I love dystopian fiction - the grittiness, by definition, highlights aspects of human nature that don't often appear in other genres. So when I heard about Cormack McCarthy's The Road, I was excited - a man and boy walk towards what they hope is (relative) safety. Everything I've read about the book has hailed it as a post-apocalyptic masterpiece - it was even an Oprah book (which, in most cases, is a mark against in my book) and is being made into a movie.
So imagine my disappoint when I read something like this:
There. Theres a house.
I’ll go take a look. Take the gun.
No, I’m scared.
What if the bad guys come?
You can come with me youd like.
The man knew he wouldnt want to be alone.
Note that this is not the text of the book, but it's so damn close, it's hard to tell. I mean, I was expecting some great masterpiece, but all I got a rough sketch of a story with sporadic punctuation and meaningless dialogue. The most interesting parts of the story - mainly, when the man and boy encounter others - were also the most difficult parts to read, as adding more voices than the narrator, the man, and the boy without any indication of who was speaking made it much too confusing. And even if the story and dialogue had been stronger, I don't think I could have looked past the grammar - why use apostrophes in some places but not others! It's maddening, like McCarthy just simply couldn't be bothered to adhere to any rules.