Though the novel sounds a little bit like Stephen King’s [book: The Stand], which is no poor comparison to make, The Road has more in common, philosophically anyway, with novels like [book: Blindness] and [book: Saturday]. Which is to say that this is a book that applies to any time, but seems to speak directly to (and from) ours — specifically to the fear-laden environment that will come to define how we reacted, as a culture, to the 9/11 world. McCarthy seems to take our fear and explode it in a way that manifests the end result of all the ills we can imagine. There are no names used in The Road, either of people or place. And there are few colors except grey. But McCarthy’s simple language — the tongue of many Westerns — works in this (post)modern setting to create a reduced, retracted world in which violence, cannibalism, and death define a day’s existence. This novel is easy to recommend, but you might need a strong stomach to see it through to its quick, allusive, brilliant end scene, in which we see that this is a world reflected, and in reflection, more fragile that even our elaborate fears can recognize.