November 14, 2011

Dystopian novels not quite dystopian enough?

I just got done reading Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," second in renown only to "No Country for Old Men" above his works. In general, I like an occasional dystopian novel, but, I really wish this one had been MORE dystopian.

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good, but not dystopian enough. The wrong person dies at the wrong time, instead of giving us an almost-formulaic ending that we actually get.

I don't totally get McCarthy's style, either. (This is his first book I've read.) I get that he's going for a dystopian writing style, but, I think MORE adjectives actually would have helped. As it is, at times, it's like he's trying to win the annual Hemingway writing contest.

Pluses are that some things are hinted at, like the degree of the boy's growth, his age and other things. It's a book that encourages us to use our imaginations.

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It's like Crime and Punishment. If Dostoyevsky had really done it right, Sonya would never had waited for Raskolnikov to get out of prison and head to Siberian exile; she would have married somebody else instead.

That said, while "The Road" is dystopian enough, McCarthy's no Huxley, nor an Orwell. And not a Dostoyevsky, either.

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