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The Road Audiobook

The Road [Audiobook]

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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

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  •  
    Book Fan Virginia 12-08-09
    Book Fan Virginia 12-08-09 Member Since 2008

    Ima

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good, solid read"

    Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' is a black book of wondrous paragraphs that quickly pulls you into the sad, sad world of the man and his boy. I found myself sitting in my car long after my commute ended to hear more and more of this story.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANNA LONG BEACH, NY, United States 10-07-07
    ANNA LONG BEACH, NY, United States 10-07-07 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't get it out of my mind"

    I'm so glad I got this one on audio b/c the narration was so well done. I listened to it over 1 run and 2 long car drives. It takes place in nucleur winter, and involves 2 survivors, a man and his small son, walking south on "the road" headed somewhere warmer, - I was told that premise and wasn't particularly interested, but I needed a book for my long drive and I was riveted, disturbed, fascinated, and totally impressed with the terrific writing. I think that there are major religious themes (There is no God and we are his prophets) but I have not worked them all out yet. Get this book

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Toronto, ON, Canada 08-28-08
    Robert Toronto, ON, Canada 08-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A compelling look at a post-apocalyptic world"

    The story is set in an undetermined time in the future when a world-wide apocalypse has wiped out most of the human population. The relatively few who remain are either the "good guys" or the "bad guys". The reader never really finds out who the good guys are, or who the bad guys are. Nor do we find out what the nature of the apocalypse was that brought the world to this point. Furthermore, the two protagonists - a father and his son - are merely referred to as the "man" and the "boy". To describe the story as spare is indeed an understatement. And yet, despite all this, the reader is slowly drawn into a world where these two people are trying simply to survive. They will survive by making their journey along a road, to the coast. Why to the coast? We never really find out. The story is more about asking questions, rather than providing answers. What does it mean to have life? What is the purpose of living? Should it be life at any cost? As the man and the boy proceed with their journey, these are the questions we/they ask. The answers are very individualistic. This is a real work of literature, which stayed with me long after the book was completed. The narrator was terrific, taking very short, very sparse dialogue and infusing it with just the right amount of emotion, for each of the characters who spoke. I highly recommend this book. I gave it 4 stars, rather than 5 because, the latter would be for perfection only, and this book, while close - I would give it 4.5 stars if I could - falls just a smidgen short.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Sydney, Australia 06-06-09
    Ron Sydney, Australia 06-06-09 Member Since 2012

    Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "tough going but good once you're into it."

    I actually stopped reading this half way through the first time. It was just too slow for me. But then I came back to it and started again and made it through. I realised, it is supposed to be slow. It's a post-apocolyptic tale of a man and his boy wandering a desolate land. The pace of the story just serves to emphasise the desparation of their situation. It is a bleak future and they struggle through it. After a while I started to get annoyed with the kid, he always seems to state that he's cold or he's hungry or he's scared, and this doesn't help the narrative. I think the reader can assume these emotions from a 10 year old boy wandering the Earth alone with his father and a shopping cart. On top of that, the man constantly repeats what the boy says and that is frustrating. But it is an interesting survival story and McCarthy is a good teller. The Narrator did very well to instill a sense of hope and the lack of it. The plot gradually builds towards the end, and although I struggled to find excitement in the events that unfolded few and far between, whenever the characters discovered something really rewarding, I felt like I was right there with them.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FanB14 11-22-13
    FanB14 11-22-13

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

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    "Father & Son Persevere"

    Reading this book in 2013, I understand why it sat atop the best seller list for so long several years ago. This is a sparse tale of a Dad trudging along a barren landscape with a shopping cart containing minimal supplies and son in tow. They persevere and plow ahead searching for food and shelter, forever in motion, avoiding unthinkable dangers. This is a gritty and stark story.

    Enjoyed this book for the well thought out characters, especially the father struggling to keep his son safe while showing compassion and strength. The biggest struggle he faces is keeping his humanity and acting as a moral compass. The narrator fits the character as gruff, exhausted, and strong. Excellent read.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Portland, OR, United States 11-10-09
    Justin Portland, OR, United States 11-10-09
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    "Thought provoking"

    This book is not chock full of action and adventure. However, I didn't feel the story needed all that drama. It was very real, and it made me think long and hard about what life would be like if I were in the main characters shoes, with no real place to go because everywhere has been affected. To be one of only a handful of survivors, left to scavenge for any semblance of life, is a powerful, heavy thought.
    The author did a wonderful job of leaving out pertinent details that can be left open for interpretation, yet giving the reader a heavy dose of details in other aspects. I liked that the father and son are nameless (they are referred to as the man and the boy throughout), and that the details of their prior lives are scarce.
    Lastly, the narrater was phenomenal. I was really able to vividly visualize the man and the boy as he spoke, thanks, in large part, to his delivery.
    I would definitely recommend this to anyone!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna Cave Creek, AZ, USA 03-29-07
    Lorna Cave Creek, AZ, USA 03-29-07
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    "The Road"

    Wonderfully poetic. Disturbingly profound. You will never forget this one.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leo 10-23-16
    Leo 10-23-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "When everything is gone, who and what are you?"

    Are your ethics still relevant when no one it's around to judge you?
    Is life still worth living when if you have nothing to strive for?
    what do you teach the Next generation if they may very well be the last?
    This book find beauty in a world where all beauty has long since died.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will 08-31-16
    Will 08-31-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't see it like the others I guess"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who don't get into deep characters with intriguing diologue. an example (not directly quoted, but how it left em feeling): "Papa we are the good guys?" "yeah" "because we carry the fire" "yeah" "i'm hungry" "me too" "are you cold" "yeah" "I'm cold too" "yeah" "I'm hungry" "yeah".


    What was most disappointing about Cormac McCarthy’s story?

    Dry and dull, and as a father I didnt' connect with the father of this story in any way. I didn't feel he prepared the boy well for their circumstance.


    What aspect of Tom Stechschulte’s performance would you have changed?

    He did well.


    What character would you cut from The Road?

    Of the 3 -5 characters in the whole story?? would be hard to cut any.


    Any additional comments?

    I just didn't find it great... it wasn't terrible... but it was only just good. At one point I even debated finishing it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis United States 08-05-16
    Dennis United States 08-05-16 Member Since 2015
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    "THE ROAD, COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH BETTER"

    I'm sorry but the ' boy' ruined this book for me, well at least ruined it to a great extent. I take nothing away from the quality of the writing. The author is creative and a good story teller but the 'boy' was so annoying. "I'm hungry", " I'm scared" over and over again. While most readers became engrossed in the story of survival, I was hoping for the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    3/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wonderfully bleak vision of a devastated world"

    wonderful book, saw the film first and wanted to hear that world lifted off the page, beautiful characters, hope and loss in equal measures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eric
    12/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Want to be utterly depressed? Read this book."

    Wow. I thought I was feeling down before starting this book. By the end I want to curl up into the foetus position in bed and cry.
    The story is good and it's narrated really well but the events and what happens throughout just make you want to weep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. Johnson
    UK
    11/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "poor payoff for the time"

    Many of the reviews comment on the bleakness of the story, which it is bleak. The story signposts the ending from the off. There are few surprises. The dialogue between characters is sparse with little variety. By the end I was fed up with hearing the boy say "OK" and "I'm scared". I didn't find myself caring about their fate as they just weren't believable as survivors. It doesn't stand out as anything special in apocalyptic literature. No twist or significant message to deliver.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Erin Garvey
    United Kingdom
    9/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Achingly raw and beautiful"

    This is a beautifully written and performed story. It stays with you long after it has ended, and pulls at every fibre of your being.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James N
    9/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story but could of been shorter."
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    There were many times during this read I thought "get on with it" the ending becomes obvious about 2/3's into the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sarah
    9/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "nice read defo recommend"

    if you are looking for action this is not the book for you as it is a gentle read but a good read. focus on one man and his son amd their desolate journey. good book. upset with ending as I was desperate to know what happened. but that makes a Good ending I guess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The road by Cormac McCarthy"

    Very good enjoyed the audible version much more than I enjoyed the film even tho I though the film was very good .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roshan
    7/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow burner, though gripping throughout"

    Great listen on the tube....powerfully woven tale on a father son partnership amidst a post apocalyptic event

    Recommended for anyone looking for a powerful read, slow but builds to grip the reader!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    5/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The future is... grey"

    Whilst the story never actually tells you exactly what happened it's clear from early on that a nuclear war of sorts has devastated the world and covered it with ash. It's always cold and grey as we follow a man and his son heading south on a road - fighting to survive the conditions, the lack of food and the other survivors.

    The story starts grey and soon gets darker - the 'happy' moments of having food, fire and shelter are few and far between. The man's will to survive and protect his son is gut wrenching and being a father myself it caused moments of - 'what the hell would I do here!'.

    The performance by Tom Stechschulte is good - although I suspect a more 'colourful' book could bring out more from him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ReadingFan
    Swinford , Eire
    4/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Typically excellent fair from Mr Mccarthy "

    Very dark story of parents struggle raising a child in difficult environment. It's gripping story yet very bare and stripped down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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