I mostly wrote the draft of this post in 2008, when I first read the book. In trying to reference it in a recent post, I realized I never published it, so here it is with minimal clean up.
This is a great book, mostly because of the fact that it is casual reading for the cultured. It is one event leading to the next in a simple train of thought style but it works well for the subject matter. Meaning from moment to moment is not something Cormac McCarthy presses, evidenced by his other famous work No Country for Old Men. The Road is likewise violent, tragic, miserable, but next to all that is the beauty in caring and protecting a child. The novel is direct yet introverted, deep and shallow at the same time.
The writing style is composed in a way that would have made you flunk 7th grade English, but I love it. The disregard for syntax creates a dirtiness about the story that belongs in the world. It is as if no more educated people remain to properly document the sad struggle. While film directors use many camera techniques like desaturation and jumpy movement to convey form on the function, so too do McCarthy’s words frame the atmosphere of the dying world.
The Road is not a long read. I got through it in less than 6 hours. The movie, if you’ve seen it, does an excellent job capturing most of the scenes and desperation, and if that’s your sort of thing, you should read the real thing.