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)
I am not sure why but I kept listening. It is kind of dark and depressing but I kept listening and am glad I did. Had a few tears at the end. This book sticks with you for a while.
If it ever comes to pass that the leaders of every current or aspiring nuclear power are sentenced to reading “The Road”, we will all sleep quietly at night.
This is a stark novel, brilliantly written and brilliantly read, easy to understand but difficult to digest. While this book is definitely worth the emotional investment needed to read it, you may want to have something a bit lighter on your reading list to follow it.
I realize I am in the minority on this one, and considered a "Stone" by some for not liking this selection. Probably I am a pie-eyed optimist and this story-line just couldn't connect with me.
The narrator made the father sound like Eeyore. The son was, appropriately so, terrified and not knowing why. I saw no hope offered by the father or anyone. Truly, I saw nothing positive at all from this tale.
And if this is how the world is going to end (I pray to God not), then I also pray to God that He takes me before it happens.
What an amazing novel! Absolutely enjoyed this... the imagery was my favorite part, and the relationship between the boy and the father really should make this book universally appealing.
Only reason I didn't give this five stars was because I think this book would have been better read than listened to it. Some parts I would have preferred to stop and dwell a bit. The prose is really magnificnt in a few places, and I feel that the audio experience might have made them seem a bit cheap.
A terrific/gripping read. I like to actually read the books while listening. My gripe is that the narrator changes many of the author's words! In one instance, the narrator completely changed the meaning of a sentence. Where does this narrator get off changing the words in a Pulitzer Prize winning Novel? I was really surprised by this.
That's the only reason it doesn't get 5 stars from me. It's a great,must read/listen, you'll never forget.
This is the most astonishingly depressing thing I have ever listened to. This book is well written, but whoa, the storyline is bleak and gory. Do not purchase this audiobook if you are looking for a light listen, or something to make you feel good. The book is full of cannibalism and is not for the weak of heart.
Which is exactly where this book puts you - just wanting it to all end - for everyone. So depressing and all I kept thinking is "why" - why are they walking towards the ocean, how long have they been walking - how long has this been going on - for the boys entire life - question after question until finally I wonder "why" am I depressing myself trying to get through this book? No good reason - fast forward to the end, listen to the inevitable and turn it off!!
The author writes with such a poetic style that this book is really interesting to listen to. The story is dark so it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Narration was excellent.
When I saw this book reviewed on Oprah, and her interview with the author, I was intrigued enough to want to read it. Until I got it on Audible, however, I just didn't have time.
Now I've listened to it, and even though the narrator is absolutely fantastic and the story relatively moving, I honestly felt like the author spent more time droning on and on using adjectives and adverbs which just didn't fit the nouns and verbs they were modifying.
To make things worse, McCarthy apparently doesn't feel the need to name his main characters, which is fine, I suppose, though I am more likely to care about a character that I can name, rather than "the man" or "the boy" over and over ad nauseam. Add to that the fact that he NEVER once distinguishes between "the man" = main character, and "the man" = various random encounter whilst on the road, and we have momentary contextual confusion as our brains try to sort out just which "the man" is doing or saying a thing. Even when there is no pointless third person, there are moments when the pronoun "he" is used without clarification of whether "he" is the man or the boy.
This was my first experience with Oprah's book list, and I have to say I'm disappointed, but not surprised. McCarthy has written a novel swallowed up by the "intellectual elite", which is to say he's an emperor in new clothes, and if we can't see them, we must be silly fools, though I'd be surprised if many of the people who laud this book really truly cared about it at all beyond earning the right to say "Why, yes, I read that masterpiece!".
Summary: Great narration. Decent character development. Vivid, though occasionally obscure descriptions. Gruesome, ghastly, and occasionally depressing - which, considering the setting, fit very well. Once you get past the author patting himself on the back for having a huge vocabulary (aka access to a thesaurus) it becomes easy to get lost in this sad world with these two lonesome drifters.
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