I decided to read Cormac McCarthy because he is a prominent writer of contemporary fiction, an area in which I am not as well read. To be completely honest, I figured if the Coen brother’s enjoyed him enough to turn No Country For Old Men into a movie, he was worth checking out. I opted to go with The Road as it seemed to be the most read of his works, and I figured it would be a good way to ease myself into his style.
I had an interesting response to McCarthy’s writing style in this novel. It is an appropriate approach for conveying The Road’s narrative. I am not sure, however, that I would necessarily appreciate this style in other works. The plot as well as the language is very stripped down adding an extra layer of bleakness to the tone. Because The Road tells the story of a man and his son traveling alone trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic land, the writing style heightened the experience and drew a clear picture of the world around them, Therefore, I give Mr. McCormack high marks for creating a strong atmosphere, but I couldn’t read 10 of his books if they employed the same writing technique.
I asked a friend of mine, who is a McCarthy enthusiast, if the style used in The Road is exactly like the rest of his body of works and was told “The Road is like the logical conclusion of choices he’s made in previous books. It’s the most sparse. The Road is his ‘The Best of the Beatles’ if that makes any sense.” It does make sense to me, and it piqued my curiosity enough to make me consider adding McCarthy to my 2017 list. (Thanks for the input, M)
Overall I didn’t love The Road, but I was certainly captured enough to want to see it through and learn more about the author. My concerns with the novel came from feeling that it was depressing for the sake of being depressing. Now, why this bothers me with certain authors and not others (have I mentioned recently how much I love Hemingway?), I couldn’t tell you. While The Road kept my interest it didn’t take my heart.
Rating: 3.5 Miles