The Road

The Road

Book - 2006 | First Vintage International edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:

The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive.

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 food--and 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.

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
Publisher: New York :, Vintage International,, [2006]
Edition: First Vintage International edition
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780307387899
Branch Call Number: F MCC
Characteristics: 287 pages ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 10, 2020

Do not read this book unless you are looking for a good cry. Portrayed are the extremes that man will go through to stay alive or even just avoid a painful death. This book is hopeless, but in the midst of it all the boy is a symbol of hope. He lives when everything around him is dying. After reading this book you will appreciate your life, because if you have food, safety, shelter, shoes, then you have more than the father and son in the story. They are in constant danger and are struggling to find enough food to keep them alive in this post-apocalyptic world. Be wary of this phenomenal book that explores raw humanity.

Nov 16, 2020

Very dark, so be in a good place when you read it. Despite that, the language is beautiful. I felt the hopeless hope they held out.

emilyhart66 Oct 05, 2020

A modern classic. The Road is one of those books that profoundly touches us, a book that deserves to be read and read again. There is a lyrical quality to the pacing and phrasing that made me think of haiku. Also the film based on the book was well done.

Jul 30, 2020

The Road is a fiction novel written by Cormac McCarthy which won the 2007 Pulitzer prize. It is set in a post-apoplectic world and follows a father and son's journey along a road in search of warmer weather at the coast. The novel is stripped down so that it includes no unnecessary words especially when using dialogue. This style took awhile for me to get used to but the bluntness ended up making the message clear. The vivid descriptions of the desolate world paint a detailed picture in your mind. Overall this novel has a unique style and great descriptions. I would give The Road four out of five stars.
@Nessie of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

CCPL_Theresa Jan 08, 2020

Have you ever read a sentence and thought to yourself, “Wow, that was beautiful.”? That is how I felt during times reading this book. Cormac McCarthy is known for his lyrical and systematically complex writing style. With a lack of grammar during conversations (no quotation marks) and unusual sentence organization, the novel can sometimes be difficult to read. The author often brings up the question of good versus evil. In a land where bands of hungry cannibals roam and starvation is a dire concern, it’s hard to believe that the good can survive.

Oct 27, 2019

A future world where EVERYONE is HOMELESS and only the strongest and cleverest and most resourceful can survive. After reading this book you will never look at a homeless person pushing a shopping cart the same again.
There's a movie based on it; also available from SPL.

May 15, 2019

One of the best books I've read: powerful, imaginative, and gripping. The sentences are as sparse as the apocalyptic landscape of the story, accompanied by very little punctuation except for commas and periods. But the love of the father for his son shines through and the book had me in tears by the end. Masterfully written.

IndyPL_ShainaS Apr 10, 2019

I featured this book on my "Not My Cup of Tea" recommendations list, with the explanation that I might reread it one day, but since it's "so very gloom and depressing," I wasn't sure. Working at a library, books often find a way across my path, and so eventually I gave in to a little depressing. Annnnd my thoughts remain much the same. It's a strange book, and (mostly) beautifully written, and I understand the intentions with this father and son saga. But I still think more could have been achieved, and I still think the ending is its weakest part. After so much bleak and broken trekking, it rang less than true.

Apr 05, 2019

" We need to get out of the road. Why Papa? Someone's coming. Is it bad guys? Yes. I'm afraid so. They could be good guys. Couldnt they? He didnt answer. He looked at the sky out of old habit but there was nothing to see. What are we going to do, Papa? Let's go. Can we go back to the fire? No. Come on. We probably dont have much time. I'm really hungry. I know. What are we going to do? We have to hole up. Get off the road. Will they see our tracks? Yes. What can we do about it? I dont know. Will they know what we are? What? If they see our tracks. Will they know what we are? He looked back at their great round tracks in the snow. They'll figure it out, he said. Then he stopped. We need to think about this. Let's go back to the fire." " What woke the boy was him grinding the coffee in a small hand grinder. He sat up and stared all around. Papa? he said. Hi. Are you hungry? I have to go to the bathroom. I have to pee. He pointed with the spatula toward the low steel door. He didnt know how to use the toilet but they would use it anyway. They werent going to be here that long and he wasnt going to be opening and closing the hatch any more than he had to."

Apr 05, 2019

The Road written by Cormac McCarthy is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. This book was recommended to me by my High school teacher and I would like to share my opinions of it with you guys. This books starts off a bit slow but it starts building up at the end of the first chapter when the son witnesses the death of a guy he wanted to save. The novel shows the survival of a Father and his son after the apocalypse in a devastated world full of cannibalism. The book shows the bond between the father and the son perfectly adding to the beauty of it. This book makes you fall in love with the characters hoping for their survival in that wretched world. I would give this Book a 5/5 rating and would recommend it to every person who loves books that have a taste of survival while also having great character development. @Eko of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jul 13, 2018

EMILY GAMBOA thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 19, 2018

gomiami1972 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Apr 14, 2015

kalsmom thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

mgracefry Dec 01, 2014

mgracefry thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 01, 2013

wallyworld_bc thinks this title is suitable for 97 years and over

jacqulyn123789 Aug 31, 2012

jacqulyn123789 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Mar 16, 2012

everydayathena thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Atomicapples Dec 17, 2011

Atomicapples thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Sep 21, 2009

gailygirl thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over


Add a Summary
ArapahoeSusanW Oct 08, 2016

So many people rate this highly, but I just couldn't appreciate a graphic depiction of a post apocalyptic America. Maybe it was my state of mind but when I read, I don't want something dead depressing no matter how well written.

jackjackattack95 Jul 19, 2014

A boy and his father struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic United States.

Apr 14, 2010

Pulitzer Prize, Oprah's Book club, apocalypse, cannibalism, fathers and sons, Nuclear war, survival, hard to read


Add a Quote
IndyPL_ShainaS Apr 10, 2019

The blackness he woke to on those nights was sightless and impenetrable. A blackness to hurt your ears with listening.

IndyPL_ShainaS Apr 10, 2019

This is my child, he said. I was a dead man's brains out of his hair. That is my job.


Add Notices
Aug 22, 2014

Violence: Mild. A man is shot in the head, some injuries.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RPL

To Top