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Review: The Road

April 7, 2009

A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. This is the profoundly moving story of their journey. “The Road” boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which two people, ‘each the other’s world entire’, are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

That might be so, but I was flawed with how deeply unimpressed I was with The Road. I wouldn’t say it’s overrated, not much of a fan of that, because I appreciate why people would love it. For me, however, it was lacking.

It was lacking in any resemblance of substance. It was practically bare bones. To be honest I’m getting a bit tired with McCarthy’s shtick with the punctuation (or lack of). It worked in Blood Meridian; which is a great book, very expansive, really capturing a Biblical tone. The Road seemed to try to capture that magic but it comes across as someone writing a bad McCarthy story.

The two characters (there are a couple of others but they are so inconsequential that they almost don’t exist) the dad and the son. These two were empty characters. They had no life in them, no spark of anything. I was supposed to care about them, their plight but I didn’t know who they were. By the end of the book, I was still clueless to who they were.

There was no character development with these two characters. It all felt so damn cliché. The writing comes across as horribly self-conscious. It draws attention to itself but for all the wrong reasons. It’s annoying. By the time, I was done reading I had gained nothing from it. I had experienced just a dull sense that I wanted to finish this book quickly. This was quite easily done because the font was huge and had great big bloody gaps between paragraphs.

I was hoping for a revelation after the raving done for this book but I just don’t see what the fuss is about.

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