The Road

Cormac McCarthy's 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction novel, The Road is barren, bleak, and haunting, but not necessarily a book I would recommend, and certainly not one I care to see translated to screen. It's a story of survival in some post-apocalyptic section of the eastern United States, between a father and his very young son who face starvation, sickness, and the scum of whats-left-of-society.

It's not a futuristic tale, but one where all the remnants of a recently (nuclear fallout appears to be the cause) hostile earth environment conspire in a real and cold manner. The majority of dialogue is between the father and son, and it's brief and repetitive to the point of irritation. I was surprised that the book was as short as it was, but thankful in the end.

Aside, there's a purveyance of guilt, perhaps with a bit of confusion I feel when I read a highly-praised novel and I come away with disappointment. McCarthy's work may be lauded by critics, but the material is a lacking follow-up to the film No Country For Old Men. Of course, I never read the book, but read repeatedly how it was very faithful to the book. Maybe the books really weren't up to snuff and the translation by the Coen brothers (and Javier Bardiem) made up for the source material. Or maybe each book is different in its own way. Regardless, The Road didn't do it for me, whatever 'it' is.

PS. Upon further review, the award Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, deals with "distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life". My interests in fiction generally do not fall in the everyday American life category. Wrapping the folksy tale in an apolocalyptic blanket clearly didn't help.

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