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The Road.

Post-apocalyptic.

Pulitzer Prize.

Viggo Mortenson.

Wait. Strike that last one. He’s only in the movie.

This was my first foray into the world of Pulitzer Prize-winners, a genre that always brings to mind stuffy men in monocles, smoking pipes and saying things like “Good show!” and “Right-O Old Chap”

I’m really not sure what that says about me.

The Road is about as far from that image as I think it is possible to be. Except maybe Christopher Moore. But I think we all know he’s not winning a Pulitzer anytime soon.

Anyway.

The Road.

I had a hard time, at first, deciding whether or not I was enjoying the book. On the one hand, it is dark and depressing and there is so little humor or happiness in it. It’s very gray reading, if that makes any sense.

On the other, the love between the father and son, the struggle to continue living and surviving, the pure effort that each day brings, is so incredibly palpable that this book is almost impossible to put down.

As with any post-apocalyptic novel, there is the occasional step into man’s inhumanity to man, but it never becomes the whole story. The cannibalism, theft and murder that some of the world has descended into is only ever a step along the journey, the trouble of one day before moving onto the next. I appreciated this in the book. I also appreciated that nothing was solved. This was not a story about fixing a broken world or rebuilding one society from the ashes of another. It was the story of one man wandering the world with one boy, trying not to make a new life, but to survive the old one for as long as they can.

I wouldn’t call this “Pleasure Reading”, necessarily. I didn’t really enjoy it in the traditional way that one enjoys a book, and to say that I enjoyed a book that contains so much darkness and unhappiness would sound almost like sacrilege anyway.

The best I can say about The Road is that, while not really an “enjoyable” book, it is a good book. Maybe even a great one.

Highly recommended as a one-time read.

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