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 dont 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 foodand 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 others 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.
As a prophetic vision of the end times, McCarthy's interpretation would leave the fire and brimstone prophets of old quaking in their sandals. As a parable or allegory, The Road offers rich veins of interpretation, precisely because it lacks a clear message, leaving it up to the reader to interpret it as they see fit. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Houston Chronicle - Earl Dachslager
Presumably the reason for all this secretiveness is to lend the story an air of mystery, to turn it into a parable of the moral and physical degeneration of our time. But for a parable to succeed, it needs to have some clear point or message. The Road has neither, other than to say that after an earth-destroying event, things will go hard for the survivors. In the end The Road reminds me most of the 1981 movie The Road Warrior (aka Mad Max); that is, if you can imagine The Road Warrior as co-scripted by Faulkner, Hemingway, Conrad and Samuel Beckett.
Why read this? . . . Because in its lapidary transcription of the deepest despair short of total annihilation we may ever know, this book announces the triumph of language over nothingness.
The Washington Post - Ron Charles
With this apocalyptic tale, McCarthy has moved into the allegorical realm of Samuel Beckett and José Saramago -- and, weirdly, George Romero.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Mr. McCarthy brings an almost biblical fury as he bears witness to sights man was never meant to see.
The San Francisco Chronicle
His tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightning, and, ultimately, beautiful. It might very well be the best book of the year, period.
The New York Times Book Review - William Kennedy
[T]he most readable of his works, and consistently brilliant in its imagining of the posthumous condition of nature and civilization—"the frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night."
Starred Review. McCarthy establishes himself here as the closest thing in American literature to an Old Testament prophet, trolling the blackest registers of human emotion to create a haunting and grim novel about civilization's slow death after the power goes out.
The Observer - Adam Mars-Jones The Road isn't a fable, or a prophesy, or even a tract in the manner of Shute's On the Beach. It's a thought and feeling experiment, bleak, exhilarating (in fact, endurable) only because of its integrity, its wholeness of seeing. The man pushing his shopping cart towards nothing hopeful, boxing the compass of despair, makes Brecht's Mother Courage seem downright fortunate in the choices she must make.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by AJ Haag The Road In a post-apocalyptic world, a man and his son walk across a country covered in gray ash and rubble. The novel, The Road, offers a compelling story of love and hope. Winning a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Cormac McCarthy has written a masterpiece.... Read More
Rated of 5
by Alexis VanHorn The Road Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road is a touching book that changed the way I look at life. The Road makes you realize everything that you actually have and to never take anything for granted. This book goes by very fast and is written beautifully. As... Read More
Rated of 5
by Dave The Road I would read this book on my lunch hour at work. After closing the book I would thank the Lord for my food because I was transported from The Road.
I was the third person walking next to the father and son but how could this be done it's only a... Read More
Rated of 5
by Brayden Stotler Nice I loved the book. Wow, it is the bomb.
Rated of 5
by Ally Great Book I just read this book for an AP English IV paper. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unlike another reviewer, I liked McCarthy's use of the stereotypical father/son (father willing to do anything to protect the son). I found that it made the book relatable... Read More
Rated of 5
by Karen V Review: "The Road" The Road is one of the most compelling books I have read that elevates the value of life, no matter how bleak the circumstances.
From the first sentence to the last, you are drawn into the theme as a traveler with the man and boy. You experience... Read More
Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He attended the University of
Tennessee in the early 1950s, and joined the U.S. Air Force, serving four years,
two of them stationed in Alaska. McCarthy then returned to the university, where
he published in the student literary magazine and won the Ingram-Merrill Award
for creative writing in 1959 and 1960. McCarthy next went to Chicago, where he
worked as an auto mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper,
published in 1965.
Dark was published in1968, followed by Child of God in 1973. From 1974 to 1975, McCarthy worked on the
screenplay for a PBS film called The Gardener's Son, which premiered in
In the late 1970s, McCarthy moved to Texas, and in 1979 published his fourth
novel, Suttree, a book that had occupied his writing life on and off for
twenty years. He published his
fifth novel, Blood Meridian, in 1985.
All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border
Trilogy, was published in 1992. It...
David Vann creates a haunting and provocative novel that explores our most primal urges and beliefs, the bonds of blood and religion that define and secure us, and the consequences of our actions - what we owe for what we've done.
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