Finally, this weekend I got round to reading McCarthy’s prize-winning, critic-pleasing novel. And I can tell you that The Road deserves all the attention it has garnered. It is a simple, terrifyingly bleak story about a man and his boy surviving in the wastelands left over after some global catastrophe that has killed almost everything and everyone.
In fact, the story is so simple that it feels as if it has always existed. Or, at least, that someone else must surely have told this story before McCarthy. I am not so sure about that, but no one could have told with it with the pathos of The Road.
I felt a tad disappointed in the ending – and it’s not often I say that as I feel it’s an all-too-easy criticism. But I think that this ending didn’t quite nail it – and it certainly wasn’t brave enough. Nevertheless, it is McCarthy’s setting that will stay with me and every other reader. I only hope I can remember the beauty and precision of his prose too.