Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2007America 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.
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"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)
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
This is above average but nowhere near the best.
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.
Not much. Would've preferred to add my own voicings. Although it was a decent performance.
Yes. I didn't cry but it was heart-wrenching.
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.
This book is one of my favourites this year. If I could I would give it 6 out of 5!!
The Snow Child. Both are stories of travellers.
The haunting way the story is read touched me.
Yes - both at different times. The relationship of father and son made me both laugh and cry.
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.
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.
"A very touching story"
I've not read the book or seen the film but my husband has done both and strongly recommended the book.
Extremely well read - better than I would have read it to myself
Many moments of painful situations depicted brilliantly.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"On the Road Again"
Bleak and sparse this narrative is wonderfully affecting and Tom Stechschulte gives an excellent performance as the archetypal man and boy in this post-apocalyptic wasteland.
"good listen but could have been better"
I enjoyed the book, but felt a little more of why and how. Its really just several weeks in the life of a father and son in post apocalypse.
Saying that it was a stunning read and you really felt as if you were there.
I was just hoping it might give some insight into what had happened to the world.
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