I read No Country For Old Men a year or two ago and told myself that I wouldn't read another Cormac McCarthy novel again.
A friend of mine suggested that I read The Road, because it was "different" and "not as shitty."
I read The Road
It's not different, and it's just as shitty.
Now, when I say that The Road is a shitty book, I want to be specific in my criticism. Character and plot development are pretty good. This was the case with No Country. The problem I have with McCarthy's novels is McCarthy's style.
It's a personal preference. I just don't like the way he writes. Whenever I read McCarthy, I feel like his audience is a 3rd grader with a penchant for grammatical anarchism. I feel like this type of writing contributes to the shortening of the attention span of the average U.S. Citizen, and does not stimulate the reader. This type of writing, to me, panders to folks who don't like reading. It looks to me like a marketing ploy, to be honest.
I don't like run-on sentences, and I think that the conjunction "and" should have a ceiling limit of 2 or 3 uses per sentence. McCarthy just don't give a fuck when it comes to "and." I made a facebook post about McCarthy's love affair with the conjunction after reading No Country. I was hoping that the "less shitty" description I had heard about The Road would cover the obscene conjunction abuse, omission of quotation marks, and discontinuity of plot that I found in No Country.
The Road isn't less shitty than No Country when it comes to these things. As a matter of fact, it's worse.
I think McCarthy found something that works financially, and he's sticking with it. His style, which might have at one time been an experiment, seems to be his favorite method of pissing me off.
Apparently people think his style is edgy and artistic, but it's about as edgy and artistic as your boss's vacation photos: not.
It's not original, it's not efficient, and it detracts (rather than adds) to his ability to tell a story.
That said, even in light of the piss-poor style, McCarthy still manages to draw his readers in, and he uses character development to do that. He reveals the information you need at the time you need it, which is what character development is all about.
I'm not going to quote anything. Instead, I'm going to give you an example of what reading this book is like.
I am sitting at my computer and pressing keys on the keyboard and when I do I see letters on the screen and enough letters make a word and enough words make a sentence and enough sentences make a paragraph and enough paragraphs make an essay and if an essay is long enough some people might call it a monograph and others might call it a book and these are the kinds of things that people read and write even though that isn't what this is.
This kind of writing should not be rewarded. It should be punished. It is...
This is a picture of what how reading McCarthy makes me feel:
|Against. A. Fucking. Wall.|
Dystopian novels? Me gusta. Post-apocalyptic novels? Me gusta mucho!
This one? No me gusta.
2.3 of 5 masturbating monkeys.