All good things must come to an end, and I had a really good run on books, and then I read The Road.
Pulitzer Prize? Number 1 National Bestseller? A masterpiece?
This book sucks.
As you would have guessed by this post, I was prepared for, and even anticipating a dark and depressing story. It wasn’t that which bothered me, I’ve read books that are much darker (I’m looking at you The Girl Next Door), it’s just that nothing happens. The characters are cardboard thin, and there are way too many plot conveniences to make it believable. And don’t get me started on the complete absence of speech marks in a dialogue heavy story.
McCarthy does a great job of describing the world that the characters find themselves in (the book never gives names to the man and the boy), but there are too many incongruous inclusions to fully suspend disbelief. For example he devotes many lines of prose emphasising how the land is burned and ruined and that there is no food anywhere, in fact its so bad that some people have turned to cannibalism. Yet every time the main characters get low on food or run out of it, they always end up finding more – and not just scraps and remains mind you, no, on one occasion they found apples that were somehow still edible, and in a worse example, they find a whole underground shelter stacked with food, and sit down to eat….eggs and butter, two very perishable items that somehow survived the long distant apocalypse.
I really really wanted to enjoy this book, but the reality is, I couldn’t wait to finish it and get it over with.