Book & Movie Review: The Road

The Book

I listened to the audiobook version of The Road and I have to say it was pretty good. The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, did quite a good job of reading this book, however there were times when the tone of his voice became a but too monotonous and that made my attention waver a bit. One thing I can say that he did really good was putting a lot of emotion into some of the parts of the story, especially during times when the boy was scared of a certain situation and he was trying to plea with his father to stop. It was those times that I felt like there really was lots of danger out on the road and that it wasn’t simply a father and son out on a camping trip but these people were truly struggling to survive.

What stood out most to me with this book was the lack of names. During the story there was the man, the boy, the woman, but their names were never given. In fact there was only one name given throughout this book and that was Eli the old man they came across during their travels, and even then Eli admitted that might not even be his real name since names no longer help any significance out there. No doubt the characters had names at some point, but with the world in ruin and only a few surviving there is no need for a name.

While the majority of the character focus was on the man and the boy there were a few other characters that they encountered along the way. Most were bad men who essentially captured and eventually ate those people they came across but there were a few good people along the way as well. However the character with the biggest impact on the story was the one that many might not even consider a character, and that is the road itself. Sure it’s an inanimate object but the road holds such a significance to to story that it really does feel like it is a character. It leads the man and boy towards the ocean, provides them protection and on occasion supplies from the various abandoned vehicles along it, and is both the safest and dangerous way to travel.

Overall I enjoyed this book. It was a great story about survival in extreme circumstances, showed the lengths the man would go to protect his son as well as teach him about the world that used to exist and also about how to survive in the current world. I would certainly recommend this book to people who are looking to read something different or a book that has that Dystopian/Apocalypse feel.

The Movie

After reading the book I decided to watch the movie as well to see how it compared to the book.

Let’s just say I was fairly disappointed with the movie. I think the biggest setback for this movie is the lack of color in the world. With everything burnt and destroyed the world exists in various shades of grey, and those few colors that are encountered are so faded that it’s hard to tell what color they had been.  However, I was glad that the movie did reflect the dull broken world portrayed within the book, had it been changed I would have disliked the movie more.

I think Viggo Mortenson did a fairly good job of portraying the man. However, Kodi Smit-McPhee, the actor who played the boy, just didn’t feel right to me. First off in the book the boy seemed to always be frightened and especially with the audiobook version you could feel the fear and desperation in his voice, but in the movie he seemed more like a normal kid than someone who had been through what they had. I also expected him to be a bit younger, he looked a few years older than the boy I envisioned from the book.

Overall it was an okay movie at best. It might appeal more to those who haven’t read the book, however for those who have read the book and are interested in seeing how it was transferred onto the big screen then I would suggest checking out the movie.

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