Let me explain. As the NYT review explains, the novel is about a father and son’s lengthy trek to the coast in a post-apocalpytic world. There’s a lot of walking in this novel. And a lot of hunger. And some snow. And a lot more walking. In terms of plot, the novel is amazingly simple. They walk, bump into a few roving bands of murderous thugs, and walk some more. McCarthy seems to posses this amazing sense of timing, so just as I was almost sick of the walking and nothing much happening, he pulls the duo off the road into some dangerous exploration. It’s a pretty nihilistic book, and the deadening grind of the road is clearly part of McCarthy’s intent. But he knows just when to mix it up, with a dash of action, to help break the monotony.
Be sure to read Kennedy’s detailed piece for more about this strong novel, which stands at #4 on the Hardcover Fiction best seller list. But here’s where we can start having some fun with our friends at the Times… now that the largely positive Kennedy review of the novel has appeared, and the book has opened strong on the best seller list, how long is it before the inevitable Michiko Kakutani chop-job is published to cut off the book’s progress at it’s knees? She wasn’t all that keen on McCarthy’s last novel, so you know it’s coming. I bet Kakutani’s predicatable evisceration appears within two weeks.