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.
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"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)
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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.
Simply told, in black and white. You never know their names - that doesn't matter. You never know their destination - that doesn't matter. What does matter, are the gifts of courage this father leaves with his son - on The Road.
This is my first sample of Cormac McCarthy and it leaves me hungry, no ravenous for more. Survival in a post-apocalyptic world becomes the medium through which McCarthy touches the fears and wounds we certainly bear as we raise our children in a less challenging but far more complex world.
Tom Stechschulte's lyrical voice flows easily from a rumbling Midwestern texture up to a clear, clean, pre-adolescent boy and back to rumble. I've treasured the experience of listening to quite a few of Stechschulte's narrations, and I have yet to be disappointed.
I like history and biography, novels too. I do have a thing for zombie books as well. I need crappy thrillers now and then.
Great reading. Stechschulte handles the terse dialogue well enough, and the rest of the narrative brilliantly. This is a quiet book, with simple stripped language, very rhythmic, and it's a deeply sad book. But it's also an episodic adventure story, and it's hard to stop listening.
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
This book caught me up in the story and showed what a terrifying place the world will be after the life as we know it is gone. The people, the houses, the cars, everything gone.
The Characters in the story lived through a scary time and still had redeeming qualities. The terror was not romanticized. The horror was real but the father still managed to teach his son to be a good man.
Not a long drawn out story but well told and draws you in.
I thought it derivative of Grapes of Wrath (which I loved). The road, the misery of the man and his son, and especially the language. The way McCarthy will use the same noun twice in the same sentence just like John Steinbeck. But I liked it just the same and am glad I purchased it. The reader was brilliant.
Some people have said this book is dreary and depressing. I can certainly see how they'd come to that conclusion, but I must disagree overall.
For me, I finished with a positive feeling because what truly shines through is the genuine love between a father and his son despite the worst of circumstances.
This review was originally posted on my blog, Exploring All Genres.
I listened to the audiobook version of The Road and I have to say it was pretty good. The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, did quite a good job of reading this book, however there were times when the tone of his voice became a but too monotonous and that made my attention waver a bit. One thing I can say that he did really good was putting a lot of emotion into some of the parts of the story, especially during times when the boy was scared of a certain situation and he was trying to plea with his father to stop. It was those times that I felt like there really was lots of danger out on the road and that it wasn’t simply a father and son out on a camping trip but these people were truly struggling to survive.
What stood out most to me with this book was the lack of names. During the story there was the man, the boy, the woman, but their names were never given. In fact there was only one name given throughout this book and that was Eli the old man they came across during their travels, and even then Eli admitted that might not even be his real name since names no longer help any significance out there. No doubt the characters had names at some point, but with the world in ruin and only a few surviving there is no need for a name.
While the majority of the character focus was on the man and the boy there were a few other characters that they encountered along the way. Most were bad men who essentially captured and eventually ate those people they came across but there were a few good people along the way as well. However the character with the biggest impact on the story was the one that many might not even consider a character, and that is the road itself. Sure it’s an inanimate object but the road holds such a significance to to story that it really does feel like it is a character. It leads the man and boy towards the ocean, provides them protection and on occasion supplies from the various abandoned vehicles along it, and is both the safest and dangerous way to travel.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It was a great story about survival in extreme circumstances, showed the lengths the man would go to protect his son as well as teach him about the world that used to exist and also about how to survive in the current world. I would certainly recommend this book to people who are looking to read something different or a book that has that Dystopian/Apocalypse feel.
The entire book was very depressing. I kept hoping that the ending would turn out good, but when I finished I felt like I had wasted my time. The narrator did an ok job, but there was no point to the story.
The plot was about a father and son trying to survive in a desolate, post-apocalyptic world and the most of the book detailed the constant misery they were in. They were cold, starving, and terrified most of the time and they usually wanted to just die.The author never really said how the world supposedly burned up and some how all of the plants in the entire world seemed to be burned up and dead even though some houses here and there were still standing and lakes and rivers still existed, so it didn't make much sense that absolutely no plants and animals were left alive or no plants could ever grow again. The story takes place years after some disaster, but the author writes as if it had just happened.
For example, there was always ash in the air even though it rained fairly often and everything had been burned up a long time ago. There were several other inconsistencies that made me think that the author didn't have a very good idea of how things would actually work in the scenario he created. He just seemed determined to make conditions as bleak as possible for the two main characters in the story.
Overall what really made me give such a low rating came back to what I wrote earlier about the book being depressing. There was absolutely no humor and things were either bad or terrible for the characters. This book probably isn't worth your time.
My 5 yr old grandson could write a better book....how many times can one person say ...'i dont know'...my god , how could you other reviewers could enjoy this purile drivel .....badly written and badly narrated.
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