I haven’t read much fiction lately, in fact, I haven’t read much on the printed page, as I keep getting non-fiction books that sound interesting, but can’t quite get through. I just finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Since this is a Pulitzer Prize winning book, an Oprah Book selection, and a staple of local book clubs everywhere, there probably is not too much I can say about this that hasn’t been said, but that has never stopped me before.
This post-apocalyptic story follows an unnamed father and son as they travel cross country trying to survive. The style and organization of the book matches the story very well. There are no chapters, just segments that range in length from one paragraph to several. Dialog is written without quotation marks and attributions. These stylish decisions contribute to a sense that, as Stephen King describes in the Dark Tower series, the world has moved on. Time, speech, events all run together because there is no time and every day is just like the last. They need to find food, find shelter, and make it to the next day. Some days they do, and some days they don’t.
I summarized the book to Grace as being very well written and enjoyable, but heartbreaking and potentially very sad. I prepared her that I would probably cry when I got to the end. I did not, but the emotions and the power of this book will stay with me for a long time. What is left unsaid is what resonates.