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The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road is set in a dystopian future when the earth has finally suffered a disastrous calamity at the hands of man. Two of the survivors, an unnamed man and his young son, try to make their way through the devastated landscape and scavenge whatever scarce food they can find. They must dodge gangs that will murder, rape, or enslave anyone they find, killing people just to eat them. It's a world of anarchy where the strongest prey on the weak, the present is bleak, and the future even more grim. The man's wife committed suicide rather than try to survive, and the man carries a gun with two bullets, one for him and one for his son, if they find themselves with no escape. His love for his son, though, keeps him going. Cormac McCarthy's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "Readers who sneer at McCarthy's mythic and biblical grandiosity will cringe at the ambition of The Road. At first I kept trying to scoff at it, too, but I was just whistling past the graveyard. Ultimately, my cynicism was overwhelmed by the visceral power of McCarthy's prose and the simple beauty of this hero's love for his son."