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The Road


The Road Cover

ISBN13: 9780307472120
ISBN10: 0307472124
Condition: Standard
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Hannah Mueller, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Hannah Mueller)
Some books are remembered for their complexity. Cormac McCarthy chilled me to the bone because of disturbing simplicity. The Road is an odyssey story, following a man and his boy across the wasteland that was once a familiar and 'civilized' nation of wealth and promise. McCarthy doesn't need a government conspiracy or a trail of riddles. His narration trudges on just as the two characters do, urged on by the greatest driving force life or literature can capture: survival. Guillermo del Toro-style monsters are not required as the most terrifying of creatures calmly converse with the protagonists on the road, their true intentions only clear in their starving eyes.

The movie isn't necessary for this kind of visual. The Road is a relatively 'easy' read in that the writing style is simple and broken up into short, manageable segments of narration, day by day, hour by hour, as the man and his boy make their way to the ocean. But wait. Why the ocean? McCarthy evoked the cynic in me, but also the fellow human being who can't help but pray that the emaciated pair somehow, someway, make it to their destination (whether or not salvation is actually there). But this novel is not to be confused with the fluff that rocks you to sleep after a long day when a novel that would rival Tolstoy doesn't look appealing anymore. After finishing The Road for the first time I sat quietly and thought for a good 10 minutes before moving. The thoughts and emotions it evokes vary from person to person, probably, but all I wanted to do once I came back to the land of the living was to walk out on that road, find that boy, and hug him until the world was right again.

As that wasn't possible, I just picked up The Road and read it again.
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Suprbee, January 21, 2011 (view all comments by Suprbee)
This is the darkest novel I have ever read, and McCarthy's descriptions did nothing to assuage my fears. It was horrifying to imagine how far humanity can fall, but McCarthy masterfully wove hope into a world where no hope would usually be found. If it was any other author, the story may have become too bogged down by the surroundings, but this focuses so completely on the father and son that you don't get lost in the details. They are the focus, and they are the hope.
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Maria DeLeon, April 1, 2010 (view all comments by Maria DeLeon)
Most of the time when you read the word' "post-apocalyptic America" on the back of a book a few things flash through your mind. Mostly cheesy sci-fi movies from the 80's right? Well Cormac McCarthy's vision will forever huant you, if you dicide to give it a try. His display of the simple love of a father, and the greater gumption of humanity, will bring you to tears. I felt i was in the torn burned america, the father and son's small and great victorys were mine too as well as there heart breaks. From the first words to the last i was captivated, Cormac McCarthy writes with a dark poetry that flows of the page and sticks in your mind long after you've closed the book.
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katatrina, February 3, 2010 (view all comments by katatrina)
Cormac McCarthy is undoubtably one of the best writers of our time. Even though you are a part of humanity and know its flaws, he makes you see it more thoroughly, more clearly. It's not a pretty picture that McCarthy paints. I am never sorry that I have read one of his books, even when there is no happy ending and no bright rainbow after the rain.
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vonzy101, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by vonzy101)
This is the first book my McCarthy that I've read and it was enthralling. I can't remember how many times I stopped and reread passages, not for confusion but because they were so beautifully written. I went out and bought another of his books as soon as I finished.

The Road is, hands down, the best book I've read lately, and I think maybe the best I've ever read.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

McCarthy, Cormac
Fathers and sons
Voyages and travels
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Vintage International
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7 x 4.25 x .8 in .325 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Road Used Mass Market
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Product details 304 pages Vintage International - English 9780307472120 Reviews:
"Review" by , "His 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. It might very well be the best book of the year, period."
"Review" by , "Vivid, eloquent . . . The Road is the most readable of [McCarthy's] works, and consistently brilliant in its imagining of the posthumous condition of nature and civilization."
"Review" by , "Illuminated by extraordinary tenderness. . . . Simple yet mysterious, simultaneously cryptic and crystal clear. The Road offers nothing in the way of escape or comfort. But its fearless wisdom is more indelible than reassurance could ever be."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "There is an urgency to each page, and a raw emotional pull . . . making [The Road] easily one of the most harrowing books you'll ever encounter. . . . Once opened, [it is] nearly impossible to put down; it is as if you must keep reading in order for the characters to stay alive. . . . The Road is a deeply imagined work and harrowing no matter what your politics."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "The love between the father and the son is one of the most profound relationships McCarthy has ever written."
"Review" by , "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."


National Book Critic's Circle Award Finalist

A New York Times Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year

The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post

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 foodand 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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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