Friday, February 24, 2012

The Road - Reviewed

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It seems that I'm very much out of the majority in my opinion of this novel. It came recommended, and I had high hopes. This was also my first McCarthy novel, and it will be my last.

The Road is short, which is why I finished it despite my many misgivings. Even to those who adore it, is one long black trudge through a devastated world. We never know why all the animals and plants have died, only that the unnamed boy and unnamed man are traveling through what had once been North America.

This is the darkest book I have ever read. I usually reserve such exposure to bleakness in my non-fiction reading. Why would I subject myself to it in novel form, when it simply comes from the mind of one author? It is rife with cannibalism, including such an awful scene toward the end that I wish I could unread (I won't even describe it here, it was that disturbing to me). I don't know why this novel was written, nor why it is so beloved.

While I do appreciate some of the writing style, much of it was distracting. How can McCarthy be lauded for his 'sparse prose,' and yet deliver a quote like this:

“Ten thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts.”

That's prose, but it is anything but sparse.

I wish I hadn't read this book, and I would never recommend it.

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