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The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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The Road (2006)

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,491109556 (4.09)1 / 1133
Recently added byrosecothren, private library, morville, HeilunG
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    Blindness by José Saramago (browner56, ateolf, lilisin)
    browner56: Two harrowing, well-written looks at what we can expect when society breaks down
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    The Children of Men by P. D. James (macktan894)
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    PDcastello: Same type of small and silent epic
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  9. 92
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    dmitriyk: Written simply, with a very similar style and attitude.
  10. 81
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  11. 70
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  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
    Ashes, Ashes by René Barjavel (grimm)
  14. 40
    The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski (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.
  15. 51
    The Pesthouse by Jim Crace (llishman, MarkYoung)
  16. 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.
  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
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  19. 1210
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (2810michael)
  20. 20
    The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (infiniteletters)

(see all 38 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1026 (next | show all)
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 |
O carte tipic americana. Parca am vazut un film nu am citit o carte :) Acum urmeaza sa vad si filmul cu Viggo Mortensen in rolul principal. ( )
  mariusgm | Sep 12, 2014 |
McCarthy writes a post apocalyptic tale by reaching into the bowels of depressive despair and wondering if humanity can take this feeling of loneliness and desolation then plummet it further down. The answer is yes. We can.
So if you're looking for a summer book to spiral your emotions into the bleak midwinter then look no further.
To make it worse, I listened to it on audiobook so eventually I started looking for the thunderdome. Unfortunately, Tina Turner nor a thunderdome are located in the book, which would have been an awesome ending. ( )
  revslick | Sep 7, 2014 |
My response to this book varied as I read. At first I was dislocated (purposely?) by the fragmented phrasing, lack of dialogue indicators and selective use of apostrophes. I hoped that this stridently non-traditional writing technique would start to wash over me, to make sense, and it did, by and large, not far in.

The body of the narrative, the slice of time, slightly episodic but with an overall flat, linear structure (road-like, as others have pointed out), I found compelling. Had I had the opportunity, I would have read it in one sitting. The meditative quality, the tender and gentle while also gritty and grim exploration of the father/child relationship in the face of ultimate disaster, the beautiful language... it all simply carried me away.

However.

There was one big sticking point for me, and in the end it has knocked half a star off my rating and put this on my "to be rehomed" list, as I will not want to reread it. That sticking point: it's not something friends who have read this noticed so perhaps it's just me being overly touchy, I don't know. In short, it's the implication which I read into a number of statements/reflections throughout the narrative that human beings are most likely only kind and moral if they believe in God. As a highly moral and compassionate atheist who knows (and knows of) many believers whose moral compasses are highly questionable and many atheists who are kind and caring without needing a belief in God to make them so, that is a message I find insulting, narrow-minded and sad.

It's a pity, and probably more of a reflection on me than anything else, that that aspect has tainted my appreciation of what I would otherwise have classified as an extremely fine and moving novel. So it goes, however. ( )
  Vivl | Sep 2, 2014 |
Amazing. It left me depressed but that's not a bad thing. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 1026 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
(miken32)

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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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