Sunday, November 22, 2009


Review: The Road
4 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

Apart from its vivid imagery and heartbreaking intimacy, the most remarkable thing about Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning, post-apocalyptic 2006 novel, “The Road,” is, as always, the author's incredible way with words. In addition to such stylistic trademarks as its general lack of punctuation, what makes McCarthy's prose so distinctive is how it turns gritty, sometimes gruesome, scenarios into pure poetry.

The problem, of course, is that such magnificent language is almost always part of McCarthy's descriptions, not his dialogue, and thus the commitment of his work to film inevitably has to suffer some losses in the translation. The Coen Brothers, who masterfully adapted McCarthy's “No Country for Old Men” in 2007, understood this, using the author's words very sparingly, while also exhibiting a filmmaking technique that not only matched the artistry of those words, but exceeded it.


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