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.
Check out more selections from Oprah's Book Club.
©2006 M-71, Ltd.; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"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 really enjoyed McCarthy's descriptions of everything. He incorporates so much detail into his writing that it makes the listener/reader feel as if he or she was there at that moment.
I liked the interaction between the father and son, especially the father because of the gentle way he brings a calm to every situation. He's very patient, and embodies what I feel a father should be.
Stechschulte's ability to vocalize many different characters made the book really easy to follow. He does a great job with this in No Country For Old Men as well! He's just an excellent narrator, plain and simple.
The Road to Nowhere!
Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' is a stark, voyage through an imagined, desolate, future American landscape -- the dialogur between the two surviviors; a father and his young son, is terse and gripping - McCarthy's descriptions of the desecrated landscape are rivieting - through it all, one can almost sense and smell the fear. A compelling story from beginning to end - Tom Stechschulte's narration is sympatentic and expert -- well worth the listening...
I want to read books that take me to a "place and/or time" I've never been. On the other hand, I love reading about places where I HAVE been.
Nicely written. Dark, grey, cold, ash......these are the predominant adjectives. Scared, lost, sick and hungry are ongoing concerns. A man, a boy traveling to the coast with really no hope of surviving, but with faith in each other. I read it for the fact it won prizes. A bit depressing but worth it. 3-4 stars.
I almost didn't want to listen, despite sterling reviews, because I thought it would be too depressing.
Although there are a few gruesome spots, the book never lingers on them, and the brilliant writing and the main characters love for each other more than compensates. The narrator also does a superb job, so that you feel everything the characters do. Highly recommended.
I couldn't even listen beyond about 20% of this book. I was not impressed with the reading but worse than that, the story was repetitive and it never caused me to care about either of the two primary characters. It's hard to believe this is the same author who wrote "All The Pretty Horses:"!
Terrible journey for the characters told with the best narration of any of the 100s of books I have listened to.
This is a story for lovers of finely-crafted literary prose: unfortunately, I'm a lover of finely-crafted stories, and this is just a long meandering journey across a post-apocalyptic landscape with repetitive dialogs between a man and his son (who sounds particularly whiny as read by this narrator). I know I'm judging what's really a finely written book harshly, but I found myself listening to the end just to get through it - at no point did I really care about the characters or wonder what was going to happen next. I appreciated the prose, but it wasn't enough to wow me.
The reader's voice is so annoying for the boy's character it almost ruins the writing. So read (if you must) don't listen.
Predictable in places. I listened to this a year ago and am still haunted by the vivid imagery, ?which is of course, a testament to the great writing. If you have kids, or nephews/neices, this is painful to read and there's really no point. Without reading it you can just ask yourself what you would do in the event of the end of the world. Eat your neighbors? Kill yourself/your children? etc. And do these questions add anything good to your life?
This was an excellent book. I finished it in less than 4 days...I played it in the car, on my MP3 as I shopped and before I went to sleep. I can't wait for the movie to come out.
"Poetic and thought provoking."
Having read the 2 previous reviews a number of times I was put off listening to this. At the recommendation of a friend I finally took the plunge - I wish I had done so ages ago.
The conversational style and poetic nature make it perfect for audible. The narrator sounded just as I imagined the Father would. I listened whenever I could and looked forward to the next instalment. Occasionally my heart rate rose in anticipation of on-coming violence but overall the story is beautiful. It's biblical themes and believable imaginings of post apocalyptic America are thought provoking.
I rarely listen to anything twice but I will make an exception with this.
I was in tears at the end of this book - I felt like I was right there at the end with he Son and Father, and I knew them so well it was like saying goodbye to friends. The story is so incredibly well written, you are immediately drawn in to the story and I can picture the landscape so vividly in my mind that I am not sure if I should watch the film adaptation or not. I could very easily have listened to this book all in one sitting, but I had to sleep sometime!
Other reviewers have mentioned the lack of chapter breaks, but I think that this is natural to the story - you are seeing through the eyes of the Son or Father, and they are not writing a novel, so they wouldn't break off from their battle for survival to start a new paragraph!
A special mention must go to the excellent narration, which was perfectly paced and judged throughout.
I found this book to be a rare example of being worthy of all the praise I have heard heaped upon it.
"An Excellent Audiobook"
Forget the recent film, this is the real deal. A father and his son travel a road leading towards the South - and a respite from the winter cold.
However, this is a post-apocalyptic world they traverse; the atmosphere full of ash, no plants growing and all animals and most humans dead. Most of the people who remain have turned into savages - a real state of nature where human life is 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.'
This book makes you ask questions about yourself - could you survive in such an environment? How would you behave towards others?
McCarthy's spare writing style is well suited to this type of narrative and it is superbly read by Tom Stechschulte.
"Perfect for the road - or anywhere else"
McCarthy's book makes outstanding listening. I was fearful before buying this having read some of his previous books, which are occasionally tough going in their style. But The Road is brilliantly sparse - clipped, original and vivid imagery and a compelling narrative which never explans itself and just keeps you following. McCarthy is a master at avoiding the cliched descriptions of some (many, most) authors and this is the finest example of this, in my humble opinion.
The narration is even and atmospheric, with a compelling delivery - just like the story itself.
"a chilling vision of the future"
I suspect that a lot of people coming to The Road have, like myself, been introduced to McCarthy thanks to the recent film adaptation of No Country for Old Men, and so this is probably a good reference point.
No Country received near universal critical acclaim, but in my experience audience reaction was a little more mixed. Sure, plenty (including myself) agreed with the critics, but many seemed to think the desolate speech, settings, lack of truly cataclysmic events, and the closing dream sequence were entirely off-putting.
Well, all of the above factors are present in The Road, in a far greater density than in No Country. Our lead character is in a similar mould to Tommy Lee Jones with his slow, considered speech, there is the lack of a traditional climax, and the story starts with a dream sequence to rival that in No Country.
The story follows ?The Man? and ?The Boy? as they travel a road across the southern United States attempting to get to the coast following an unknown apocalyptic event. Needless to say, our travellers encounter both natural and human challenges in this desolate world and these are the main focus. It is worth noting here that, again like No Country, some of these encounters involve extreme violence and extremely distressing images; those of a nervous disposition should certainly beware.
From an Audible point of view, the book is of a manageable length and very well narrated. Despite this I do wonder if the inability to dwell on some of McCarthy?s topics means that something lost in the transition from page to wave; perhaps the forced pacing a narrator gives makes up for this, I don?t know. Finally, I always prefer chapters in audiobooks as they allow for a natural breaking point, and these are lacking here.
Overall, if you enjoyed No Country you will get something worthwhile from this and it is certainly worth your time. The opposite of course also applies, and at least for some, this is worth considering
"Heartbreaking and amazing"
Seriously heartbreaking. What a story. Great direction and narration too! The voices were really well done :)
"So Desolate, So Miserable, But So Good!"
The story painted a picture of a future so bleak it defines the apocalypse genre... The reader did a great job defining the characters and emotions.
Great story, short running time and engaging characters.
No, but I will be looking at his other books
I felt the narrator's voice took a little getting used to but, once I had, this was an enthralling tale of a great book. the inherent difficulties of conveying the book in voice were extremely well tackled through a measured narration. The different characters were well handled. The denouement was incredibly moving.
Al in all, a superb adaptation: highly recommended.
"why on earth did this win its accolades?"
I was drawn by its Pulitzer Prize-winning status and anticipated something original and maybe challenging to the reader. I was deeply disappointed. Science Fiction as a genre is full of examples of much more interesting post-apocalyptic tales. McCarthy has much less to offer here - what others have described as 'bleak', I would characterise as 'dull'. Don't get me wrong, it's competently written and the narrator is okay - it's the content that lets it down. So why the prize? Maybe Science Fiction is beneath the dignity of most literary critics, so they have an inadequate frame of reference? Or maybe McCarthy was deemed worthy on the basis of what I believe to be called 'Buggin's round?' Regardless, for a much more intriguing and satisfying post-apocalyptic journey, I reccommend Audible customers to try Margaret Attwood's terrific 'Oryx and Crake'.
"Excellent & BLEAK! Loved it!"
No, would like to read it for myself as the narrator's style took a long time to get used to.
The ending and the way McCarthy delivered dialogue.
Not sure, probably not, unless he adapted his style based on the book / director.
Bleak, stark, honest and tantalising!
Report Inappropriate Content