I was going to wait until I was in healthy, vigorous review mode before I passed judgment on Cormac McCarthy's most popular novel to date: The Road. Plenty of fine ink has already been spilled, puzzlin' over "what does it all mean?" If that's what you want, I refer you to Phil Christman, James Wood and Jennifer Egan. With me, you get the bedside book review.
I thought it was complete bollocks — the very first McCarthy novel to actually annoy me. After practicing with smaller skirmishes and more containable Hells, McCarthy rolls up his sleeves and finally presents two protagonists (a father & son) who have witnessed and survived The Actual Honest-To-God Apocalypse! For reasons unclear to me, McCarthy abandons his Antique Apocalypse writin' style in favour of an austere minimalism more in line with Hemingway. This has the unfortunate effect of putting McCarthy's forced plot contrivances into the sharpest relief. The father and son have "the fire" — an inner moral light — and absolutely none of the other survivors share it. Instead we get wandering hordes of zombie-like people whose greatest joy in life is roasting babies on a spit.
Some conceits are better than others, and this one is downright threadbare. McCarthy is better when everyone in his story is confused and cruel.