I went into reading The Road thinking it was a much longer book than it really turned out to be. I thought it was going to be a tome. I must have heard something about it’s length on Reddit or somewhere else. Whoever said it was long was mistaken. It couldn’t have been any shorter. Clocking in at 241 pages hardly counts as a novel these days. Well, it does, but a damn short one.
I was geared up to be oh so depressed afterward. I had some anti-depressants tabbed into an old Pez dispenser. I ordered some Chinese and set to work on this book. To my surprise it was less depressing and more uplifting.
McCarthy has a knack when it comes to presenting evil in an understated manner. He did it so well in No Country for Old Men. I expected there to be a villain like The Judge from Blood Meridian streaking after the man and the boy, but that was not the case. There was plenty of evil in the page. Stretches where the landscape and the aftermath of the ill-fated world was the overall evil presence too. But McCarthy’s other books pulled us through the trenches with those evils and showed us that evil persists, even if there are good men in the world. Whereas the message seemed to change a bit with The Road.
The Road shows that one must have hope to fight through the despair. The ending shocked me a bit. I thought they would end up dead, both of them. Dead as the landscape around them. Again not the way it turned out.
I think I connect with McCarthy’s writing due to his use of language. I’m going to update this review with some excerpts to show exactly what I mean.