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The Road

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  559,358 Ratings  ·  39,199 Reviews
A searing, post apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits
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Hardcover, First Edition, 241 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Knopf (first published 2006)
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Jay
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J.G. Keely
Apr 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommended to J.G. Keely by: Mother
The Road is unsteady and repetitive--now aping Melville, now Hemingway--but it is less a seamless blend than a reanimated corpse: sewn together from dead parts into a lumbering, incongruous whole, then jolted to ignoble half-life by McCarthy’s grand reputation with Hollywood Filmmakers and incestuous award committees.

In '96, NYU Professor Alan Sokal submitted a paper for publication to several scientific journals. He made it so complex and full of jargon the average person wouldn't be able to ma
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Jason
Mar 03, 2009 rated it liked it
This wasn't nearly as funny as everybody says it is.
Scott
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really feel compelled to write up a review of McCarthy's The Road as this book really worked for me (for those of you who haven't read it, there are no real spoilers below, only random quotes and thematic commentary). I read it last night in one sitting. Hours of almost nonstop reading. I found it to be an excellent book on so many levels that I am at a loss as to where to begin. It was at once gripping, terrifying, utterly heart-wrenching, and completely beautiful. I have read most of McCarth ...more
Evan
He palmed the spartan book with black cover and set out in the gray morning. Grayness, ashen. Ashen in face. Ashen in the sky.

He set out for the road, the book in hand. Bleakness, grayness. Nothing but gray, always.

He was tired and hungry. Coughing. The coughing had gotten worse. He felt like he might die. But he couldn't die. Not yet.

The boy depended on him.

He walked down the road, awaiting the creaking bus. It trundled from somewhere, through the gray fog. The ashen gray fog.

He stepped aboard,
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Maren
Jun 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
I'm a terrible person because I didn't really like "The Road" and I'm not sure how I feel about Cormac McCarthy. Honestly, I think there's something wrong with me.

I just finished reading "The Road" today - it only took a couple of hours to get through, because it's not that long a book, and I think it was a good way to read it because I felt really immersed in the story, which is told like one long run-on nightmare of poetic import. The characters don't get quotation marks when they speak, and
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Michelle
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A few years back, I have watched "The Road" on HBO. I actually like the film, and I think it's well crafted. I held back on reading the book for a while since the movie seemed pretty straightforward and powerful enough to convey the story. An opportunity presented itself though, when I got hold of a copy on the last day of The Annual Library Book Sale. Since I can't seem to get enough of dreary stories lately, I have decided to read this one right away.

"The Road" is a novel by an American master
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Glenn Russell
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing


The view that there are two independent, primal forces in the universe, one good and one evil, is called dualism. According to dualism, the good God does the best he can to promote good and combat evil but he can only do so much since evil is a powerful counterforce in its own right. The ancient Gnostics were dualists with their scriptures emphasizing the mythic rather than the historic and positing our evil world of matter created not by an all-powerful God but by a flawed deity called the Demi
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Robin
Oct 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Robin by: Book Club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian "Marvin" Graye
How to Write Like Cormac McCarthy

1. Make sure the first sentence contains a verb.

2. But neither the second.

3. Nor the third.

4. Repeat until finished.

5. Or sooner deterred.



We'll Become Well Eventually

The Boy: Papa?

Papa: Yes?

The Boy: What's this?

Papa: It's an apostrophe.

The Boy: What does it do?

Papa: It takes two words and turns them into a contraction.

The Boy: Is that good?

Papa: Years ago people used to think it was good.

The Boy: What about now?

Papa: Not many people use them now.

The Boy: Does th
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
I finished this novel quite a few days ago. Normally, I would hop right up and start composing my little goodreads ramble, publish whatever nonsense came out, and go about my day. This novel, however, left me feeling like an incubus was on my chest, paralyzing my brain and limiting my mobility. I set it down and stared at the ceiling. I rolled around in bed feeling anxious and nostalgic and terrible and serene. I hid it in my backpack so I wouldn’t continue to be tortured by seeing the spine, an ...more
Bookdragon Sean
The Road is a truly disturbing book; it is absorbing, mystifying and completely harrowing. Simply because it shows us how man could act given the right circumstances; it’s a terrifying concept because it could also be a true one.

It isn’t a book that gives you any answers, you have to put the pieces together and presume. For whatever reason, be it nuclear war or environmental collapse, the world has gone to hell. It is a wasteland of perpetual greyness and ash. Very little grows anymore, and th
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Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin


This is one of the saddest books about a father and child that I have ever read in my life . . yet.

There were a couple of happy times. Not so much though =(



Mel ♥
Frankie
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seen-movie, 2013, usa
One of my favourite of all time.
Loved that there was no chapters.
Loved everything.
Terrifying.
Film was good too.
Lyn
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good friend gave this to me to read. I told him I already had an audiobook working and he said, "you'll want to read this one".

I could barely put it down.

Mesmerizing.

McCarthy's prose is simple, fable like, yet also lyrical, like a minamalistic poet. The portrait he has painted is dark and foreboding, difficult and painful, yet he carries "the fire" throughout, a spark of hope and love that must be his central message to the reader.

Having read the book, not sure if I want to see the film, i
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Jeff
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-reads


I have nightmares similar to what Cormac McCarthy depicted in his book.

I’m with my family. Sometimes, it’s just my son and I. The dystopia might not be the nuclear winter portrayed here, but it has the same type of vibe. Rampant fear and chaos, breakdown of society, everyone pitted against everyone else and my only thought is to somehow hold my family together and protect them.

Or we’re traveling or holed up somewhere and everything is quiet and we’re suddenly overrun.

Fear is the core. Fear is t
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Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
The main point I want to deal with is how I managed to walk away from this book with a trenchant sense of gratitude at the forefront of my mind. I certainly won’t mislead and paint this story as one that directly radiates things to be happy about, but I do think it does so indirectly (and the term "happy" is far too facile for my purposes here).

This is an extremely dark tale of a world passed through a proverbial dissolvent. A world stripped of its major ecological systems. Small pockets of hom
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Ian
I just read some guy's review of The Road that contained the following:

"In the three hours that I read this book I found myself crying, laughing, shouting, and most of the time my lip was trembling. ... As soon as I finished it, I sat there feeling numb, but not in a bad way, actually sort of like I was high."

Wow, dude. I mean, really? Your lip was trembling? And you felt high? And your lip was trembling? Pherphuxake, what do you even say to someone like that?
------------------------------------
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Chris
Oct 26, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Clack....what did I ever do to you!
I’m trying to find solace in the fact that I’m probably not the only one to be humiliatingly hoodwinked into taking the time to read Cormac McCarthy’s much-celebrated yawn-fest “The Road”, although this hardly makes this bamboozling something to boast about. In spite of the fact approximately three-fourths of the world seemed to readily embrace this as worthy fare, I managed to keep my distance for some time, mainly through ignorance of the general plot of the book and my usual stubborn reluctan ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A man and his young son are traveling along a highway, hoping to get far enough south to avoid the onslaught of winter. It is a post apocalyptic landscape, heavy with ash, in which you can hear the absence of birds chirping or bugs buzzing. The language is remarkable. I was reminded of Thomas Hardy for beauty of language, but it is a different sort of beauty. McCarthy uses short declaratives, as if even language was short of breath in the devastation, and terrorizes generations of elementary sch ...more
Matthias
The road is a promise.

A father and a son, survivors of an anonymous apocalypse, hold on to that promise. Cormac McCarthy follows them closely on their march through barren wastelands, dead forests and decaying towns. The footsteps they leave in the ubiquitous dust are swept away by the cold ashen breath of the grey earth. Whatever gets left behind ceases to exist.

The promise is brittle. Hold on to it too tightly, dream of it too violently, and both the promise and the road will turn to dust, l
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Cecily
Phew. This is a brilliant, bleak, beautiful book, but an emotionally harrowing one, albeit with uplifting aspects (they always cling to a sliver of hope, however tenuous).

PLOT

There isn't much. But that's fine by me. In the near future, a man and his son traipse south, across a cold, barren, ash-ridden and abandoned land, pushing all their worldly goods in a wonky shopping trolley. They scavenge to survive and are ever-fearful of attack, especially as some of the few survivors have resorted to ca
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Glenn Sumi
Excuse me please while I cover my face with my hands and quietly sob.

In a scorched and dangerous post-apocalyptic America, an unnamed father and son scavenge for food, look for shelter and try to avoid bandits and people who’ve resorted to cannibalism. The two, pushing along their rusty cart, travel the road simply because they must. The alternative is death.

I admire the fact that there’s no explanation about how the end of the world happened and why certain people survived. There are a couple o
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Matthew Quann
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, pulitzers
The Road is a painful, beautiful, horrifying, heartfelt, and compelling novel about a father and his son that astounded me from its opening pages through to its conclusion.

I’ve made known my disparagement for post-apocalyptic stories, which all seem to eventually fall into the same tropes ad museum. You’ve read or watched the stories where one band of survivors tries to survive only to run into another band of survivors who, despite initial appearances, have devolved from society into little mo
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Annet
May 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Emily and Esther
This book is shocking, loving, groundbreakingly impressive, beautifully written. I read through it without breathing, I mean I just had to know what was coming on the next page, and cried several times. Without a doubt one of the best books, if not the best, I read, ever...
Samadrita
Terror. Stark naked, clear as the day and indelible in its intensity. Terror that turns its unflinching gaze on you, commanding you to quake in your boots and disintegrate into pieces. This book is that kind of cold dread that seeps into your blood like insidious venom and drains away your strength in a steady, agonizing trickle as you read along. The horror of being stranded in a world, where the living live on either to become sustenance for other survivors or to hunt and feast on fellow breth ...more
Jaline
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-completed
Five Stars For Brilliant Story Telling: It really doesn’t get any better than this. The story is a journey, an epic journey, a hero’s journey. The prose is sparse and real in its immediacy. We not only read it but feel it, smell it, taste it. That is a rare treat for any reader.

Five Stars For Best Father and Son Relationship: The father and his son in this book have such a strong bond, it is both heart wrenching and inspiring to share it. On their long journey, they teach each other, mostly by
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Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨


New post June 13, 2017: Shameful bump; but not really and here is why. My fellow bloggers and I have been trying to put together a post about positive father figures in books for Father's Day this year. It's troubling because it has been kind of hard! It almost seems like we need a post just to talk about the LACK of positive father figures in books. Maybe we are just reading the wrong genres?

Anyway, shout-out to one of my favorite dads in all of literary history. This guy. What he does for his
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Michael Finocchiaro
The Road is a moving and terrifying post-apocalyptic novel that deserves its notoriety. The two unnamed characters, a father and a son, set out on a nightmarish, nearly impossible journey. It is hard to stop reading once you start. I felt a bit nauseous at times but as always the spare but beautiful, powerful writing of McCarthy is spellbinding. I definitely understand why this book got a Pulitzer. Now, gotta watch the movie!
Nick
I wrestled with a final rating for this. "The Road" definitely has merit. The style is purposefully minimalist. As others have noted there are very few apostrophe's, no commas, no quotation marks. The font is dull. The paragraphs carry extra spacing. The words are clipped. This all works very well for setting the atmosphere.

As others have offered it is also not the job of the author to explain away all questions. Leaving a sense of mystery can be very good for a story. We should expect that in t
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Brad
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I seem to be the last one on the planet to have read this "Dystopian Masterpiece" destined to go down in history as blah blah blah. :) Yeah, it's good. Simple tale told extremely simply. Poetic in places, very realistic in almost all ways, and it was true to human nature, both in the good and in the bad.

People are scared. It's how we deal with the fear that makes us good people or average or just plain bad.

This is true at all times, of course, not just when the rubber tires on the highway have m
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reader's Choice B...: * August 2017 - The Road 20 13 Aug 24, 2017 11:37AM  
Around the Year i...: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy 8 47 Aug 24, 2017 03:08AM  
Apocalypse Whenever: JULY: "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy 195 156 Aug 16, 2017 07:29PM  
Mental Illness? 3 35 Aug 15, 2017 11:30PM  
Is The Road Truly Dystopian? 2 13 Aug 11, 2017 01:25PM  
Books2Movies Club: The Road - A Movie 17 77 Aug 02, 2017 09:34AM  
Dystopian books similar to The Road by McCarthy? 10 56 Jul 24, 2017 07:54AM  
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Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres and has also written plays and screenplays. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and his 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

His earlier Blood M
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“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” 2226 likes
“Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.” 767 likes
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