The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy follows a father and son as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of some unspecified apocalyptic event that has left the world covered in grey ash. The people who are left to populate the world are largely acting on their more cruel and base natures – rape, murder, and cannibalism have become rote. Yet the vast majority of this is only hinted at or implied as McCarthy lays out his tale in spare prose that is as bleak and unadorned as the colorless landscape his nameless characters are forced to traverse. There is no room for softness or sentiment in the world that the author chronicles, but he deftly makes both the father and son real and multi-dimensional rather than merely faceless refugees. There is also no room for a happy ending, though perhaps it could be perceived as having a glimmer of hope. In this life we live, perhaps that’s the best we can achieve at times: just a glimmer. McCarthy’s work is hailed as literature, but can be a bit difficult to decipher at times for the uninitiated. In this instance, though, his sparse style meshes well with his post-apocalyptic world, and the reader is awarded with a moving story that gives an abundantly believable take on just what would happen to mankind if the world went to pot. Sadly, there is more darkness than light.

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