We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Road | [Cormac McCarthy]

The Road

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.
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.0 (6962 )
5 star
 (2978)
4 star
 (2200)
3 star
 (1119)
2 star
 (409)
1 star
 (256)
Overall
4.1 (3481 )
5 star
 (1595)
4 star
 (1023)
3 star
 (549)
2 star
 (183)
1 star
 (131)
Story
4.3 (3442 )
5 star
 (1819)
4 star
 (1034)
3 star
 (417)
2 star
 (98)
1 star
 (74)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 05-17-07
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 05-17-07 Member Since 2013

    Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1216
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    339
    104
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    151
    5
    Overall
    "Thought Provoking"

    A very special story set in a very dark time. The relationship between the man and the boy is so real you can almost reach out an touch it. Amazing how we as humans do what we have to do to get through the worse of times. The instinct to protect the young never goes away. Even in hard times, there is a chance for good to win over evil. The writing is so descriptive and the narration is complimentary to the story. A very good fit.
    Highly recommended.

    5 of 5 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)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2086
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    415
    309
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    593
    11
    Overall
    "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.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle waycross, GA, USA 08-13-09
    Michelle waycross, GA, USA 08-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "I enjoyed this reading very much."

    The story is at first sad without any hope that made me curious to the direction the book would take. In the end was a loving book of hope and longing outlining the relationship and dedication between a father and his son in even the most deparate of situations. It was a very plausible description I could easily visualize and feel deeply for. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a sad heartfelt insight into what family means or what it is to be human.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Toronto, ON, Canada 08-28-08
    Robert Toronto, ON, Canada 08-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A compelling look at a post-apocalyptic world"

    The story is set in an undetermined time in the future when a world-wide apocalypse has wiped out most of the human population. The relatively few who remain are either the "good guys" or the "bad guys". The reader never really finds out who the good guys are, or who the bad guys are. Nor do we find out what the nature of the apocalypse was that brought the world to this point. Furthermore, the two protagonists - a father and his son - are merely referred to as the "man" and the "boy". To describe the story as spare is indeed an understatement. And yet, despite all this, the reader is slowly drawn into a world where these two people are trying simply to survive. They will survive by making their journey along a road, to the coast. Why to the coast? We never really find out. The story is more about asking questions, rather than providing answers. What does it mean to have life? What is the purpose of living? Should it be life at any cost? As the man and the boy proceed with their journey, these are the questions we/they ask. The answers are very individualistic. This is a real work of literature, which stayed with me long after the book was completed. The narrator was terrific, taking very short, very sparse dialogue and infusing it with just the right amount of emotion, for each of the characters who spoke. I highly recommend this book. I gave it 4 stars, rather than 5 because, the latter would be for perfection only, and this book, while close - I would give it 4.5 stars if I could - falls just a smidgen short.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Eliot, ME, USA 07-11-08
    Debra Eliot, ME, USA 07-11-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Disturbing. Sad. Yet somehow hopeful."

    I felt a bit stressful and sad while listening to this book which is a credit to Cormac McCarthy's spare, intense, powerful writing. The more I thought about and talked this book afterward, the more I admired the author and liked The Road. Absolutely the best last paragraph of any book I've ever read. If it doesn't make you realize the beauty and value of this planet and the good people who live here, I don't know what would.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amyable 12-29-07
    Amyable 12-29-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Riveting yet warm"

    Definitely worth the listen. Very gripping and sensitive...The kind of book that makes you think, actually makes you WANT to think...

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 10-11-07
    Jane 10-11-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Beautiful Memorable Book with Great Narration"

    This is one of the most moving memorable works of fiction that I have ever read/listened to. The luxury of listening to the narrator read this prose to me as I drove my car made me happy to be a commuter. Some of the most compelling moments are the man's memories of the earth before the destruction -- the streams, the trout, the colors. But the most amazing part of the book is the boy and the man's love for his son and what a parent will do for a child & sees in a child. An absolutely beautiful book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DAVID CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, United States 03-23-11
    DAVID CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, United States 03-23-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    181
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    235
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    2
    Overall
    "Things put in your head you can't take back out"

    This book is brilliant and the author is a master. The book and the author deserve 5 stars - I am giving it 5 stars...and I hated it.

    Listening to this audio book was the single most emotionally devastating event in my 48 years of life. I pray to God and all that is holy that someday I will be able to forget this book.

    My only grandson just turned four last week. He is my world and I adore him
    with every fiber of my being. We spend hours and hours together every week - sometimes fun and exciting, sometimes quite mundane - and each and every
    moment is precious to me. I know this at each of these moments, not in retrospect.
    He calls me Papa.

    After listening to this book, I envisioned my grandson kneeling over my lifeless body, weeping uncontrollably, crying "oh Papa...". Now I can't get this scene out of my head. I may need therapy.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    blackeyedsusie 05-08-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The Best Yet"

    The first audiobook that moved me enough to leave a review. I listened to this on a road trip through the Nevada desert, which may have enhanced the experience.
    McCarthy's writing is profound, and the narrator did an incredible job on the interpretation of characters and dialogue. There is so much strength and commitment throughout the story that - oddly enough - I found it uplifting.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Mt Sterling, KY, USA 12-27-09
    Elizabeth Mt Sterling, KY, USA 12-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Best book of the year"

    THis book was recommended by a friend with similar taste in reading material. I plunged in knowing it was going to be somewhat depressing. I started out struggling to get through the first few chapters of what I thought was going to be a very painful book. I'm still not sure why I became so engrossed in the story. I ended up loving it. The more I thought about it I realized it's a beautiful story about love and survival.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Steve Porter
    South Wales
    10/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't read this to cheer yourself up !! :-("
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes.Always worth trying new stuff that's well written, even if it's not your usual cup of tea.And make no mistake, this is well written, especially the sparse dialogue.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Enjoyed piecing together the back story of 'what in the worlds happened'.Got a bit fed up of dour descriptions of desolate roadscapes and the like.


    What three words best describe Tom Stechschulte’s voice?

    Dour. Warm. Male......


    Was The Road worth the listening time?

    Yep, I think so overall, even though it's not my fave genre.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a perky book. Unperky. And I mean it.Next one I picked had a deliberate dash of comedy to it.... :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Alton, United Kingdom
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"

    I really enjoyed this book. It is well written, well narrated and kept me absorbed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Val
    Castle Douglas, United Kingdom
    3/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing story, but magnificent writing."

    Having already seen, and been impressed by, the film I was hoping that the book would be just as good. In fact, it's even better.
    Sometime in the near future, in some unidentified country, a man and his young son are struggling to survive in a world that has been devastated by a vast disaster that is never fully explained. Everything around them is burnt and dead; they are walking along a road to find the sea, where they hope things will be better. The road is full of threats and dangers - specifically from fellow survivors, who have nearly all turned into cannibal savages. Nobody can be trusted and they regularly come across horrors perpetuated by the savages.
    Yes, it sounds depressing, all right. But McCarthy's excellent carries it along - you get a good sense of the characters of these two; the man is a decent and moral person struggling to keep themselves alive in a terrible world, the boy is learning that humans are both bad and good and that he must stay on the side of the good. The dialogue is spare and sparse, often just consisting of "OK, OK", "I know, I know", "We'll go this way", "OK". There are no fancy speeches, no heroic declarations; this is how real people, real family members speak to each other.
    I'd intended only to listen to a couple of chapters before bed, but ended up sitting up all night, unable to stop, willing these two characters - who had become so familiar and dear to me - to survive. Only the ending was a slight disappointment (hence the four stars), but it's difficult to see the author could have ended any other way.
    The reading was beautifully done, also. Tom Stechschulte conveyed the different personalities of the pair really well, even with so little dialogue to work with. And his reading of the descriptive passages - some of them very long - never got boring. Long passages that I would probably have skimmed through in print held my attention all the way through and had me seeing the scene in my mind. His performance bought the whole dismal world of The Road to vivid life.
    .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Putney, United Kingdom
    1/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poetic writing"
    Where does The Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is above average but nowhere near the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The story only has two consistent characters. It's definitely not the boy. He's a pathetic little twerp. By default it's the man but I wasn't a huge fan of his either.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Not much. Would've preferred to add my own voicings. Although it was a decent performance.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. I didn't cry but it was heart-wrenching.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the best of it's kind but still very good. The author has a very poetic writing style.
    To be honest the story doesn't really do much, just the man and boy travelling the road. No explanation of the incident, nothing about life after the event. Just them and their scavenging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"
    Where does The Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is one of my favourites this year. If I could I would give it 6 out of 5!!


    What other book might you compare The Road to, and why?

    The Snow Child. Both are stories of travellers.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The haunting way the story is read touched me.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes - both at different times. The relationship of father and son made me both laugh and cry.


    Any additional comments?

    This story was a haunting tale. I didn't want it to end. You felt as if you were being transported with the father and son on their journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Purple
    UK
    7/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ok!"
    What would have made The Road better?

    The Narrator Tom Stechschulte, drove me crazy repeating the word OK!...."are you ok? yes papa I'm ok,,,,are you sure you ok? yes papa...Ok."......please! Had to get to the end to find out what happened to the world...but nothing!...dull read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    7/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very touching story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Road to be better than the print version?

    I've not read the book or seen the film but my husband has done both and strongly recommended the book.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    Extremely well read - better than I would have read it to myself


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many moments of painful situations depicted brilliantly.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very touching and thought-provoking book, bringing a reality to the world the characters were living in that leaves you wondering what you would have done yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lottie
    GRAYS, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "A book to read before you die."

    Cormac McCathy is known for stunning novels, as The Road and No Country For Old Men. This story is set in an apocalyptic world and you follow a man and his son. You don't know what happened, how the world turned to ash, but you know that you have to survive, to carry the fire. Full of beautiful moments that make you want to pick them up and protect them. The book will leave you wanting more and that is never a terrible thing in Fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Garforth, United Kingdom
    2/21/13
    Overall
    "a great book well read"

    a little bleak (actually very) but a great book and very well read. If you like No Country for Old Men then I would recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bruce
    Tatsfield, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Underplayed but gripping"

    For those who like their apocalyptical nightmares brimming with gut wrenching action scenes then this is not for you. However if you prefer vibrant descriptive passages that constantly echo the bleak hopelessness the father and son, wander through, then it presses all the right buttons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.