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The Road, Cormac McCarthy

100% a human novel, I kept thinking though that this was what it was like for dinosaurs after the meteor fell on Chicxulub. This is what it’s like for every species pushed to extinction: no destination; nothing to eat; nowhere to shelter. This isn’t happening in some imagined post-nuclear winter. This is happening now. And we’re driving it.

And really the protagonists of this story have dropped to the level of beasts unable to express. They couldn’t complain. They couldn’t cry. They couldn’t beg for compassion. No-one and nothing was listening. That’s what’s it’s like for a species on the way out.

The story was like a road accident: you just have to keep reading; you can’t look away. It’s so compelling. The skill of the tone and the Hemingway delivery keeps the material the right side of pathos without slipping into melodrama and self-pity. It’s perfectly pitched.

I’m supposing that the setting is post-nuclear although there’s no mention of radiation. I’d love to know the route the two characters are taking. My USA geography is not up to identifying it. Perhaps someone has worked it out?

Anyway, go read. It’s awesome.

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