The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 23 June 2010]

Review: The Road

Nic reviews Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is one relentlessly bleak novel. It’s the story of a man and a boy walking through a post-apocalyptic landscape, trying to make their way south out of a killing winter, trying to find food enough to stay alive, and trying to avoid other survivors who are more likely than not to kill and eat them.

Darkness, despair, and futility on a stick.

To be honest, I didn’t really know what to make of The Road: It’s written in a style to make it more of a parable than a story. Things like us never finding out the man and boy’s names, never finding out what the apocalypse was, and McCarthy’s strange and to my mind pretentious quirk of leaving out the apostrophes from words like “wouldnt.” No idea what that was all about.

Unnecessary spelling issues aside, McCarthy’s prose is what makes The Road bearable. It’s sharp and honed, often poetic, rendering the story in a fugue state that accentuates the characters’ plight. Or perhaps one shouldn’t look at them as characters but as icons. Again, The Road feels like a parable. I’m really not sure what the parable is about, but if I had to make a guess, I’d say it’s about never losing faith in Deus Ex Machina.

Because I have a huge issue with the ending. This review is spoiler-free, but let’s just say McCarthy completely punked out. I put the book down really angry after I finished it. Like, kicked in the nuts angry.

Nevertheless, it’s a unique book, which all by itself makes it worth reading. And perhaps I’m over-sensitive to bad endings. It’s worth reading for the prose style alone.

« Review: The Big Short


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?