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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

4.1 (10703 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Katie Oatley, NSW, Australia 06-17-10
    Katie Oatley, NSW, Australia 06-17-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Excellent Narration"

    This story and the wonderful language captures you within minutes.
    The narration is excellent and brings the story to life - A wonderful literary experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan zakivics BOULDER, COLORADO, US 06-12-10
    Ryan zakivics BOULDER, COLORADO, US 06-12-10 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Novel, "Okay" Narrator"

    This book is one of my all-time favorites. I purchased the paperback a while back and then more recently purchased this audio version. When I started listening, I found it hard to get into the story because the narrator didn't fit the image I created for the characters. I gave up on the audio version and became engrossed in the novel. I then saw the movie, which brought the stunning, heart-breaking and tragic story to life with incredible delicacy. If they had Viggo reading this, I'd have no issue. Tom's voice was too gruff for me, I guess. It's just a personal preference, so I'm not docking any stars.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Linz, Austria 06-08-10
    Andrea Linz, Austria 06-08-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
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    "no easy listening ..."

    ... but worth every minute. It is frightening, dark and hopeless. Still, McCarthy's prose is outstanding. The book's praise is more than justified, certainly a work to be remembered.
    The narration is excellent. - Highly recommendable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremiah S. Sandy, UT, USA 06-01-10
    Jeremiah S. Sandy, UT, USA 06-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Well Worth Listening To"

    Despite the gloomy and harsh world that McCarthy paints, his writing pulls you in and leaves you on the edge of your seat. The final message of the book is powerful and deeply moving.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Borwein 02-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great road book"

    This a spectacular book, read so well that I am not sure I wish to the movie.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie T Cotati, CA United States 01-30-10
    Debbie T Cotati, CA United States 01-30-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    126
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    "Difficult"

    This was a difficult book to listen to. It was just so bleak, which of course was the point. I find the images in this book haunting me even now, a year after listening to it. When I think back, it was an amazing book to have affected me so profoundly without even having realized it at the time.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 12-23-09
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 12-23-09 Member Since 2005

    Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bleak and unalloyed desperation"

    The Man's plight tears at you heart with relentless and pitiless ferocity. You are given nothing on which to base any hope of normal, human contact. The social contract is in tatters and has blown away on the ash laden winds that howl over a barren and blasted Earth. Read this and pray to any and all gods that you die before you have to endure what the Man endures for the Boy.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Santee, CA, United States 10-30-09
    Mark Santee, CA, United States 10-30-09 Member Since 2016
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    "Whelp...."

    This was a very well written book. That's why I gave it a high score. The story doesn't really go anywhere and the few moments of excitement are few and far between. It's shortish length turns out to be a blessing as I don't think there would be much more tale to tell beyond what is already here.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Downey, CA, USA 04-26-09
    Robert Downey, CA, USA 04-26-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Horrific and captivating"

    A father struggles to keep his son from falling prey to the cannibalistic horrors of a post-apocalyptic world while trying to teach compassion and humanity to one-another. Sad, Gruesome, with a sprinkle of hope.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dakota Asheeville , NC, USA 04-11-09
    Dakota Asheeville , NC, USA 04-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intersting Concept"

    This book has an interesting premise but is somewhat morose. The book is a liitle slow in places. I listened until the end because I was waiting for some type of redemption. The charactor development was intriging but missed something. Enjoyable but far from a must listen.

    2 of 4 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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