Alongside Lolita, this is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read. McCarthy’s minimalist style takes some getting used to, but after I got acclimated I found myself immersed in the language. It’s fascinating how he is able to leverage so few words to create a significant emotional response in his reader.
There isn’t much going on in The Road. Most of the book is a father and son walking down a post-apocalyptic road, starving and freezing. There are a few moments with intense action, but for most of its length there really isn’t that much happening. I don’t find this to be a weakness, however. Despite its slow pace, I never felt bored. McCarthy’s style kept me engaged and attentive, even during sequences of tedium.
I enjoy how McCarthy deals with the idea of a bond between a father and son in the face of a hellish world. There are certainly parallels that can be drawn to real life in the way that parents attempt to shield their children from the negative aspects of the world even though they know that they’ll have to face them at some point. The bond between a father and son is unlike any other, and McCarthy handles this idea with grace.
Although it is beautiful, the book is also rather daunting and depressing. I’ll be reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy next. I need a break.
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