The Road – Cormac McCarthy

March 22, 2010 at 19:02 | Posted in books | Leave a comment
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A man travels through a ravaged country with his son, engaged in a daily battle for survival against a backdrop of horrific events. This is a powerful book set in a post-apocalyptic America. It is about the worst of humanity and the best; about what men will do when driven to extremes.

It does not have chapters; rather the story unfolds through small episodes, each individually described but adding to an overall picture. Gradually we piece together the story of this family’s life as they travel along the road. Ultimately it is a book about hope, although it deals with dark despair and fear.

In one sense it’s a book where nothing much happens, but it is still compelling. And disturbing. Very powerful writing that will haunt you for days after you finish it.

This novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007, and certainly sees Cormac McCarthy established as one of the great modern American writers. Technically this book is science fiction, although it’s not billed as such; that genre seems to be somewhat associated with lightweight fiction and frothy fantasy, which is a pity – it would be nice to see a ‘science fiction’ book win a major literary award.

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