This review was written by David McMahon, a member of the Tuesday Evening Book Club.

"The Road" is about a journey by a father and his son in a post-apocalyptic America, through a world devastated by an unnamed catastrophe, whether environmental or nuclear of other cause is not specified. The book opens with the  father waking from a nightmare, only to find that his waking life is no better. They have been walking for months, at least, and pass from horror to horror, scavenging for food and trying to avoid the marauding gangs looking for whatever they need to survive. Cannibalism is rife among survivors. The book's subject matter is bleak, and it is readable only because of its beautiful language, its haunting descriptive passages of the devasted landscape, its evocation of the father's love and protectiveness for his son, and the optimism that his son at least might survive to live in a better world.

McCarthy's prose is mesmerising, simply and eloquently formed, describing in fine detail the daily tasks and challenges of surviving in a world stripped of the technology and resources of civilisation, and where the scattered people are reduced to the  most extreme primitivism. The absolute bleakness of the surrounds and the threats from other survivors contrasts with the humanity of the father and son, who cannot save others yet do not resort to the barbarism of those around them.

I found pleasure in reading each page of this exquiste work, and delayed fininshing it, only to enjoy it the more.

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