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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Laurie Tyler, TX, United States 07-02-07
    Laurie Tyler, TX, United States 07-02-07 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    2
    Overall
    "In a Word: Dark"

    This is book is not for those looking for a plot and action. The dialogue is plodding and dark with little forward motion. I did find, however, that it sticks with you and makes you think. The interact between father and son is sweet and endearing; the setting dark and terrifying with little redemption.
    Didn't love it, didn't hate it. I read the whole thing which says something for it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Overland Park, KS, United States 07-01-07
    Chris Overland Park, KS, United States 07-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    13
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Surprised how much I enjoyed"

    This book took me by surprise. I went into it with low expectations because it's not the normal kind of book I check out. The writing style is very different, and unique. In many ways the simple, stark tone of the book makes the story that more riveting in that the characters are at a complete loss with their surroundings. No witty retorts or puns, just two people, desperate for survival. Brilliant and well told, this is a finely crafted piece of fiction. The audio presentation is very well done and can keep the listener's attention. Strongly recommended.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Charlotte, NC, USA 06-26-07
    Matt Charlotte, NC, USA 06-26-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    40
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "Like a punch in the stomach"

    Definitely bleak and depressing at times (most of the time), but punctuated by hope and put in stark contrast by a father's love of his son. There were plenty of times I was hesitant to come back to this world. The prose is so detailed I felt like I was there, even when I wish I was more detatched. I'm glad I stuck with it and my mind has continuously wandered back to this story since I listened a month ago. It's tough, but good....really good. What more can I say that hasn't been said except that I went home and gave a huge hug to my kids...and bought some jugs of water just in case.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan Crompond, NY, USA 06-24-07
    Jordan Crompond, NY, USA 06-24-07 Member Since 2002
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Tedium Uninterrupted"

    To say that a post-apocalyptic world would be difficult and dismal doen't seem very innovative. To take this basic concept and stretch it over the period of severla hoursr is excruciating. Perhaps if there had been some more depth regarding the pre-apocalypse nature of the characters, the events leading up to the event, etc. - it could have been bearable. Whatever you do, don't listen to this when you're in a depressive state. Believe me, it only gets worse and worse.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles Cincinnati, OH, USA 06-17-07
    Miles Cincinnati, OH, USA 06-17-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    89
    3
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    0
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    "the road"

    very demoralizing subject. very repetitive dialogue. grimm throughout including ending.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bolie 06-13-07
    Bolie 06-13-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Robot"

    ** So if your goal in books is to hear Tom read a story in the style of the depressed robot from "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", this is the gold standard. Half sentances, monotonous, road to nowhere, would be a better title. No story, what story there is is very predictable, right up to the end. It's not worth the 6 hours to get to the end. I made the mistake of hoping for an interesting twist at the end. Nope, never happened, predictable right to the last boring word. **

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Trinity , FL, USA 05-09-07
    William Trinity , FL, USA 05-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Uninteresting"

    Repetitive dialogue, implausible and impossible scenarios make for a very uniteresting book.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 05-05-07
    Chris 05-05-07

    I enjoy listening to audiobooks while woking in my shop or around the house -sort of mental multitasking.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
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    398
    39
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    4
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    Overall
    "not author's best"

    After droning on for what seemed like longer than 6 hours with the same thing happening to the characters over and over, I hoped for something other than the predictible dull ending that did happen. May the use of some proper nouns - a name for a person or a place would have made this more interesting.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 05-03-07
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 05-03-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    20
    5
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    "Great Book"

    This is one of the most thought provacative novels I have listened to in a long time. With TV shows like Jericho, this book takes it to the next degree. Make sure if you buy this book that you have 6 hours to devote to listening non stop. You will not be able to stop. My only question is what happens next.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Russell 04-28-07 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    1
    Overall
    "Don't hesitate, get this book!"

    Although I have been an Audible member for years, this is the first book I have felt compelled to review.

    I simply could not put "The Road" down (turn it off). The shear beauty of the words the author uses to describe the desolation and despair wrought of human folly, and the ultimate hope for the redemption of humanity, kept we listening until 4:00 am. The emotions and images conjured by this master of prose will be with me for a very long time.

    While this is the first book I have enjoyed by this author, if his other works are even half as good it certainly won't be the last.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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