Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - The Road

The Road
The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
At once brutal and tender, despairing and rashly hopeful, spare of language and profoundly moving, this work is a fierce and haunting meditation on the tenuous divide between civilization and savagery, and the essential, sometimes terrifying power of filial love.
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780307387899
ISBN-10: 0307387895
Publication Date: 3/28/2007
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 2017 ratings
Publisher: Vintage Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Road on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 43
This is a work of art. Many people say it is a dark, depressing book. In some ways, that is true, but the beauty of the relationship between the father and son creates a depth and richness contrasting the dire circumstances the characters are facing. Cormac McCarthy writes with ellegance. His text is filled with imagery and often reads like poetry. Quotations and tag lines aren't used and yet because the characters voices are so strong, you have no trouble determining who is speaking. You walk with them on their journey and become so immersed in the world the are in, you will cry when they suffer and wish you could somehow jump in and save them. I couldn't put it down and cried more than once while reading it. It is so powerful, you will feel like you've just lived through this tragic, poignant story yourself.
iluvlibros avatar reviewed The Road on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 36
This is one of the most thought-provoking and well-written books I have read. Yes, it's dark. Yes, it's disturbing. But it's also a beautiful story of a father and son's relationship and determination to survive in a terrifying world. Some of the scenes in the book still haunt me, but this is one of those books that I know I'll read over and over again.
reviewed The Road on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 24
I couldn't put the book down even though it was one of the most depressing books I've ever read. I kept waiting for something good to happen. The end was not as uplifting as I had hoped for. I would not recomend this to a friend. That's why I'm posting it.
jeffp avatar reviewed The Road on + 201 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
A plodding book, with no point as far as I can tell. No character development, no explanations for the situation, nothing. The prose is oddly structured and stilted, perhaps in an attempt to be more like prose poetry than story telling. I finished it, but I don't know why. I certainly didn't learn anything from it.

Update on 11/29/08: As I was scrolling through my previous posted reviews I came across this one and a new thought occurred to me. I suspect that if this book had been written by an unknown author it would never have been published, let alone selected by Oprah. The only thing that caused it to get noted at all - because it sure isn't the contents - is the fact that a major, published author wrote it. I suggest reading something else.
reviewed The Road on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 21
This book is dark and disturbing but, I just could not put it down. I read it in a day and am haunted by the images floating around in my head. The book is a testament to a father's love and the lengths a person will go to when faced with the most desperate situation. It will make you think of things you never want to think about.
Read All 311 Book Reviews of "The Road"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed The Road on + 50 more book reviews
I read this book for my book club. We haven't met to discuss it yet but I am looking forward to the conversation. Difficult to say that I loved the book as the subject matter is so bleak but it was extremely well done. The prose and the subject matter meshed beautifully. The dearth of color in the book made me appreciate our colorful world the more. There was beauty in the love between the man and his son and beauty in the nature of the son. But I was hoping for just a sprig of green to give hope to the world.
fyrefairy54 avatar reviewed The Road on + 13 more book reviews
A terrible tragedy befalls the earth. Its aftermath leaves a barren world, where a man, ill, gtubbornly trying to make the best of a horrible situation, takes his young son on a seemingly endless journey on 'the road.'
This world is full of greys: grey sky, grey damaged earth, dark grey, useless trees...and the two survivors wander to find something better.
I have seen the film and read the book--neither gives much comfort. The only episode in the book that comforts a little concerns a bunker with a cache of food the man finds, and they sojourn there for a short while. It is the closest thing to joy I've seen in the book.
For those who can deal with tragedy on this scale, or as a cautionary tale of what could be, this is a good read. For me, though, both film and book made me sad.
I give this book four stars. The only part of this book I would reread is the passage about that brief sojourn. The rest would be left unread, and I would then imagine a better ending for the story....
wantonvolunteer avatar reviewed The Road on + 84 more book reviews
I read this book in less than a day, could not put it down, but could not read it without my kids around me, laughing and playing and being safe. I couldn't read it last night in bed alone, that was too too scary. I love how McCarthy writes so cleanly, I wasn't constantly scribbling down words I don't know that I'd have to look up later; he's just straightforward and raw and somehow strangely beautiful even when he's describing post-apocolyptic carnage. The love between these two characters "the man" and "the boy," was so powerful, so moving.

Book Wiki

The Man (Primary Character)
The Boy (Primary Character)
Awards and Honors


Want fewer ads?