Are you sure you were reading The Road and weren't still reading Heart Shaped Box? The prose in The Road is beautifully spare and is much in contrast with McCarthy's earlier efforts like All The Pretty Horses, which I struggled to get more than a few pages into. The terse nature of the writing in The Road accurately reflects the world in which the story takes place, sparse and bleak. As for emotion it's all there in the boy's dialogue. Each line he speaks is a highly polished piece of emotion. His voice is pure innocence in a world gone mad. And the more pragmatic father's need to instill in his son a certain faith in a godless world is also tinged with pure feeling, as he does what he can to keep his son alive, telling him they are "the good guys" and that they are "carrying the fire".