Your audiobook is waiting…

The Road

Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
4 out of 5 stars (13,814 ratings)

Regular price: $20.99

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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)

Editorial Review

I hadn't cried in years before I heard this book. Cormac McCarthy's vocabulary is truly unparalleled, but you can tell he spends even more time crafting his characters and their stories than he does with words—which is really saying something.Michael D., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,989
  • 4 Stars
    4,020
  • 3 Stars
    1,802
  • 2 Stars
    626
  • 1 Stars
    377

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,186
  • 4 Stars
    2,428
  • 3 Stars
    870
  • 2 Stars
    200
  • 1 Stars
    127

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,310
  • 4 Stars
    2,565
  • 3 Stars
    1,233
  • 2 Stars
    433
  • 1 Stars
    299
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • MARYDEL, DE, United States
  • 07-19-17

Not what I expected

What disappointed you about The Road?

Based on the reviews I read I expected a very passionate story that was gripping and well told. Instead I listened to a monotonous series of conversations between Poppa and the boy. The story started no where and led no where.

Would you ever listen to anything by Cormac McCarthy again?

This is the only book that I have read from this author so I will not judges his other works. I would consider another book by this author but I am in no hurry.

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

John Meagher would have provided must more personality to the limited characters.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Road?

None, the story needed more not less scenes.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

This was one of the most boring books I've listened too. I kept expecting for something to happen but nothing but what was to be expected happened. I didn't think it was that sad either. It was at best a realistic idea of how a post apocalyptic world would be.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I found this one tedious <br /><br /><br />

I felt like they kept telling the same story over and over first Hungry cold and starving then we find food someplace then we eat and we're hungry then we're starving moving on

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

VERY DISAPPOINTED!

What could Cormac McCarthy have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Develop a plot or storyline.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

Yes

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Road?

Most of the book that repeated the same happenings over and over again.

Any additional comments?

This was overall the most boring book I have ever listened to!!!! I kept listening, thinking something would develop or there would be a profound message or something, but it never happened! Yes, there were some basic questions about life and good and evil, but this book could have been summed up in a short story and not drug on and on. The entire book was just the same happenings over and over again. The narrator was good, but his voice sounded like he was an old man, not the father of a small child. The father had to be a young man, but due to the narrator's voice, I had to keep reminding myself, it wasn't his grandfather or an old man. Just strange all the way around.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • TX, United States
  • 03-26-14

Disapointed

What would have made The Road better?

Something happening.

Has The Road turned you off from other books in this genre?

I hope not.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Script

What character would you cut from The Road?

The Crying Child and the Nannar Daddy. Oh wait yeah that's pretty much everyone.

Any additional comments?

Almost afraid to watch the movie again. I do NOT remember it being this bad.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

depressing

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

nothing

Would you ever listen to anything by Cormac McCarthy again?

never

What didn’t you like about Tom Stechschulte’s performance?

so slow

Any additional comments?

this book never explains pass never get better I kept waiting for it to get better but no luck'
its depressing from start to finish

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Pretty predictable and bad.

Any additional comments?

This story really adds nothing to the post apocalyptic genre, it is seemingly ONLY about the relationship between father and son, which isn't even explored that well. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Lacking in heroes in part and in whole.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Poor Dialog, Not Much Plot Development

"The Road" follows the journey of a man and his boy walking through a post-apocalyptic America in constant search of food and shelter. While they do face some interesting ordeals along the way, the only developments happen within these limited episodes and are soon forgotten. The characters never seem to evolve, and always end up in the exact same situation they were in the day before.

Much of the book is dialog between the father and son, and (perhaps because the son is young) is very limited. I can't count the number of times I heard one of these: "okay", "alright", "I'm sorry", "I'm scared". While these can be used smartly to convey deeper meaning, there's a limit to how far that will go.

The narration combines with this repetitive dreary dialog to make a very dull and repetitive listen.

I understand that this book is trying to have a sad tone, and many of the things that bothered me about it might be considered its strengths by people who enjoyed the book. It's possible that I just don't "get" this book. Unless you know that you are a fan of Cormac McCarthy's writing style, I would take this review to be a warning to seriously consider if it's the kind of book you would enjoy before purchasing.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jordan
  • Crompond, NY, USA
  • 06-24-07

Tedium Uninterrupted

To say that a post-apocalyptic world would be difficult and dismal doen't seem very innovative. To take this basic concept and stretch it over the period of severla hoursr is excruciating. Perhaps if there had been some more depth regarding the pre-apocalypse nature of the characters, the events leading up to the event, etc. - it could have been bearable. Whatever you do, don't listen to this when you're in a depressive state. Believe me, it only gets worse and worse.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SKA
  • 09-20-09

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!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne Martin
  • 08-23-11

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.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellepeapatz
  • 07-18-08

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.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GC
  • 11-01-10

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo Franklin
  • 08-09-15

Heartbreaking and amazing

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian Garstang
  • 07-07-14

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gregory
  • 05-23-08

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

23 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kate
  • 02-21-18

I cried....

Enjoyed, but the encounters in the book got a little same same. I cried, so that's always a good indicator of an author who has really pulled me into the book and characters. would recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 02-19-10

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 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 10-17-07

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'.

37 of 54 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shayne Jackson
  • 01-26-18

An amazing read

Brilliant story, brilliantly read. A disturbing, violent picture of a world in chaos, balanced with a story of a father's love for his child. Absolutely beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • emmoff
  • 11-17-16

The high bar of dystopian fiction

The sparse, minimal prose add greatly to the haunting effect of this novel. Loved the narration. Did I mention bleak?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-19

Powerful. Pitiful. Full of hope but also despair.

A dark story of a man's love for his son pitted against the backdrop of Armageddon. Surviving unspeakable encounters with the dead and the living on their journey to nowhere. Good against evil with no winners. Powerfully narrated. Hard to use the word enjoyable for such a tale but enjoy it I did. Not a book for the faint of heart.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 04-07-19

Ouch! My aching feels.

Cormac McCarthy writes with such eloquence. This book moved me. There is a potency here of almost immeasurable beauty. I loved this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-02-19

The Road

Excellent story, loved it! A beautiful tale of love and survival. Want to read more by this author!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-20-19

You won't regret walking down The Road

The Road perfectly captures the strength of the human spirit while silmultaneously showcasing how malicious that spirit can be when pushed to the limit. An absolute must read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis Atkins
  • 01-01-19

A gripping and compelling story. Hard to turn away

This is a stunning narrative by McCarthy. He takes into what’s essentially a two hander - a man and his son. They share their desolate journey through the badlands of a post apocalyptic America with a road that is as unforgiving as it is mysterious. The story line is spell binding and the dialogue is classic McCarthy. It doesn’t get much better than this.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CQ
  • 12-02-18

It was OK

Too much of the story is just about their chronological day to day actions. I’ve read many better books that didn’t win any awards.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jared A. Looman
  • 11-29-18

Phenom

Phenom narrator, even better book. definitely recommend to anyone that's into cryptic post apocalyptic stories.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TIMOTHY
  • 09-27-18

Narrator was perfect for this book

Loved the book and the narrator really added to the telling of the story. Highly recommended!