creative [kree-ey-tiv]: adjective. Synonyms: clever, cool, innovative, inspired, prolific, stimulating.

criticism [krit-uh-siz-uhm]: noun. The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.

12 Jun 2010

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Oh look, there's a movie. But why watch a movie can you can read a book? For the cost:hours of entertainment ratio, movies usually offer a 5:1 ratio, whereas a 241-page book such as this one offers a 0:3 ratio. Public libraries: making books a more cost-effective source of entertainment since forever.
This random blurb having been taken care of, let's take a look at this novel: it's set in a post-apocalyptic world (Yay, dystopia!), and follows a man and his son, who travel, survive as they can, and shuffle on through the ashes of the world.
Who are they? I don't know, they never get a name.
What are they doing? Traveling, following the roads and hiding from everyone. Also, surviving, but barely; due to the ash that's everywhere, nothing grows and the only real food options are non-perishable goods (which will run out eventually) and cannibalism (ditto).
Why did the entire world burn? Who knows.
Where are they, exactly? No idea, but I suspect it might be somewhere close to the east coast of America.
When is this novel set? Again, no idea; but I suspect the world burnage might have gone on 4-6 years prior, since the son was born during that time. But nothing concrete is ever shown or explained.
I haven't read any of Cormac McCarthy's other novels (which includes No Country For Old Men, by the way), but insofar as you can figure out an author's style with only one of their novels, here is what I figured out about this author:

  1. He doesn't like to put apostrophes in words that have a contracted "not". Or rather, he "doesnt" like to do that.
  2. He has never found out about quotation marks. Especially not about their use for dialogue.
  3. He thinks that you should figure everything out on your own. Explaining the basic Who/What/Where/When/Why/How is beneath him.
  4. Clear sections in a novel? Chapters?! NEVER!
Overall, I judge this novel to be bleak, a good read albeit a somewhat repetitive and semi-descriptive one, that might lack in explanation but makes up for it in realism. It was okay; it was heartbreaking at times, but it mostly left me indifferent.

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