LITERATURE: The Road – Story

As you all know, I’m a big McCarthy fan but maybe I’m getting a bit persnickety about his writing.  At his best, he is absolutely awesome.  At his worst, he’s still in the top 5%.  But in this novel, while his forte is creating the environment, even I am starting to get tired of the repetitious greyness of ash and blackness of the landscape. 

Another bothersome issue is the timeline as presented.  We catch on pretty quick that what happened is likely the result of an atomic bomb, we are also given information that it happened years ago.  Why are there still fires?  Why, in this barren landscape is there still wood for a campfire?  Why did he wait so long–years?–to start on the journey with his son? 

I’m just at the point where there are bits of flashback to the day it all went down, so maybe some of my questions will be answered.  But in the meantime, I’m questioning the character’s choices.

McCarthy does give us more insight than usual into his characters; the tenderness of the father’s concern for his son, the feelings towards his late wife, the hardness with which he deals with the one traveler they’ve met, and the son’s mature acceptance of their situation; his quiet "Okay." 

Nice, nice and powerful.  Terribly moving and allowing enough action and conflict to add interest to their plodding ordeal.

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