Monday, September 25, 2006

Reviews of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"

As we come close to the release of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, the reviews are coming and getting me excited. Here's a round-up:

The Road Through Hell, Paved With Desperation by Janet Maslin in the New York Times:

“The Road” offers nothing in the way of escape or comfort. But its fearless wisdom is more indelible than reassurance could ever be.

On the Lost Highway: Cormac McCarthy sends a father and son on the scariest road trip he can imagine. Seat belts fastened? by Malcolm Jones in Newsweek:

One measure of a good writer is the ability to surprise. Terse, unsentimental, bleak—McCarthy’s readers have been down that road before. But who would ever have thought you’d call him touching?

The parable lacks a point: Cormac McCarthy leads readers through a 'godless' landscape by Earl L. Dachslager in the Houston Chronicle:

But if McCarthy's verbal eccentricities can sometimes cross over into self-indulgent blather, he nevertheless remains one of our great storytellers, a master of suspense and narrative power. ... But for a parable to succeed, it needs to have some clear point or message. The Road has neither, other than to say that after an earth-destroying event, things will go hard for the survivors.

Delving into post-apocalypse: A bleak novel by Cormac McCarthy has a father and son fighting to live in a world turned to ash by Allen Barra in the Philadelphia Enquirer:

The Road is about the bleakest book he has ever written, and that's saying something...The Road leaves you wondering why a writer capable of using discalced was drawn to material like this in the first place.

Unhappily ever after: In “The Road,” Cormac McCarthy imagines a savage end of the world by Steve Erickson in the LA Times:

One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal, "The Road" would be the ideal coda to a body of work that now spans 10 books over 40 years. But that would mean no more McCarthys, and no one could want that. Rather, we may hope he'll find more inspiration where "The Road" came from — it's dedicated to his son — even as the book wrenches our nightmares into a gray light where they don't vanish but become more vivid.

Barbarism rages in a Southwest seized by nuclear winter in Cormac McCarthy's fierce futuristic tale by Jerome Weeks in the Dallas Morning News:

In fact, Mr. McCarthy is perhaps our only writer to master William Faulkner's Southern Gothic, then Hemingway's wounded heroism, and now he has reached the bone-stark lyricism of Samuel Beckett....Along with any natural beauty, any salvation, what's gone in The Road is any humor (even Beckett laughs). What's left, besides the barest flicker of human community, is Mr. McCarthy's astonishing, pared-away language, the poetry of stones and cold sunsets.

This is the End by Chris Barsanti for

Strangely, given the at-times unbearable harshness of the world he creates in The Road, McCarthy shows more of a heart in this book than he has for some time.

What comes after by David Hinckley in the NY Daily News:

If "The Road" is McCarthy's message of hope, you don't even want to think about what he'd write if he wanted to send a message of despair.

I'm on board.

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