The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

A young boy and his father are on a journey through an America which has been laid waste some years ago by some unexplained catastrophe. Only a handful of people survive, and they're mostly unfriendly.

A pretty bleak read but very well written and evocative; you really do get a sense of things losing colour and definition, as life on earth fades away. At one point he says "The last instance of a thing takes the class with it", which I think sums up the feel of the book well: nothing is created in this world; people survive by scavanging on whatever they can find from before the holocaust.

There were just a couple of issues I had with the book: one was a niggle that worried me as I was reading: it seems that there's not even any living plant-life - the trees are all dead and so is the grass. In which case, surely the oxygen should be running out? Maybe it is, but there are so few people that it isn't a problem. The other thing was the ending, which I didn't think was bleak enough.

But a worthwhile read.

Completed : 23-Sep-2009

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