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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a dark, dark stand-alone novel that will strike your emotional strings until they snap. McCarthy, known for his Border Trilogy – includes All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain –  Blood Meridian, and his novel No Country for Old Men, has succeeded in writing one of the most grim, brutal post-apocalyptic books in existence.

A father and son, both unnamed, are struggling to survive after an unknown catastrophe in America and it seems across the world. Though the premise is vague, the real story comes with the interactions between the two characters as they travel down a path only referred to as "the road". Between the father's obligation to the son, the need for both of them to live with only what clothes they wear and what little food is in their scavenged cart, and the dangers of the anarchist tribes of people, the suspense never ceases. Their goal, aside from life in the desolated country, is to follow the road to the coast. It is not guaranteed to solve their problems, but the flicker of hope that other lawful survivors could be gathering and rebuilding the world is enough to drive their pilgrimage.

McCarthy ignites the entire spectrum of human emotional response in 287 pages: anger, fear, love, hope, and the complete loss thereof. As easy as a read this book is from a writing standpoint, this novel is so merciless and so emotionally intense that it is not the light-hearted summer adventure that you may be looking to read. However devastating the content may be, this is easily one of Cormac McCarthy's best works and "probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal" according to Los Angeles Times Book Review. The eloquent language and the underlying commentary on human nature in it's most raw state launch this novel onto every must-read list.

"Awesome in the totality of its vision, The Road is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation."

Dust Jacket, The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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