Written By: Cormac McCarthy

Narrated By: Tom Stechschulte

Date: March 2007

Duration: 6 hours 42 minutes


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.


  • Mandi Chestler

    The Road is creepy and grizzly, depressing and distressing. Only Cormac McCarthy's horrifyingly beautiful mastery of the English language kept me listening to this audio book. If you like having nightmares, then this is the CD for you. The ending is unfortunately disappointing, as if the author simply ran out of steam, or finally scared himself with his own dark flights of fancy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    An incredible story and wonderful narrator. McCarthy's words resonated with me long after I finished. Highly recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Kathy B

    I can't decide whether I liked this book or not, but it was a departure from my normal diet of mysteries, so I enjoyed the change. I kept wishing I knew the why behind the book....I guess that's left to our imagination.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Joann Walker

    I was extremely moved by the relationship between father and son in this amazing novel. Though some have reported that they found the topic too depressing, we may be faced with the very same nightmare of events in the not too far off future. The author minced no words in describing the horrendous scenes of devastation and yet I found the book to be quite poetic as well as prophetic. Through the eyes of the boy, Mr. McCarthy portends that even in a time of complete destruction, love and hope can still shine through the darkness. I loved the ending.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    I found this book to be brilliantly written and the story haunted me long after I listened to the last chapter. The narrative is lyrical and superbly written, and the dialogue between the main characters is basic and reflective of the times they are living in. The Road is a testiment to love and loss and all that makes us human and inhumane.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Barbara Smith

    Powerful, wrenching, thought provoking, ultimately uplifting. This book was not so much a "good read" as it was an experience. The dialog was deceptively simple and the repeated exchanges of "OK" were intimate shorthand declarations of faith, commitment, trust & understanding between loved ones. I started listening in the car but soon found the need to pay much more attention to this gripping tale of Everyman and what it means to love, to be human, to endure, to hope, to have faith, to change, to grow, to survive. Days later, The Road is still in my thoughts and still deeply meaningful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Lilly

    Loved this book! So graphic-you can feel yourself there amongst the grayness, starving and my heart raced when they were hiding from the bad! Shows the theme that children trust their parents completely...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    This was one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. I loved it. I've always been fascinated with other's perceptions of Heaven, this is certainly a version of Hell.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Barbara Duncan

    I never imagined when Oprah recommended this book that it would be this awful. If I wanted to be depressed I'd just watch the news!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Christine P.

    This is one of my favourite books and movies! I am a huge dystopian fan! This book is heartbreaking, sad and hopeful. I am a blubbering mess at the end of this book and movie! I have read it many times and it still gets me! This book is definitely worth the read and the narrator does a great job!

  • David C.

    Dark, depressing ,powerful, a nightmare for most people , with little hope of salvation . The slow and anguishing walk through the country , with only misery behind , and a drive with scant hope pushing them on. A story that stays with you for a long time after you stop listening.

  • Thomas Rorex

    The book is as haunting as the movie. I remember how Shook I was coming out of the theater watching the movie years ago, this was not as bad, but you certainly feel it!

  • Michael A.

    Very dull read but had it see it thru to the end to see what happened. Waste of my time. Very disappointed

  • Jade C.

    loved it very well done defo one I will play again & again

  • Mudassar B.

    Just completed the novel. The author portrayed the relationship of the father and his son so beautifully. Even in the worst of times, it is love and compassion which helps you to go on. You are alive as long as you have “the fire in you”.

  • Thomas S.

    One of the very best I have ever listened to, I loved it !

  • Anonymous

    Pulp fiction

  • Skylar L.

    Had a bit of a hard time following because of the narration as well as because of my lack of interest in this book

  • Earl Kilgore

    Not for the faint of heart! Unless you are willing to face desolation and hopelessness, this is not for you. For the courageous, however, this is a story that I found moving on many levels. The narration was spot on perfect for the story.

  • Tiffany Von

    Found this book to be a misery to listen to. For me there was no beginning, no ending, and no point to the long depressing words of nothing.

  • Kate

    This story kept me on the edge of my seat. The hopelessness of the characters' situation made me really appreciate what I have and inspired me to think about what I would do if I lost it all. The father and son relationship is beautifully done and very believable.

  • Rhale

    Give this one a chance, I'm glad I did. Still not completely sure how I feel about it - it's different than most of the books I've read - kind of dark and always uncertain, but it made me think and it made me feel and it made me want to know how it ended. It's not a 'zombie' book, but it sort of has that feel - an almost empty world, struggles to survive, hardships, sacrifice, and determination.

  • Anonymous

    This book was dreary from the start and gave no background as to why they were going where they were going. Had to send back unfinished. If you enjoy doom and gloom with absence of any hope you may enjoy this story, otherwise skip it.

  • Anonymous

    This was the most b.o.r.i.n.g book I have ever listened to. I kept waiting for something to happen or for it to have deeper meaning (I have enjoyed Moby Dick on CD) and it never did.

  • lorin

    Wonderful book. McCarthy is an excellent writer. The read is well done, he truly grasps the pace of the writing, which is so important in conveying that sense of hope and hopelessness. My only issues was perhaps the last page or so. I feel like the ending is a bit contrived and rushed. It's like McCarthy was just worn out and ended the book abruptly.

  • cheesestake

    Really liked the story and was very impressed with the narration.

  • Anonymous

    In this world of deadbeat dads, its really nice to hear about a beautiful connection between a man and his son. The story kept me riveted, even though the world the charaters lived in was in such a bleak state. I can't wait to see the movie.

  • Savage

    Such beauty in a very bleak story. I really enjoyed this book.

  • Anonymous

    This book kept me intrigued as father and son journey through an apocalyptic world. At times I was sucked into the despair and dreariness of their life. But alas, was uplifted at the strength of the human spirit. Ultimately, in order to survive we must learn to trust....it's too bad that the "man" did not figure that out sooner. Wise and compassionate beyond his years, the "boy" becomes the link to the future...

  • Anonymous

    The reader was very talented and the story was quite engaging but the story is a complete downer. Don't expect to enjoy your time, however the story is powerful.

  • Anonymous

    This reading of a classic novel is first class - highly recommended.

  • Anonymous

    As bleak and dark as can be. I could not stand it. I know it won awards but whatever redeeming value it has is outweighed by how utterly depressing it is. Why read a book that makes you want to die while you drive around in your car?

  • Anonymous

    I started this book on a long drive through a desolate part of West Texas. By the time I arrived at my destination to give a motivational speech I was totally drained of every positive emotion. This book is slow and sad. If one isn't on anti-depressant medication prior to listening you will need them at the end. I suspect it is so dismal because it seems so realistic. An interesting read, but certainly not "pick me up" escapist fiction.

  • RK

    If I cared more about this book, I might go back and count how many times the boy and the man have this exchange: Papa I'm scared. I know. How many times? Two dozen? Three? A hundred? By the time I made it to the end, I wanted to kill myself, so I couldn't understand why they didn't just put themselves out of our collective misery. In between the LAME dialogue, McCarthy throws in a few $10 words just to prove he's a "great" writer. Honestly, this drivel gets the Pulitzer? It's like Mad Max, only less interesting.

  • the whippet

    This is a very uncomfortable book to listen to, but I found it affected me quite a bit. I thought the reader did a good job with it. I still think about it often. If you are prone to getting depressed from stories maybe you should avoid this one.

  • Anonymous

    It reminded me of Grapes of Wrath. Very slow. I almost put it down several times. No beginning nor ending - it just drops you somewhere, explores and leaves you there. I had to go on line to find out where it even took place. Depressing. I suppose very well written - intimate descriptions - too much in my opinion (a paragraph about opening a can?) Read it for the style not the story.

  • Anonymous

    Kind of slow moving, but there were some good moments of suspense. Similar to other apocalyptic stories. But I never really understood the point of these two peoples' trek. Still it was worth the listen.

  • Diane

    Cormac McCarthy is a brilliant writer and this book is indeed haunting. I cannot imagine how he was able to get into the extreme descriptions he mastered for this doomsday journey. The relationship between father and son is touching. It is, however the same love we all experience with our children, just more so. I am one to prefer a far less bleak scenario when it comes to listening to a book. It was just too devastating for me to enjoy, I pray none of us ever has to live through such a plight. I, for one am not too sure I would like to go back to that place.

  • Diane Davis

    If you are prone to depression, don't read this book! It was a very dark subject and the fact that it ended with a tiny ray of hope did not make up for the hours of misery that preceded it. I don't think I would recommend this to anyone.

  • Anonymous

    This book was so depressing to listen to. I understand that it was well written, and may be tolerable to read, but listening to it on your way to and from from work every day is not a great way to put a smile on your face. If you are depressed and want to get even more depressed about the state of mankind and the world, this is your ticket.

  • Anonymous

    It's difficult to get interested in a book that is so abstract, lacks action and does not contain very much plot.

  • Anonymous

    I had such high hopes, remembering Oprah going on and on about how great of a read it was. I, like other reviewers hung in until the bitter end hoping for something that would make it all worth it... never happened. Bad book, bad ending, might have made an okay short story... but 6 CDs of torture... I concur with the reviewer that found the 100's of "OK" "OK" exchanges tormenting. Spare yourself rent something else.

  • ML

    Take my shoelaces... because this book makes me want to put them to use! The premise tantalized me with huge hopes for a modern day, intellectual sci-fi adventure on par with Wells' "War of the Worlds," but left me with only a mild irritation for the orator's voice and complete disgust for the writer's repetition of hokey phrases and complete lack of 'gotcha!' If most stories hold true to the form they taught us in middle school, there's a beginning, middle and end, this was one long middle with no climax, little character development and a blown chance at using a rich context to delve into man's inner nature and primal drives. Overall, I'd fail this writer and remind him that the world needs fast-food workers and at least it's an honest day’s work.

  • Pat Fish

    The WORST most depressing audio book I've EVER rented. McCarthy is a great writer, but it is so tedious, and unremittingly negative, I'd never recommend anyone read it lest they decide to commit suicide to avoid the post-holocaust future world. By the end of it I was insane with how every time the kid would say anything the father would repeat it back to him with a questioning uplift, and the kid would say it again. "OK." "OK?" "OK." I swear that exchange happened hundreds of times. I stuck with it through 6 CDs because I had to see some kind of resolved ending, and when it just sputters out you are left standing in the road wondering why you wasted so much time listening.

  • Grace Yang

    This book is dark, gruesome, and down right scary. However, you can't help but marvel at the writing ability of Colum McCarthy. His desription of end of the world and the perils the survivors face were too vividly painted for anyone to just give it a passing glance. You stand, mouth gape open, joints locked and pray real hard that in yours and your children's lifetime, you don't have to go through anything remotely like it.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this book. I didn't think I would, but I did. It was very well written; you could visualize all the scenes perfectly.

  • O'Malley

    "The Road" is a good story but I didn't like the reader of this book. His voice was a little monotonous at times.

  • Robert Hutton

    Cormac McCarthy is the great American writer of our time. If you want to read a great book read "No Country For Old Men". Read summaries of other titles and pick the ones that suit your taste. If you're ready for a riveting, traumatizing and brutally realistic apocalyptical tale read "The Road". Stark, realistic, and heart rending, it's unrelenting and unforgettable. It's a moving allegory. Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart.


by Cormac McCarthy

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Road, Cormac McCarthy
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