This review was originally posted on my blog, Exploring All Genres.
I listened to the audiobook version of The Road and I have to say it was pretty good. The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, did quite a good job of reading this book, however there were times when the tone of his voice became a but too monotonous and that made my attention waver a bit. One thing I can say that he did really good was putting a lot of emotion into some of the parts of the story, especially during times when the boy was scared of a certain situation and he was trying to plea with his father to stop. It was those times that I felt like there really was lots of danger out on the road and that it wasn’t simply a father and son out on a camping trip but these people were truly struggling to survive.
What stood out most to me with this book was the lack of names. During the story there was the man, the boy, the woman, but their names were never given. In fact there was only one name given throughout this book and that was Eli the old man they came across during their travels, and even then Eli admitted that might not even be his real name since names no longer help any significance out there. No doubt the characters had names at some point, but with the world in ruin and only a few surviving there is no need for a name.
While the majority of the character focus was on the man and the boy there were a few other characters that they encountered along the way. Most were bad men who essentially captured and eventually ate those people they came across but there were a few good people along the way as well. However the character with the biggest impact on the story was the one that many might not even consider a character, and that is the road itself. Sure it’s an inanimate object but the road holds such a significance to to story that it really does feel like it is a character. It leads the man and boy towards the ocean, provides them protection and on occasion supplies from the various abandoned vehicles along it, and is both the safest and dangerous way to travel.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It was a great story about survival in extreme circumstances, showed the lengths the man would go to protect his son as well as teach him about the world that used to exist and also about how to survive in the current world. I would certainly recommend this book to people who are looking to read something different or a book that has that Dystopian/Apocalypse feel.
The entire book was very depressing. I kept hoping that the ending would turn out good, but when I finished I felt like I had wasted my time. The narrator did an ok job, but there was no point to the story.
The plot was about a father and son trying to survive in a desolate, post-apocalyptic world and the most of the book detailed the constant misery they were in. They were cold, starving, and terrified most of the time and they usually wanted to just die.The author never really said how the world supposedly burned up and some how all of the plants in the entire world seemed to be burned up and dead even though some houses here and there were still standing and lakes and rivers still existed, so it didn't make much sense that absolutely no plants and animals were left alive or no plants could ever grow again. The story takes place years after some disaster, but the author writes as if it had just happened.
For example, there was always ash in the air even though it rained fairly often and everything had been burned up a long time ago. There were several other inconsistencies that made me think that the author didn't have a very good idea of how things would actually work in the scenario he created. He just seemed determined to make conditions as bleak as possible for the two main characters in the story.
Overall what really made me give such a low rating came back to what I wrote earlier about the book being depressing. There was absolutely no humor and things were either bad or terrible for the characters. This book probably isn't worth your time.
My 5 yr old grandson could write a better book....how many times can one person say ...'i dont know'...my god , how could you other reviewers could enjoy this purile drivel .....badly written and badly narrated.
This book drags on and on... It was hard to get through.. partially because of the depressing story, but mostly because of the narration.. He could put anyone to sleep!!!
not sure, maybe-"Could you do it?" It is 4 words but read the book and you will understand.
What does it mean to live? For humans there is more than just the basic survival needs: eat, sleep. We need something more and this book makes you think about that.
Papa, there are only really two characters, although there are other people who breifly appear in the story.
Again, not much to choose from but Tom is incredible at every voice in every book I have listened to.
"Damn you! have you no soul!
I teared up in several parts of this book. This book brings out so many emotions inside you that if you dont feel something for these people you had better check your compassion as a human being. And even more so if you have a son.
Get this book, it is sad and moving. You feel what the characters are feeling, which is the utmost despair, and the definition of suffering. Why would you WANT to live in this world. What would you do to keep your child safe, could you end him to save him from the type of suffering that no one should suffer.
Great book, McCarthy is a remarkable author.
I listen to audio books on my M-F 40 minute commute into Raleigh NC. I am the founder of The Shore Grief Center, a nonprofit.
Yes because it is a story of hope.
Describe what caused most of the people to die. Make it a bit clearer who was speaking.
The reader's voice was unique which I liked, very friendly. Confusion of who was who.
McCarthy is one of my all time favorite writers. I've read and listened to several of his novels. Stechschulte's reading of The Road is an excellent one. There is a Beckett-like quality to this book, at least the way Stechschulte reads it. Very highly recommended.
Yes, it's harrowing and disturbing, but beautifully written.
Not sure, perhaps the Newberry Medal winning The Giver, the themes of love, sacrifice and the will of people to survive.
No, at first I thought his voice would bother me, but in the end I felt he really captured the two main characters.
Not one specific, there were many.
A father try's to teach his son (an 8 year old?) how to survive in a world devoid of life. Set some years in future after some catastrophic cataclysm has blocked the sun and continues to rain ash, the pair take to the road southward to head for warmer climates to combat to freezing cold. Each day is a struggle to find enough food and warmth to make it to the next, compounding their troubles are constant threat of being caught by roaming marauders.
This book is heart wrenching as the father muses through his memories of the world before. When you fear remembering happy memories because each remembering changes and destroys the thought, and the thought is its only remaining basis in reality. The fear felt by the pair carries through every moment of the book passing from one life threatening scenario to the next.
An amazing author and narrator to spend time with. This is a great post apocalypse book if you like that genre but it's also about how hard and worthwhile it is to do the right thing even if it kills you. I have a small list of books I would listen to again and this is on the list.