Get Your Free Audiobook

The Road

Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (283 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.74

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2007

America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

Bleak but brilliant, with glimmers of hope and humor, The Road is a stunning allegory and perhaps Cormac McCarthy's finest novel to date. This remarkable departure from his previous works has been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a "novel of horrific beauty, where death is the only truth".

McCarthy, a New York Times best-selling author, is a past recipient of the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He is widely considered one of America's greatest writers.

©2006 M-71, Ltd. (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

Critic Reviews

"McCarthy's prose retains its ability to seduce...and there are nods to the gentler aspects of the human spirit." (The New Yorker)
"One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal...Every moment of The Road is rich with dilemmas that are as shattering as they are unspoken...McCarthy is so accomplished that the reader senses the mysterious and intuitive changes between father and son that can't be articulated, let alone dramatized...Both lyric and savage, both desperate and transcendent, although transcendence is singed around the edges...Tag McCarthy one of the four or five great American novelists of his generation." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    186
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    188
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    167
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing read

Brilliant story, brilliantly read. A disturbing, violent picture of a world in chaos, balanced with a story of a father's love for his child. Absolutely beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The high bar of dystopian fiction

The sparse, minimal prose add greatly to the haunting effect of this novel. Loved the narration. Did I mention bleak?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing!

awesome! I loved the movie and now I'll always be listening to audiobooks on audible before I watch the movie if possible, narration & story both amazing!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

short and sweet

The best way to describe it would be poetry with a storyline. The writing is beautiful and the plot enthralling, absolutely worth every second. also super grim so don't play it if you are sad 😔

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pithy Brilliant

I am so glad that I got this, no wonder it has been recognized as a special book. It should be read by everybody, you will appreciate what we have now and perhaps the scenario depicted can be averted.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Dystopian

A very good gut wrenching performance of a dystopian future we all hope never arrives. Not a book to be tackled if you are feeling fragile or down... gruelling

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This was a beautiful story to listen to. I don’t usually listen to fiction, but this was on the book club list so I had to give it a go! It was excellent and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. The voices were done very well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful. Pitiful. Full of hope but also despair.

A dark story of a man's love for his son pitted against the backdrop of Armageddon. Surviving unspeakable encounters with the dead and the living on their journey to nowhere. Good against evil with no winners. Powerfully narrated. Hard to use the word enjoyable for such a tale but enjoy it I did. Not a book for the faint of heart.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Ouch! My aching feels.

Cormac McCarthy writes with such eloquence. This book moved me. There is a potency here of almost immeasurable beauty. I loved this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Road

Excellent story, loved it! A beautiful tale of love and survival. Want to read more by this author!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. McGee
  • J. McGee
  • 30-10-2015

Couldn't finish it

Man, this book is rough. It just felt like it would never end and the story was all twisted. I will try to go back to it, but it's a tough one.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jordan
  • Jordan
  • 24-06-2007

Tedium Uninterrupted

To say that a post-apocalyptic world would be difficult and dismal doen't seem very innovative. To take this basic concept and stretch it over the period of severla hoursr is excruciating. Perhaps if there had been some more depth regarding the pre-apocalypse nature of the characters, the events leading up to the event, etc. - it could have been bearable. Whatever you do, don't listen to this when you're in a depressive state. Believe me, it only gets worse and worse.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-2018

I listened to this in school in 2015 Still ehhhh

it was a struggle to finish. I've listened to it 2 times, and even years after highschool, I still dont like it.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R. Jones
  • R. Jones
  • 17-12-2017

Least Favorite Audiobook

I enjoyed the movie, so I assumed that I would enjoy the audiobook. I was wrong. It was difficult to follow along and I frequently lost interest. I found myself having to rewind just to better understand what was going on. I would not recommend this audiobook.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew Becker
  • Matthew Becker
  • 01-11-2017

Boring man, with a Boring son takes a boring trip

So I had to read this book for a college class on Post-apocalyptic narrative. The characters are flat, the story is slow and pointlees reading more like a series of interchangeable episodic parts

if you like big purple language, the words Dark, Gray, Ash, Cold, or any synonym of those, or a lack luster uneventful story about a man and his son "surviving" Armageddon, not the event, the after party. then you may get something out of this book.

if you want a really good story go play the game "Last of Us"

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SARAKAY
  • SARAKAY
  • 13-08-2017

eloquent, but nothing happened.

Maybe I'm just simple, but I could not find a story arc nor could I bring myself to care about the characters. kept waiting for something to happen, and then it ended.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Freddy Sextons
  • Freddy Sextons
  • 16-04-2017

This child in the story is so annoying

Every time the main characters encounter any new situation the child whines that he's so scared.
"Papa" has to tell this child "ahm sorry" every time the child whines he's so scared.
I was hoping for the child to die or Papa to die so the story ends.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jocelyn
  • jocelyn
  • 13-03-2017

Let me save you some time.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If anything at all happened.

Has The Road turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

Tome Stechschulte is a great reader. I have listened to, and enjoyed many other books that he has performed. This book is simply not good.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Road?

I wouldn't have cut anything... I would have added something, anything.

Any additional comments?

The entire narrative consists of the words, "Im scared", "Stay here", "Yes". and "OK". There is little to no character building.There is no crescendo.Nothing happens.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K. Gallagher
  • K. Gallagher
  • 02-07-2016

Disappointed.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I'd like to know more about why the country was scorched and how it became that way. I suppose not knowing the full story keeps you guessing.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I story line or plot didn't keep me 'wanting more'. Half way through I was just looking forward to the end where maybe something interesting would happen or I could move on to the next book. I was hapy to know as I went through that it was a short story of just 6+ hours.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

The narrator did a good job but honestly, the voices never fit persons image I had in my head and there were only three voices to play so probably a routine job for Tom.

Did The Road inspire you to do anything?

Ah, start burying cans of food for the apocalypse?

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Karen
  • Karen
  • 07-01-2013

This won the Pulitzer? You're kidding.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was so-so. The story is silly. It's so over-the-top dark that it's ridiculous at times. Yes, people can be horrible, but the level of horrible in this book is totally overdone. It was not believable, at least to me. And the story becomes highly predictable. The prose is also over the top. It's adjective soup. I'm stunned that this overwrought piece won the Pulitzer. I must be missing something here.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Least interesting was its predictability. I'm trying to think of what I thought was most interesting, but can't.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending, albeit predictable. Can't tell whether I liked it because I was glad the story finally came to an end and I could buy a different book, or because I enjoyed the exchange between the good guy stranger and the boy. Probably a bit of both.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for a good Pulitzer winner, I'd suggest The True Story of Ned Kelly or Olive Kitteridge, but not this. Either I'm off my nut (entirely possible) or the Pulitzer committee was off its.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SKA
  • SKA
  • 20-09-2009

Perfect for the road - or anywhere else

McCarthy's book makes outstanding listening. I was fearful before buying this having read some of his previous books, which are occasionally tough going in their style. But The Road is brilliantly sparse - clipped, original and vivid imagery and a compelling narrative which never explans itself and just keeps you following. McCarthy is a master at avoiding the cliched descriptions of some (many, most) authors and this is the finest example of this, in my humble opinion.
The narration is even and atmospheric, with a compelling delivery - just like the story itself.
Superb!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suzanne Martin
  • Suzanne Martin
  • 23-08-2011

Heartbreaking

I was in tears at the end of this book - I felt like I was right there at the end with he Son and Father, and I knew them so well it was like saying goodbye to friends. The story is so incredibly well written, you are immediately drawn in to the story and I can picture the landscape so vividly in my mind that I am not sure if I should watch the film adaptation or not. I could very easily have listened to this book all in one sitting, but I had to sleep sometime!

Other reviewers have mentioned the lack of chapter breaks, but I think that this is natural to the story - you are seeing through the eyes of the Son or Father, and they are not writing a novel, so they wouldn't break off from their battle for survival to start a new paragraph!

A special mention must go to the excellent narration, which was perfectly paced and judged throughout.

I found this book to be a rare example of being worthy of all the praise I have heard heaped upon it.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ellepeapatz
  • Ellepeapatz
  • 18-07-2008

Poetic and thought provoking.

Having read the 2 previous reviews a number of times I was put off listening to this. At the recommendation of a friend I finally took the plunge - I wish I had done so ages ago.

The conversational style and poetic nature make it perfect for audible. The narrator sounded just as I imagined the Father would. I listened whenever I could and looked forward to the next instalment. Occasionally my heart rate rose in anticipation of on-coming violence but overall the story is beautiful. It's biblical themes and believable imaginings of post apocalyptic America are thought provoking.

I rarely listen to anything twice but I will make an exception with this.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GC
  • GC
  • 01-11-2010

An Excellent Audiobook

Forget the recent film, this is the real deal. A father and his son travel a road leading towards the South - and a respite from the winter cold.
However, this is a post-apocalyptic world they traverse; the atmosphere full of ash, no plants growing and all animals and most humans dead. Most of the people who remain have turned into savages - a real state of nature where human life is 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.'
This book makes you ask questions about yourself - could you survive in such an environment? How would you behave towards others?
McCarthy's spare writing style is well suited to this type of narrative and it is superbly read by Tom Stechschulte.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jo Franklin
  • Jo Franklin
  • 09-08-2015

Heartbreaking and amazing

Seriously heartbreaking. What a story. Great direction and narration too! The voices were really well done :)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian Garstang
  • Ian Garstang
  • 07-07-2014

So Desolate, So Miserable, But So Good!

What made the experience of listening to The Road the most enjoyable?

The story painted a picture of a future so bleak it defines the apocalypse genre... The reader did a great job defining the characters and emotions.

What did you like best about this story?

Great story, short running time and engaging characters.

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I will be looking at his other books

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Pretty much!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gregory
  • Gregory
  • 23-05-2008

a chilling vision of the future

I suspect that a lot of people coming to The Road have, like myself, been introduced to McCarthy thanks to the recent film adaptation of No Country for Old Men, and so this is probably a good reference point.

No Country received near universal critical acclaim, but in my experience audience reaction was a little more mixed. Sure, plenty (including myself) agreed with the critics, but many seemed to think the desolate speech, settings, lack of truly cataclysmic events, and the closing dream sequence were entirely off-putting.

Well, all of the above factors are present in The Road, in a far greater density than in No Country. Our lead character is in a similar mould to Tommy Lee Jones with his slow, considered speech, there is the lack of a traditional climax, and the story starts with a dream sequence to rival that in No Country.

The story follows ?The Man? and ?The Boy? as they travel a road across the southern United States attempting to get to the coast following an unknown apocalyptic event. Needless to say, our travellers encounter both natural and human challenges in this desolate world and these are the main focus. It is worth noting here that, again like No Country, some of these encounters involve extreme violence and extremely distressing images; those of a nervous disposition should certainly beware.

From an Audible point of view, the book is of a manageable length and very well narrated. Despite this I do wonder if the inability to dwell on some of McCarthy?s topics means that something lost in the transition from page to wave; perhaps the forced pacing a narrator gives makes up for this, I don?t know. Finally, I always prefer chapters in audiobooks as they allow for a natural breaking point, and these are lacking here.

Overall, if you enjoyed No Country you will get something worthwhile from this and it is certainly worth your time. The opposite of course also applies, and at least for some, this is worth considering

23 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kate
  • Kate
  • 21-02-2018

I cried....

Enjoyed, but the encounters in the book got a little same same. I cried, so that's always a good indicator of an author who has really pulled me into the book and characters. would recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 19-02-2010

Excellent adaptation

I felt the narrator's voice took a little getting used to but, once I had, this was an enthralling tale of a great book. the inherent difficulties of conveying the book in voice were extremely well tackled through a measured narration. The different characters were well handled. The denouement was incredibly moving.

Al in all, a superb adaptation: highly recommended.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jamie G
  • Jamie G
  • 24-04-2018

Great book, narrator a bit hokey.

Really enjoyed this but felt the narrator was a little hokey and plaintive at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful