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The Road
by Cormac McCarthy

"His tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful. It might very well be the best book of the year, period." —San Francisco Chronicle

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  • About the Film

    Now a major motion picture from Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company, starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce, and directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay by Joe Penhall. In theaters now.

    About the Book


    National Book Critic's Circle Award Finalist
    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

    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.

    "Vivid, eloquent.... The Road is the most readable of [McCarthy's] works, and consistently brilliant in its imagining of the posthumous condition of nature and civilization." --The New York Times Book Review

    "One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

    "No American writer since Faulkner has wandered so willingly into the swamp waters of deviltry and redemption.... [McCarthy] has written this last waltz with enough elegant reserve to capture what matters most." --The Boston Globe

    "Illuminated by extraordinary tenderness.... Simple yet mysterious, simultaneously cryptic and crystal clear. The Road offers nothing in the way of escape or comfort. But its fearless wisdom is more indelible than reassurance could ever be." --The New York Times

    "A dark book that glows with the intensity of [McCarthy's] huge gift for language.... Why read this?... Because in its lapidary transcription of the deepest despair short of total annihilation we may ever know, this book announces the triumph of language over nothingness."
    --Chicago Tribune

    About the Author

    Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He attended the University of Tennessee in the early 1950s, and joined the U.S. Air Force, serving four years, two of them stationed in Alaska. McCarthy then returned to the university, where he published in the student literary magazine and won the Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing in 1959 and 1960. McCarthy next went to Chicago, where he worked as an auto mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper.

    The Orchard Keeper was published by Random House in 1965; McCarthy's editor there was Albert Erskine, William Faulkner's long-time editor. Before publication, McCarthy received a traveling fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which he used to travel to Ireland. In 1966 he also received the Rockefeller Foundation Grant, with which he continued to tour Europe, settling on the island of Ibiza. Here, McCarthy completed revisions of his next novel, Outer Dark.




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