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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.

©2006 M-71, Ltd.; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • anne
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 01-07-14

Still Sobbing...Broke my heart..

If you could sum up The Road in three words, what would they be?

Emotional, Heavy, Scary....

What other book might you compare The Road to and why?

There is no comparison...this book is very sad...it broke my heart more than once...but it is beautifully written and narrated, so it was worth it!

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but he is a good narrator...and I would welcome a chance to listen to him again...

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh it made me cry...I am still crying...there is nothing funny about this book...it touched my soul...and really made me think...I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did...it took me almost all of chapter 1 to get into it...but then I could not put it down...

Any additional comments?

OMG this book is an emotional roller coaster...it was bone chilling at times...and haunting....and the ending broke my heart, I openly sobbed..and am still teary eyed...what a fabulous story of love and struggle in a post apocalyptic world where you have to fight everyday to survive..this father/son relationship was beautiful....this is one I will carry with me for a long while...and will listen to again...I am very interested in reading more of this authors work.....keep in mind you will need tissues for this one....I got this on sale, but it is well worth a credit!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • DAVID
  • CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, United States
  • 03-23-11

Things put in your head you can't take back out

This book is brilliant and the author is a master. The book and the author deserve 5 stars - I am giving it 5 stars...and I hated it.

Listening to this audio book was the single most emotionally devastating event in my 48 years of life. I pray to God and all that is holy that someday I will be able to forget this book.

My only grandson just turned four last week. He is my world and I adore him
with every fiber of my being. We spend hours and hours together every week - sometimes fun and exciting, sometimes quite mundane - and each and every
moment is precious to me. I know this at each of these moments, not in retrospect.
He calls me Papa.

After listening to this book, I envisioned my grandson kneeling over my lifeless body, weeping uncontrollably, crying "oh Papa...". Now I can't get this scene out of my head. I may need therapy.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Best Yet

The first audiobook that moved me enough to leave a review. I listened to this on a road trip through the Nevada desert, which may have enhanced the experience.
McCarthy's writing is profound, and the narrator did an incredible job on the interpretation of characters and dialogue. There is so much strength and commitment throughout the story that - oddly enough - I found it uplifting.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Evan
  • Somerville, MA, USA
  • 12-09-09

Incredible and heartbreaking

The Road is more than an amazing account of the horrors and hardships that a father and son have to work through to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It speaks about fatherhood and a love so strong that it makes you wonder if you would have the fortitude to do what the man does for his son. It speaks about a naive purity and an experienced cynicism and how, to survive, you need both. Tom Stechschulte's narration should be the gold standard that all others are measured against. Simply superb. True, the story is intense, but you have to realize it is Cormac McCarthy's take on a desolate hellscape with humankind pushed close to extinction. The result is an engrossing yet disturbingly bleak tale that somehow manages to allow the faintest glimmer of hope.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall

Tough going at first, but worth the journey.

The book is harsh, desolate and depressing. But by the books end you have a sense of hope.
This is not a action /horror story as the upcoming movie trailer seems to betray, its a story about a man and his undying love for his boy. If you can get through the first 2 chapters the final 3 will leave you with hope and satisfaction.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • MR AJ Moore
  • Magaliessig, Gauteng South Africa
  • 06-17-09

Harrowing yet ultimately beautiful

Deeply disturbing 'The Road' is no easy journey. It shows both the baseness that humanity is capable of but also our ability to show tenderness and careing. Eloquent storytelling in a suprisingly minimalist style, makes this book very accesible and once complete you marvel at the way this story has been crafted. A masterpiece.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gregory
  • HohenbrunnGermany
  • 05-28-09

Great and deep book about a father and son

I had to wait a week after finishing this book to comment on it. I think that the comments of the book being an apocalyptic themed story are missing the overriding point. This is a story about a father's instinctual need to protect and want the best for his son, while struggling through the worst of circumstances. It is also about a young boy's unwavering trust of his father. The dialog is amazing, accurate and simple. The setting could have changed to some other doomed scenario and the point would have been the same. It can be slow in spots. But since the stakes are so high the book kept me hooked. I seriously would not recommend this book for anyone that is depressed or has a gloomy outlook on the future. Otherwise, it is an unforgettable book that I highly recommend.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

AWESOME BOOK....AWESOME NARRATOR!

This is a great audiobook!! The Tom narrates exactly like a 5 year old would talk...there is a child in the book.

If I have to choose between two books and Tom Stechschulte is narrating one of the othem...that is the book I got with.

Great narrator. Great story. So few and far between.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Touches your Core

What begins as a bleak depressing narrative becomes much more as the story emerges. The father-son dynamic is at the center of this post-apocalyptic nightmare. Some images are so ugly I was gripped with revulsion and found myself becoming protective of the boy, wanting to shield him from the realities of his life yet knowing he needed to "see" to keep himself alive. The journey of survival unfolded as the two encountered moments of good fortune sprinkled with those of utmost despair. Not an easy read, but a great one!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Roshan
  • 07-29-16

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!!

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  • Mr
  • 05-01-16

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.

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  • ReadingFan
  • 04-28-16

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.

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  • Ruairi
  • 04-11-16

amazing

the road is one of those books I read time and time again and I still find something new to love each time. it is both thought provoking and heartbreaking. I must've read this at least 20 times and listened about as many times. Could not recommend it enough. Probably my favourite book.

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  • Bloney
  • 03-15-16

A beautifully narrated story.

A superb story of a Father and son and their fight to survive. Of a fathers fierce protection and a boys faith and love. Beautifuly narrated.

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  • Story
  • Lucy Taylor
  • 03-03-16

A little bland

This book is ok. There are parts that are a bit exciting but on the whole it feels like not much happens.

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  • Nixy
  • 03-01-16

Magnificent!

Would you listen to The Road again? Why?

The only reason I wouldn't is because there are so many audiobooks to listen to - but if I had to pick one then this would probably be my re-listen. It was so good,

Who was your favorite character and why?

The man (unnamed) - his determination to keep going in the face of hopelessness.

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, this was my first one

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wish. I definitely listened for longer than I normally would have

Any additional comments?

SPOILER ALERT!!!!<br/><br/>I found the ending a tad disappointing. But only a tiny smidge. I am nit picking but there is still something about his decision to leave the boy alive that smacks of inconsistency. And then for the boy to be rescued just like that by the only other good people on the road - it added a note of implausibility. Which shows you how well written the rest of the book was if that was the thing I struggled to believe in a post apocalyptic world.

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  • Hannah
  • 02-28-16

Brutal and brilliant

If you could sum up The Road in three words, what would they be?

Grim, touching and tense.

What other book might you compare The Road to, and why?

It's more plausible and less gory than The Walking Dead comics and similar in post apocalyptic tone to Stephen King's The Stand.

What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

He has the right gravel in his voice to match the grit of the story. No pun(s) intended.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the Man remembers what happened to his wife...There are plenty of heartbreaking moments though!

Any additional comments?

This is a heavy going listen but it's not without hope as I feared it may be.

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  • Peter C.
  • 02-25-16

A perfect book!

Where does The Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best novels that I have listened to and I have listened to hundreds..<br/>

What other book might you compare The Road to, and why?

I loved Blood Meridian, What a Carve Up, The Wasp Factory, Wolf Hall, the Flashman books, CJ Sansom any book that transfixes you and makes you want to read more. I don't like comparisons-books should be unique. Cormac McCarthy's spartan style and evocations of landscapes is exceptional.

What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

I particularly enjoyed the way he continually conveyed the dread and terror in the boy and the constant and empathetic despair in the man.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I know, obviously, that a film has been made, but imagination is much more potent than celluloid.

Any additional comments?

An author whose intellect and imagination can create a novel like this, should be able to sweep off supermarket shelves ghost written celebrity memoirs, cook books and all that nonsense.

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  • Lee
  • 02-24-16

A great listen!

I had watched the film of this and still found it a great book to listen to. It's the harrowing tale of a father and son trying to survive years after the end of civilisation. There are no zombies, no mutants just people trying to survive in a place were no laws exist and everyone is out for themselves. There's some disturbing moments, and yet at the heart of this is the love of a father and son. It's a really beautiful book and very easy to listen to.