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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 (6170 )
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  •  
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 05-03-07
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 05-03-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    20
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "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 2012
    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
  •  
    Braulio RaleighMexico 06-15-09
    Braulio RaleighMexico 06-15-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Ash and more ash"

    I found the book very annoying. Kept using the same words over and over again.....Ash, boy, road, OK. Just found it irritating.

    2 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorie Haverhill, MA, USA 10-31-08
    Lorie Haverhill, MA, USA 10-31-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    121
    9
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    "No plot"

    Depressing, depressing and depressing. No plot.

    2 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert van Nostrand Halifax, NS, Canada 11-03-08
    Robert van Nostrand Halifax, NS, Canada 11-03-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    53
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    "Odd but interesting premise"

    I found the premise of this story to be interesting, but the delivery a little monotonous.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Fox Island, WA, United States 12-23-07
    Ron Fox Island, WA, United States 12-23-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    66
    8
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    0
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Very well written - excellent book!

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Eden 04-07-13 Member Since 2014

    honeybeeMMM

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for me"
    What disappointed you about The Road?

    Terribly depressing. I can recognize the beauty here and I am a fan of McCarthy's, but I could not get behind The Road.


    What was most disappointing about Cormac McCarthy’s story?

    See above


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Stechschulte?

    I don't know


    What character would you cut from The Road?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher san jose, CA, USA 04-10-10
    Christopher san jose, CA, USA 04-10-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    193
    4
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    "Very Sad"

    One of my friends with an English degree recommended this as a good read. I choose to stay away from books that depress me. This is a bad book to read if you have children. The fact that it tapped into my emotions so completely means it was well written... but it is a simple and sad book dealing strictly with man vs man vs nature. The speech is simple the concept simple and the torture serious and believable. If you want a depressing sad story with no hope... this is your book. If you have no children and don't have someone relying on you for life you may enjoy it. I did not. I only finished it because I hoped the ending would redeem it. It did not.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Seattle, WA, United States 09-02-08
    Stephen Seattle, WA, United States 09-02-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    1
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    "The Road"

    What a dull book! How it prattles on about two people apparently without names, about whom we care nothing, going somewhere we know not, and do nothing when they get there! And the two charactors repeat each others words constantly - did the author get paid by the word? "But I don't want to." "I know you don't want to, but you must." "I must?" "Yes, you must." "Okay, if I must." "You must." Lord have mercy! YUCK!

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Toronto, ON, Canada 05-19-08
    Carl Toronto, ON, Canada 05-19-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "poor listening"

    May be better for reading than listening. The repetitive sparse communication between the man and his son is grating as well as the constant need for voice modulation to speak on behalf of the son. Bringing the story to a conclusion was inevitably problematic and the author choose a Hollywood ending.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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