Read a sample of The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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Cormac McCarthy is one of the USA's most important literary novelists. The Road has been hailed by critics as a masterpiece. This novel paints a bleak vision of a post-apocalyptic America; a land where no hope remains. A man and his son walk alone towards the coast, and this is the moving story of their journey. The Road is an unflinching exploration of human behavior - from ultimate destructiveness to extreme tenderness. Cormac McCarthy has written ten novels, including Blood Meridian and the Border Trilogy series. He has previously won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

"Work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away. It will knock the breath from your lungs." The Times

"The Road is many things, it is brilliantly-written, poetic, compelling and terrible in its beauty, but there is one thing that it certainly is not, and that is a fun read. It is, in fact, heart-breaking; playing strongly on the reader's basic human instinct to protect their young at all costs and the father’s sense of desperation, dread and isolation are almost palpable." Fantasy Book Review logo logo

Reader reviews

from Los Angeles


Slow start. brilliant finish. This book really can do a number on you emotionally. If you cry reading books, you'll weep for this many times during the book. You tell me who else can write like this? You prob. can't because no one else has. could. or prob. ever will. Book is too good.

from Austria


Just read this book for the third time and it never fails to evoke the very strongest emotions. Love, fear, anger, hope all war with each other. What never fails to surprise me is that a book as bleak and unendingly desolate as The Road leaves me full of hope for the future. I think this is because there is immense love within each family that will hopefully ensure that each parent will do whatever they can to offer an improved life to their child. And this I hope will lead to the human race being less destructive with each new generation. I know that it was likely a super volcano that caused the environment the Man and the Boy struggled to survive in but the cause is not really relevant, and living in harmony with the planet must be achieved.

from Nowhereland


This is a book you've got to read in one sitting. It may be depressing, but it's a depressing life they live, and there is some hope at the end, though I do not wish to ruin it for people. You care about these nameless people, these wanderers who travel a darkened road. You can't help but picture yourself in their shoes. Throughout the entire journey (because it's not a tale; it's something you live) I pictured it as myself and my younger brother, and you can't help but feel all sorts of emotions. When they are at their worst, you feel bleak, give up any hope. When their luck comes through, it's not joy you feel, but a sense of distracted joy, that you know you can't have it this way forever, and you have to keep thinking ahead. The only bit I didn't like about this is how McCarthy writes his books. I've never been a fan, but his style worked. No sense of correct grammar and a bare writing style that reflects how the world has been stripped down and devoid of almost anything resembling what we are used to. Still, it was damn annoying.

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