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The Road Audiobook

The Road [Audiobook]

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2007

America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

Bleak but brilliant, with glimmers of hope and humor, The Road is a stunning allegory and perhaps Cormac McCarthy's finest novel to date. This remarkable departure from his previous works has been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a "novel of horrific beauty, where death is the only truth".

McCarthy, a New York Times best-selling author, is a past recipient of the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He is widely considered one of America's greatest writers.

Check out more selections from Oprah's Book Club.

©2006 M-71, Ltd.; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"McCarthy's prose retains its ability to seduce...and there are nods to the gentler aspects of the human spirit." (The New Yorker)
"One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal...Every moment of The Road is rich with dilemmas that are as shattering as they are unspoken...McCarthy is so accomplished that the reader senses the mysterious and intuitive changes between father and son that can't be articulated, let alone dramatized...Both lyric and savage, both desperate and transcendent, although transcendence is singed around the edges...Tag McCarthy one of the four or five great American novelists of his generation." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (9018 )
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-08-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-08-13

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

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    "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."

    Look, I'll admit it. I'm a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy and have read every (I mean EVERY) book, play, screenplay, and piece of short fiction (Wake for Susan [1959], A Drowning Incident [1960]) he has written. While 'The Road' is not his very best (Go read 'Suttree' or 'Blood Meridian' if you are looking for the late 20th Century's answer to Herman Melville and William Faulkner). 'The Road' is a very approachable McCarthy and loses none of McCarthy's prose stylings, while at the same time making his writing more palatable to the average mass-fiction reader.

    So, if you haven't read McCarthy before, this is a good first stop, but please DEAR GOD, don't let this be your only or your last stop. Read McCarthy more, read McCarthy often, or the kid gets it.

    38 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Katy, TX, United States 11-25-09
    Barry Katy, TX, United States 11-25-09
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    "I loved this book"

    I like McCarthy's writing style, but its never been better than in The Road. The setting is a bleak future, a man and his boy holding on to each other despite having absolutely nothing to live for. The story moves along well, with McCarthy's brilliant prose, but the bleak atmosphere is not something all will appreciate.
    Many criticize this book because of the lack of sophisticated dialog. In fact, a man and his son travelling along a road in the cold of winter probably would not have many deep, philosophical discussions.
    The story is simple, but it's what McCarthy does with it that gives its complexity.
    There are some moments in the story that are some of the most memorable I've ever read; particularly the man's remembrance of the final conversation he had with his wife.
    The author manages to introduce a fair amount of realistic suspense into the story. I cringed at what the man found in the basement of that house...
    McCarthy is one of the most brilliant writers, and he is at his absolute best here. But you'll probably either love it or hate it.
    Oh yeah, Tom Stechschulte's narration is perfect for this book.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicky Gleason Tumwater, WA, United States 10-27-08
    Nicky Gleason Tumwater, WA, United States 10-27-08 Member Since 2013
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    "Dark but moving"

    I was so moved by this book. I got it because I like "post apocalyptic" stories, but this was very different. Most end of the world stories are ultimately about starting over, going back to Eden, building a better world than the old one, etc. This was much more an allegory about the nature of hope, and what it means to be "one of the good guys."

    Seriously dark, like extra dark with a side of dark, but beautiful and poignant, in a way that it couldn't be if it wasn't in that stark contrast with darkness and despair. The story strips away all the trappings of the world until all that's left is who we are and what we believe in. I didn't take it especially literally, but wondered if we aren't each of us both "the man" and "the boy" and our lives are "the road." That's probably just me being flaky though.

    I thought it was really really good, but man, I'm planning to follow it up with something mindless and perky!

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 03-14-08
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 03-14-08 Member Since 2015

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "Keeps you listening"

    I gave this story 5 stars because, even though I wanted to not like it, I liked it anyway. I didn't once hit the FF button, which is very rare for me when I listen to an audiobook. The question is, what about it kept me listening?

    As someone said in an earlier review - at some points it seems like the author attempted to use as many rarely used words as he could. Most of the time they flow in the story, but occasionally you'll stop and think "what??"

    It is not an action packed thriller. It's a LOT of the same thing, day after day, chapter after chapter, but that's the point of the story. Don't get it if you want to hear exciting tension packed explosions of prose - that simply ain't in here.

    The story is bleak and hopeless. There is nothing "feel good" about it so if you're prone to depression, stay away from this. The boy in the story sometimes made me want to throttle him ("shut up already, kid") but then I realized this meant that the story had truly captured me...

    And that's why this story is worth paying for: you'll get caught up in it, bleakness and all, and will keep listening in the hope that the "good" will be found. Is it found in the end? You'll have to listen to find out.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob CT 04-17-07
    Bob CT 04-17-07 Member Since 2016
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    "You Must Listen to this title"

    If you're looking for an intricate plot, this book is not for you. If you can appreciate a finely crafted sentence, then you will appreciate this book. Cormac McCarthy is a master of the language and is right up there with Steinbeck and Hemingway. If you liked, "The Memory of Running", you'll like "The Road".

    The narration by Tom Stechschulte is amazing. He apparently takes the time to thoroughly understand what he's reading and it really shows in this audio book. He makes this book shine. If I was down to my last credit I would spend it on this book.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-14-16
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-14-16 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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    Story
    "ARE YOU CARRYING THE FIRE?"

    EVERYTHING COVERED WITH ASH
    Let me wipe my tears. This is a heart wrenching, moving novel. Decades from now (if we are still here), when they look back and study the period of time when Apocalyptic novels were so popular, they will single this one out as the best. McCormick writes very descriptively, but not overly so. He never mentions Nuclear Winter, but this is as close as you will get. The landscape is a main character. It is always cold, the sun has not been seen in years, ash falls from the sky constantly, their are no animals, no fish, no plants, man is the only thing to survive.
    THE BOY
    If you liked "Room" by Emma Donoghue , you will love this. We are not given an age, but he is probably around eight. He is an innocent. He has never seen the sun. You will fall in love with him.
    THE MAN, also known as Papa
    One of the most caring, patient fathers you will ever meet.
    Tom Stechshulte
    A fantastic narrator which makes this such a moving story with his talent.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina-Audible USA 12-21-13
    Regina-Audible USA 12-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Audible editor and listener. Lover of fiction, thrillers, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.

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    "A Haunting Must-Listen"

    Set in a cold and dark post-apocolypic America, The Road maintains a steady pace of bleak hopelessness. The father/son pair have lost everything, including their identities, and are on an unknown journey towards something better. The story captures their bond and persistence, with tiny glimmers of hope in a seemingly endless void. Tom Stechschulte's narration is spot-on and chilling, and stayed with me long after the end.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Fan Virginia 12-08-09
    Book Fan Virginia 12-08-09 Member Since 2008

    Ima

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    "A good, solid read"

    Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' is a black book of wondrous paragraphs that quickly pulls you into the sad, sad world of the man and his boy. I found myself sitting in my car long after my commute ended to hear more and more of this story.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Kingston, Ontario, Canada 01-28-08
    Ted Kingston, Ontario, Canada 01-28-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Compelling"

    The reader is fabulous. I've stopped books because I just couldn't listen to the reader anymore - not because the book was bad. Here, the novel is spare, eerie, melancholy. The reader captures Cormac McCarthy perfectly.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANNA LONG BEACH, NY, United States 10-07-07
    ANNA LONG BEACH, NY, United States 10-07-07 Member Since 2008
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    "Can't get it out of my mind"

    I'm so glad I got this one on audio b/c the narration was so well done. I listened to it over 1 run and 2 long car drives. It takes place in nucleur winter, and involves 2 survivors, a man and his small son, walking south on "the road" headed somewhere warmer, - I was told that premise and wasn't particularly interested, but I needed a book for my long drive and I was riveted, disturbed, fascinated, and totally impressed with the terrific writing. I think that there are major religious themes (There is no God and we are his prophets) but I have not worked them all out yet. Get this book

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
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  • Lorraine
    Cape Town
    11/14/08
    Overall
    "The Worst Book Ever"

    Well if ever I feel like committing suicide, this will be the book I'll chose to hold in my hand so that those finding my body will know how desperate I felt.
    It's gruesome. It's horrible. It is so devoid of hope or grace or beauty that I can't think why anyone would want to subject themselves to reading it. I will not recommend it to anybody.
    As far as the characters go, the boy is pathetic in the true sense of the word. However, I couldn't help the cynic in me asking how on earth he could be so ingelligent at times when all his knowledge must have come from the father, who is little more than monosyballic in his utterances. The father has lost his humanness and gained only cruelty in his quest for survival - how else could you justify his teaching the child to put a pistol in its mouth, aim upwards? These people have become hardly more than animals.
    The language is sparse but I can't say I can see any beauty in it. I cringed everytime the father said 'Its alright\" or the son said 'Im okay'. Surely there's more to life than that? Surely McCormac could have offered us more vocabulary, even in this world devoid of hope?
    List. Lists of objects. Lists of tiny actions. Sentences without verbs. Overuse of the words 'he' and 'and'. All contribute to the dull, repetitive language in this dull, repetitive tale.
    Probably the worst book I have ever read. And I could have been saved from my misery if only the man had trusted the family he met right at the beginning ... ah! maybe that's the message.

    10 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Erin Garvey
    United Kingdom
    9/26/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Achingly raw and beautiful"

    This is a beautifully written and performed story. It stays with you long after it has ended, and pulls at every fibre of your being.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James N
    9/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story but could of been shorter."
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    There were many times during this read I thought "get on with it" the ending becomes obvious about 2/3's into the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D&R
    9/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I don't understand"

    whay the book has such good reviews.
    All they say on the long road walk is: Its Ok. Ok.Im sorry. that's ok. Its Ok. I'm sorry. That's ok.
    The author doesn't explain what was happend to cose the Apocalypse or he may explained once but I didn't cache it. I was jumping forward time to time in the hope something will happened. In the end nothing happend. The man died and the boy was taken by some good guys. The End

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sarah
    9/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "nice read defo recommend"

    if you are looking for action this is not the book for you as it is a gentle read but a good read. focus on one man and his son amd their desolate journey. good book. upset with ending as I was desperate to know what happened. but that makes a Good ending I guess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The road by Cormac McCarthy"

    Very good enjoyed the audible version much more than I enjoyed the film even tho I though the film was very good .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roshan
    7/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow burner, though gripping throughout"

    Great listen on the tube....powerfully woven tale on a father son partnership amidst a post apocalyptic event

    Recommended for anyone looking for a powerful read, slow but builds to grip the reader!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    5/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The future is... grey"

    Whilst the story never actually tells you exactly what happened it's clear from early on that a nuclear war of sorts has devastated the world and covered it with ash. It's always cold and grey as we follow a man and his son heading south on a road - fighting to survive the conditions, the lack of food and the other survivors.

    The story starts grey and soon gets darker - the 'happy' moments of having food, fire and shelter are few and far between. The man's will to survive and protect his son is gut wrenching and being a father myself it caused moments of - 'what the hell would I do here!'.

    The performance by Tom Stechschulte is good - although I suspect a more 'colourful' book could bring out more from him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ReadingFan
    Swinford , Eire
    4/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Typically excellent fair from Mr Mccarthy "

    Very dark story of parents struggle raising a child in difficult environment. It's gripping story yet very bare and stripped down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruairi
    4/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing"

    the road is one of those books I read time and time again and I still find something new to love each time. it is both thought provoking and heartbreaking. I must've read this at least 20 times and listened about as many times. Could not recommend it enough. Probably my favourite book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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