Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Road To Perdition” as Want to Read:
Road To Perdition
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Road To Perdition (Road to Perdition #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,016 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
Depression-era Chicago: a city riding a tide of liquor and blood, ruled by guns, graft, and gangsters. At the top of the heap is Al Capone... and Capone's most feared hitman is Michael O'Sullivan, known to friends and enemies alike as the "Angel of Death". But when Sullivan's eight-year-old son witnesses a gangland execution, father and son find themselves facing off again ...more
Published June 1st 1998 by Pocket Books (first published 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Road To Perdition, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Just a plain old black and white graphic novel. WHOA! Hold it right there partner! That description does not even come close when we are talking about this book. The story line itself really was amazing enough. Now look in the back of the book at the blurb about the illustrator. It took him a total of four, that is correct, no misprint here, four long years just to do the illustrations for this book. I really love how my mind was able to actually bleed color and breathe emotion into each panel. ...more
Mahabubur Rahman
After seen the movie, "Road to Perdition," I thought to read the book. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the fact that the movie did not deviate from what the author wrote, as so many other movies tend to do.

The 1920's and 1930's were a very different world from what we live in, however this story still has a grain of the truth that lies inside parents ... we don't want our children to fall into some of the traps we found ourselves entwined in.

A well written novel that will keep you turning the
Jesse A
Not an exceptional story but very emotionally striking. Good to read but I probably won't read it again.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, crime
Road to Perdition is the original story off of which the Tom Hanks movie was made. As with most things, the book is far, far superior.

Michael O'Sullivan is a good family man. He served during World War 1 and was a good and decorated soldier. Mike O'Sullivan also happens to be a top level assassin for a mob boss named Looney. O'Sullivan keeps his work and family strictly apart. One day his young son sneaks into the back of a car to see what his father does and witness a mob execution- Mike O'Sul
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable. I read the new "expanded novel." It really doesn't add anything to the movie but good never the less. Collins owes something of the plot to Donald E. Westlake's "The Outfit." A Parker novel written under the Richard Stark pseudonym. Also I am struck by how prolific Collins is. He can crank them out with amazing regularity. Collins also wrote a sequel. "The Road to Purgatory." I think that will be my next book.
I'd like to have seen Bob Hope and Bing Crosby do these Road Mov
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this after I'd seen the movie, I do remember when watching the movie that it reminded of something, but I just couldn't place my finger on it.
It all became clear once I read the Graphic Novel... this is an american interpretation of Kauzo Koike's Lone Wolf & Cub.
And it's a damned good one too!
Although the art did seem to focus more on the characters than the scenery... there are very few longshots, most of the illustrations are close-ups of the characters. I found this unusual, but te
Arun Divakar
Random browsing among a rack of comics brought me to this book. The first thought that popped up in my mind was a long list of names : Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law and Daniel Craig ! And then like an obedient reader, I found myself a chair and sat down to read.

The contents and the story line are not novel. Told from the point of view of a child, the story revolves around his father,a resourceful assassin who faces off against his former mentor in the 1930's America. The art work captures th
Alex Panagiotopoulos
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Πολύ καλό κόμικ. Και ο πρώτος και ο δεύτερος τόμος.

Είναι τέτοια η ροή και το σασπένς του που δεν σε χαλάει το μικρό μέγεθος και το εφημεριδόχαρτο της Vertigo, ίσα ίσα. Δίνει και άλλη αίσθηση στην ανάγνωση. :)

Τώρα για το σχέδιο να με σχωράτε αλλά δεν καταλαβαίνω τον όρο "διαδικαστικό". Παρόλο που δεν θα μου μείνει, το βρήκα αρκετά λεπτομερές και το στιλ του είναι ότι καταλληλότερο για νουαρ δράση. :D

Για όσους έχουν δεύτερες σκέψεις, να το πάρουν αμέσως. Γκανγκστερικό δράμα στην Αμερική του '30
Tobin Elliott
Damn, but this was breathtaking. The story, the art, the attention to

Weaving a fictional story out of facts, this is a strangely heartwarming story of a boy whose father happens to be the Archangel of Death for the Looney mob. There's often an attempt by authors to imbue their hitmen with a sense of honour or a strong morale code. Think The Boondock Saints, for example. But rarely does it get pulled off.

Here, it does. This was 300 glorious pages of action and empathy, of fam
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lives up to the hype.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, crime
This was a quick read and entertaining enough. Ordinarily, I can't stand books/films about the mafia or the Prohibition era in the US but I've read good things about this book and thought I'd give it a go. While this is a story about vengeance for a depraved and unnecessary act of violence, carried out typically with further acts of violence, I can only have sympathy for the kids in it. I can't really sympathise with the protagonist, Michael O'Sullivan, who is, after all, a gun for hire who made ...more
Justin Mitchell
Just read Ghost World, and now followed it up with another graphic novel that got made into a movie. I never saw Road to Perdition when it came out, but finally watched it a couple months ago, and was quite surprised at how much I loved it. This book, the source material for Sam Mendes' film, is considerably different than the film in many respects. As I did with Ghost World, I feel the film's modifications improved the story a great deal. A lot of the character relationships are much more flesh ...more
Danny Shelton
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the course of an evening I read this novel, and it was the first graphic novel I had actually read. I feel like this story is heavily influenced by Japanese Samurai culture. O'Sullivan, the main character alongside his son, was previously a soldier learned in the art of war, and coming from a lower class Irish family he finds little opportunity after the war than through the same art, working with the mafia. He is skilled in his profession and is apparently unmatched, while still focusing o ...more
Feather Mista
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans de los géneros
Recommended to Feather by: Que estaba a mano
Lo leí en la edición integral de Panini, pero marco esta porque es la única individual en castellano que encontré. En cuanto al contenido en sí: impresionante una de las mejores historias de gángsters que leí. Está bien, leí poco y nada del género. Pero lo conozco, como todo el mundo, de películas que abordan la época y la temática (aunque, lo admito, tampoco he visto tantas), y cómo encaran el tema del noble asesino en desgracia, cómo lo desarrollan y cómo lo narran, simplemente impecable. Sobr ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite a surprise to me. I knew that the story was a graphic novel and a very good one at that long before the film reached the headlines - however it never really appealed to me - I don't know why it just never really registered. Well a chance encounter with all 3 volumes (they are listed here and I will be started number 2 shortly) at a local charity shop - I thought I would take a gamble - well here I am finishing volume one and I must admit I am impressed. The artwork though atmosphe ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I remember really enjoying the film, but really remembering anything about it. I'd been meaning to check out the Graphic Novel for awhile, and was happy to find on the shelf of my local library. I loved the art, and thought that the mix of historical truths with the fiction gave this short book some needed depth to its world.

I enjoyed the grit and violence of it, and completely devoured the book, but overall, it's take-it-or-leave-it fare. If you like noir/gangster stories, and comics, you can'
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a perfect graphic novel. Everything works - the gripping story, the sharply drawn characters, the amazing illustrations. I was hooked from page one, impossible to put down. It's a story of a mob soldier whose son witnesses a hit, causing father and son to go on the run... but the father still wants his vengeance. I was absorbed into this book completely, I felt like I was in a classic film noir and did not want to leave. If you love noir or graphic novels, you have no choice - READ THIS ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Road To Perdition was a great comic, it follows the story of a little boy and his father. The father turns out to be into crime which leads to the son almost becoming batman, he became more of a Carl from the Walking Dead, although later he definitely becomes batman. This comic had a great story and was very enjoyable, although it seemed long it was a quick book to read through. I would recommend this to anyone who is into action and likes gangsters.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Had no idea that this was a book before it was a movie, until a friend suggested it to me. And I'm glad he did. It's great. It reads much like a movie storyboard; I've never seen the movie but I will now.

Time to look for more Max Allan Collins.
Moataz Ibrahim
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Michael Sullivan. He might have been the embodiment of evil, and he might have been a holy man. But as we go through the book, we know from the perspective of his son that he was just a man, an honorable man, with merits and flaws.
Dave Riley
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
RTP is a riveting read. Very much B grade movie melodrama but in its npir moments it works a treat. Like a 30s film it plays on family times and the draw of sentiment.

Seemingly out of place/out of date ...but the whole package works.
May 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid story, immaculate art style, but still middle of the road. We've seen it all before.
Yazan Bakleh
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest books in my Opinion ...
Travis McClain
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The three stars is not an indication of how impressed I am with this graphic novel, or how much I enjoyed it, because I am impressed, and I DID enjoy it. I just have difficulty placing graphic novels on the level of, say, The Grapes of Wrath. Sue me.
I read this graphic novel because I am absolutely overwhelmed by the film adaptation staring Tom Hanks back in the early 2000's. It was one of the finest films I've ever seen, and when I realized it was an adaptation, of course I had to consider if
Jack Gattanella
if youve seen the film, this is that AND a lot more and the spirit is hard-edged and hard boiled gangster shit with a heapload of Catholic guilt. Collins sticks more to the history (more or less as he readily admits in the intro to the reissue that came out in 2001, before the movie's release but during production). What I liked the most was the marriage of the point of view being from the son, although we get to see what Michael O'Sullivan said and did behind closed doors and with bullets flyin ...more
Robert Kristoffersen
Road to Perdition's appellation is a fitting one; the road, not so much arduous, but long, and slow. By that I mean it's production; four years in the making, long for a graphic novel of merely four to five panels per page, but by the product on the page, worth the wait. Road to Perdition marks the first installment of the "read all comics project." Those familiar with the site will know that Kevin Hellions attempted this, but abandoned it shortly after, searching for common themes to the projec ...more
It's difficult to put this book into words. There are obvious parallels to Lone Wolf and Kid and Death Wish, but the clearest comparison at this modern date would be to John Wick, obviously directly inspired by this book. This is a revenge story, a brutal one that involves a child, but a righteous one that any reader can understand.

The art matches the story: stark, bleak, jarring, without nuance. It's quite well done overall. The story is as taut as any good hard-boiled pulp, and moves along at
Elgin Bailey
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Hanks played Mike O'Sullivan in one of my all times favorite movies. A hit man with a conscious.

The book proved the theory that films do not do books justice.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved this graphic work was wonderful...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A History of Violence
  • Whiteout
  • Incognegro
  • Capote in Kansas
  • The Surrogates
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit
  • Bookhunter
  • Heroes: Volume One
  • Welcome to Tranquility, Vol. 1
  • The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti
  • Kings in Disguise: A Novel
  • Stray Toasters
  • Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem
  • Our Cancer Year
  • The Originals
  • Scene of the Crime: A Little Piece of Goodnight
  • War Stories, Volume 1
  • Freddie and Me: A Coming-of-Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody
Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2006.

He has also published under the name Patrick Culhane. He and his wife, Barbara Collins, have written several books together. Some of them are published under the name Barbara Allan.

Book Awards
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1984) : True Detective
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1992) : Stolen Away
Shamus Awards Best Novel nom
More about Max Allan Collins...

Other Books in the Series

Road to Perdition (5 books)
  • On the Road to Perdition — Oasis, Sanctuary, and Detour — (Road to Perdition, #2)
  • Road to Purgatory
  • Road to Paradise (Road to Perdition, #4)
  • Return to Perdition (Road to Perdition, #5)