I was in Chapters the other night, browsing through the Father’s Day selections. Among the books on baseball, poker, and fast cars was Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, a novel recommended by Oprah Winfrey herself. It was also 50% off, so I thought I’d pick it up.Without a doubt, it was the most depressing, chilling book I have ever read. Set in a post-apocalyptic America, it’s the story of a man and his son (neither of whom are given a name) on a journey to the coast. There are no chapters – just 287 continuous pages of pain and misery. Here’s a sample paragraph:”On the far side of the river valley the road passed through a stark black burn. Charred and limbless trunks of trees stretching away on every side. Ash moving over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the blackened lightpoles whining thinly in the wind. A burned house in a clearing and beyond that a reach of meadowlands stark and gray and a raw red mudbank where a roadworks lay abandoned.”Every once in a while they encounter roving bands of cannibals and are forced to run and hide. Without giving away the ending, you can probably assume it does not end well.The sick thing is, I couldn’t put it down – I finished it in a day. In my mind, I was the man and Aidan was the boy. I was the one watching my son waste away to nothing, I was the one doing everything possible to protect my little boy in the face of unspeakable horrors. When I turned the final page, I wanted to go lie beside him, more for my comfort than his.Would I recommend it? Yes, with the caveat that it contains graphic descriptions of depravity that will stay with you for a long time. Remember, Oprah liked it, and so did the nice folks who awarded it the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year.