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The Road - Cormac McCarthy - do you think he wrote a different ending and it was so depressing that he changed it and put that cop-out one in.

(16 Posts)
CountessDracula Fri 20-Jun-08 12:02:30

I do

Psychobabble Fri 20-Jun-08 12:04:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CountessDracula Fri 20-Jun-08 12:06:41

Ah but surely people don't know the end til they get there
so how would it stop them reading it?
It is terrifying
but what a brilliant book

Psychobabble Fri 20-Jun-08 12:14:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chonky Sat 21-Jun-08 18:34:34

It's fantastic isn't it (but chilling)? What do you think happened to them - global warming, nuclear war?

chonky Sat 21-Jun-08 18:37:26

sorry - didn't answer you question CD - yes, I do think that the original ending would have been to grim for readers to contemplate so it wouldn't surprise me if he'd softened it...

janeite Sat 21-Jun-08 18:48:40

I finished it this week and it's the hatch scene that I can't get out of my head too. I agree that the ending was a cop out.

I also thought it wasn't as good as it could have been overall (dp shouted at me when I said this as he loved it and it made him cry!). I just feel that other sort of post-apocolypse type stories have done it better ("Endgame" for example, although not a novel is stunning in its bleakness).

I did think it was very impressive though; I loved it's sparseness and the fact that it was quite Steinbeck-esque in the way it observed but never judged or even commented on what was happening.

Monkeytrousers Fri 27-Jun-08 20:19:32

A cop out> How can you say that - the whole book is so bleak. The ending is open. Lots of very bad things ahead of them.

Monkeytrousers Fri 27-Jun-08 20:20:53

The ending is bleak - just becasue he doesn't spell it out exactly doesn;t mean it isn;t there in the whole journey of the text.
There no hope for any of them

Tinker Tue 15-Jul-08 19:30:41

Finished this last night. Had to re-read last 10 pages to double-check somethings. Like staying in he cave for 3 days - very Biblical. I cried and cried when I finshed it though. Don't know about the ending being a cop-out. Surely it's worse to have to keep living. I keep thinking that some people will experience this though; there will be a point when the earth dies/man cannot sustain itself and the last ones will know that shock

janeite Fri 18-Jul-08 19:33:27

Just read the last few comments on this thread and been horribly embarrassed by a misplaced apostrophe in my comment. Many apologies blush.

Has anybody read anything else by him and if so, would you recommend it?

lululemonrefuser Mon 21-Jul-08 23:08:30

I've been avoiding this thread until I could get to read the book!

I don't think the ending was a cop out. There were signs all along that there were other decent people like them, watching and following, and it was so well developed during the text that the father was going to die and that he would not be able to kill his son. Of course they are all doomed as there is nothing to eat and nothing growing, but I thought that the fact that he (the father) was managing to continue living with some sort of moral framework and code which included life being sacred was sort of hopeful - a bit of a triumph of the human spirit. But horrific horrific scenes in there that really haunted me - the bit with his blind wife and the question of how many bullets in the gun really got to me. And so very well written - agree with Janeite about it being a bit Steinbeck, and also I loved the way it followed so many conventions of a road trip novel/film.

If you want more end of the world stuff, The Pesthouse by Jim Crace is really very good as well (funnily was published around the same time).

God, I've just finished this book last night and am traumatised. Couldn't stop thinking of my own dd and imagining how scary it would be to be in such a situation. I've never read a book thats made me cry before now!

At the end I was willing him to shoot his son. In his position I think I would have shot my dd to be honest, I couldn't bare the thought of her having to try and survive in such a world without me.

I'm glad the boy found some other people who seemed lie they were going to look after him. The book ended very differently to how I thought it would. At the start of the book I thought it would end with them finding a safe, happy place with plenty of food and other nice people - always the optomist!

I read All The Pretty Horses by Cormac Mccarthy some years ago and enjoyed it, but not as good as The Road I don't think. Are they making a film of this book?

janeite Wed 23-Jul-08 23:54:56

Lulu - I recently read "The Pesthouse" as well. I thought there were some very good bits in it and especially liked the beginning and the "break out" of the commune thing but overall I thought the ending was a bit nothingy; a pity as it was a very nicely written love story as well as an interesting post-apocalyptic novel.

Then again, I don't think anybody will ever write anything better than "The Stand" in that genre.

"The Road" reminded me a bit of Samuel Beckett in its bleakness as well and of course, he's travelled a similar path in "Godot" and "Endgame" albeit in a very different form!

gomez Thu 24-Jul-08 00:01:13

Amazing, scary, heart-thumping, 'read it in a sitting and couldn't get to sleep' piece of genius. Didn't even enter my mind it was a cop-out ending - the Boy was not skipping off into a pink sunset really, was he?

It still haunts me a long time now and it must be more than a year since I finished it.

janeite Thu 24-Jul-08 00:05:48

Love your description Gomez.

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