The Road

Ranked #1 in End Of The World, Ranked #1 in Post-Apocalypticsee more rankings.

A searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.

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...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Road from the world's leading experts.

Oprah Winfrey CEO/O NetworkIt's got everything that's grabbing the headlines in America right now. It's about race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us-versus-them mentality. And underneath it all, pumps the heart and soul of family love, the pursuit of happiness, and what home really means. (Source)

Mark Boyle In my view, The Road is the greatest novel ever written, and McCarthy one of the most important writers of the last hundred years. Its bleakness is interspersed with sentences so beautiful I wept. (Source)

James Miller It is such a powerful story … against an utterly bleak scenario you have the father and the son, and the novel builds up this incredibly emotive relationship. (Source)

George Monbiot This is possibly the most important environmental book ever written. It is a thought-experiment that imagines the world without a biosphere. That is the fundamental thought-experiment at the heart of environmentalism. All the horrors of that story arise from the disappearance of the biosphere, leaving people without any means of feeding themselves and without any means of survival. They are thrown into a brutal and fatal competition where the only thing left to eat is each other. (Source)

James Miller It is such a powerful story … against an utterly bleak scenario you have the father and the son, and the novel builds up this incredibly emotive relationship. (Source)

Aubrey Marcus Recommends this book

John Lilly @aweissman Incredible, incredible book. One of my top 5 ever. His other stuff is amazing as well. (Source)

Stacey Peebles I think it’s probably his happiest book. Which is a little weird to say but it does have the most sincere and overt love relationship of all of his works, between the father and the son. It’s very purely represented. You can’t doubt the importance of that love and the sustained power of it, and its priority both for the characters and the premise of the book as a whole. (Source)

Greg Garrett There is no creature that has been transformed by leaking chemicals or radioactive satellites. But, on the other hand, there are human beings who consume other humans and that informs the major conflicts of the book. So, you’ve got a post-apocalyptic setting and you’ve got ethical quandaries for the main characters. There’s the sense of menace that permeates the zombie apocalypse. It’s not bad enough that they’re going to kill you, they’re also going to eat you. What I love about this story is its literary quality. We tend to think of the zombie apocalypse as a low-culture, pulp phenomenon. (Source)

Rankings by Category

The Road is ranked in the following categories:

Similar Books

If you like The Road, check out these similar top-rated books:

Learn: What makes Shortform summaries the best in the world?