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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.
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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

4.0 (6824 )
5 star
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4.1 (3359 )
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4.3 (3320 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kristine Chelan, WA, USA 08-18-08
    Kristine Chelan, WA, USA 08-18-08 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
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    "The Road"

    I would not recommend this book on audio to anyone. I cound't even struggle through it before our book club meeting. Only 1/2 of the club finished the book.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-21-08
    Mark Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-21-08 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    154
    18
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    "Don't Get Started"

    Despite my better judgment after reading the reviews I purchased this book. Although it was aweful, I could not stop listening. I kept waiting for something to happen; good or bad. However, it was the same thing over and over. Father and son trying to find food and shelter in some post-apocalypical time. We never learn what happened. and the story just drops off without any sort of climax. The father-son dialogue gets somehwat irratating with the same repetivie colloquy.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Baltimore, MD, USA 09-19-07
    Aaron Baltimore, MD, USA 09-19-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    "What the f?"

    I wish I had listened to a sample playing of this beforehand, because I feel like I could possibly have avoided wasting 6 hours of my life. Maybe its a book for book-writers, or for people who think they really get literature, but I have never read anything as empty as this book. It has barely any background, barely any narrative, most of the book is spent describing a desolate wasteland and how "the man" (names are for amateur writers!) is worrying about his son or about how he wants to die. This book is incredibly, and I think unnecessarily, depressing and morose. I think the dialogue between "the man" and "the boy" was stiff, and unrealistic. I mean, I guess I can't be sure how I would communicate while wandering through a wasteland, but it still seems like they had an artificial, almost stoic, relationship. Basically I hated it, and had to tell someone.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. boulder creek, ca 08-03-07
    G. boulder creek, ca 08-03-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    336
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    "boring"

    I was so excited for this to be a great book, it's best selling, reviewed well, and has a compelling hook of a story. But I just felt bored, bored, bored. I got so sick of the "boy" saying he was scared and asking if they were gonna die, I mean that was pretty much the extent of the dialouge. Also, the narrator had this drawl, a very slow way of talking, that just added to my boredom. I wouldn't say this was a bad book, just, you guessed it, boring.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Castro Valley, CA, United States 04-18-07
    Richard Castro Valley, CA, United States 04-18-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
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    70
    6
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    "Father Son Story"

    In the style of Hemingway; McCormack uses short unvarnished sentences to develop a warm deep love between father and son. As a father of three this story got to my heart.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivan Prague, Czech Republic 10-28-09
    Ivan Prague, Czech Republic 10-28-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "overrated"

    I don't understand why everyone raves so much about this book. From a literary standpoint, it is a good book, but not a great book. There're extremely well written books out there that never received attention nor fame anywhere close to this book. Books that are really well written, but not written to impress, touch or induce tears.
    This is a good book and that's about it. Did it deserve the Pulitzer prize? I don't know. It's a lot like president Obama receiving the Nobel prize for peace. Sure, he's done some good things already, but did the deserve the Nobel prize for that?
    I'm a father of a little boy and this book did appeal to me in that way. But I love reading books that are WELL WRITTEN, not the books that appeal to me personally.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Scott Austin, Texas USA 05-06-07
    Sarah Scott Austin, Texas USA 05-06-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    416
    4
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    "Rambling Wreck"

    This book was about as a depressing of a book you could possibly read. It is not entertaining or even thought provoking. If you want to read a book where you feel sorry for the world then this is your book. There are no solutions no great ideas, just pity on top of pity.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Doyle 12-15-14
    Jay Doyle 12-15-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    "Don't waste your time or money!"
    Would you try another book from Cormac McCarthy and/or Tom Stechschulte?

    There is no other words for it. This was the worst book I ever downloaded!


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lloyd mollymook, Australia 10-13-13
    lloyd mollymook, Australia 10-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
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    Performance
    Story
    "Alonzo"

    ONCE AGAIN A GREAT BOOK FROM COMAC McCARTHY. SUPERBLY WRITTEN, SUPPORTED BY GREAT NARRATION.
    IN REAL TERMS THE READER FEELS HE TOO IS ON "THE ROAD". ALTHOUGH THE CHARACTERS ARE FEW THIS BOOK IS RICH IN DIALOGUE THE PRINCIPLE CHARACTERS ARE STRONG . THE SITUATIONS ENCOUNTERED ARE WELL SCOPED.
    IN SHORT EXCELLENT. DESERVING OF A FIVE STAR RATING.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 10-12-13
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 10-12-13 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Story
    "The "Good Guys" on the road to the coast"

    After the end of civilization, a man and his young son are traveling to the coast. They are the self proclaimed "good guys" carrying the flame. "Bad guys" are all around and a lot of bad things are happening around them. The simplistic black and white good guy view of the young boy meets the survival good guy view of the father whose love for his son drives him onward.

    This story doesn't deal with names, places, or how it all happened. It is about the journey of the father and son trying to skirt around all confrontations and get to their destination. I found parts of myself in the father during the journey and towards the end of the book saw myself looking at my father through the eyes of the boy.

    Tom Stechschulte did an excellent job bringing life to the audio production.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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