Read This!: The Road

The Road
By Cormac McCarthy

Bleak?  You wanna talk about bleak?  Well, look no further, my friends.  Cormac McCarthy is here to let you know you don’t have the slightest fucking idea what bleak means.

The Road tells the story of The Man and The Boy, a father and son trying to survive in a United States devestated by some unknown apocalypse.  Was it nuclear?  Supernatural?  We never learn, and it doesn’t matter.  The Man and The Boy are heading south and to the coast.  They know they can’t survive another winter unless the reach a warmer climate.  On the way they search for food, shelter, and avoid cannibals.  It may seem like a thin plot, but the narrative more than makes up for it.  McCarthy writes a gripping story, making this simple tale of two people walking along a road both terrifying and captivating.

There is one thing that bugs me, though.  Last year, somebody proudly stated on the Shocklines message boards that they lived to break literary taboos, like using quotes to mark off dialogue.  It sounded pretentious and stupid then, and it sounds even worse now.

Well, it appears Cormac McCarthy is one taboo-breaking motherfucker.  There’s not a single quotation mark in this entire story.  Contractions don’t even sport apostrophies.  As great as the story is, I just can’t get over this utterly stupid aspect.  That’s my hang up, and I’m aware of it.  Just thought I’d mention it in the interest of full disclosure.

Recommednation: Strong. A fast read, but one that will leave you feeling alone.