The Road

The Road 2

by Cormac McCarthy

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 27/10/2009

4/5 Rating 2 Reviews
RRP  $19.99 $17.25

"So good that it will devour you. It is incandescent" Daily Telegraph

A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food - and each other.


"A masterpiece that will soon be considered a classic" Herald

"McCarthy conjures from this pitiless flight the miracle of unswerving humanity. Gripping beyond belief" Chris Cleave, Sunday Telegraph

"One of the most shocking and harrowing but ultimately redemptive books I have read. It is an intensely intimate story. It is also a warning" Kirsty Wark, Observer Books of the Year

"You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerized. All the modern novel can do is done here" Alan Warner, Guardian

"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" Andrew O'Hagan
Contemporary fiction
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Pan Macmillan
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
3rd Edition
Dimensions (mm):
Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is the author of many acclaimed novels, including Blood Meridian, The Road and No Country For Old Men.

Among his honours are the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (2 Ratings)
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  • Compelling and confronting

    by on

    THE ROAD is the answer to the question of how one could go on in the face of utter devastation and against a seemingly godless universe. It tells us to carry the fire and to keep being the good guys, even if all concepts of good and evil have been eradicated, and it seems as if the world is begging us to surrender to a state of savagery. It is the vision of the world as it truly is, stripped of all illusion and make-believe. It is in here that we find what is truly valuable in this world.

    Humanity's tendency for savagery is terrifyingly portrayed in the book. The world is full of cannibals and rapists and killers. Some parts of the book made me gasp in horror. This is the almost unspeakable side of human nature, one that is too ghastly to behold. And this is what McCarthy believes the world will descend to when such an apocalypse comes about. I fear that he is right.

    The hopeless and indifferent reality of the universe was one of the other major themes in THE ROAD. The "intestate earth" is dying and is leaving nothing for its inhabitants. Even with all the suffering, death, pain, and the enormous calamity that has befallen humankind, the earth keeps circling the sun, coldly and relentlessly.

    There is one tiny spark of hope, however: the boy. It seems impossible that a kind, caring, and selfless child would be born into a world that has been overrun by evil. After seeing another child, the boy pleads with his father to take him with them, even offering to give up half of his own food to feed him. He even goes as far as to beg his father for the life of a thief who would have taken everything from them. THE ROAD is about this boy, and the innate kindness he possesses despite living in a world where evil is supreme.

    THE ROAD is an incredible book. Even though the subject matter of this book can be quite depressing, McCarthy writes so beautifully that you'll want to keep reading despite all of that. It can seem like a very nihilistic book, with its continued depictions of an indifferent universe and a depraved and violent humanity. At the centre of it, however, is the boy. He is McCarthy's answer to this senseless universe, to these dark aspects of human nature. The focus is the boy's propensity for goodness in the face of overwhelming evil.

    This may be the smallest glimmer of hope, but I'll take it.

  • A dark post-apocalyptic tale

    by on

    The Road is the tale of a father and son who journey through America in a post-apocalyptic landscape where humankind has turned on itself as the remaining populace struggle to survive.

    Cormac McCarthy sets such a dark and desparate scene, but ultimately the book leaves a small glimmer of hope. It's brilliantly written giving only the minimum detail of how the world came into the state it finds itself, which only adds to the mystery and spellbinding nature of the novel. A great read.