Customer Reviews


814 Reviews
5 star:
 (503)
4 star:
 (131)
3 star:
 (65)
2 star:
 (47)
1 star:
 (68)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Night on Earth
A nameless father and son travel through a post-apocalyptic America, trying to reach warmer climates in the south. A disaster has fallen upon the human race and what we witness are the final days of man before the lights go out. All animals and plants have died; the sun doesn't shine anymore thanks to grey ash covering the sky and raining on the ground; and the few people...
Published on 9 May 2008 by Oliver Redfern

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressing but page turning
This is a bleak read and one which left me depressed. Being the father of a small boy the senario struck a chord - which is probably what kept me interested - but it was far too sad and at times harrowing. The relationship between father and son is awkward and does not really convince. The detail about the landscape/situation is thought-provoking and the desolation is...
Published on 2 Jan 2011 by R. Slee


‹ Previous | 1 282 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Night on Earth, 9 May 2008
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
A nameless father and son travel through a post-apocalyptic America, trying to reach warmer climates in the south. A disaster has fallen upon the human race and what we witness are the final days of man before the lights go out. All animals and plants have died; the sun doesn't shine anymore thanks to grey ash covering the sky and raining on the ground; and the few people still alive have reverted to the kind of barbarism that not even Stephen King dares explore in his novels.

Although this was a short, poetic page-turner, I had trouble reading it. I had to choose times of the day when I could tackle the book (NEVER at night, before bedtime); and many times I put down the book thanks to heart palpitations. However, I'll say that there is a glimmer of hope amidst all the desolation and horror, and that's what readers must cling to as they reach the end of this brilliant novel.

Unsurprisingly, a film version is already in the pipes; with "No Country for Old Men" winning the Oscars' last night, it now seems only a matter of time before most of McCarthy's books are given the celluloid treatment.

Oh, and I've said this once (and I'll say it again): Cormac McCarthy will be the next American to win the Nobel for Literature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


117 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark, terrible, powerful, 13 Aug 2007
By 
R. B. Moore "rmoore322" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Road (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?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


192 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a superb book, 14 Nov 2006
By 
Mike J. Wheeler (Kingswinford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Road (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


223 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thousand Shades of Grey, 20 Feb 2007
By 
Eugene Onegin (Lincoln England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Road (Hardcover)
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. This subject is not a new one of course, but what makes The Road so compelling is the author's ability to create this grey, desolate world with such sustained authority and conviction: never once does the curtain of illusion fall, not for a second is the spell broken: we walk the endless highways of nothingness, we ponder where the next can of food might be found, we share the fear that round the next corner might be a marauding armed gang ready to kill for a bottle of water. Beginning from a canvas painted with almost photographic realism, the writer affords his subject an almost allegorical form in order to ponder the philosophical issues raised by the annihilation of the earth and the consideration of what it means to live without expectation of a future. Written in shorn down, skeletal prose with not a single redundant phrase, McCarthy has created an unforgettable and profoundly moving meditation on what it is to be human in a world almost beyond the comprehension of mankind. A stunning achievement.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally shattering, 24 Jun 2007
By 
D. Payne "coflowdave" (Teesside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and haunting work of fiction, 9 Jun 2009
By 
Lynne Barrett-lee (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
With over three hundred reviews ahead of me, almost all of them detailing the plot and stuffed to bursting with praise, there seems little for me to do other than endorse what's gone before. This is a towering piece of work, and I can't recommend it highly enough. The last post-apocalyptic work I read was Luke Rheinhart's Long Voyage Back - also brilliant, also haunting - will also stay with me for all time. This is entirely different in tone and style and in a million other ways, but is equally compelling. Plus since reading LVB I have become a parent to children of my own, which makes this read all the more intense and heart-in-mouth page-turning. Brilliant.
So now a question. Which Cormac McCarthy to read next? If anyone can make a suggestion, I'd love some guidance....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 4 Mar 2008
By 
Stephanie (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
Quite possibly one of the best books I've ever read. I would thoroughly recommend this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 18 Feb 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching., 17 Feb 2008
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
Every now and then you need your heart breaking. Just a little. This book will do that, and will make you feel glad for it afterwards. I'm glad books like this exist, it reminds me that what matters most in any situation, horrific or otherwise, is people. Your need for people and how your relationship with them is worth enduring almost anything to protect it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 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
By 
John Bogie (Airdrie, Lanarkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Road (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 282 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Road (Oprah's Book Club)
The Road (Oprah's Book Club) by Cormac McCarthy (Hardcover - 28 Mar 2007)
14.63
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews