Spoilerific! And this post is mostly an experiment (figuring out how to make pages, etc)
...I think part of what really works about The Road is that something about it just feels natural. Like of course humans will do something terrible to themselves, and things will fall apart, and there will be sex slaves and cannibals and people will mostly be terrible to each other, banding together to be the most terrible. I think it has a little to do with the way that what happened is never really explained, and doesn't quite matter. It also helps that most of the grotesque things that happen are described with the same sparseness as the rest of the narrative. Even when graphic, it's not sensationalist. So, rather that, "OMG - THEY'RE CANNIBALS!!!", it's just "Bad things happened, and when people got hungry, it went from bad to worse. Scavengers, cannibals, ash still falling from the sky. Cold."
To be honest, the only thing about it that I had to suspend disbelief for was the end, which seemed a little too easy after everything that had come before. If you make me feel like this amoral post-apocalyptic world is "real," then another exception to the rule, found just in time, stretches both my suspension of disbelief and the faith in humanity you just compromised. OK, mine was compromised to begin with, but you know what I mean...
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