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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 (5574 )
5 star
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4.0 (2233 )
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Story
4.2 (2205 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    09-01-07
    09-01-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good"

    I liked it. I thought it was a good book but I don't like being nervous about characters. It's suspensful and I prefer not to be in suspense.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Madison, MS, USA 08-12-07
    William Madison, MS, USA 08-12-07 Member Since 2003
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    1
    Overall
    "poor excuse for a book"

    A boy without a name and a man without a name wandering through a world that has suffered an unnamed and never described catastrophic event. If you are interested in science fiction of this genre, read a Canticle for Leibowitz. Don't waste your 6 hours on this poor excuse for a book.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holli Las Vegas, NV, USA 07-13-07
    Holli Las Vegas, NV, USA 07-13-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    Overall
    "slow start, perfect ending"

    When I purchased this book I didn't realize that it was written in the 70's. There certainly is a very anti-war political theme running through the book which made it a bit depressing. That being said, it was well written, and relevent to today. If you like post apocolyptic literature this isn't as quickly paced as others but still a satisfying read.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Saint Petersburg, FL, USA 08-05-09
    Rick Saint Petersburg, FL, USA 08-05-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Ughhh"

    Well narrated but I felt very dissapointed in the ending. It was like McCarthy just ran out of juice and ended the book? Maybe I just was looking for something as great as his other works.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Princeton, WV, USA 03-22-08
    Brian Princeton, WV, USA 03-22-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    1
    Overall
    "Terrible Narration"

    I've always wanted to read this book. I've had many friends who have experienced it and all of them have said the same thing, "you HAVE to read The Road, it is amazing."

    I'm sure it is an amazing book and I will probably pick up the actual novel at some point, but this reading is miserable. The narrator has absolutely no character in his voice. He is monotone and seems to just pass through the pages of these novels without ever taking the audience's desire for entertainment into consideration.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Airmont, NY, USA 02-17-08
    Michael Airmont, NY, USA 02-17-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    136
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Boring......"

    This was a pretty boring listen. However, if you start it, you need to finish.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 08-04-08
    Tom 08-04-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Waiting for Message"

    I just didn't get this book. I kept waiting for some kind of ending but it didn't happen. It's a very dark book but for no apparent reason.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura London, ON, Canada 10-14-07
    Laura London, ON, Canada 10-14-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    "No ending!"

    The Road keeps you hanging on and anticipating what they will find when they reach their destination but ends haltingly without explanation of the devastation witnessed on the road. I had to replay to see if I missed something.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Export, PA, USA 09-30-07
    Jeff Export, PA, USA 09-30-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Very disturbing read"

    I wasted hours on listening to this dark and dismal story because I read positive reviews but I never found anything but one huge downer in this book. I'm certain that there are at least a million better was to totally waste time than hearing this garbage. Life is too short to spend it entrenched in thoughts and scenarios of the horrible state of affairs depicted in this book and end of the world full of dark and ugly human tragedy. You can say anything you want about this book but it leaves you sorry you spent your time on it if you have a healthy mental perspective.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Goodyear, AZ, USA 09-18-07
    Andrew Goodyear, AZ, USA 09-18-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Should have named it peat & repeat"

    How many times can you say it's ok?
    How many times can you say fire?
    How many times can you say tell me
    How many times can you say i'm hungry?
    ad nauseum

    Barely a plot through out. If you like repetition go for it.


    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
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