The Road by Cormac McCarthy

81%

29 Critic Reviews

The long and vivid sentences that Cormac McCarthy once wrote are now pruned back to sentence fragments. They still have the power to make you see McCarthy's darkening world and wish you'd never seen it.
-NPR

Synopsis

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year
The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post


The searing, postapocalyptic 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 them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Cormac McCarthy

See more books from this Author
Cormac McCarthy is the author of nine previous novels. Among his honors are the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
 
Published March 20, 2007 by Vintage. 301 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure, Arts & Photography, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Want to Read
1
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Critic reviews for The Road
All: 29 | Positive: 28 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

Though the sentences of McCarthy’s recent work are shorter and simpler than they once were, his prose combines the cadence of prophecy with the indelible images of poetry. A novel of horrific beauty...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by William Kennedy on Oct 08 2006

“The Road” is a dynamic tale, offered in the often exalted prose that is McCarthy’s signature, but this time in restrained doses...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Sep 25 2006

“The Road” offers nothing in the way of escape or comfort. But its fearless wisdom is more indelible than reassurance could ever be.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Adam Mars-Jones on Nov 25 2006

Part of the achievement of The Road is its poetic description of landscapes from which the possibility of poetry would seem to have been stripped, along with their ability to support life.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alan Warner on Nov 03 2006

All the modern novel can do is done here. After the great historical fictions of the American west, Blood Meridian and The Border Trilogy, The Road is no artistic pinnacle for McCarthy but instead a masterly reclamation of those midnight-black, gothic worlds of Outer Dark (1968) and the similarly terrifying but beautiful Child of God (1973).

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Adam Vaughan on Aug 12 2011

Summer may seem an odd time to read The Road, but actually it's probably the best time of year. After you lift your head from the devastation and gloom, you can return to appreciate the sun and colour of life anew.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Adam Mars-Jones on Nov 26 2006

Part of the achievement of The Road is its poetic description of landscapes from which the possibility of poetry would seem to have been stripped, along with their ability to support life.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alan Warner on Nov 04 2006

All the modern novel can do is done here. After the great historical fictions of the American west, Blood Meridian and The Border Trilogy, The Road is no artistic pinnacle for McCarthy but instead a masterly reclamation of those midnight-black, gothic worlds of Outer Dark (1968) and the similarly terrifying but beautiful Child of God (1973).

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by dineshnair on Aug 23 2012

The two characters – the father and his son – are nameless throughout the novel. We read on because we want to know what happens to these two. Will they both survive? Where will they end up? Or perhaps another reason we keep turning the pages is the curiosity to know more about this distraught world that McCarthy has created with so much detail.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by dineshnair on Aug 23 2012

If nothing else, the book makes us appreciate what we have in our present life and probably also warns us not to tinker with forces that can create havoc.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Old Smiley on Oct 18 2006

McCarthy, in his early seventies, is old enough that this novel could be his last. One hopes he doesn’t stop here. One hopes that his horrific dream of a world without a future tense proves wrong.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Gordon Hauptfleisch on Sep 14 2006

...The Road is not a book you will be plucking from the SciFi/Fantasy shelves in your bookstore. There are no plot-driven devices at play here, and though it is not the chronicle’s destination that matters – neither is it the journey, perilous as it is, fraught with injury and illness, and rarely, relatively, rewarding.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Gordon Hauptfleisch on Sep 14 2006

With The Road, McCarthy makes a full-tilt departure with a bleakly picaresque post-apocalyptic epic...With his keenly-focused study of resolve in the face of such desolation, McCarthy follows the travels and travails of a father and young son...The pair — determined to survive after the suicide of the family's wife and mother...

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Steve Inskeep on Sep 28 2006

The long and vivid sentences that Cormac McCarthy once wrote are now pruned back to sentence fragments. They still have the power to make you see McCarthy's darkening world and wish you'd never seen it.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Russ Mayes on Jan 01 2013

McCarthy's prose in The Road is as powerful and lean as ever. He has found in the well-worn fields of science fiction a setting where his style and his vision of hope amid violence can flourish.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Noel Murray on Oct 05 2006

...The Road is tonally spot-on, moving from one terse passage to the next, and continually horrifying readers just when the story seems to be heading to a more hopeful place.

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Julie Hale on Oct 01 2006

The writing in The Road is his most direct to date, the prose less elliptical and easier to process than ever before. Yet, there's no mistaking where you are when you read The Road: in McCarthy country--terrible, beautiful, and like no other place in contemporary literature.

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PopMatters

Good
Reviewed by Chris Barsanti on Mar 28 2007

His novel may have the trappings of a horror film, but with his stubborn wanderers diligently batting their unanswerable questions back and forth in a godless waste, McCarthy enters the land of Beckett.

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About.com Bestsellers

Excellent
Reviewed by Mike Sullivan on Nov 01 2013

McCarthy’s new novel, The Road, combines Blood Meridian’s terse, poetic meditations on the horrific depths of human depravity with the taut, thriller writing found in his most recent work...The Road is a brutally astonishing work.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Meghan K. on Aug 29 2014

The Road is a beautiful story set in a landscape of depression and hopelessness. The style, setting, characters, and plot come together to make this book one of a kind. However, I felt that McCarthy did not develop the full potential of this story.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by DrkBluPretty on Aug 29 2014

I am totally overwhelmed by my reaction to this book. When I began reading, I could tell it would be a dull and wearisome novel. But coming to the intriguing and mystifying parts opened my eyes to the power of love, survival, and dark sin in the world.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Ryan P. on Aug 29 2014

I recommend this book to any readers because all elements are superb and are top of the line to any reader I am sure of it. Any reader would enjoy a classic book like The Road any time of day.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by LawrenceYen on Aug 29 2014

There is something for everyone in Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Road. Whether it’s a craving for the unique or a taste for deep meaning, any thirst will be quenched.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by DanielVetter14 on Jan 27 2014

This book really taught me to appreciate the most basic of luxuries: having friends and family, never being hungry, and always having a warm home to return to. This book is a great way to get a new perspective on life...

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Inverarity is not a Scottish village

Below average
on May 22 2010

I appreciated the themes and the psychological depth McCarthy imbued this novel with despite its sparseness, so... a great writer? I can see it, I guess. But it just wasn't a great story, for me.

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Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Good
Reviewed by Wendy Runyon on Feb 26 2013

...I find at a loss for what to say--in part, because of the hype. What's there to say about a book that just about everyone has already read and dissected? All I can say is that, for me, this book was more a visceral read than one I analyzed as I read.

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Where Pen Meets Paper

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Jacobson on May 01 2012

Though The Road is dark, hopeless, harrowing and depressing, the truth extrapolated from the text is worth a read.

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Speculative Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Cara on May 07 2010

The Road, while stark and uncompromising, is a book I would recommend everyone reads. The depth of the relationship between father and son is skilfully drawn and provides a beacon of light within the post-apocalyptic setting.

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http://sf-fantasy-books.blogspot.com

Good
Reviewed by Thrinidir on Mar 04 2008

The Atmosphere McCarthy creates is at once simple, extra-sensual, desolate as well as terrifying. “The Road” therefore functions not only as a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel but also as an imaginative horror story.

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Reader Rating for The Road
78%

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