The Road, Paperback
4 out of 5 (11 ratings)


By the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007, this is the story of a father and son walking alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast.

It has been hailed as '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 Harvey Weinstein's film was released in the UK on 8 January 2010 with an all-star cast including Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall, and introducing major new young talent, Kodi Smit McPhee, with a soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. '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




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 5 of 11 reviews.

  Previous  |  Next

Review by
"He was just hungry, Papa. He's going to die.He's going to die anyway.He's so scared, Papa.The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I'm scared." Ah a book that lives up to the hype.Taking the dystopian tropes of a dying world filled with marauding cannibalistic gangs and entwining it with an emotional father & son tale. McCarthy produces a highly stylistic, hauntingly beautiful and gut wrenching story.I fell in love with the pared down style: no background, no names, dialogue shorn of anything extraneous. All serving to underline the horror of it but also freeing the story to simply explore its themes. Ok it's not that subtle but never mires itself in preachiness, the characters maybe symbols but they are also very real and it's this core humanity that holds the tale for me. The exploration of faith and hope seems very human.Of course reading so quickly left me with many questions. Why the sudden insertion of overwrought baroque language? Should I take the ending at face value? Does vermiculate mean what I think it does? What McCarthy book should I read next? I think it says something that afterwards I am still motivated to answer them. Although I am not sure I could reread, surely it would loose it's impact.So it's not for everyone. Probably for every reason I loved it some may hate it, too mysterious, too nasty, too minimilist, too repetitive
Review by

I read this at a sitting, completely unable to put it down. Once I had finished, in bed, late at night, I couldn't sleep for fear but lay watching a tree through the window. This seems to me so much nore plausible a future than those described in most visions of future disaster. Usually, there is some cataclysmic event that kills most of the people, and the plucky survivors scrape a living from the remains of civilization while they remake their world. Here we've destroyed the world all right, but there is no going back. No chance to start again, no cosy community to settle down to rebuilding. The world is destroyed. There is no food, no shelter and no hope. Plant and animal life has gone and with them beauty and peace. The man and the boy struggle on, carrying 'the flame' of humanity that only they seem to recall.'This is the way the world ends: not with a bang, but a whimper'Incredibly, this is still a book of great beauty and compassion; but a book to make you weep.

Review by

A man and a boy travel towards the coast in a dark, grey, desolate, devastated landscape. We don't know their names - they don't matter any more. In this ruined, post-apocalyptic world, nothing grows and nothing can ultimately survive. The two travel the road, hiding from other, potentially hostile, survivors. When they find old stores of food, they eat, otherwise they starve.Despite its bleakness, which is reflected in the stark language and organisation of the book, the story is full of hope. Without hope, the two would not be travelling. Throughout the book, the reader wonders why the man doesn't just give up. But that would mean having to kill the child and then himself. The man, although he is clearly very sick, can't bring himself to commit the act. He must have hope of something. But what? That there are other good guys out there?Towards the end of the book, the man knows he is dying. Effectively, he abandons his child, telling him to keep going. To me it seemed an extreme and irrational hope, given the preceeding journey. And yet, the book does end on a hopeful note.This is a very thought-provoking and troubling read. We wonder what we would do, in the same circumstances. (I suspect that I would have given up long before the start of the story.) The language strongly reflects the story, it is stark and plain. The organisation is in short passages, with no chapters, and repitition of themes - reflecting the journey along the road. Like the road, there is no ultimate conclusion.

Review by

A good read - the growing tension was wonderfully achieved.

Review by

Not as good as the hype would have you believe.

  Previous  |  Next

Also by Cormac McCarthy   |  View all