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The Road

Written by: Cormac McCarthy
Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2007

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 this 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 of utter devastation.

Bleak but brilliant, with glimmers of hope and humor, The Road is a stunning allegory and perhaps Cormac McCarthy's finest novel to date. This remarkable departure from his previous works has been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a "novel of horrific beauty, where death is the only truth".

McCarthy, a New York Times best-selling author, is a past recipient of the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He is widely considered one of America's greatest writers.

©2006 M-71, Ltd. (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the critics say

"McCarthy's prose retains its ability to seduce...and there are nods to the gentler aspects of the human spirit." (The New Yorker)
"One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal...Every moment of The Road is rich with dilemmas that are as shattering as they are unspoken...McCarthy is so accomplished that the reader senses the mysterious and intuitive changes between father and son that can't be articulated, let alone dramatized...Both lyric and savage, both desperate and transcendent, although transcendence is singed around the edges...Tag McCarthy one of the four or five great American novelists of his generation." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A modern classic.

Tough at times but stay with it. Touching and real. McCarthy is the master of prose.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • OL
  • 2019-04-03

My first, only, audible review.

I’m newish to audible. Only listened to about 15 books so far.
This is by far the best audio book I’ve listened to, the narrator delivers it perfectly- true to the spirit of the book.
The book itself is harsh, difficult, important.
Thank you audible. This was truly a moving experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely breathtaking!!!

Absolutely breathtaking book. A masterpiece from an most amazing storyteller. A must read/listen for everyone who loves stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

oh ma heart

beautifully written, beautifully read. elegance in the pain. captures something that cannot be described with normal words. An ending that rivals all great endings and to me came out on top.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very much depends what you are after

A beautiful book. Plausible and bleak.
So if you want a creative and moving look at enduring human spirit in the face of near hopelessness, this is for you.

If you want to feel uplifted, try something else.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Emotional! D:

Having two little ones myself, it's hard to imagine living in a world like the one painted in this book. We never once learn the names of the characters but the names aren't important. The relationship between father and son is tested in the harsh new reality but these two stick it out thick or thin. I was moved to tears in the end. The audio performance is wonderful and I could hear the clear differences between the father and son.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

lovely read

narrator was great, excellent prose, could use a it more story, build more emotion for reader in my opinion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Exceptional story

Beautiful story. Narrator was not bad, but I wish he didn't speak through clenched teeth when the father is angry and speaking to the boy. The anger seemed far too aggressive for the storyline.

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Love this

This book is dark, with funny moments and gets you really invested into the character. The narration was amazing and the voice was perfect for the tone of the novel. I definitely recommend this book.

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Great Listen & Great Story

I'm glad I got this book, normally I avoid shorter books but I've heard nothing but good about this one and the movie was very good as well. Highly recommend this to anyone.

#Audible1

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • PJC
  • 2016-06-09

I just wasn't a fan of this one.

I was really excited to listen to this book but I was very much disappointed. The story itself just seem to meander and go nowhere. I did not find the two main characters to be very likeable, although I did have some compassion for their predicament. Without giving away any spoilers, I will just say that this story simply went from one thing to the next disconnected and unrelated scene after another. They're called. They're hungry. They need food. They find food. Yawn. to make matters worse comma the narrator was not the greatest. to further my disdain , the boy was excessively whiny , and it wore on my nerves fairly quickly. I'm not familiar with this author and this was the first book by him that I've listened to. This is any indication to his other works, count me out

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 2017-03-03

Predictable. Slow.

I had to read this book for a book club. I try to only contribute positive things to the group, so I think I'll remain pretty quiet on this one.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T F
  • 2017-01-16

miserable, depressing story,

depressing, didn't finish, didn't want to hear any more, so sad, awful, terrible, gross, foul

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lee R
  • 2016-11-23

Just No

There was so much potential for an interesting story in here and it just never happened. What happened to get the world to the point the story takes up at is only described in the most vague words. The opportunity for development of the 2 main characters was there and not taken advantage of. Same with the opportunity for more than vague references to 'others'. Overall I found the story quite dull, the main characters annoying at best and the narration lent nothing to making it seem more interesting. Just nothing at all to make me want to recommend this or read it again.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 2016-05-24

The Road to Whatever

Any additional comments?

I kept waiting for answers that never came. What happened to everyone in the first place? Never knew the man's or boy's name. The boy was continually whining. I would've hoped he would develop to be more like "Carl" on The Walking Dead. I didn't like any of the characters. The end just kinda happened and was tied up with a little optimistic bow.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 2013-01-07

This won the Pulitzer? You're kidding.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was so-so. The story is silly. It's so over-the-top dark that it's ridiculous at times. Yes, people can be horrible, but the level of horrible in this book is totally overdone. It was not believable, at least to me. And the story becomes highly predictable. The prose is also over the top. It's adjective soup. I'm stunned that this overwrought piece won the Pulitzer. I must be missing something here.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Least interesting was its predictability. I'm trying to think of what I thought was most interesting, but can't.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending, albeit predictable. Can't tell whether I liked it because I was glad the story finally came to an end and I could buy a different book, or because I enjoyed the exchange between the good guy stranger and the boy. Probably a bit of both.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for a good Pulitzer winner, I'd suggest The True Story of Ned Kelly or Olive Kitteridge, but not this. Either I'm off my nut (entirely possible) or the Pulitzer committee was off its.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jean-Marie
  • San Jose, CA, USA
  • 2009-03-21

Could not finish the book

I really wanted to get into this book, but just couldn't. The rhythm was just off for me. I just could not develop any interest or empathy for the protagonists. I ended up giving up 1/3 the way. Maybe it was about to get better? I just couldn't stand it anymore.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • sgtbuk1
  • Knoxville, TN United States
  • 2007-07-08

Depressing

I really don't get all the hooplah. Stock up on the Prozac if you want to listen to this miserable thing.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Danette Stankovich
  • Monessen, PA United States
  • 2013-11-05

"The Road" leads nowhere!

I just did not like this book. "The Man", who has no name, tries to protect, "The Boy", who has no name, along "The Road". Although, I don't know who or what he is trying to protect him from. This continues on throughout the whole book. The Road is somewhere in the future after everything has been burned in Armageddon. Everything is covered in ash and they need to find water and food to live. There are really only a few circumstances that another character is even brought into the book. So I don't understand who they are trying to escape from on The Road. This book is just dry and monotonous.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Spencer Stanley
  • 2018-10-29

Underwhelming

This is an instance where I actually liked the movie over the book. I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters. It didn’t really “drag on” but it was just plain boring. The movie is far superior in this case.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-02

le meilleur livre que j'ai déjà écouté.

L'histoire est incroyable intéressante et la narration en anglais met l'accent dramatique nécessaire. Sans pointer le doigt sur les causes de la destruction du monde, ce livre nous fait réfléchir sur notre mode de vie actuelle.