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Extended Audio Sample The Road, by Cormac McCarthy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00000733170081 out of 53.00000733170081 out of 53.00000733170081 out of 53.00000733170081 out of 53.00000733170081 out of 5 3.00 (272,788 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cormac McCarthy Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The future seems bleak. Nuclear holocaust has destroyed what was formally a magnificent world. No living thing remains other than human beings; no cows or chickens, no geese, not even any insects or trees. The entire world is gray. There are simple pleasures in life. A can of coke, dusty with grime, seemingly centuries old. Some seeds, not tasty, but edible. And then there is the boy. The boy knows nothing of comfort, and yet he never complains. The man remembers the night he was born almost as vividly as he remembers the night his wife left. He knows the boy will not make it through the winter, and so he travels. He travels even without possessions, almost without hope, to the South, toward the sea. Will they make it? Only time will tell.

Cormac McCarthy is one of America's most celebrated novelists. Born in 1933, he has written ten books, including The Road and No Country for Old Men. His 1985 book Blood Meridian won the honor of being among books chosen for Time magazine's list of 100 best books written between 1923 and 2005. His book The Road was also listed in 2005 as Time Magazine's best book written in the last ten years. There is speculation that McCarthy will at one point be nominated for the Nobel prize in literature, as well.

The Road is an astounding tale of nature and perseverance, of hope and deliverance. It is appropriate for all audiences young adult and up, and is sure to be on any avid reader's wish list.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Illuminated by extraordinary tenderness…Simple yet mysterious, simultaneously cryptic and crystal clear. The Road offers nothing in the way of escape and comfort. But its fearless wisdom is more indelible than reassurance could ever be.”

    New York Times

  • The Road is a wildly powerful and disturbing book that exposes whatever black bedrock lies beneath grief and horror. Disaster has never felt more physically and spiritually real.”


  • The Road is the logical culmination of everything [McCarthy]'s written.”


  • “A dark book that glows with the intensity of [McCarthy’s] huge gift for language…Why read this?…Because in its lapidary transcription of the deepest despair short of total annihilation we may ever know, this book announces the triumph of language over nothingness.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “No American writer since Faulkner has wandered so willingly into the swamp waters of deviltry and redemption…[McCarthy] has written this last waltz with enough elegant reserve to capture what matters most.”

    Boston Globe

  • “We find this violent, grotesque world rendered in gorgeous, melancholic, even biblical cadences…Few books can do more; few have done better. Read this book.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “The love between the father and son is one of the most profound relationships McCarthy has ever written.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection in 2007
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2006 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • A 2006 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2006 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2006 People Magazine Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2006 Time Magazine Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2006 Village Voice Literary Supplement 25 Favorite Book of the Year
  • A 2006 Washington Post Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2006 ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction
  • One of the 2006 Amazon Best Books of the Year
  • A Top 100 NPR Best Book for Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Winner of the 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize
  • A 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • A 2006 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim Healy | 2/7/2014

    " This book is a tombstone. Let's hope we never see it come to pass. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Hilarry | 1/31/2014

    " An interesting take on a post apocalyptic America. Sad story line but keeps your interest through out. Decent but sad ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Andy Chung | 1/26/2014

    " McCarthy doesn't flinch in describing the brutality of human nature in the absence of law and moral code, yet provides a tender love story between a man and his son as they struggle to survive through a post-apocalyptic world. The Road shows us the importance of not necessarily spirituality or religion, but rather faith in humanity and oneself. This novel's no-nonsense style had a grip on me from page 1, and reaffirmed that for all of us, perception IS reality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ian Massey | 1/18/2014

    " Sparse prose that is as bleak as the story it tells. Completely believable dialogue (such as it is). You really believe that the two characters are living the story and feel for them at every turn. Probably the most heart-wrenching book I have read. "

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