Saturday, 20 June 2009

Review of Cormac McCarthy's The Road

As a punctuation pedant, it always takes me a while to get into the swing of Cormac McCarthy novels, but I'm always glad when I can remove my teacherly hat and get sucked into the story. I found this one very moving, probably in part due to its stark simplicity. The relationship between the man and his son is beautifully portrayed and utterly tender. McCarthy is not a one-trick-pony; all of his books are different - always dark, but still always different. Which is possibly why the punctuation thing nags at me. I'm not sure why he's chosen to write this way. Yes, it represents a kind of bleakness, which he's famous for, but still it seems unnecessary. He does not need a gimmick like this to set himself apart from other writers. His stories do that for him. And it makes it really difficult to insist that my students use correct punctuation...

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