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The Road [Kindle Edition]

Cormac McCarthy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (947 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Awards
An Award-Nominated Book
From the Man Booker to the Pulitzer Price, check out the full selection of award nominees and winners in Book Awards.

Book Description

‘The first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation. Here is an American classic which, at a stroke, makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature’ Andrew O’Hagan

A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.

‘McCarthy conjures from this pitiless flight the miracle of unswerving humanity. Gripping beyond belief’ Chris Cleave, Sunday Telegraph

‘One of the most shocking and harrowing but ultimately redemptive books I have read. It is an intensely intimate story. It is also a warning’ Kirsty Wark, Observer Books of the Year

‘So good that it will devour you. It is incandescent’ Daily Telegraph

‘You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerized. All the modern novel can do is done here’ Alan Warner, Guardian

‘A masterpiece that will soon be considered a classic’ Herald

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Product Description

Waterstone's Book Quarterly

'Both terrifying and beautiful, it is about...the best and worst
of humankind...[it's] impossible to recommend it too highly.'

Sunday Herald

`An epic prose poem...builds to such a pitch of mournful
incantation hat something like real grief pours out'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 615 KB
  • Print Length: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (10 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FV4T9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (947 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,325 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He later went to Chicago, where he worked as an auto mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper. The Orchard Keeper was published by Random House in 1965; McCarthy's editor there was Albert Erskine, William Faulkner's long-time editor. Before publication, McCarthy received a travelling fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which he used to travel to Ireland. In 1966 he also received the Rockefeller Foundation Grant, with which he continued to tour Europe, settling on the island of Ibiza. Here, McCarthy completed revisions of his next novel, Outer Dark. In 1967, McCarthy returned to the United States, moving to Tennessee. Outer Dark was published in 1968, and McCarthy received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing in 1969. His next novel, Child of God, was published in 1973. From 1974 to 1975, McCarthy worked on the screenplay for a PBS film called The Gardener's Son, which premiered in 1977. A revised version of the screenplay was later published by Ecco Press. 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 received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981, and published his fifth novel, Blood Meridian, in 1985. All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border Trilogy, was published in 1992. It won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was later turned into a feature film. The Stonemason, a play that McCarthy had written in the mid-1970s and subsequently revised, was published by Ecco Press in 1994. Soon thereafter, the second volume of The Border Trilogy, The Crossing, was published with the third volume, Cities of the Plain, following in 1998. McCarthy's next novel, No Country for Old Men, was published in 2005. This was followed in 2006 by a novel in dramatic form, The Sunset Limited, originally performed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago. McCarthy's most recent novel, The Road, was published in 2006 and won the Pulitzer Prize.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark, terrible, powerful 13 Aug. 2007
Don't start with any illusions of this book - it isn't a story. There isn't a beginning and a middle and a neat end. The plot does not develop in any significant way. What you get is a ride of pure emotion, that is of an intensity that I've not really seen matched anywhere else. This isn't a tale about the end of the world. This is what it looks like at the end of the world, what it sounds and smells like, and more importantly what it feels like when you are man and boy facing death and the extinction of the species.

Cormac uses words sparingly, and doesn't bother with a lot of punctuation or structure. It's almost modern narrative poetry, as per Bukowski et al. This makes it a more challenging read, but he drags you in, relentlessly. It is very bleak, it is very difficult, but he makes it work. I'm not going to give examples because it's worth finding out for yourself.

I read this almost entirely at night, in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Devon, with everyone else asleep. And every night I went to bed drained by the experience of another chapter or so. If a book can move you to this degree, then what else can it be than a five stars?
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193 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a superb book 14 Nov. 2006
I picked this up after reading a glowing review in the press. I'm completely new to Cormac McCarthy having never read any of his other works. I have to say this is a superb book.

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic future. Though it's never stated what exactly happened, the subtext suggests a nuclear winter following a war. The earth is burnt, all vegetation is dead and it rains and snows ash. The plot follows the journey of a man and his son towards the south in order to find somewhere they can do more than just survive. But as all food has now been plundered - this being several years since the disaster - they are always on the edge of starvation. They must travel without being seen, as most of humanity that is left has long since resorted to cannibalism to survive.

What this is really about though is the extraordinary relationship between man and boy. The lengths that the man will go to protect his son and see him through the other end. It is a novel that for all its darkness is full of love. And wow is this dark. Many authors have written about the end of the world/survival but I don't think I've read anything quite this bleak. The scenery is utterly symapathetic to the couple's plight. It is filled with an overpowering poignancy for things lost - birds, cows, blue seas.

This is a very sad but at the same time uplifting book. The language used is simple and the conversational parts between man and boy are deliberately kept short. A wonderful book that I couldn't put down until I'd finished.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally shattering 24 Jun. 2007
The father-son partnership in this novel will be remembered as one of the greatest relationships in literature for a long time. It's based largely on dependency and trust but most of all love. I can't recall the words "I love you" even being spoken in the book. They don't need to be. It's implicit. The writing (I'm tempted to say prose) is beautifully poetic. It's stark and minimalist, seeming to say so much more than it actually does, largely because your imagination is fully on board from the first few pages. One of the most impressive aspects of the book is how realistic it is. The characters really seem to act and react as you can imagine you would in the same situations. The backstory is hardly explained at all and this is how it should be. Nothing matters but the here and now in the book. It's clear there's no real hope for future happiness and the struggle for day to day survival leaves little time for any nostalgia for bygone days. The climax to the book manages to be completely devastating and yet life-affirming at the same time. You'll feel like immediately hugging a loved one upon closing the book, once you've wiped the tears away, and the lump in your throat will stay with you for days. It's enough to make you see the world differently and there's no higher praise I can give it than that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 18 Feb. 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't think I've ever been effected by book as much as The Road. It's a shattering, haunting experience containing numerous passages that will grip you like a vice. The eery sense of doom that pervades the book never let's up so you're constantly fearful of what the next page might hold.

It's so unrelentingly dark that it may not be everyone's cup of tea but it's a taught, minimal read that won't cost you too much time to get through. Go for it; it's worth the hype.
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224 of 250 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thousand Shades of Grey 20 Feb. 2007
If you like your fiction to have an equitable balance of light and shade, peopled by a galaxy of interesting characters and interspersed with humour and social interaction, then The Road is certainly not for you. However, to cast this book aside would be to miss one of the most extraordinary feats of imaginative world painting in modern literature. McCarthy's subject is as bleak as it is possible to imagine: a post apocalyptic planet Earth in perpetual nuclear winter where the landscape is dead or dying covered in a ubiquitous black ash slowly choking and silencing every living thing. It is a world without sun, animals, and plants where a few humans scavenge to survive abandoning all compassion and morality to do so. Amidst this nightmare a father and his son are found trekking across the wasteland of the United States heading for the coast hoping to find something in a world where hope has ceased to exist. It is their story which holds our attention: amidst the endless desolation and as they battle to survive, McCarthy explores the doubts, suspicions, loyalties and trade offs which typify any filial bond with enormous sensitivity and perception. Yet this pair must face questions unlikely to have been faced by many in any era: what is the point of life when the world as we know it is just a disappearing memory in the mind of a father whose son knows only a world of emptiness? Why try to survive when there is no chance of life being sustained over the long term? Ultimately they find purpose in their own inter-dependence wherein they learn to find all meaning and incentive. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's just the best novel I have ever read. And I've been reading books for 40 years.
Published 1 day ago by RB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic, this book stayed with me for a while after I had read it.
Published 8 days ago by bimple
4.0 out of 5 stars Nihilistic
The story is set in an unexplained post apocalyptic world where few resources remain. We follow a father and son traveling towards the sea to what they believe will some kind of... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Trevbrook
2.0 out of 5 stars It goes on and on and on......
I wanted to like this book, i really did, but .....oh dear. This 301 page book felt at least double that, it just went on and on and was very repetitive. Read more
Published 24 days ago by kindleworm
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good story, but the bad punctuation drove me batty. Use an apostrophe, please...
Published 24 days ago by Rosereader
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite (quite being a understatement) bleak themes involved in the ...
Quite (quite being a understatement) bleak themes involved in the plot but an interesting read which I would gladly read again :)
Published 1 month ago by Molliesaurus1
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally draining but thrilling at the same time
A excellently written novel by a Pulitzer Prize winning author. A chilling insight into a nightmarishly depressing, post apocalyptic world where hope is all but a distant dream. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robin Corps
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book. Very different from anything else I have read. Very dark! a great read!
Published 1 month ago by Mr R N Voaden
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Modern Dante novel. I found it long drawn out and depressing
Published 1 month ago by AOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Looked fresh and new good price.
Published 1 month ago by Stephanie Ogbonnia - Okafor
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