The Road

Cormac McCarthy

Illustrated by Gérard DuBois

Afterword by Michael Chabon

Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road is presented as a Folio collector’s edition, with artist Gérard DuBois’s beautiful and desolate illustrations and Michael Chabon’s New York Review of Books essay. Winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize at the V&A Illustration Awards 2022.

Add To Wish List

A man and a boy push a cart piled with their worldly possessions through the scorched ruins of post-apocalyptic America. Emaciated, filthy and exhausted, the pair makes painfully slow but determined progress along the road that will ultimately lead to the sea and the hope of salvation. One of the most requested books in Folio reader surveys, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is a beautiful, harrowing and mesmerising account of the most horrific of scenarios. It earned McCarthy the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was adapted into a critically acclaimed film.

This much-anticipated new collector’s edition includes Folio author Michael Chabon’s illuminating review-essay, first published in the New York Review of Books, as well as the artwork of award-winning artist Gérard DuBois, who captures the beauty and brutality of McCarthy’s vision in breathtaking colour illustrations.

Winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize and the Book Illustration category at the V&A Illustration Awards 2022.

‘My job is to take care of you. I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you. Do you understand?’

Bound in screen-printed cloth 

Set in Maxime  

192 pages 

Black & white illustrated title-page spread and 6 colour illustrations 

Plain slipcase 

9″ x 5¾″  

Published in the New York Review of Books in 2007, Michael Chabon’s review-essay ‘After the Apocalypse’ is a literary study of this important novel, purposely positioned as an afterword due to its revelations about the plot. Chabon discusses The Road as part of the post-apocalyptic sub-genre of science fiction, but ultimately he reads the book as an epic adventure that is driven by the human traits of the protagonists. ‘Though they and we fear it must end in tragedy and failure, we are rooting for them, pulling for them, from the first – and so, we suspect, is the author.’ McCarthy’s writing is immediate and visual, and, like Chabon in his afterword, illustrator Gérard DuBois has plunged deep into the narrative to explore the motivations of the characters in order to create the astonishing artwork for this edition. The most horrific and hopeful experiences of the man and boy have been captured in powerful portraits that emerge through the gloomy haze of smoke and ash. They complete an astonishing edition of a novel that is far from finished when the last page is read.  

Cormac McCarthy is an esteemed figure in modern American literature and The Road is widely regarded as his greatest novel. The scenario isn’t new but his interpretation is startling: a poetic and prophetic narrative scattered with biblical references and archaic turns of phrase that ensure a timeless quality and sense of deep resonance. As man and boy traverse the barren landscape where plant and animal life have been obliterated and ash falls from a sunless sky, they walk a daily tightrope between survival and starvation. Picking through previously scavenged remains in derelict houses, they cling on to life and each other against the odds, while evading fellow survivors who have turned to cannibalism when the earth ceased to provide sustenance. Yet, despite the horror that has shaped the boy’s young life, there is hope. The tender portrayal of the uncompromising love between father and son is beautiful and heart-rending, and ultimately the best of humanity outshines the worst.  

About Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. He later went to Chicago, where he worked as a mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper, which was published in 1965. After several years touring Europe and then living in Tennessee, in the late 1970s McCarthy moved to Texas, and in 1979 published his fourth novel, Suttree, a book that had occupied his writing life on and off for 20 years. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981, and published his fifth novel, Blood Meridian in 1985 (Folio 2022). All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of the 'Border Trilogy', was published in 1992. It won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was later turned into a feature film. After concluding the 'Border Trilogy', McCarthy's next novel, No Country for Old Men, was published in 2005. This was followed in 2006 by a novel in dramatic form, The Sunset Limited, originally performed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago. The Road (2006; Folio 2021) won the Pulitzer Prize. McCarthy died in June 2023.

About Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose books include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), available as a Folio edition, andThe Yiddish Policemen's Union(2007 winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel). Born in Washington, DC, and brought up in Columbia, Maryland, he graduated with an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and now lives in Berkeley. Most recently he is the author of Moonglow (2016). 

About Gérard DuBois

Gérard DuBois was born in France in 1968, studied graphic design in Paris and then crossed the Atlantic to live in Montreal. His illustrations have appeared in major North American and European publications, among them the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Rolling Stone, New Yorker and Playboy, as well as in more than 20 books. His acrylic pieces are to be found in many private collections, including those of Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro, and Canada Post included his artwork in its 2018 Great Canadian Illustrators stamp series. His work for the Folio Society includes illustrations for Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales (2019), and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2021), Blood Meridian (2022) and No Country for Old Men (2023). DuBois’s many garlands include the Hamilton King Award, four gold medals from the Society of Illustrators and the Moira Gemmel Illustrator of the Year prize at the 2022 V&A Illustration Awards for his work on the Folio Society edition of The Road.


You May Also Like

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale

    The Handmaid’s Tale

    Margaret Atwood

    Illustrated by Anna and Elena Balbusso


    ‘Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen.’ Margaret Atwood’s chilling cautionary tale is illustrated by the Balbusso sisters.

  2. Beloved


    Toni Morrison

    Illustrated by Joe Morse


    Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, Toni Morrison’s seminal novel Beloved remains an enduring masterpiece. The Folio edition is introduced by Russell Banks and features illustrations by Joe Morse.

  3. No Country for Old Men

    No Country for Old Men

    Cormac McCarthy

    Illustrated by Gérard DuBois


    Cormac McCarthy’s sparse and beautiful writing is perfectly mirrored by Gérard DuBois’s hauntingly understated images for this Folio Society edition of the Western thriller No Country for Old Men.

  4. I Am Legend

    I Am Legend

    Richard Matheson

    Illustrated by Dave McKean


    I Am Legend, Richard Matheson’s brutal tale of survival and vampires, arrives in a spectacular Folio edition – illustrated by artist Dave McKean and introduced by a modern master of horror, Joe Hill.