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The Road [Kindle Edition]

Cormac McCarthy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (899 customer reviews)

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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

A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. This is the profoundly moving story of their journey. The Road boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which two people, '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. '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 . . . An absolutely wonderful book that people will be reading for generations' Andrew O'Hagan 'A work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away' Tom Gatti, The Times 'So good that it will devour you, in parts. It is incandescent' Niall Griffiths, Daily Telegraph 'You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerised. All the modern novel can do is done here' Alan Warner, Guardian


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 (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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (899 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,944 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
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'the absolute truth of the world' 16 Jan. 2008
Format:Paperback
On the stark cover of this book there is a banner announcing it as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The first review on the back declares it's good enough to win him the Nobel Prize. The inside covers and first three pages are covered with stunning reviews from around the world. Surely after all that praise a book can only be a disappointment.

The event that has devastated the world is never made explicit beyond 'a long shear of light and then a series of low concussions' but what it has left behind is a man and his son journeying south through a ruined landscape and struggling to survive. The symbiosis of their relationship is clear from the start, this isn't simply a man looking after his son, 'the boy was all that stood between him and death'. The boy's belief in the world is the thing which keeps them both going, which is why when he says he doesn't care at one point his father replies 'don't say that, you musnt say that'. After he has a particularly bad dream his father tells him; 'When your dreams are of some world that never was or of some world that never will be and you are happy again then you will have given up. Do you understand? And you cant give up. I wont let you'. Much later when the man says 'You're not the one who has to worry about everything' the boy replies simply 'Yes I am...I am the one'. Their laconic exchanges punctuate the novel, each of the boy's questions an attempt to construct a new moral structure in this dangerous environment. He needs to know that they're still the 'good guys' and as his father informs him 'They keep trying. They dont give up'.
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122 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark, terrible, powerful 13 Aug. 2007
Format:Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I will be on The Road for a long time 11 Feb. 2008
Format:Paperback
I have just finished this book today and haven't been able to think of anything else since. Only my second Cormac McCarthy book but I will definitely be reading more. Cannot recommend this book highly enough, but would urge caution as its impact is extremely profound. I agree with a fellow reviewer and say that being a parent heightens the feeling of hopelessness and the inability of 'The man' to do more for his son. Written in a stark, bare style it does not involve itself in deep plot or character development - it focusses on the here and now of this Father and Son and their hopeless quest for a better existence. Written in this way again deepens its impact.
In all my lifetime of reading, there have been only a few books that have made me weep........this more than any.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book - a terrifying road trip 24 Nov. 2010
By Bacchus TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
What can I add to all the other reviews this book has received?

To start with my initial misgivings. I first heard about this book through a book group just after it had been published. As it was still only in hardback, No Country for Old Men by the same writer was chosen instead. I did not enjoy this book, finding the written style lacking in subtlety (or punctuation!)and failing to find any interest in the characters or the story.

Members of the group told me about the impact The Road had on them, how they were moved by the close of the book. I also read an essay by the American academic Harold Bloom (What to read and why) about Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. In this article, Bloom urges readers to persevere with the work of Cormac McCarthy, stating that the writer's homespun pared down written style is an integral part of his art.

I am very glad that I have read The Road. It paints a terrifying vision of a post Nuclear winter in which edible food is almost impossible to find and all other people are potential cannibals to be avoided. Other readers have cried when they got to the end of the book. Despite the tragic dimension of the book it ends with a hope of final redemption.

There have been other books which look to a Dystopian future, but this one has heart.
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192 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a superb book 14 Nov. 2006
Format:Hardcover
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read!
Poetic, beautiful and disturbing.
Published 3 days ago by Alexia taylor-spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars McCarthy's Masterpiece, Beauty in Simplicity
This book amazed me. Why? Because I never thought I could look at a book and think, 'No, I don't want to read that today, I don't want to feel sad'. It sounds daft I know! Read more
Published 4 days ago by George
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone interested in literature.
A nameless father and son roam the barren landscape of a post-apocalyptic world, where food has all but vanished and the survivors form blood cults, feeding on the flesh of... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Neil Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Raw, brutal but so so emotional
A breathtakingly emotional post apocalyptic journey. Couldn't put it down. Well worth a read.
Eat meat sleep sound sing proud
Published 8 days ago by fazzo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 9 days ago by Mrs H D Patel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Fantastic.. I would recommend this book to everyone!
Published 9 days ago by Mrs. Philippa L. Syers
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great read ,couldn't put it down ,reread it the following week , outstanding read
Published 11 days ago by Memesammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak and beautiful
The Road chronicles a father and son's desperate attempts to survive in an ashen, dying world ravaged by some uncertain catastrophe. Read more
Published 13 days ago by M
5.0 out of 5 stars I read it too and was a good book.
Bought for my daughter who needed it for English Lit A Level. I read it too and was a good book.
Published 14 days ago by JillyG
4.0 out of 5 stars Prepare for a very emotional journey...
I read this book as the creator of The Last of us, Neil Druckmann said it was a big inspiration for the game. Make no mistake, this book is nothing like The Last of Us. Read more
Published 17 days ago by J.Clem
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