Oct 28, 2009

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road

I burned through this in a few hours while sitting in the waiting room while my sister was in labor. Maybe not the best choice to read while attending the birth of a baby boy, but it passed the time well enough.

This was one of those rare apocalyptic novels I throw into the dystopian mix to keep things interesting (that was, I say, that was a joke, son). And, boy howdy, McCarthy hit every square on that end-of-the-world lit bingo sheet. Cannibals? Check! Horrific environmental damage? Check! A trek through the rotting remains of our culture? Check! A taste of deus ex machina when things get too bleak? Check!

Which isn't to say that I didn't like it. Those things became tropes because we find them both likely and interesting. This is the first thing I've read by McCarthy, and he has a spare style that works well with this sort of story. It's bloody, but even the blood is shadowed, the reds muted and greyed out with ash.

The movie version comes out this month. I'm wondering if they'll keep the ending as is or go Hollywood.

9 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

I've picked up three different McCarthy books and haven't finished any of them.

His writing style bugs me.

downtown guy said...

I feel you on that one. I was sort of a captive audience for The Road (as we were waiting on the baby), which made it easier just to zip through and ignore the more glaring LOOK AT ME WRITING style choices.

Rhiannon Hart said...

Glad you liked it--there have been some very ambivalent reviews out there. Congrats to your sister!

downtown guy said...

Thanks!

Ben said...

McCarthy is definitely a writer's writer, but I enjoyed this book. Can't wait for the movie.

downtown guy said...

I'll be seeing it for sure.

carolyn said...

i really liked this book, even though it was pretty creepy too. its the only book that ive read by mccarthy, and it makes me want to read more, but ive also heard that his other novels are not as accessible. the language is so sparse but there is still so much feeling in it--it was like reading poetry.

cassandrajade said...

The movie will probably go hollywood and I think I'll read the book first. Sounds like some good (if a little mindless) reading.

Lisa said...

You forgot one aspect it hit on pretty well, the utter and total abuse of women. As a woman who loves this type of fiction, it is disturbing how painfully authors imagine our lives will become. Great blog, btw. I look forward to reading more.