The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of The Road

Book description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father…

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Why read it?

26 authors picked The Road as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Holy crap, I thought when I finished this incredible, gripping, award-winning book of dystopian fiction — this could really happen!

It isn't the easiest book to read if only because McCarthy disliked the punctuation readers have come to expect. Why bother with apostrophes or quotation marks anyway?

But this story! A father and son, at least you think that is their relationship, are trying to survive after something -- we don't know what -- wiped out most of the world's population. They can trust no one but each other and find out quickly that nice guys finish dead.

It's one…

This is a straight whisky of a dystopian novel. The prose is stark, all bones, no flesh, and the story fizzes along with a simple ‘journey’ plot. What you get along the way is skeletal poetry, honed so finely, so sparsely, so skillfully.

The prose is stripped of ornamentation, floridity, anything that detracts from the deep magnetism of this father and son’s quest through a dystopian wilderness. You end the novel breathless, praying this scenario never comes to pass, and in awe of McCarthy’s storytelling skills.

This is one of the bleakest books I have ever read. And then I read it again, and again.

Why? Because it is scary as hell, and extremely well written. It sets its claws into you and it won’t let go.

The Road is a dystopian masterpiece. The World has ended and what is left is mostly nothing but also horror almost beyond comprehension.

Murder, starvation, cannibalism, you name it. The book is scary because this could happen.

You are also deeply worried about the protagonists; the father and son of the story. In a World without hope, they…

I read The Road when I was working three jobs, enrolled in university full-time, and trying to figure out what it meant to be an adult. I felt the gut-punch bleakness of McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic future, and yet despite all the gray, grim privation, I found hope in the Man and the Boy’s march toward…something. While it’s not quite a fantasy, the ashen world rendered in McCarthy’s beautifully austere language changed the way I write, and changed the way I read. There is a sobering warning that I hear echoed in The Odyssey and Gilgamesh; something like an Ozymandian warning:…

I can’t say enough about this apocalyptic horror novel. The prose is beautiful, the realism adds to the tragedy, and the terror created is truly gut-wrenching. Everything that occurs in this story is realistic and powerful. This novel is so well done that the main characters don’t even need names for the reader to feel their pain. By reading this book, I learned exactly what high-level horror could truly be. If done right, horror can transcend into timeless art.

From Jackson's list on making you fall in love with horror.

The Road does an exceptional job portraying the detail and feeling of a lost world. A father and son attempt to survive after a cataclysm ended the known world. Basic items of survival are portrayed in such a real way that the audience feels what the survivors do.

The rush at finding a clean apple to eat. Safe shelter. A sense of hope. McCarthy excels at minimal description and dialogue, and yet the richness of his work and his signature style shows through. I’m personally very inspired by how effective his worlds feel without being overly defined. He has a…

From Livio's list on riveting worlds.

This novel terrified me as well as taught me how to pace a scary, post-apocalyptic story. In this book—which I read twice—every tender moment between the boy and his father is juxtaposed against the harshness of the landscape or the imminent threats of violence and/or cannibalism. When I was writing my own thriller I thought of The Road and how it felt to be immersed in McCarthy’s world. I wanted my readers to be similarly caught up, and I wanted every moment of backstory to propel the reader forward. The scene where the father fills up the bathtub in The…

I am a ferocious reader, always have been, and how I read is as important as what I read. I am a “full scope” reader, a reader who finds an author and begins at the beginning of a career and reads all the way through to the end. And so it is with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. It is one of those surprises that one finds after a long day's walk on the beach, something washed up, something that catches the eye, and demands a stoop, a sustained observation… and afterwards – one cannot believe one's fortune. So it…

What if the world as we know it came to an end? And what if you had a child to care for in this new merciless land? I'd just become a father when I picked up this book after hearing all the buzz about the novel. A story about a father and son traveling through an apocalyptic world: I read it in one night. The story is heartbreaking and unforgettable. And that's what great stories are supposed to do—they make you feel and bring out unexpected emotions. Author Cormac McCarthy is a master of doing just that.

Be prepared for the darkest, most depressing, and thoroughly engrossing end of the world novel out there. Follow the footsteps of a father and son as they traverse the wilds of what was once America, evading psychopathic cannibals, desperate wanderers, and a dying landscape. The heartfelt exchanges between the two, in the most desperate of times, are almost too relatable. And terrifying. 

From Brandon's list on dystopian books to binge read.

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