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The Old Man and the Wa...
Nick Cole
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The Old Man and the Wasteland (The Wasteland Saga #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  4,234 Ratings  ·  304 Reviews
Forty years after the destruction of civilization... Man is reduced to salvaging the ruins of a broken world. One man’s most prized possession is Hemingway’s Classic ‘The Old Man and the Sea.’ With the words of the novel echoing across the wasteland, a survivor of the Nuclear Holocaust journeys into the unknown to break a curse.

What follows is an incredible tale of surviv
Nook, 0 pages
Published April 6th 2011 by Nick Cole, via Smashwords (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 23, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have read The Old Man and the Sea
Recommended to Eric by: 99c download on
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
I really enjoyed this little novella. It is the story of one old man's journey through the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic American Southwest. To give you an idea of the tone and mood of the book, I was waiting for the titular Old Man to run into Roland Deschain from The Gunslinger at some point during his wandering.

But there are no allusions to Stephen King, those are reserved for Ernest Hemingway and Santiago -- so much so that I don't think I could recommend this to anyone that hasn't read
Jan 14, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2012
4 Stars

A tight well written post apocalyptic novella that is set some time in the future. This is the story of the Old Man, his life, his living, and his pursuit of salvage. We are not given much backstory, or reasons behind the end of days, just simple drops of terrorism, nuclear bombs, and world wide retaliation.

This short story has many similarities to Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, it is even a book in possession of the Old Man. The entire read can be done in one sitting. I enjoyed the
Dec 29, 2011 Jayme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved everything about this book. The main character is so well written that when you get to the end you feel like you know him. I love the writing style. Most of the book is told through the The Old Man. You really feel what he is going through. I have read a lot of apocalyptic books and this is somewhere in the top three, I am not sure it isn't number one. Without giving anything away, some of the things I liked were... 1. The Old Man forgetting parts of the way the world was before the bomb ...more
Not as bad as I expected it to be. It's the story of a no named man known to us just as Old Man, like Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea. Once upon a time the old man was a great "salvager", finding useful tools from what's left of the old civilization, to try and form a new life and maybe a new civilization.

The structure follows the story of the Old Man and the Sea in which instead of the sea there's just a wasteland forty years after the nuclear bombing and an apocalypse that nearly wiped hum
This is a pure and simple little novella and I loved it. Now, I am a big hemmingway fan and a particular fan of The Old Man and the Sea so that biases me big time toward the book. I've tried to think of how it would read to someone not familiar with that book and I can't tell if it would come across or not. However, while being a total different subject matter, the author manages to carry much of the same simpleness of story as Hemingway did. And "simpleness of story" may sound like an insult bu ...more
Felicia A
Not quite sure what to think of this book. It has some pretty impressive ratings/reviews on both GoodReads and Amazon, but I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't terrible, but this book did not really catch my interest until at 82% on Kindle.

It tasted like The Road, with a little The Postman, a drizzle of Hemingway, a dash of Hostel, and a sprinkle of Mad Max. What's that, you say? Sounds like a disaster? Well, yeah. It WAS a post-apocalyptic novel, so disaster comes into play. But it wasn't a di
Jan 22, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best 99 cents I've ever spent. Lots of entertainment. It was like the game Fallout mixed with the old man and the sea. Do read the Hemingway first, of course.
Aug 29, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this story about a month ago and have been chewing on it ever since. I am a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway, so yes, I've read "The Old Man and the Sea" and am actually rereading it now. Why? Because I was so inspired by Mr. Cole's iteration, that I wanted to write my own (extra planetary) version.

Is Nick Cole's work comparable? Yes! Make no mistake about it, this story is amazing and on par with the struggles Santiago faced in TOMATS. The old man in this story is a salvager who, like Santia
Steve Love
Nov 02, 2011 Steve Love rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In a word: Terrible.

In more words:
You might be considering this book because it's cheap and has great reviews on Amazon. That's why I bought it, and prepared myself to love it from the start. Instead, it started off with clumsy writing and I told myself I'd give it till chapter 3 or 4 (they're short) and then probably quit. But the writing got a smidge better and a very occasional turn-of-phrase rekindled my hopes that this might turn out to be a worthwhile read in the end. After reaching the en
Lj Ducharme
I kinda wished I'd read "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemmingway. I might have got more out of this one. But I never have, and have never been a fan of Mr. Hemmingway's writing.

That being said - this was a compelling read about an apocalyptic future. An old man wanting to make something right in a world that felt beyond repair. I don't know how well I would have survived trying to live in his kind of world, but this book truly lays out a survival of the fittest, or at least the most canny
Apr 29, 2014 Jeezzle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A mix of Fallout and Hemingway, this book rules. An old man looking for that "last great salvage" goes into the wild of the wasteland though it may be the last thing he ever does, and finds some ..... really cool shit. This is most definitely worth a read. This is among the top ten books I have read in the past couple of years.
Jun 18, 2013 Luis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Como su nombre sugiere, este es un libro (ciencia ficción post-apocalítica) que se conecta de una manera interesante con The Old Man and the Sea de Hemingway. Una lectura muy bonita y muy rápida.
This is a post nuclear apocalypse short story set in the wasteland of Arizona. It attempts to closely follow the structure of Hemingway's classic novella "The Old Man and the Sea", with an old man going out into the wilderness trying to recapture his youth and bring back some "salvage" which will regain him the respect of the people of his small village, for whom he has become a bit of a laughing stock.

This part of the novel is well done, with the old man constantly talking to himself, doubting
Jan 21, 2012 Rian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2013 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, instant classic

I downloaded The Old Man And The Wasteland while looking for zombie books to add to my Kindle collection. It didn't take long to figure out that this is not a zombie book at all, but rather a classic post-apocalyptic tale. And a beautifully written tale it is. The writing is truly inspired and the imagery is picture perfect. Following the Old Man on his trek was a real treat for me as I have been down these same roads many, many times over the years.

Sep 19, 2013 Matthew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, fiction, 2013
If Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea got together, this novella would be the result.

It's an entertaining journey with a well-fleshed out environment told by a narrator you grow to root for. His lonely desperation bleeds through every page.

Unlike both inspirational works, though, this story's conclusion has an incongruent Disney feel to it. Otherwise, it's a good read worth the price of admission.
Jan 24, 2012 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining. At first i was put off by the Hemingwayesque prose because i thought it was tongue in cheek. But the story and the style turned out to be moving. A meditation on the fragile nature of civilization, and what might be the price of reclaiming it should it be lost. The characterization of the Old Man who has so little left and who uses Old Man and the Sea to help him get through his days was quite poignant.
Sep 21, 2011 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I may be the only one who didn't care for the book. A lot of walking about a post-apocalyptic desert, looking for things to salvage. The change of viewpoints from one paragraph to the next threw me off. I'd recommend a reader borrow this book from if they are not sure if they want to buy it.
Marred only slightly by some line level editing issues, this self published short novel was a very enjoyable read. Hemingway's classic is both a frame around and a character in this book, set with parts of the post apocalyptic bleakness of The Road and hints of the humor of Fallout. Recommended.
Patricia Kaniasty
Jun 30, 2013 Patricia Kaniasty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally! A post-apocalyptic story that is not all about military and government..........or zombies. This story feels like a one man's account of his own personal survival. Just like it could have really happened. It was a bit like "The Road" by Cormac McCarty but still enjoyable.
Feb 02, 2012 Mitzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to put down, well-written, interesting pre-diaster flashbacks, fantastic ending. I've read quite a lot in the post-apocalypse genre and this is one of my favorites. Looking forward to see what he writes next.
Feb 02, 2014 Stefano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a masterpiece, the Old Man is one of the best main characters I found in my recent readings. Nick Cole is without doubt a writer to keep an eye on.
Looking forward to read his next novel.
M.T. Owens
Dec 13, 2013 M.T. Owens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one that I couldn't put down. Great story, great characters and enough substance to keep your mind wandering for days. I highly recommend.
Don Stahl
Sep 08, 2013 Don Stahl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The imagery was outstanding. Someone should seriously consider this as a screenplay. I didn't want it to end. Get this book.
Excellent book. I couldn't put it down! I can't wait to read more of Nick Cole's writing.
Jul 22, 2015 Júlíus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful and well paced story. Well worth a read.
Tim Davis
Feb 06, 2015 Tim Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was great. Only wish it were longer.
Jun 27, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome! Only wish it was longer
Jul 09, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
This was an interesting book. Many years after the nuclear bombs fell, and old man lives in a community of survivors. Life goes on - people marry, have children. No one but the old man remembers the world befor the apocalypse. The people go out and scavenge from cars, houses...whatever they can find and adapt to use in their community.

The Old Man owns one book....The Old Man and the Sea. He sets off to scavenge one more time, to prove he still has worth and is not cursed. This is the tale of his
Jun 11, 2016 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when it was the first part of, "The Wasteland Saga". It is a beautifully written story as it describes loss, love, hope, and fear through the eyes of an old man. He doesn't have a name anymore. He watched the world end as he sat in his car and saw the bombs explode. He has been living for the past forty years with a group of survivors. They have created a life for themselves and he is one of the few who remembers what it was like before.

His job is to salvage the old world to kee
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Old Man and the Wasteland by Nick Cole 1 3 Apr 11, 2013 03:34PM  
  • Public Enemy Zero
  • Renewal
  • The Zona
  • Summer of the Apocalypse
  • What Came After
  • Selection Event
  • A Land of Ash
  • Dust
  • Yesterday's Gone: Episode 1 (Yesterday's Gone, #1)
  • Breakdown
  • Containment (Children of Occam #1)
  • A Chemical Fire
  • The Stranded (Wool, #5)
  • Area 187: Almost Hell
  • A Gift Upon the Shore
  • Scavenger's War (The Marlowe Transmissions, #1)
  • Soft Apocalypse
  • Wastelands II: More Stories of the Apocalypse
Nick Cole is a working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can often be found as a guard for King Phillip the Second of Spain in the Opera Don Carlo at Los Angeles Opera or some similar role. Nick Cole has been writing for most o ...more
More about Nick Cole...

Other Books in the Series

The Wasteland Saga (4 books)
  • The Savage Boy
  • The Road is a River
  • The Wasteland Saga: Three Novels: Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, The Road is a River

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