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The Road (abridged)

Cormac McCarthy

The Road

Read by Rupert Degas


The Road has been hailed by critics as a masterpiece. The novel paints a bleak vision of a post-apocalyptic America; a land where no hope remains. A man and his son walk alone towards the coast, and this is the moving story of their journey. The Road is an unflinching exploration of human behaviour – from ultimate destructiveness to extreme tenderness.

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4 CDs | Running Time: 5h 09m | ISBN: 978-962-634-971-7 | Cat. no.: NA497112 | RRP: £16.99RRP:£16.99 GBPSRP: US $ 28.98RRP:£16.99 GBP

ldquo; McCarthy is best appreciated when heard aloud ”

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Rupert Degas is the most versatile of narrators: he excels in Haruki Murakami and was Pantalaimon in Philip Pullman’s multivoiced Northern Lights. Chill menace is his forte, so when you turn on his narration of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road get ready to turn into a hypnotised rabbit. McCarthy’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel is set on what feels like a highway to nowhere, and it helps to know that there is a final shard of hope. A determinedly resourceful man and his Christ-like son creep through a hellish, ash-laden landscape, scattered with the broken relics of civilisation and bristling with cannibals. What keeps you listening is the book’s pin-sharp portrait of a father’s love and the fine match of writing style and reader. McCarthy has that Irish gift for words that make music; Degas tells the story with perfect pitch.

Christina Hardyment, The Times


The conspiratorial, undramatic narration heightens the impact of this powerful and chilling vision of a post-apocalyptic America. Father and son struggle to survive in a ruined environment by feeding off the leavings of the dead. Sounds depressing, but is compelling and strangely beautiful.

Rachel Redford, The Times


This gripping, suspenseful novel will be hard to turn off – even by listeners with no or very little interest in the sci-fi genre. The Road begins in the late fall sometime in the future after catastrophe of horrible proportions has struck the continent. Two survivors, a man and his son, are traveling in a southerly direction. Are they seeking a warmer climate? Are they escaping from marauding bandits? Are they trying to locate other survivors? The pair carry their possessions in a grocery cart. The abandoned towns and cities are covered with a coating of gray ash. The forests contain the charred remains of bushes and trees. They subsist on what they can glean from abandoned houses, barns, and fields. Due to past experiences, they purposely avoid any contact with other people. Were they concerned about deadly contagious disease? robbery? murder? some kind of communicable radiation sickness? As the story progresses, the man becomes seriously ill and finally dies. The boy, of undetermined age, is left alone. Does he survive? Violence is minimal but a sense of doom pervades the story. Narrator Rupert Degas is superb. His deep, whispery, almost ominous tone further enhances this riveting tale of survival in the face of utter hopelessness. He gives each character a distinct voice that is appropriate for the situation. The abridging editor also deserves high marks for maintaining the storyline yet forcing the listener to fill in the blanks, all of which made this a step above a run-of-the-mill sci-fi novel experience. Violence is minimal but a sense of doom pervades the story.


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