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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 (9014 )
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4.4 (5337 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-16-16 Member Since 2016

    I love suspense, action and romance. Perfect books have all three. ;)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tear Jerker at the End but Slow Going Throughout!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Road to be better than the print version?

    I do not have the print version but the narrator was truly exceptional in the story.


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

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Surviving the road is tough. Deciding when to leave is tougher.


    Any additional comments?

    Narrator did an awesome job and would love to hear more from him!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ZeeMox 03-24-16
    ZeeMox 03-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    "It's a bummer, man."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-13-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Slow moving. Boring at times."

    Struggled to finish. Boring. Not a good background setting. Repetitive wording "its gonn be alright" every other sentence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    UncleHammy Towanda, KS United States 03-11-16
    UncleHammy Towanda, KS United States 03-11-16 Member Since 2011

    UncleHammy

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    "Not very good"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomson 03-07-16
    Thomson 03-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A dissonance of a dystopian"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timbolicus Prime Philadelphia, Pa 04-03-15
    Timbolicus Prime Philadelphia, Pa 04-03-15 Member Since 2012

    Avid audiobook listener and reader. I work in the tech industry, but like to go outside my comfort zone with fiction and non-fiction.

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    "Sad that my read is over"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It's dark and introspective, but well-worth the listen. It won't appeal to everyone, but the writing is tight, deep, and expansive.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Road?

    The descriptions of the landscape helped me fall into this charred, ash-strewn, and heartless place. It stuck me on the back of my skull with the remnants of a cloistered statuary.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    His slight south-western accent helped me hear the individual voices of the characters. Of the reviews I've read of the written book, it is hard to follow the dialog, but Tom made it seamless and come alive.


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

    The ending made me cry. I identified with the father and the deep feelings for his son. I was so immersed in the book, that I could envision saying some of the same words to my children. Without spoiling the book, the father was so good to his son: understanding, patient, and caring; all qualities that I, as a parent, want to have more of.


    Any additional comments?

    I saw the movie years ago, and loved it, and it moved me. I forgot some of the story, but the audiobook brought it back and made it new again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne Phoenix, AZ, United States 01-07-14
    anne Phoenix, AZ, United States 01-07-14 Member Since 2016

    I Love a great supernatural tale, a Love story, PNR, a Cool Mystery and Most Sci-Fi....if there are vampires, weres or witches in it, that's a plus! Basically I am a 40+ y/o young at heart woman rediscovering the wonderful world of books and am now addicted! Lol I LOVE AUDIBLE!!!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still Sobbing...Broke my heart.."
    If you could sum up The Road in three words, what would they be?

    Emotional, Heavy, Scary....


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

    There is no comparison...this book is very sad...it broke my heart more than once...but it is beautifully written and narrated, so it was worth it!


    Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he is a good narrator...and I would welcome a chance to listen to him again...


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

    Oh it made me cry...I am still crying...there is nothing funny about this book...it touched my soul...and really made me think...I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did...it took me almost all of chapter 1 to get into it...but then I could not put it down...


    Any additional comments?

    OMG this book is an emotional roller coaster...it was bone chilling at times...and haunting....and the ending broke my heart, I openly sobbed..and am still teary eyed...what a fabulous story of love and struggle in a post apocalyptic world where you have to fight everyday to survive..this father/son relationship was beautiful....this is one I will carry with me for a long while...and will listen to again...I am very interested in reading more of this authors work.....keep in mind you will need tissues for this one....I got this on sale, but it is well worth a credit!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 10-26-12
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 10-26-12 Member Since 2016

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am being generous with stars."

    I must have read a different book. Well, wait a second. I did Not read this book. I listened to it. Therein may lie the rub. Other reviewers have commented about the print version’s idiosyncratic use of punctuation. Some readers obviously had problems with the lack of quotation marks while others lauded it. My [audio]book had no quotation marks so perhaps it is what stilted my enjoyment. I had no punctuation; I had a narrator. The narrator was good, not great but good. That was not the problem.

    Perhaps it was those 5 star [in my eyes] expectations. Yeah, that’ll do it every time. Have no expectations my guru always said and you will be happy. Yeah, right.

    I don’t know what it is but I just did not particularly care for this book. I wanted to. It’s the kind of book I would normally enjoy. It seemed pretty monotonous. We have no idea where the two characters are and that’s okay. We have no idea what apocalypse took place before they set out on their journey and that’s okay too. But the journey, the central theme, it just never went anywhere figuratively or maybe even literally. Except for finally coming across an ocean, the characters could have been walking around in circles for all we know. Maybe the book had a map? No? No map? Okay that’s okay too. We’ll even let that slide.

    Maybe it was the bleakness of it all. No, I love Dickens and the great Russian authors and you don’t get much more bleak than those. No that’s not it.

    No, I guess I thought the damn thing just wasn’t that interesting. There! I said it.

    Now that being said, I am being generous with my 3 stars here in the belief that it's just me who cannot appreciate this book. In another review I gave this book 2 stars because there that meant "I didn't like it." I don't know what 2 stars means on Audible but it can't be good and this is probably not a bad book. Others have enjoyed it immensely and I would recommend that before you decide to invest time and money on any selection, read both takes, both positive and negative reviews if you can find them.

    25 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DAVID CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, United States 03-23-11
    DAVID CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, United States 03-23-11 Member Since 2016
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    "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 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    blackeyedsusie 05-08-10 Member Since 2016
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    "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 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Carla Lauder
    London
    2/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A journey of the sweetest suffering"

    In The Road, a father and son trek across a burnt-out America, scavenging for anything that will help sustain them through another day, always on the move, always on the lookout, painfully aware that all they have in the world is each other, and that that could change at any minute.
    A story about survival at its most basic level, and how love can sustain the human condition; even in the face of utter desolation, providing a fuel to replace food, warmth to replace fire, and a reason to keep on living.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ross
    1/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "hmmmm"

    bit of a strange ending, didn't live up to the hype also didn't have enough action for me

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    1/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Waste of time"

    The story was so slow and didn't really go anywhere. So disappointing, nothing to redeem it in my opinion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Normandy, France
    1/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Somewhat dated"

    Always meant to read this but never got around to it. Really should have done . . . . forty years ago . . . before it became so dated. As a work in its time I'm sure that it was cutting edge but now, sadly, it is somewhat boring.
    Lacked the patience to finish

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Asmodeous
    North Yorkshire United Kingdom
    1/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It took me a couple of readings and the this superb narration to see the true brilliance of this work"

    I am now a big fan of Cormac McCarthy and also of the narrator who performs the narration to the audio version so well. I can say little more than what others have said so well in their positive reviews except this:
    This book I dedicate to the good guys of our world. Keep carrying the fire. Goodness will prevail.
    To those who read this review and think I have lost the plot mentally, I say read and understand this book. And if you still don't get it, then read it and read it again. This narration is the best out there. Tom Stetchschulte is an awesome reader.
    And now I will listen to it again.
    And understand more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Hill
    1/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Maines
    1/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Grim"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    1/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Over written with very little story"
    What disappointed you about The Road?

    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!!!


    What could Cormac McCarthy have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Tried to be less wordy (adding two adjectives to every sentence does not make you a good writer) and focus on an actual story?


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job. He must be as bored of saying "Papa" as I am of listening it.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Deep, dark, gnawing, black boredom


    Any additional comments?

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ILovePorkPie86
    Derby
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David S.
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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