The Road by Cormac McCarthy - A Book Dialogue

I am on a post-apocalyptic fix at the moment and just finished the Pullitzer Prize winning The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

It is a depressing story about a man and his child trying to survive in the gloomiest post-apocalyptic world I have ever seen. The author tries to shove hamfisted christological allusions about the son to the reader throughout the book through conversations that seem like they would never happen. Apparently, the book is supposed to mean more than it does on the surface because the surface is pretty bad, but I did not experience this book while sitting in a classroom with a professor who loved it; I purchased it while researching at Swarthmore and read it for my own pleasure. The books seems illogical and more allegorical, but the allegory never clicked with me. I disliked the artsy refusal to use quotations for dialogue. It was a distraction for me to get into the book.

Some people love this book. It has four stars over at Amazon. It did win a Pullitzer Prize and was selected as an Oprah's Book Club book. One reviewer described it as Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece. I just figure that if this is his masterpiece, then I will stay away from his other books. The only redeeming thing about my experience with this book is that it did drag me to the end. It might be that people who like this book were not deterred by the bad science set in an unbelievable post-apocalyptic book. I envy them. They were able to look past all that and enjoy a story of love and friendship between a father and a son.

One of the constant subjects of conversation between the father and the son centers around "What is a good guy?" The boy is genuinely good and loving in a completely desolate and hostile world. We see hope in the child. When they encounter a stranger, even one who has stolen from them, he tries to love. It makes me wonder how much of our love is just love because it is comfortable to love in our culture. If I was thrown into a setting like the father in this book, would I still be loving? Would I be loving if it meant risking my life day in and day out?

Entertaining: 2/5
Inspiring: 2/5
Ethical Thinking: 3/5