ever since The Morning News picked The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, as the winner for their 2007 Tournament of Books, I’ve been intending to read it. Just finished it a few days ago. first book I’ve finished in an embarrassingly long time, but it was incredible.
I always thought Stephen King’s The Stand would stand as my epitome of post-apocalyptic fiction (really the only kind there is, yet) but next to The Road it pales into transparency. McCarthy’s prose (and it really is) is sparse and dry, reflecting the ruined landscape that the protagonists are thrust into. Dust fills the air, coats the ground, and covers the dead forests and cities of the United States. The characters, a father and son, are wandering through this landscape, barely surviving on scavenged foodstuffs and constantly on the lookout for other travelers, who have resorted to hunting the only living things left–people.
Cormac never descends into sentimentality or romanticism, the book is intense, gripping, and entirely real. It is believable, scarily believable, and damn is it good.