I did my best to avoid reviews for both book and film but was aware of the very positive reaction to it and the many people who considered it a 'masterpiece'. This is not always a good place to begin with a book as it can only meet expectations or dissappoint.
It was also in a genre which has provided some of my favourite novels/films (Riddley Walker; A Canticle for Liebovitz; Planet of the Apes; Mad Max)
Riddley Walker in particular is one of my favourite books, although it differs significantly from The Road in being set far in the future, long after the War to end all Wars. The big surprise for me, however that although I felt echoes of Riddley Walker in The Road it was Russel Hoban's classic children's tale The Mouse and His Child which seems to be the more plausible progenitor of McCarthy's book. (As well as The Mouse and His Child it reminded me strongly of Tim Rose's reading of Come away Melinda and indeed that song too is a plausible progenitor.)
A story of how the love of a father and child helps them to overcome insurmountable odds despite the ominous presence of a scavenger who trails them, this tale of two clockwork mice seemed to hang over The Road all through my reading. That and my love for my children. Love is so strong in this book that I was tempted not to finish as the thought of how it would end was almost too heartbreaking.
But finish it did, and I think I may just start at the beginning again, something I haven't done in many, many years. A lot of people have read this book. Those who haven't should join their number. It is a staggeringly good book.