[Book Review] The Old Man and the Wasteland

One of the things I like as an eReader is getting the books much cheaper. Some would argue that the price of a hardcover compared to an eBook isn’t really that much. There’s truth in that. To me, however, who is an ardent cheapskate, a $1 difference is a $1 difference. But then, sometimes, an indie publisher comes along with a 99c eBook like The Old Man and the Wasteland.

While it only cost under a dollar, the content of The Old Man and the Wasteland reads like a million bucks. This little novella have story and substance. A post-apocalyptic tale of survival and endurance, it is the child of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

Like in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, the titular character in the book, The Old Man, sets out on a quest in an effort to prove himself to his village that he is not cursed, that he can still be useful and bring them back salvage from the wastes. In his journey, he encounters many dangers in the wasteland including hunger, angry wolves and cannibalistic tribes.

A page turner, this book is beautifully written. Nick Cole, much like McCarthy and Hemingway, is a talented writer. Although, his writing –and the story– is more of a nod to Hemingway. His prose is simple, but very descriptive when necessary. And, unlike The Road, while it’s also depressing at times, the “Wasteland” still has bit of hope left in it.

If you’re a big fan of The Road, The Old Man and the Sea, or anything that is post-apocalyptic, I highly recommend The Old Man and the Wasteland. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a short, sweet and really cheap.

Score: B+

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