The Road is an extremely bleak tale about a father and son's struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. That's about all there is to it. But between the lines of the glaringly minimalistic prose are themes of love, hope, morality, and even a bit of faith.
This is not an uplifting book; it's clear from the beginning that it takes place in a dead, brutal world with no hope of recovering. But in just a few simple words at a time, McCarthy makes the characters and the relationship between them believable; you want them to get through it with both their bodies and their souls intact. And they are in such desperate circumstances that when they find even the smallest of comforts in the dead world, it has an emotional impact that is rarely expressed in the post-apocalyptic subgenre. The Pulitzer prize The Road received in 2007 was, in my opinion, well deserved.
On a tangential note, I pictured the nameless father in the book as looking like Christian Bale, because for some reason, I thought Bale was playing him in the upcoming movie adaptation. When you don't look too closely, it could even be him on the cover of the book (I challenge you to identify who it actually is). Do you picture characters in books as looking like celebrities? Am I normal?