When my bookclub chose Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for March’s bookclub, I was most excited. My blog crush, the Largeheartedboy had said it was one of his favorite books last year.
I’m about 1/4 of the way through the book and I’m somewhat annoyed.
We talked about that weird trend and how I had seen it in a lot of the short stories in this year’s Best American Short Stories 2006. I think we came to the consensus that skipping the quotes is not avant garde at all and people should just put them back in.
The lack of quotes in the McCarthy book hasn’t bothered me at all. What has bothered me is his random use of the apostrophe. Now this might sound petty, but one the things we are constantly reminded in our writing classes is that we should never do anything that takes the reader out of the story — whether it’s wonky dialect, implausible situations, or, I would argue, random apostrophization.
The random apostrophes are bothering me and take me right out of the story. See, he apostrophizes I’m, I’ll, I’d, and It’s, but not cant, wouldnt, aint, isnt, and dont. It drives me bonkers. I think I am paying more attention to the contractions then to the story. While reading, I’m constantly making a mental tally of the apostrophes and trying to figure out the mystery. Why do some words get them? What could possibly be the symbolism? Does anyone have any idea why he did this?