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The Road - Cormac McCarthy I was very impressed. My first McCarthy. It's about a father and son who have survived a catastrophic event that appears to have wiped out most of humanity and most other creatures too. Some of the other survivors have turned to cannibalism.

I can't recall being so powerfully affected by a book for some time. I thought the writing was exquisite. The content, however, was bleak and harrowing. McCarthy convincingly describes the grind of the father and son's day-to-day efforts to survive. He also subtly but expertly conveyed the horror and ghastliness of the cannibalism in a pared down, understated manner (similar in style to Raymond Carver) that will probably haunt me for years to come. Perhaps as a father of a seven year old boy it resonated with me more than with some readers. Either way, I had tears streaming down my face at the end, and I was gripped throughout. A modern classic.

This passage, reasonably early on in the book , hit me between the eyes & illustrates Cormac McCarthy's style, and the tone of the book:

"In the morning they came out of the ravine and took to the road again. He'd carved the boy a flute from a piece of roadside cane and he took it from his pocket and gave it to him. The boy took it wordlessly. After a while he fell back and after a while the man could hear him playing. A formless music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called up from the ashes of its ruin. The man turned and looked back at him. He was lost in concentration. The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a travelling spectacle in shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by the wolves."