I understand that Cormac McCarthy's earlier books are hard reading, but his Pulitzer Prize winning "The Road" is not only is easy reading, although with some unusual punctuation, but is one of the best books I have read in years. Every time I think about it I'm excited by the writing all over again.

It's a post apocalyptic tale about a father and young son, about ten, who are trying to get to a warmer climate since winter is coming fast.

I followed the two characters feeling not just sympathy but empathy. Even when nothing his happening there is tension, because you know something bad could happen in the very next--or at the very end of the well more than 100 small sections.

At the end, I was afraid to turn pages, for fear of how it might end. My only complaint is that the last paragraph of the book was some kind of poetic prose about nature in general when he book was not about just nature, but about human nature.

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I read it.

Felt like I needed Prozac afterwards.
It was good, in a heartbreaking/depressing sort of way. It didn't give me goosebumps or bring tears to my eyes, as some books do. I read it shortly after watching Children of Men, so I think it was just bleakness overload for me. It made me weary. I had to watch six episodes of Little House on the Prarie to repair my psyche. :)
I read, and finished The Road for an online SF discussion group. It is one of the better post-appcalyptic tale I have read in many years. It stays with me for a long time, long after I read the last words and closed the book.
I read it. While I found it interesting enough to read over the course of a single weekend, I don't think I'd read it again. Not because of the bleakness - I have no problems reading bleak work - but because it just didn't click with me.

It was okay.
I thought it was brilliant. McCarthy is an amazing writer. Although I'm not a fan of the whole post-apoc "genre," the book was just so damn well written. I love a good, quick story as much as anyone, but I also love reading the art when it's executed at such a high level.

This and BLOOD MERIDIAN are my top two McCarthy books.
Jack- I had it from the Library and had to return it, but not before before it 'caught' me. I'm saving it for a 'full reading day'- what I read, I really enjoyed. Sort of like "If Ken Bruen wrote anything other than crime fiction, this would be what he came up with."
This book swept trough 4MA, a while back.
I think even Ratty liked it.
McCarthy is, without question, one of the great writers of our time. But THE ROAD just did not work for me. I've read lots of science fiction and have seen these same themes and settings used to better results. THE ROAD seem to climb to one level and never moved from it. Far more impressive, to my reading, is his previous novel, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which demonstrates how the world of drugs has changed the entire face of the western United States. I do not begrudge McCarthy his success and newfound noterity (an Oprah Pick, and now the Pulitzer Prize), but he has done more impressive work than this particular novel.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is the one I have not read. I guess I should pick it up.
I started it but then diecided after two chapters to save it for another day. This post-appcalyptic tale was very bleak to me and also very sad. In this crazy world we live in, I just couldn't handle more depression and bad news. It's the same reason I have trouble watching the evening news.....

I'm sure it is brilliant, but I will save it for a very euphoric, happy day!

I thought The Road was great. I'm a big McCarthy fan, and found it to be a bit breezier (if you can accurately say that about a book that describes post-apocalyptic America with horrifying detail) than much of the rest of his work. The punctuation thing always takes a bit of time to ease back into, but it's no hindrance. The ending here did feel a bit tacked on, given its sentimental nature, but McCarthy always deals with large themes, and this was ultimately in fitting with the overall tone of the book. Crime fiction fans ought to love his previous book No Country For Old Men, which, as I've said of the vaguely similar Twilight by William Gay, would be considered a crime fiction classic if its setting was an urban landscape instead of desolate rural America.
I haven't read it yet Jack, and when Oprah picked it, I was going to pass simply because I haven't had good personal experiences with any of her book choices in the past. But I know you recommend it highly, so I might have to give it a go.
Yep, Gina. I think your husband might like it too. It's a book that, I think hits parents particularly hard. I've just ordered "No Country for Old Men," which I understand is about a man who comes across a stash of cash left over from a drug deal and is set in more recent times. It's funny, I first heard about McCarthy when I read reviews of "No Country for Old Men." Didn't know he had written, "All the Pretty Horses" and any number of books that are like noir Westerns. Those who compare him to Faulkner, I understand, base it on the more complex style of his earlier books.


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