So, The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Is it possible to love a book this bleak? An unnamed man and his young son are making their way on foot across a post-apocalyptic United States. They're following 'the road' south hoping to get to the coast where the conditions might be better than the burnt ash-strewn wasteland they're presently crossing. The man and the boy live off of what canned food and dried fruit they can scavenge from abandoned homesteads. They're cold. They're wet. They're hungry. They camp in hiding and avoid the Bad Guys. It's pretty bleak and there isn't much hope of it ever getting any better. But they try. They hold out for each other because each other 'is their world entire'. Everything is stripped bare in this book. Including the writing. And the only thing that is left is the love a father has for his child. Even when the traumas are coming one after the other, the father is there making sure the boy is 'okay.' Are you talking to me? Talk to me, the father says. Instinctively the father knows that silence will do more damage. If all else fails, keep the child engaged. This is parenting at its most basic.
Now, about the writing. Normally I find fractured, poetic, metaphorical writing annoying. But this author manages to get his story past my reading-tolerance gatekeepers and lodge it firmly in the I Can't Put It Down part of my brain.
Oh man, this is a good book. The movie? I haven't seen it. But I'm not sure it could do the book justice.