The Road


The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy

Title: The Road

Genre: Adventure  / Disaster Stories

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 256

Geographical Setting: Post apocalyptic America

Time Period: Near Future

Plot Summary:

In this post-apocalyptic adventure set in the near future, all plants and animals have died, cities and towns have been destroyed, and a wind-driven grey ash covers everything. Among this charred and barren wasteland an unnamed man and his young son must to walk down out of the mountains to the ocean to find food and shelter in order to survive the oncoming winter. They carry with them all possession that will fit into a shopping cart along with one pistol and three bullets; everything else is scavenged from items left behind by the missing or dead. Along they journey they encounter marauding gangs, cannibals, prisoners and lone travelers, all who may or may not be bad guys: those who “eat other people”. All the while they are relentlessly moving forward to an unknown place and future. They reach their destination realizing that it was not quite what they expected or remembered and must choose what to do next.

Subject Headings:

Fathers and sons—Fiction

Voyages and travels—United States—Fiction

Regression (Civilization)—Fiction

Survival skills–Fiction





Fiction Read Alikes:

Richard Matheson

I Am Legend

This book has the stark and journalistic language along with the character being the last survivor on earth and waiting in abandoned building at night.  It has the same tone and similar themes.

Nevil Shute

On the Beach

Similar in the telling of what people do in the end of time when oblivion and death are inevitable. They just keep on living and surviving the way they always have.

S.M Sterling.

Dies the Fire Trilogy, 1

This story contains elements of the regression of civilization, survival after a disaster and what happens when the use of modern devises are of no use to the characters.

Non-Fiction Read Alikes:

Piers Paul Reed

Alive: the story of the Andes survivors

Not only a true story of survival and cannibalism but more a tale of how the survivors and others made judgments about the necessary actions.

Laurence Gonzales

Deep survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

A good comparison of how people choose to survive based on past experiences. Where McCarthy leaves this open, Gonzales tries to explain.

Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild

This is a must in the adventure / survival genre but it also deals with one person leaving his past and society behind to willingly live without secure sources of food and shelter and “be nomadic”.

John Talley

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