Since I just saw the film, here’s the original review I wrote of “The Road” from several years ago:
“The Road” is a damn-near perfect novel. I don’t know that there’s another American writer who can say so much by writing so little. Read through just a page of this book and analyze McCarthy’s prose: he will only use commas when indicating dialogue, and so the sentences have to be structured just right in order to work. The result is that ideas seem to always build upon one another logically, and the reader seems constantly propelled forward. All of the images, in addition, seem fresh and new. And check out how often he uses white-space breaks: he can write a single paragraph (a single image), then cut to another scene, and we fill in the blanks ourselves…the result here is that we are thoroughly immersed in the world, and we think we’ve read a whole lot more than we have. I’m not sure what I was expecting with “The Road,” but it is so strikingly different than McCarthy’s other works, but also remarkably consistent in its brilliance.