Cover of: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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Last edited by Lisa
November 18, 2021 | History
An edition of The Road (2004)

The Road

First Vintage International Edition (11)
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Previews available in: English French Polish Italian Catalan

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.
(back cover)

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Edition Availability
Cover of: The Road
The Road
2010, Picador
Paperback in English - printing (12)
Cover of: The Road
The Road
2009?, Vintage International
Paperback in English - 1st Vintage International ed., movie tie-in (28)
Cover of: The Road
The Road
2009, Vintage International
Mass Market Paperback in English - 1st Vintage International edition (1); Movie tie-in
Cover of: La route
La route
2008-09, Éd. France loisirs
Hardcover in French - Edition du Club France Loisirs
Cover of: Droga
2008, Wydawn. Literackie
in Polish - Wyd. 1.
Cover of: The Road
The Road
2008, Vintage International
Mass Market Paperback in English - 1st Vintage International open-market ed., Movie Tie-In (1)
Cover of: La strada
La strada
2007, Einaudi
in Italian
Cover of: La carretera
La carretera
2007-11, Random House Mondadori
Hardcover in Catalan - Septima edicion
Cover of: The Road
The Road
2006, Alfred A. Knopf
Hardcover in English - 1st ed.
Cover of: The Road
The Road
2006, Vintage International
Paperback in English - First Vintage International Edition (11)

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Book Details

Published in

New York, USA

Edition Notes


Copyright Date


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
PS3563.C337 R63 2006

The Physical Object

Number of pages
8 x 6.8 x 0.9 inches
11 ounces

ID Numbers

Open Library
LC Control Number
2006023629, 2009517518
Library Thing

Work Description

Cormac McCarthy's tenth novel, The Road, is his most harrowing yet deeply personal work. Some unnamed catastrophe has scourged the world to a burnt-out cinder, inhabited by the last remnants of mankind and a very few surviving dogs and fungi. The sky is perpetually shrouded by dust and toxic particulates; the seasons are merely varied intensities of cold and dampness. Bands of cannibals roam the roads and inhabit what few dwellings remain intact in the woods.

Through this nightmarish residue of America a haggard father and his young son attempt to flee the oncoming Appalachian winter and head towards the southern coast along carefully chosen back roads. Mummified corpses are their only benign companions, sitting in doorways and automobiles, variously impaled or displayed on pikes and tables and in cake bells, or they rise in frozen poses of horror and agony out of congealed asphalt. The boy and his father hope to avoid the marauders, reach a milder climate, and perhaps locate some remnants of civilization still worthy of that name. They possess only what they can scavenge to eat, and the rags they wear and the heat of their own bodies are all the shelter they have. A pistol with only a few bullets is their only defense besides flight. Before them the father pushes a shopping cart filled with blankets, cans of food and a few other assets, like jars of lamp oil or gasoline siphoned from the tanks of abandoned vehicles—the cart is equipped with a bicycle mirror so that they will not be surprised from behind.

Through encounters with other survivors brutal, desperate or pathetic, the father and son are both hardened and sustained by their will, their hard-won survivalist savvy, and most of all by their love for each other. They struggle over mountains, navigate perilous roads and forests reduced to ash and cinders, endure killing cold and freezing rainfall. Passing through charred ghost towns and ransacking abandoned markets for meager provisions, the pair battle to remain hopeful. They seek the most rudimentary sort of salvation. However, in The Road, such redemption as might be permitted by their circumstances depends on the boy’s ability to sustain his own instincts for compassion and empathy in opposition to his father’s insistence upon their mutual self-interest and survival at all physical and moral costs.

The Road was the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

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When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.
added by Lisa. "first sentence"

Links outside Open Library

Community Reviews (1)

Genres 1 Sci-fi 100% Mood 1 Suspenseful 11% Hopeful 11% Tense 11% Melancholy 11% Gloomy 11% Dark 11% Fearful 11% Ominous 11% Emotional 11%


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