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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road (2006)

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,715109854 (4.09)1 / 1147
  1. 260
    Blindness by José Saramago (browner56, ateolf, lilisin)
    browner56: Two harrowing, well-written looks at what we can expect when society breaks down
  2. 293
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (goodiegoodie)
  3. 254
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (mrstreme)
  4. 140
    The Children of Men by P. D. James (macktan894)
  5. 141
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (PDcastello)
    PDcastello: Same type of small and silent epic
  6. 120
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 112
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JD456)
  8. 102
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (skroz, goodiegoodie)
  9. 70
    Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (owen1218)
  10. 81
    On the Beach by Nevil Shute (Navarone)
  11. 92
    No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (dmitriyk)
    dmitriyk: Written simply, with a very similar style and attitude.
  12. 83
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (psybre)
    psybre: Earth Abides, a classic post-apocalyptic novel published in 1949, is a bit less dark, and as an ecological fable, contains more science than The Road. When pondering to read The Road again, read this book instead.
  13. 40
    The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Kosinski & McCarthy were born 5 weeks apart in 1933 and were ages 6-12 during WWII. Both books are dark violent fables told from a child's view.
  14. 30
    I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman (Tanglewood, tottman)
    tottman: Both are dystopian novels with engaging and driven main characters. They are bleak but extraordinarily moving and compelling.
  15. 40
    Ashes, Ashes by René Barjavel (grimm)
  16. 51
    The Pesthouse by Jim Crace (llishman, MarkYoung)
  17. 41
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (hazzabamboo)
    hazzabamboo: Two post-apocalyptic masterpieces, with much of their power coming from their focus on a couple of characters and the exotic horrors that threaten them.
  18. 30
    Rivers by Michael Farris Smith (GCPLreader)
  19. 20
    Schopenhauer's Telescope by Gerard Donovan (Cecilturtle)
  20. 20
    The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (infiniteletters)

(see all 39 recommendations)


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Showing 1-5 of 1029 (next | show all)

While obviously not a book that everyone will enjoy, it's one that must be read.

The writing is sparse and bleak, perfectly matched to the gray and hopeless remnants of the dystopian world within the novel. It's monotonous in its execution, but rater than bothersome it serves to illustrate the endless monotony of a hopeless exodus.

It's brutal and raw and genius - the perfect recipe for a work of modern literature ( )
  zephyrsky | Sep 30, 2014 |
This book is set in a future in which most people on Earth have apparently died, so it's hard for it not to be a little depressing in that way. However, unlike other books I've read with a similar theme, this one focuses on how a man tries to keep his son alive in very hard circumstances, so it was pretty good. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

It was bleak and sad but I think it captured a frighteningly real scenario if we were faced with some apocalyptic event. It isn’t living anymore, it’s just surviving, but the Man can’t bring himself to end it. I think it’s because of The Boy who is his son. The Boy seems to have been brought up in this dying world and his father keeps moving on, trying to find food and shelter for his son.

They head for the coast because they can’t survive another winter in the north. It’s harsh, it’s depressing and yet I couldn’t stop reading it. If you have ever seen the movie starring Viggo Mortensen it’s an excellent portrayal of the book.

What sort of meal would one be inspired to make from this book – that is a true toughie. For The Man, he has memories of what life was like before, when trees were green, when you could shop at a market and breathe fresh air. The Boy grew up never knowing this world. Always on the run, gray skies and little food was what he was used to.

I think I would miss a very basic meal, such as wings and vegetables. Something so simple yet it would be a feast for The Man and The Boy.

(Photo at www.novelmeals.wordpress.com )

Sad book yet it kept my attention to the end. Well done Cormac McCarthey. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Sep 26, 2014 |
The Road was an amazing book. At first, I was caught up in the lack of punctuation and the strangeness of how bleak the opening was. The description within the book was such that you felt like you were there. When the bleakness was described, you not only read it.. You felt it. I felt like this was a journal or diary of a man going through a hardship losing not only his personal world, as he knew it but the world and society at large. The man, no name and the boy, no name journey away from a desolate world to the unknown in hopes of better and yet there is very little hope. The road carries them and directs them through many hardships and some moments of joy too. Half way through this book, I remembered seeing this movie and it all started to make sense.
This is not a book that would appeal to everyone. If you are a stickler for punctuation, proper grammar and correct English, then choose a different book. This book and its absence of all that is proper is a symbol of the world and society that is no more. The very way in which it is written allows the reader to actually feel what it was like if the rules just didn’t exist anymore ( )
  denisa.howe | Sep 19, 2014 |
I loved The Road for its strong theme, which I will try not to spell out fully, because part of the enjoyment of reading such a novel is to discover the theme, and then see how many situations in our world today it can be applied to.

A catastrophe—nuclear Armageddon, a meteor strike, we don’t know—scorches the earth and wipes out most of mankind. A man travels across the desolate landscape alone with his son— they have no names apart from man (Papa), and boy—born after the disaster, to his wife that could take no more of this ravaged earth and took her own life. There are few people alive, but they travel in fear of meeting anyone, the father with a pistol in his waistband. If they are about to be captured he has planned to kill his son, like his wife killed herself, and he doesn’t know if he can do it. They drag all their possessions in a shopping trolley, and search every property they come across for food. They stay away from the other few remaining humans who scavenge for anything and anyone to eat and survive. Always, the fear is that when the man leaves the boy to go in search of food, he will return to find that the boy has been taken by others, also in search of ‘food’. The father’s greatest fear is dying and leaving his son alone, but his fear of trusting anyone makes this a distinct possibility, and leads to his own descent into inhumanity. But if they are to survive, they will have to take a leap of faith and learn to trust someone... ( )
  George_Hamilton | Sep 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1029 (next | show all)
But McCarthy’s latest effort, The Road, is a missed opportunity.
Like Steinbeck, McCarthy shepherds his protagonists from an apocalypse of man's making into a hell where man himself is the scourge. Like Steinbeck, McCarthy never holds more than a fistful of scavenged victuals between his heroes and death. And like Steinbeck, McCarthy conjures from this pitiless flight the miracle of unswerving humanity. Astonishingly, this is a book about grace.
added by eereed | editThe Telegraph, Chris Cleave (Nov 12, 2006)
With only the corpse of a natural world to grapple with, McCarthy's father and son exist in a realm rarely seen in the ur-masculine literary tradition: the domestic. And from this unlikely vantage McCarthy makes a big, shockingly successful grab at the universal.
added by eereed | editSlate, Jennifer Egan (Oct 10, 2006)
“The Road” is a dynamic tale, offered in the often exalted prose that is McCarthy’s signature, but this time in restrained doses — short, vivid sentences, episodes only a few paragraphs or a few lines long, which is yet another departure for him.
Post-apocalyptic fiction isn't automatically better when written by Cormac McCarthy, but he does have a way of investing genre clichés with fine gray tones and morose poetry.
added by eereed | editA.V. Club, Noel Murray (Oct 5, 2006)

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stechschulte, TomReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to John Francis McCarthy
First words
When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.
He'd not have thought the value of the smallest thing predicated on a world to come. It surprised him. That the space which these things occupied was itself an expectation (149).
From daydreams on the road there was no waking. He plodded on. He could remember everything of her save her scent. Seated in a theatre with her beside him leaning forward listening to the music. Gold scrollwork and sconces and the tall columnar folds of the drapes at either side of the stage. She held his hand in her lap and he could feel the tops of her stockings through the thin stuff of her summer dress. Freeze this frame. Now call down your dark and your cold and be damned.
He pulled the boy closer. Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.

You forget some things, don't you?

Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.
It took two days to cross that ashen scabland. The road beyond fell away on every side. It's snowing, the boy said. He looked at the sky. A single gray flake sifting down. He caught it in his hand and watched it expire there like the last host of christendom.
He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory.
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This "work" contains copies without enough information. The title might refer to the book by for instance Cormac McCarthy or its movie adaptation, so this "work" should not be combined with any of them. If you are an owner of one of these copies, please add information such as author name or ISBN that can help identify its rightful home. After editing your copy, it might still need further separation and recombination work. Feel free to ask in the Combiners! group if you have questions or need help. Thanks.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Road follows a man and a boy, father and son, journeying together for many months across a desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape, some years – the period of time almost the same as the age of the boy – after a great, unexplained cataclysm.
Haiku summary
His world burned away,
A man walks seaward;
Tries to save the son.

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In a novel set in an indefinite, futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, a father and his young son make their way through the ruins of a devastated American landscape, struggling to survive and preserve the last remnants of their own humanity.

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