The best parts of The Road is the prose; the plot is secondary. And has the author ever read Blood Meridian, McCarthy's finest work imho? There is no plot in that book, no real characterization (except for The Judge, who is like a black hole of character -- he is so monstrous that all other characters pale before him); and that lack of plot, the lack of character, are the book's great strengths. The thin plot of that book is the backdrop for some of the most gorgeous, breathtaking, and perverse prose I've ever read.
I've come across this in the theater world sometimes -- at times there is an "Emperor's New Clothes" effect surrounding some playwrights, in which people embrace a playwright's work because a couple cool people regard them as Ahead Of Their Time Avant-Garde Geniuses
I would hope that canonical status amounts to something at least slightly more impressive than having a recognizable title.
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