The Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A fairly easy read as far as the prose itself goes. The strange little quirks like omitted apostrophes and the use of pronouns in place of character names were only a mild distraction. After the first chapter or so, I was more concerned with the story than the presentation.
First, I should admit I enjoy reading post-apocalyptic fiction. Always have, so I'm a bit predisposed to favor the genre as long as I can buy into what the author is trying to sell me.
This author's post-apocalyptic vision was disturbing only because it is easy to imagine humanity sinking to such feral behavior when the very fabric of civilization has been unraveled and survival is all that is left. Distrusting the generosity and humanity of others, as the father so clearly did, could become second nature. I certainly didn't see his behavior as overly paranoid when enough evidence was presented to support it.
Be warned...spoiler alert!
The ending, though. That's the reason this story got a 3 out of 5 star rating. While I didn't mind the fact that child ended up in good hands, it was so unexpected that it had the flavor of a dues ex machina. The idea that the child's "good guys" had been following them, waiting on the father to die, felt a bit contrived as the reader had seen no evidence of "good guys" anywhere along the road. No hints, no messages, no overtures.
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