Original review posted here.
Reason for Reading: I read this for the NYT Notable Books Challenge.
I have never read anything by Cormac McCarthy and I really didn't know what to expect. What really hooked me into putting this book on my list for this challenge was the fact that the setting is post-apocalyptic. Other than that, I don't know much about the author or any of his other books.
I knew going into this book that the subject matter would be grim but McCarthy does an excellent job of using few words to pack a wallop. I actually felt the hopelessness of the man and the boy as they go through the ravaged and desolate countryside. I was horrified at the thought of people being held captive for food and the impossible situation of having to run to save yourself and being unable to help them at all. This is the stuff nightmares are made of and at this point in the book I wasn't sure I would be able to finish.
Then they find a hidden shelter and they have a reprieve from sleeping in the rain, being half-starved, cold, and filthy. I was so delighted to see them finally have some small comforts and I could almost feel how wonderful a bath and clean clothes would feel after weeks without and how wonderful such feasts of the stores that they discover would be, and oh! to sleep on a cot instead of the cold ground. At this point, I couldn't put the book down.
All the way through the book I was going back and forth.
In the end, I have to say that I really liked this book. The fact that it took me to both extremes is, I suppose, a testament to the author's skill.
One thing that I didn't like is the lack of punctuation. I don't like reading conversations without quotation marks. I find it distracting and this is the second book that I have read recently that has done this. I am unsure if this a some sort of fad or a writing style that I am unfamiliar with. If anyone wants to clue me in on this, I would appreciate it. I would hate to remain ignorant forever. (4/5)