The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

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Bleak.

That’s the word for this book. It’s a post-apocalypse story of a man and his child — they’re running away from the “bad guys” — all along the road — a desolate, barren, path through a worn out world — the road itself is the third character of the book. (None of the characters have names, interestingly.)

This guy is an absolutely incredible author. McCarthy’s prose is magic. He’s among the most forceful authors I’ve ever read, and there’s just no softness or give in his language. I won’t go so far as to say he’s the “best” or my “favorite”, in the sense that the world is just too big and styles of writing are so diverse — I like Murakami for some things, Vonnegut for some, David McCullough for others. I will say that McCarthy is one of the most muscular, most talented writers that I’ve ever read, and I want to read everything he’s ever penned. Not all at once, as it feels a little like watching back-to-back seasons of The Wire (great, great show — the single-best on television) but not incredibly optimistic, and a little brutal emotionally to watch).

This isn’t exactly a fun book to read, but is incredibly compelling. Hard to describe, but 100% worth reading.

update: in thinking more about this, the story of the commitment between the man & his boy is incredibly poignant and beautiful. it’s the singular ray of hope in the book. it’s really a beautiful, beautiful piece.

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