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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Cormac McCarthy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,151126468 (4.07)1 / 1392
Title:The Road
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Picador (2007), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, scifi, apocalypse

Work details

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

Recently added byJandrew74, rena75, purenobody, mbo.sully, private library, BookHavenAZ, BrettF
  1. 295
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  10. 61
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  11. 94
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    dmitriyk: Written simply, with a very similar style and attitude.
  12. 1510
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  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. 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.
  15. 51
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  18. 30
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  19. 31
    The Diezmo: A Novel by Rick Bass (EnriqueFreeque)
    EnriqueFreeque: Another fantastic border blood bath (action taking place in the Alamo's aftermath) by a lesser known writer who, like McCarthy, extensively researched his topic & spent lots of time in the land he writes of.
  20. 21
    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.

(see all 42 recommendations)


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English (1,191)  French (20)  Spanish (15)  Dutch (8)  Italian (6)  German (5)  Danish (4)  Swedish (4)  Catalan (3)  Norwegian (2)  Finnish (2)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (1,265)
Showing 1-5 of 1191 (next | show all)
A father and son walking through the remains of America, after what seems like a nuclear war or some other disaster. It is never mentioned in the book, although there are little look back through the story. ( )
  foof2you | May 20, 2019 |
The Last Of Us: The Novel ( )
  NormalMostly | May 20, 2019 |
Tana DaSilva gave me this book and said I HAD to read it. She was right; it is a compelling story. It is also a quick read; like Tana, I stayed up long past my bedtime to finish it.

My favorite lines: "Look around you, he said. There's no prophet in the earth's long chronicle who's not honored here today," (p.277) AND ...that the boy, walking [b:on the road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21E8H3D1JSL._SL75_.jpg|3355573] ahead, was "like a tabernacle" (pg.273 in the paperback edition.)

And, yes, it ends with some sense of hope, the faintest sliver of it, like a tabernacle. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
This is one of my top 5 books. It's a stark and uncompromising work and reflects Cormac McCarthy gift for direct narrative. Readers of McCarthy's other masterwork Blood Meridian will recall the cadence and sentence construction that is really evident in this book. As pointed out by Harold Bloom, McCarthy's prose is redolent of that in the King James Bible and in his hands this adds to the overall impression of threat and doom, ultimately reversed by the ending where the man dies, but the boy survives with hopeful prospects of some sort of renewal. I can understand that some readers may be disturbed by this book but even so they should recognise the high quality of the writing. ( )
  Howzat202 | Apr 25, 2019 |
A post-apocalyptic story about only 2 main characters: "The Man" and "The Boy" . The entire story they are on a journey , "south". Most of the time, they don't know where they are , only that that they are on the road, and must not stay in one place very long. The world they are surviving is cold with only devastated landscape and powder ash everywhere. Trees and pants are all dead and there are no birds or animals. The sun is shrouded so life doesn't have a chance to renew. The man and boy live in constant vigilance of the "bad guys", and call themselves "good guys". It is not explained as to how the world came to be destroyed, but they believed that somewhere, there must be people who are "good guys" like themselves. It is not even clear as to how much of the world is destroyed but without communication or transportation, your world becomes only as big as your two feet can carry you. .......It began so miserably and was so depressing I almost just returned it to the library. The first 3 disks carried on with droning and hopelessness. By the end of the third disk, some hope came into their lives and I finished the book. .........I wondered throughout the book if this is going to be a political commentary on nuclear build up, global warming, or what. All the reader knows is that the destruction came suddenly; people melted in their cars, landscape devastated, corpses rotted or already back to dust...but the Man remembered what it was like before the event, but the reader is not told. It could have even been from a meteor shower. There are no clues given in the dialogue as to whether it was natural or man caused so that is not the point of the story. You decide what the point is to you. The narration was wonderful, but not a story I would ever want to listen to again. However, it does make you think how you would react/respond in the same situation. The story causes you to examine your values in life. ( )
  gaillamontagne | Apr 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 1191 (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 (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirsch, FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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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