“and they hummed of mystery.”
The last words of The Road by Cormac McCarthy ring true for the entire book. It’s a book of mystery, but it’s one I want to solve.
The story is simple: a man and his son travel south through a world where most people are dead and food is scarce. It’s been this way since as long as the boy can remember. Occasionally they meet another traveler, but they rarely want to meet someone else.
The meaning is complicated. The book is definitely about place, specifically a very lonely place. The world is covered in ash. Humans seem to have died right where they were. It feels like a desert when they’re traveling. They never seem to reach their destination.
His writing style is also very curious. The book is full of simple sentences. The dialogue is concise. The narration describes the world precisely. He lacks quotation marks, almost as if to flow speech with thought. Contractions which contain “not” lack an apostrophe, which might indicate an emphasis on the negative or that the negative simply is part of the word.
Having finished this book within the past hour, I am still pondering its meaning and purpose. If someone has read it, I’d love to discuss it with you. If you’re not connected to me personally, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.