I finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road a few weeks ago. It's as good as they say.
If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be "terrifying." I don't recall ever being scared by any book or story...until my son was born. Then things changed.
I first noticed it when I read "Pay the Ghost" by Tim Lebbon in a collection of Halloween stories. It's about a man who takes his little girl out trick-or-treating and she vanishes while holding onto his hand. The next 20 pages deal with his fight to get her back—and I was scared to death as I read it. It was heartbreaking, and I know I wouldn't have felt that way before The Squirt was born.
The Road is the same way: There wasn't a single sentence—not one word—where it wasn't
me in that situation, struggling to survive with my own young son. I remember coming to one sentence and having to physically close the book because I was so rattled. Again...wouldn't have happened if I weren't a parent.
In other Cormac news, the Coen Brothers have just wrapped up the film version of No Country for Old Men. Should be amazing.