Ryan Mishap's Reviews > The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
Nov 03, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: novel
Read in January, 2008

Most of you have likely heard of this post-apocalyptic novel as it won the Pulitzer Prize and, more importantly, Oprah’s okay. I’m not sure its themes are good enough for the Pulitzer, but it is a good novel. The prose is as spare and bleak as the gray ash world McCarthy creates. No living thing grows and no animals survive, save for a smattering of humans. A man and a boy travel an old highway in search of…safety, food, survivors, meaning? Meanwhile, roving bands of humans hunt others for food.
I recommend this, but I have one major criticism: lack of the undead, or even mutant zombies or something. McCarthy is digging up ground well plowed by SF, horror, and fantasy writers. He could’ve paid his debt to them by having the cannibals actually be zombies. Imagine a zombie novel actually getting the Pulitzer Prize! Instant uplift for a denigrated genre. I know, having the cannibals be human says something about human nature, is more frightening, blah, blah. Still, their function in the story is the function of zombies and I know he wouldn’t have won any prizes if he had made them undead.
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