This is the first book I’ve read by Cormac McCarthy so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The writing style in this novel is very brief: short sentences, conversations of few words, and minimal description or explanation. While this helps keep the book moving along quickly, I found this meant it took a while to get into the book, as you know so little about them that it takes a while to come to care for them. Having said this, by half way through I was very eager to know what was going to happen next and to find out how it would go for them.
In this book, we follow a father and son in an post-apocalyptic world, where they are travelling south to escape the winter, and are wary of the many dangers they face, from the few other people still alive, to the challenges of the weather and of finding enough food. It is a dead world, with this sky and earth covered in ash, and apparently no more living plants or animals, except for a few survivors.
Given the apocalyptic setting this is a sad and hopeless story, where the high points for the father and son are such small joys, as some tinned food, and the trials are many. While you root for the father and son, this world is bleak and offers no future. What is left of humanity has descended into violence, slavery and cannibalism. Despite this, the father and son are survivors, and seeing themselves as the good guys, are holding out hope they may survive and find others. They don’t want to give in, and accept defeat, as the mother had.
This is a short book, it just took me a couple of hours to read. I would recommend if you are interested in this type of story, as an engaging quick read.