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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Cormac McCarthy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,588124368 (4.07)1 / 1373
Title:The Road
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Vintage Books (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

  1. 250
    Blindness by José Saramago (browner56, ateolf, lilisin)
    browner56: Two harrowing, well-written looks at what we can expect when society breaks down
  2. 294
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (goodiegoodie)
  3. 285
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (mrstreme)
  4. 171
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (PDcastello)
    PDcastello: Same type of small and silent epic
  5. 150
    The Children of Men by P. D. James (macktan894)
  6. 130
    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 132
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JD456)
  8. 111
    On the Beach by Nevil Shute (Navarone)
  9. 112
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (skroz, goodiegoodie)
  10. 169
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (2810michael)
  11. 103
    No country for old men by Cormac McCarthy (dmitriyk)
    dmitriyk: Written simply, with a very similar style and attitude.
  12. 70
    Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (owen1218)
  13. 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.
  14. 72
    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.
  15. 51
    The Pesthouse by Jim Crace (llishman, MarkYoung)
  16. 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.
  17. 30
    Ashes, Ashes by René Barjavel (grimm)
  18. 30
    Close Range by Annie Proulx (chrisharpe)
  19. 20
    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.
  20. 30
    Rivers by Michael Farris Smith (GCPLreader)

(see all 41 recommendations)


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English (1,170)  French (19)  Spanish (15)  Dutch (8)  Italian (6)  German (5)  Danish (4)  Swedish (4)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (2)  Finnish (2)  Czech (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (1,242)
Showing 1-5 of 1170 (next | show all)
After 3 false starts with this book, I finally managed to finish it. It took me a while to get over McCarthy's writing style, and I'm still not a fan of it. I generally like dystopian fiction, and this was okay as far as that goes, but it certainly isn't the best dystopian novel ever written. At times, I found myself counting backwards from the last page to see how many pages I had left to read, but in the end, the book turned out to be just interesting enough to finish. The ending, however, was slightly weak, in my opinion. I hesitated to give it 3 stars, but I went ahead and did it since I did enjoy the book at times. ( )
  Borrows-N-Wants | Sep 23, 2018 |
I waffled between 2* and 4* so that my 3* rating may be misleading. McCarthy did a marvelous job creating a dystopian world (worthy of 4*) despite the fact that I didn't care for the way the book was written (2*). ( )
  leslie.98 | Sep 8, 2018 |
I wanted to like this book, but left feeling disappointed.

The post-apocalyptic landscape is never explained. The reader spends the entire book trying to put together a puzzle with half the pieces missing and many more pieces simply blacked out.

The story-telling is detail-heavy to the point of being onerous. You know more about what the snow feels like and how the water in a lake smells than you do about why everyone is dead and how things have shaken out. To me, the single most fascinating part of the post-apocalyptic genre is the question of how mankind will reform an reinvent itself. How the lack of established law and order brings about a new system and who ends up running that system. How quickly we adopt the tribal policies and practices of a bygone era. This book addresses none of those questions.

The omission of so many critical details to help you understand what the characters are feeling and thinking, combined with the excess of sensory descriptions, made this an unsatisfying read that left me feeling empty and frustrated at all parts.

The one redeeming aspect of the book is the manner in which it addressed the humanity of the characters. The instincts to fight or run, the will to live or the lack thereof. The sting of loss and the challenge of holding on to hope. Those things are explored in a manner which wants to make you think, but the lack of broader context makes it a missed opportunity overall. ( )
  McCarthys | Aug 22, 2018 |
**Read blurb for plot** "The Road" is a very good book that maybe went forty pages too long. I would put it in the acquired taste department. If you're a lover of the art of writing or story telling, as I am, you will find this book to be very good (my opinion: 3.8 rating). If you're not, you may find it dull, pointless, and or even boring. It took me about fifteen pages or so to get over the odd non-punctuation of the book. After that, the talent of McCarthy was revealed. His talent for driving a story along through repetitive scenery is unique. You don't really notice he's writing about the same thing over and over till you really examine it, but nonetheless he does a fantastic job in keeping you entertained while doing it, which I believe is every writer's end goal. If you're into point blank writing, this is not your kind of book. But if you like a good dash of poetics in your reads, you should enjoy the way the bleak landscape and plot of this novel is brought to you. However, if you ask me, I will say read ten pages. If the book grabs you, read it! That's my philosophy anyway. For the book-snobs, if you're a follower you will probably look past the punctuation issues. If you just like entertainment, as I do, you should have no problem reading it. Though you may have to read a few lines a couple of times over to understand writer's cadences. Hope you enjoyed my review. Good reading, everyone! ( )
  anthonypuyo | Aug 12, 2018 |
This story remains seared in my mind. It was so disturbing, and yet so thought-provoking. I love all his work, but this one stands alone. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 1170 (next | show all)
But McCarthy’s latest effort, The Road, is a missed opportunity.
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)
But even with its flaws, there's just no getting around it: The Road is a frightening, profound tale that drags us into places we don't want to go, forces us to think about questions we don't want to ask. Readers who sneer at McCarthy's mythic and biblical grandiosity will cringe at the ambition of The Road . At first I kept trying to scoff at it, too, but I was just whistling past the graveyard. Ultimately, my cynicism was overwhelmed by the visceral power of McCarthy's prose and the simple beauty of this hero's love for his son.
added by eereed | editWashington Post, Ron Charles (Oct 1, 2006)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Preis, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stechschulte, TomReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, MartinaTranslatorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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