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)
I love suspense, action and romance. Perfect books have all three. ;)
I do not have the print version but the narrator was truly exceptional in the story.
The most interesting aspect of the story was the survival mentality that the man and boy must take on. It's wonderful how the man is able to maintain his humanity through the boy. The love is strong in this storyline and the reader/listener is reminded of that in the intricate details of how they interact. The least interesting aspect is that the story is very linear and can become dry when you have two characters through the duration of the story and one of them being a child, the dialogue and back story can suffer. I think the author should have taken more time (through the dialogue perhaps) to explain to readers what has happened to the world, what's been going on since the boy was born, etc. There were many questions left unanswered like: Why are they migrating south in winter? What made them need to leave during that time so abruptly? Where did they live before? What happened to the world? What's the end goal once they make it South?
All these things were left out and therefore, the listener is put in a place of questioning everything that occurs instead of enjoying the flow of the story.
Furthermore, I had a BIG problem with the dialogue. It was a series of "Okay" and "I don't know" throughout the ENTIRE book. It was so bad that we even started answering for the characters as we were listening by mouthing the words, "Okay" and "I don't know" at the proper times. Hopefully in the movie, it won't be as noticeable as it is when listening.
There were really only two characters. The father was the most endearing character because he shows growth, conviction and bravery. He had a set of views that really shook me in the beginning but he progressed over time. The end was just heart wrenching in the narrator's portrayal of him.
Surviving the road is tough. Deciding when to leave is tougher.
Narrator did an awesome job and would love to hear more from him!
McCarthy has a way with the English language you won't find elsewhere. His stories have a tendency to feel a bit aimless, but significant nonetheless. Give this a listen if you're prepared to be equal parts awed and depressed.
I was sorely disappointed in "The Road". I have read other Cormac McCarthy books and liked them. However "The Road" is not enjoyable. It is not a good read and it is not a good story.
It was boring and pointless. I listened to the whole book waiting for some payoff but it never came, which, I should have expected as the entire book was just a rambling dialogue.
Some people love this book but I did not find anything in it redeeming.
Before I explain why I rated The Road so blandly, allow me to preface that the dystopian genre is my favorite genre, and McCarthy's work doesn't quite fit with my normal expectations of the genre. The Road isn't bad by any standard. It's actually quite masterfully written. Just woefully boring and lackluster at times. I've heard such great things about The Road for years and I finally decided to try it after a friend's adamant suggestion. The Road is by no means a horrible book. It flows neatly and conjures up powerful imagery and ideas. Yet, it falls so short of expectation. It is built so harshly on the conflict and dialogue between the man and the boy that it eschews the most interesting parts of what makes a dystopian brilliant. The relationship driven elements of the book could fit in just about any other genre, really sucking away from what could have been a dystopian genre definer and a go-to classic. To me, The Road is best explained in a metaphor. Imagine you're really hungry and The Road is like an artisan burger made with organic and vegan inspired ingredients. While you can appreciate the artistry and mastery put forth in the over priced and overly hyped burger, you really just want a greasy fat filled burger that is as decadent as it is detrimental to your diet. The Road offers no plot driving narrative (fries) or unusual world building (milkshake) to go along with the artisan burger. Instead, you must gain all of your gluttonous satisfaction from a salt-deprived meal full of interactions between father and son. And if you're left unsatisfied with that metaphor, now you understand how I feel about the ending to The Road.
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.
The Road is more than an amazing account of the horrors and hardships that a father and son have to work through to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It speaks about fatherhood and a love so strong that it makes you wonder if you would have the fortitude to do what the man does for his son. It speaks about a naive purity and an experienced cynicism and how, to survive, you need both. Tom Stechschulte's narration should be the gold standard that all others are measured against. Simply superb. True, the story is intense, but you have to realize it is Cormac McCarthy's take on a desolate hellscape with humankind pushed close to extinction. The result is an engrossing yet disturbingly bleak tale that somehow manages to allow the faintest glimmer of hope.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
This book potrays every bad dream many of us have had about the future of the earth. And yes, it is beyond depressing, but I couldn't put it down. This story is so well written and narrated and I thought the ending was just right.
This is not one to enjoy, but maybe to make us think. Listening to this makes me believe that perhaps we should not only pray for world and realational peace, but resolve to make it happen each day in our own lives.
The book is harsh, desolate and depressing. But by the books end you have a sense of hope.
This is not a action /horror story as the upcoming movie trailer seems to betray, its a story about a man and his undying love for his boy. If you can get through the first 2 chapters the final 3 will leave you with hope and satisfaction.
"A bit underwhelming"
I stuck with this despite wanting to give up several tines, I just couldn't connect with the nameless characters or find a reason to want to keep listening.
Post apocalyptic tales don't come much bleaker than this.
I had seen the film adaption first, so wondered if there would be major differences with the book. The film was very faithful to the source material.
Narration was good, understandable at x2 playback speed.
"Over written with very little story"
I wish I'd read the reviews before starting this book. Writing for writings sake, possibly a good listen if you want to hear 15 million adjectives? You realise you aren't enjoying it when you just want everyone in it to die, just so you can start a better book! If nothing else, it has tested my will power to stick at something really unenjoyable, I finished it!!!
Tried to be less wordy (adding two adjectives to every sentence does not make you a good writer) and focus on an actual story?
He did a good job. He must be as bored of saying "Papa" as I am of listening it.
Deep, dark, gnawing, black boredom
It would be great if Audible did a list of pro and anti authors. So I could make sure I never have to endure this chap again. Each to their own, but I am not a fan
"very dark but very beautiful "
really enjoyed this. when you think about the story it's very simple but the way the descriptions and emotions are wrote grip you all the way through. it's an extremely beautiful story of a father and son and the narrator depicts each of them in a way that makes you feel the emotion between them. would recommend.
"A bitterly bleak masterpiece"
Hopelessness and a rich yet desolate landscape are captured magnificently with deft, clipped prose. The narration is sublime and charged with a grizzled, gritty tone that compliments the story perfectly.
Recommend for A levels curriculum. Brings the story to life, well read like the gruffness of the man.
Dark and depressing, I was recommended this story and it just didn't do it for me. It feels like the most used words in the boom are ash and scared.
Very well written. Great performance. Thoroughly recommend this. I was gripped from word one to the end.
"Brutal but brilliant"
This is a fantastic book. Brutal and sparse with barely a drop of hope. Great narration too.
Sparse but powerful prose, littered with deep insights. Loved it. It often reminded me of the way Hemmingway wrote. definitely planning to check out some more of his work.
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