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The Road (2006)

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
29,649132070 (4.07)1 / 1460
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 the 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 that is utterly devastated.… (more)
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    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (goodiegoodie)
  3. 251
    Blindness by José Saramago (browner56, ateolf, lilisin)
    browner56: Two harrowing, well-written looks at what we can expect when society breaks down
  4. 181
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (PDcastello)
    PDcastello: Same type of small and silent epic
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    The Children of Men by P. D. James (macktan894)
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    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JD456)
  8. 121
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  9. 122
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (skroz, goodiegoodie)
  10. 123
    No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (dmitriyk)
    dmitriyk: Written simply, with a very similar style and attitude.
  11. 169
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (2810michael)
  12. 70
    Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (owen1218)
  13. 103
    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. 51
    The Pesthouse by Jim Crace (llishman, MarkYoung)
  15. 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.
  16. 73
    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.
  17. 41
    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.
  18. 30
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  19. 42
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (Boohradley)
    Boohradley: There are a lot of similarities between the plot of this book and The Road. In Parable of the Sower an adolescent girl, who suffers from hyper-empathy, makes a long journey in hope of survival in a hostile, post-apocalyptic world.
  20. 20
    The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel by Alden Bell (infiniteletters)

(see all 43 recommendations)


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» See also 1460 mentions

English (1,244)  French (20)  Spanish (13)  Dutch (8)  Italian (6)  Swedish (5)  German (5)  Danish (4)  Catalan (3)  Norwegian (2)  Finnish (2)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (1,317)
Showing 1-5 of 1244 (next | show all)
If you liked the brutal Texas shootouts of No Country For Old Men and the relentless Wild West slaughter of Blood Meridian, this lighthearted tale of a father protecting his son from the ravaged remnants of society in a brutal post-apocalyptic American wasteland will be right up your alley! All the hallmarks of McCarthy are present: gorgeous prose of near-Biblical cadence, constant violence, dialogue without quotation marks, fantastic and surreal landscapes, characters without names... they're here and they're great. There are a lot of subtle touches that make the simple survive-and-protect plot especially effective, like the fact in all their lonely and wanderings across the ruins of the country you never find out where they are, which makes the story take on a much more universal and haunting pallor than it might have otherwise. This is an extremely affecting book that sticks with you for a long time. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
A fun and quick read. This is a bit too pretentious for my taste but once you get past the Woe-is-the-Human-Race navel gazing McCarthy puts on a good show. He has a nice eye for occupationally specific nomenclatures and the lack of chapter headings push you on to read one more page past where you had planned to call it a night. This post apocalypse futuristic novel of Americans returning to Thomas Hobbes' dreaded state of nature was an Oprah Book Club selection although I can't imagine Oprah reading it and enjoying it other than her watching white Americans having turned cannibal on other whites.
The author's moralizing was quaint, and I love quaint. McCarthy's omniscient narrator revels in the slow disappearance of all vestiges of any religious framework leaving human consciousness as they struggle to live in a world where God doesn't exist and can't exist. McCarthy leaves the reader with a sense of hope that a new pantheism or at least an animism (Native American spirituality perhaps) will take hold in a more practical usefulness than prior organized religions had. As The Man and Boy pass each day with fewer and fewer words to communicate with, God has no way to be addressed except through rituals improvised on the spot without reference to how symbols work. Symbols are community based and transmitted actions which carry meaning beyond words over human generations. The world described in The Road is hopeless but the ending intends to frustrate that suffocating circumstance with a forming of a new community of youth and caring by a single family adding new members. McCarty's No Country For Old Men film adaptation was violent but well done. I have not yet read No Country for Old Men but I hope to now. The Road, as a novel, is also well done although it carries, not violence, but menace and release from societal morality to make its points of argument. The Man shields the boy and the reader from all that he experiences and suffers and in doing so The Man shields us as well. The readers form a close bond with The Man and Boy but the world they flee as fugitives we readers are already well acquainted with. Plato's Thrasymachus and Machiavelli's Cesar Borgia are always interesting characters defending the claims of the strong or mob leaders. It's an interesting thing to see a man and boy do what they can to avoid perishing from the natural elements as well as eluding humans who have given themselves over to satiating their basest needs. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Apr 28, 2021 |
The movie was hard, but the book was harder. Being inside the head of The Boy and feeling his abiding fear was more than I could stand. If THe Man had been alone, I could have finished. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Wow!!! ( )
  Stamat | Apr 20, 2021 |
I read this book a few months ago, but it has not yet got out of my mind. It is an unsettling book to say the least. Like all great literature, it is not an easy book to read, not because the writing is difficult (the writing is brilliant!) but because it plays all our emotional buttons. An environmental catastrophe on Earth and its aftermath becomes the foreground were a father's attempt to retain his own and his son's humanity weighs against the pure instinct of survival. This is not a book for the light of heart. But a book to ponder on what makes us all human, and what are the long-term consequences of our environmental choices today. Great, great book! ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 1244 (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 (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chabon, MichaelAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirsch, FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Preis, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stechschulte, TomReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, MartinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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rororo (24600)
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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)

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 the 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 that is utterly devastated.

No library descriptions found.

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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