10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
missed opportunity, 12 Jan. 2009
I found this book terrified me. I'm the father of a young boy and like most fathers I guess I would give my last breath for my son so the premise for the book was automatically close to my heart.
Unlike some of the other criticisms I have read about this book I was happy with the narrow perspective, content just to accept the world they endured. I don't feel the back story would have added anything more to the raw emotion of a father and son struggling to survive.
The book doesn't follow a conventional writing style but (despite finding this annoying to begin with) I persevered and quickly negotiated the format.
Cormac McCarthy sets up some truly vulnerable moments between a father and son struggling to survive. Time and time again the pair are faced with insurmountable set backs only to have a Deus ex Machina save them.
Even with the tedium of their journey weighing me down and their monotonous encounters I was still apprehensive about finishing this book.
I reached a point mid way through where the characters find some sanctuary from the apocalyptic nightmare and I seriously considered leaving it there so that I would be ignorant of what terrible fate was lurking at the back of the book.
When I reached the end there was a paragraph of sadness followed quickly by a smaltzy Deus ex Machina that wouldn't be out of place in a Hollywood block buster.
For all the harshness of the world the writer created the powerful emotions that make up the undercurrent of this book were glossed over.
When I reached this disappointment I suddenly became aware of just how hollow the characters were. Granted there are only the two main characters, the boy and his father, but nether of them exhibited any depth or growth.
I found that in the end the only reason I had kept reading this book was my own fear as father.
I feel this book was a missed opportunity and could truly have been a modern classic if only a bit more effort had been spent in editing it.