoy/gain insight from.

    That being said thank you all so much for your input! I am going to set aside some time and start The Road this week.
  • I don't read fiction for that very reason, I like to spend my precious time on something more than entertainment. Like philosophy, Bhagavad Gita style religious texts, science, history.
  • o_co_c
    Hrair
    I remember reading the book, even though it`s some years ago by now. Surely, there must be a way to benefit from all experiences?

    The book is the greyest one I have had the pleasure of letting my eyes float across. So remarkable and picturesque in the depiction of an existence unfamiliar.

    The past sure is tense.
    It`s not worth getting into the bullshit to find out what the bull ate.
  • The Road is great. I highly recommend you read everything by Cormac McCarthy.
    I may be a raging dick, but at least I'm not a cunt.

    "You are born with a frontal cortex so large that it literally rips your mother apart when you are born, yet you go around life being bored." Richard Speaks.
  • I agree with the consensus...very good but maybe a bit overrated. Go ahead and read it...his short declarative sentences make for a quick read.
    I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's. -W. Blake
  • dhizzo said:

    I don't read fiction for that very reason, I like to spend my precious time on something more than entertainment. Like philosophy, Bhagavad Gita style religious texts, science, history.



    I think you may be missing something re: fiction. I actually know you are because I used to say this very thing. But fiction is much more than entertainment....fiction is where mythology is born.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there." Rumi
  • jimmybob said:


    I think you may be missing something re: fiction. I actually know you are because I used to say this very thing. But fiction is much more than entertainment....fiction is where mythology is born.


    Man that is so great to hear- I agree completely.
    Saying that you read religious texts as non-fiction (or as more than entertainment) is like saying you read mathematics textbooks for fairy tales.
    And I want the phrase, "Fiction is where mythology is born" tattooed on my chest.
    www.williamhrdina.com -- Simple Journeys to Odd Destinations
    "All phenomena are real in some sense, unreal in some sense, meaningless in some sense, real and meaningless in some sense, unreal and meaningless in some sense, and real and unreal and meaningless in some sense." Robert Anton Wilson
  • Just watch Roadhouse.
  • jimmybob said:


    I think you may be missing something re: fiction. I actually know you are because I used to say this very thing. But fiction is much more than entertainment....fiction is where mythology is born.



    Some fiction has roots in philosophy, which is good. I'll read the occasional epic classic.


    Man that is so great to hear- I agree completely.
    Saying that you read religious texts as non-fiction (or as more than entertainment) is like saying you read mathematics textbooks for fairy tales.
    And I want the phrase, "Fiction is where mythology is born" tattooed on my chest.



    Religious texts for their impact on society. Basically just more philosophy.
  • this is a rare case where ill say, just watch the movie. the movie is that good. very dark/depressing, but like any masterful work of art that feeling is there for a reason
    image
  • Should people have avoided seeing "Schindler's List" because it had depressing parts in it? What about "Bambi", should you avoid seeing that because of what happens to little Bambi's mom in the meadow? These are stupid questions.
  • erikerik
    Hrair
    I read it a few months ago. It didn't do a thing for me.

    In some respects, it's similar to Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck's book has George looking out for the survival of his mentally challenged friend Lennie during the gloom and doom of the depression. The Road has the father looking out for his son during the gloom and doom of an unspecified apocalpyse, probably involving nuclear bombs.

    I used to worship Steinbeck's writing ability but too many of his books are meh. But I still think Of Mice and Men is a perfectly crafted jewel. By contrast, I don't see anything about The Road that makes the writing at all well crafted or memorable. I think it's a book that came along at the right time, tapping into the same enviroeconomic preapocalyspse fears that have made zombie books and movies so hot.

    If you want a fix of doom and gloom, watch Chris Martenson's "Crash Course" on YouTube. As fiction goes, I think your time is better spent reading a more talented writer. Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, and the essays of David Foster Wallace are right at the top of my list.
    You can, if you are so inclined, follow me at @vegan on twitter or check out my blog at Vegan.com/blog
  • Phenomenal book. Brilliant in it's simplistic take. A father son love story. Very bleak in it's setting, but the bond of the characters breathe hope into it.

    I would give it a whirl. Cormac McCarthy is a modern force.
  • If you were to only read one Cormac McCarthy book, it should be Blood Meridian.
  • If you'd rather read another good book that won't depress you get Jack London's The Road instead. And of course you can never go wrong with reading (or rereading) Kerouac's On The Road.
  • Should you read it? Yes
    I enjoyed it, found it a little depressing but it was good.
  • i thought this is the jack karoyak
    am i a good boy?

    it doesn't have to be anything

    will u sign my petition to change the name of our planet from Earth to Poor Thing?
  • image
    We take for granted things around / are child's play all the way down.
    | my shit | more |
  • Ultimately, it's not depressing. It's hopeful.
    The future ahead of us is beyond our wildest imaginings. It can't be any other way. Business as usual is off the menu.
  • @clarion
    Too true, good drawing!
  • Yelnots said:

    @clarion
    Too true, good drawing!



    haha thanks. I was trying to play on punctuation and rhyme :P
    We take for granted things around / are child's play all the way down.
    | my shit | more |
  • dhizzo said:

    I don't read fiction for that very reason, I like to spend my precious time on something more than entertainment. Like philosophy, Bhagavad Gita style religious texts, science, history.



    I could spend weeks freaking out about this quote

    but I will only say i find it odious. fiction is plenty worth reading and certainly more than entertainment! ! !

    *throws hands up in air and storms off*
  • Harshaw said:

    dhizzo said:

    I don't read fiction for that very reason, I like to spend my precious time on something more than entertainment. Like philosophy, Bhagavad Gita style religious texts, science, history.



    I could spend weeks freaking out about this quote

    but I will only say i find it odious. fiction is plenty worth reading and certainly more than entertainment! ! !

    *throws hands up in air and storms off*


    You left out the part where you explain why you're correct.
    We take for granted things around / are child's play all the way down.
    | my shit | more |
  • Why should they have to explain themselves here? If you don't read fiction because it's 'odious' or 'depressing', then a vast majority of the great literature is out of your purview. Literature works the same way that philosophy does but does so with metaphor simply because language fails to describe a great swath of felt experience. If you say, "I cannot read this book because it is depressing," then you have effectively closed yourself from a tremendous portion of the collected knowledge of our species. Don't be silly-billies!
    The future ahead of us is beyond our wildest imaginings. It can't be any other way. Business as usual is off the menu.

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