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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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  •  
    Laura Gatesville, TX United States 02-28-12
    Laura Gatesville, TX United States 02-28-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but extremely depressing"

    The story is good and the characters are lovable but my goodness this book was depressing as heck. I liked the ending even though it was sad, and the reader was ok. It was made into a movie but I don't think I want to see it. Just too darn depressing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Dennison, MN, United States 02-15-12
    Donald Dennison, MN, United States 02-15-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Tough story, but good!"

    This is a tough book to get through, only because of the subject. Everything feels so bleak and seems hopeless. But, in thinking about it, I imagine that life after a nuclear war would seem that way. Then, if you look at the main characters in the story, it is not bleak and hopeless at all. Their is love and devotion, in fact, it is that very love and devotion that carries them through to the end, which, is in itself, very full of hope. A father and his son... guys, what would you do? Could you handle this? Or would you fall apart? Listen to this book, and walk the road with them, you will be glad you did!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha Truman Cooper United States 01-30-12
    Marsha Truman Cooper United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "How do you carry your fire?"

    It's billed as a survival story, true enough. But again and again during the book, I asked myself to define "survival." McCarthy shows us its cost, its great cost. We contemplate surviving at all cost. And then? Would we still be "carrying the fire?" Tom Stechschulte's voice gives a spare but solid life to the number of times the word "ash" is needed for this tale. I experienced the masterpiece in broad daylight, which I began to cherish anew with every paragraph.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margit D. Morawietz Albuquerque, NM United States 01-16-12
    Margit D. Morawietz Albuquerque, NM United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2017
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    "very sad yet important book"

    For a while I thought that the boy was a made up person in the 'father's' mind. The author takes the well defined theme of a post apocalypse scenario and strips it down to the essentials of a road story of survival. Very well read and it is a beautifully written story. Similar to 'The Passage' in parts, or 'Dies the Fire', and other sci fi novels of the dystopia kind, it focuses on the relationship between father and son.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly Brush Prairie, WA, United States 01-03-12
    Shelly Brush Prairie, WA, United States 01-03-12
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    "Dark"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    maybe


    Would you be willing to try another book from Cormac McCarthy? Why or why not?

    Yes, I like his writing.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Road and why?

    The Boy


    Any additional comments?

    I am still thinking about this one. so many unanswered questions, but then again maybe no further explanation is needed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Princess Canada 12-15-11
    Princess Canada 12-15-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Heart-wrenchingly beautiful"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Road to be better than the print version?

    It's not often that I find audiobooks to be better than their print versions... however, The Road is a rare exception. Tom Stechschulte's raspy voice is absolutely perfect for this novel, and he does an exceptional job of bringing McCarthy's chilling yet lyrical prose to life. <br/><br/>The Road-while heartbreaking-is truly a pleasure to listen to.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Man. Tom does an excellent job conveying his love and devotion to the Boy.


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

    I haven't...but now I want to download everything he's ever done.


    If you could rename The Road, what would you call it?

    The Road is a perfect name.


    Any additional comments?

    Exceptionally well done.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Little SAlem, OR, United States 12-05-11
    Little SAlem, OR, United States 12-05-11

    I Love reading books, My Job makes that difficult, so Audio Books have re-opened the Universe to my Soaring Imagination!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "HeartWrenching story of family Love"

    WOW. The movie does an ok job, but does not fully grip the emotional feelings when you listen to the story. McCarthy really captured the love between a Father and Son in this story. He did a great job of focusing on the bond, the connection and driving force between the two.

    Tom did an Awesome job of capturing the characters in this reading. I would LOVE to read a sequal, and find out what becomes of the Boy who carries the fire!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Ann Turner 12-03-11 Member Since 2002
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    "Really Good"
    What did you love best about The Road?

    It was so different. The man or the boy didn't have names but they didn't need names.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What was happening at that time was so important . You kept hoping things would change for both of them.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I always get so much more having the book read to me.


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

    When the cart was stolen from them . The conflict between the father & son was really raw feelings.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a great story. So glad I picked it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Splash Roy, Utah, United States 11-30-11
    Splash Roy, Utah, United States 11-30-11
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    "Poetry in Motion!!!"

    This is one of those books that is more a feeling and a flow of the words across the page rather than an overwhelming plot. You won't regret picking this up and having a good afternoon listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bart Pampa, TEXAS, United States 11-28-11
    Bart Pampa, TEXAS, United States 11-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beyond Terryfing and Haunting"

    This seems to be the inspirations for several modern day horror shows, like the Walking Dead, Rage, Skyline, etc... This was haunting people driven to cannibilizim and even worse butchery to survive in a world that was never truly said how it happened, like a classic old horror movie this novel is one of the best I have ever read...being a young author this has trely inspired me to finish my own work and has influenced me as a person, be thankful that we have these privileges while we still can.

    Thank you Cormac Maccarthy.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • GC
    11/1/10
    Overall
    "An Excellent Audiobook"

    Forget the recent film, this is the real deal. A father and his son travel a road leading towards the South - and a respite from the winter cold.
    However, this is a post-apocalyptic world they traverse; the atmosphere full of ash, no plants growing and all animals and most humans dead. Most of the people who remain have turned into savages - a real state of nature where human life is 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.'
    This book makes you ask questions about yourself - could you survive in such an environment? How would you behave towards others?
    McCarthy's spare writing style is well suited to this type of narrative and it is superbly read by Tom Stechschulte.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Mr S E Ingram
    9/20/09
    Overall
    "Perfect for the road - or anywhere else"

    McCarthy's book makes outstanding listening. I was fearful before buying this having read some of his previous books, which are occasionally tough going in their style. But The Road is brilliantly sparse - clipped, original and vivid imagery and a compelling narrative which never explans itself and just keeps you following. McCarthy is a master at avoiding the cliched descriptions of some (many, most) authors and this is the finest example of this, in my humble opinion.
    The narration is even and atmospheric, with a compelling delivery - just like the story itself.
    Superb!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Baladobabe
    Scotland
    7/18/08
    Overall
    "Poetic and thought provoking."

    Having read the 2 previous reviews a number of times I was put off listening to this. At the recommendation of a friend I finally took the plunge - I wish I had done so ages ago.

    The conversational style and poetic nature make it perfect for audible. The narrator sounded just as I imagined the Father would. I listened whenever I could and looked forward to the next instalment. Occasionally my heart rate rose in anticipation of on-coming violence but overall the story is beautiful. It's biblical themes and believable imaginings of post apocalyptic America are thought provoking.

    I rarely listen to anything twice but I will make an exception with this.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • little bobs mum and dad
    8/23/11
    Overall
    "Heartbreaking"

    I was in tears at the end of this book - I felt like I was right there at the end with he Son and Father, and I knew them so well it was like saying goodbye to friends. The story is so incredibly well written, you are immediately drawn in to the story and I can picture the landscape so vividly in my mind that I am not sure if I should watch the film adaptation or not. I could very easily have listened to this book all in one sitting, but I had to sleep sometime!

    Other reviewers have mentioned the lack of chapter breaks, but I think that this is natural to the story - you are seeing through the eyes of the Son or Father, and they are not writing a novel, so they wouldn't break off from their battle for survival to start a new paragraph!

    A special mention must go to the excellent narration, which was perfectly paced and judged throughout.

    I found this book to be a rare example of being worthy of all the praise I have heard heaped upon it.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Joanna Franklin
    8/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartbreaking and amazing"

    Seriously heartbreaking. What a story. Great direction and narration too! The voices were really well done :)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ian Garstang
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So Desolate, So Miserable, But So Good!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Road the most enjoyable?

    The story painted a picture of a future so bleak it defines the apocalypse genre... The reader did a great job defining the characters and emotions.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great story, short running time and engaging characters.


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

    No, but I will be looking at his other books


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

    Pretty much!


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    BathUnited Kingdom
    2/19/10
    Overall
    "Excellent adaptation"

    I felt the narrator's voice took a little getting used to but, once I had, this was an enthralling tale of a great book. the inherent difficulties of conveying the book in voice were extremely well tackled through a measured narration. The different characters were well handled. The denouement was incredibly moving.

    Al in all, a superb adaptation: highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gregory
    Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
    5/23/08
    Overall
    "a chilling vision of the future"

    I suspect that a lot of people coming to The Road have, like myself, been introduced to McCarthy thanks to the recent film adaptation of No Country for Old Men, and so this is probably a good reference point.

    No Country received near universal critical acclaim, but in my experience audience reaction was a little more mixed. Sure, plenty (including myself) agreed with the critics, but many seemed to think the desolate speech, settings, lack of truly cataclysmic events, and the closing dream sequence were entirely off-putting.

    Well, all of the above factors are present in The Road, in a far greater density than in No Country. Our lead character is in a similar mould to Tommy Lee Jones with his slow, considered speech, there is the lack of a traditional climax, and the story starts with a dream sequence to rival that in No Country.

    The story follows ?The Man? and ?The Boy? as they travel a road across the southern United States attempting to get to the coast following an unknown apocalyptic event. Needless to say, our travellers encounter both natural and human challenges in this desolate world and these are the main focus. It is worth noting here that, again like No Country, some of these encounters involve extreme violence and extremely distressing images; those of a nervous disposition should certainly beware.

    From an Audible point of view, the book is of a manageable length and very well narrated. Despite this I do wonder if the inability to dwell on some of McCarthy?s topics means that something lost in the transition from page to wave; perhaps the forced pacing a narrator gives makes up for this, I don?t know. Finally, I always prefer chapters in audiobooks as they allow for a natural breaking point, and these are lacking here.

    Overall, if you enjoyed No Country you will get something worthwhile from this and it is certainly worth your time. The opposite of course also applies, and at least for some, this is worth considering

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    8/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent & BLEAK! Loved it!"
    Would you listen to The Road again? Why?

    No, would like to read it for myself as the narrator's style took a long time to get used to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Road?

    The ending and the way McCarthy delivered dialogue.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

    Not sure, probably not, unless he adapted his style based on the book / director.


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

    Bleak, stark, honest and tantalising!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    leighton buzzard, BDF, United Kingdom
    10/17/07
    Overall
    "why on earth did this win its accolades?"

    I was drawn by its Pulitzer Prize-winning status and anticipated something original and maybe challenging to the reader. I was deeply disappointed. Science Fiction as a genre is full of examples of much more interesting post-apocalyptic tales. McCarthy has much less to offer here - what others have described as 'bleak', I would characterise as 'dull'. Don't get me wrong, it's competently written and the narrator is okay - it's the content that lets it down. So why the prize? Maybe Science Fiction is beneath the dignity of most literary critics, so they have an inadequate frame of reference? Or maybe McCarthy was deemed worthy on the basis of what I believe to be called 'Buggin's round?' Regardless, for a much more intriguing and satisfying post-apocalyptic journey, I reccommend Audible customers to try Margaret Attwood's terrific 'Oryx and Crake'.

    35 of 51 people found this review helpful

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