When I saw the movie The Road, I was so moved by it! I was scared for the man and son, I cried when the father died – I was entirely invested in it. I had heard the book by Cormac McCarthy was equally stimulating, but I actually think I enjoyed the experience that the movie allotted me more than the book (for potentially the first time EVER).
While I was reading this book, I honestly thought that McCarthy wasn’t a native English speaker or that the book was a poor translation. There were spelling errors, lack of commas and apostrophes… I know I’m super nerdy with my reading, especially since I had my publishing internships and started focusing on the meticulous parts of works, but it was REALLY jarring. It might have been some stylistic technique, but I didn’t like it very much. There’s a working system for a reason, duhh Cormac. Anyway, I really did enjoy the book but I guess having already seen the movie I wasn’t shocked by the things that I knew were to come. I wish I had read it first because then it probably would’ve have had a more positive impact on me, but I can’t change that obviously. Regardless it was interesting to read the scenes that weren’t in the movie, but having seen it on the screen helped me to more easily keep a picture in my mind. The book also made some of the rushed scenes that seemed a little unnecessary almost more realistic as well. The scene with the son getting sick was dragged out more in the book so that I saw that the father was worried over his life, while the movie made it into a nightlong virus that didn’t really seem necessary to even acknowledge. So I did appreciate that. The one thing that I didn’t like about the movie and the book was that literally a day or two after the father dies, the son happens to find a family to stay with that won’t kill him and that he can trust. Oh really? Well that’s awfully convenient. His father warned him every single day of his life not to trust other people and to stay alone, and his body isn’t even decomposing before he decides to shatter that mindset. That just seemed so completely unrealistic to me, but I guess no one wanted to go through the trouble of creating more scenes where the boy meets with other people who are bad and fends for himself. I think I have to keep with the habit of reading the book before seeing the movie from now on.
Okay so I talked to a friend who happens to LOVE this novel and I mentioned how I didn’t like all the writing errors. He said that when he read it, he took it as since the world was over anyway, who was there to care about missing apostrophes and missing commas? McCarthy was trying to emphasize that point further. Well, I can accept that but I still think it was a little strange to do because there wasn’t a first person narrator. If it had been as if the author were trying to write down his story, then that would have made more sense to me. But instead we have this omniscient narrator who isn’t involved in the story at all, so I think he should still comply to the rules of writing. Also, I think it’s a silly thing to think that just because the world is over that caring about certain given rules of the past shouldn’t matter anymore. That’s how things are continued into the future, by caring about them and showing them importance. They upheld the morality of not eating other people and not killing others for the same general reason. But maybe that’s just my way of thinking.