The Old Man and the Wasteland
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The Old Man and the Wasteland

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,888 ratings  ·  270 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...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Createspace (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eric
Aug 23, 2011 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have read The Old Man and the Sea
Recommended to Eric by: 99c download on Amazon.com
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...more
Jason
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...more
Diane
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
Jayme
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
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...more
Steve Love
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...more
Jeezzle
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.
Luis
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.
Laura
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...more
Ian
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...more
Rian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
Carmen
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.
Ruth
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 lendle.me if they are not sure if they want to buy it.
Samuel
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
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.
Mitzi
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.
Shayan
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...more
Dava Stewart
I've never read The Old Man and the Sea, but I still enjoyed The Old Man and the Wasteland. I liked the idea that the Old Man had read the Hemmingway classic so many times he felt the main character was his friend. It made me think about how comforting a story might be in the case of an catastrophe that changed the world.

I like how bare the story is, and how it focuses on the thoughts of one character. I particularly like the conversations the Old Man had with himself. We probably all have that...more
Brian
Overall I thought this was a pretty solid novella that reminded me a bit of The Gunslinger at times, though much more grounded in reality than that one. It's only ~150 pages or so, so it's a very nice, quick read that works well in a sitting or two. I haven't read the "Old man and the Sea" so I don't know if there are some interesting corollaries to consider between the two stories, but I did enjoy the references to the "book" and how the Old Man in this story saw himself in that one. The old ma...more
Kendra
Finished this very short book in a couple of hours and I'd rate it 3.5; and that comes from someone who hadn't read anything close to "science fiction" or a future apocalyptic tale before reading the five Wool novellas a couple of weeks ago. This story reminds me of The Road (I've only seen the movie).

The main character is known only as The Old Man (as in The Old Man of the Sea) and the story is set 40 years after bombs destroyed civilization. The Old Man has started to feel as if he is no long...more
Dana
I agree with the reviewer (Mike) – after the facts he pointed out, this did appear to be an allegory to Moses.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I’ll admit I wasn’t satisfied with how it ended. Maybe that’s a tribute to the author’s storytelling, because damn it I grew to really like the Old Man and wanted to know more about him. While I like the way he was eventually remembered by his people, the epilogue itself just struck me as weak.

I can see how the shift in narrative from third to f...more
Sandhouse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cody
This book is stunning.

Firstly, let's get the Hemingway matter off the table. I see this book more as a homage or tribute to Hemingway, rather than a blatant copycat. It basically takes the setting of the Old Man and the Sea and puts it in a darker, grittier world. The Old Man still struggles with the same concepts as in TOMATS, with the fish being replaced by "salvage" from ruins. The book mirrors Hemingway's style impeccably. There are also many references to TOMATS in TOMATW, which pretty much...more
ObiWan Canubi
How could I go wrong, .99 cents and a 4 1/2 star rating?

In this case it might actually be me, I am almost positive of it... that or the author created 500 accounts to rate his book 4 stars and above.

My issue is not with the story, I think I honestly enjoyed the story down to its framework and progress. The tale did drag across some dips and monotonous points where I wished the story would have just moved; I didn't need more action, but the author was trying to relate to the dips and monotony of...more
Kaila
As seen on Stumptown Books.

It is hard to write a review for this because I didn't feel much of anything. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, and it falls into the "just ok" pile. I'm not faunching at the bit to recommend it to my friends like other purchases I've made on the Amazon marketplace.

The book is short, clocking in at only 150 pages, so that makes it easy to read in just a few hours. The writing is simplistic, as it attempts to echo words from Hemingway's classic The Old Man and the...more
Mary
4 1/2 stars! I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. I picked it up for 99 cents because it was 99 cents and it involved my favorite genre...post apocalyptic. Since I've never read Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea I also found a copy of that and read it first. Like The Old Man and the Sea, the Old Man and the Wasteland was a short, easy to read book told in the vernacular and simple words of the book's protaganist. Also like the previous book, much of the dialogue was between the main ch...more
Jenn Burt
With a little proof-reading and editing this could have easily earned 4 stars. I really like the premise, the story, and the overall style of the writing. I read the whole thing in two sittings and I found it hard to put down. I just had a few issues:

1) There are several typos that should have been caught in the editing/proof-reading process. Each time I came to one it was very distracting and irritating.

2) I don't really understand why there are so many chapters. The beginning and ending of cha...more
Lucy Furr
A lovely little story through and through and a delightful, ultimately hopeful, read. The Old Man and the Wasteland demonstrates the best of human nature after the worst of human nature has come to pass: that we will keep on trucking and we will weather the storm, no matter how bad it may be.

My only real gripe with the book is the way the narration and The Old Man's inner thoughts switch with out any real indication of which is which, something that could have been solved with simple use of ital...more
James Clifford
After a nuclear war what left of civilization is reduced to hardscrabble groups of scavengers still clinging to some type humanity and others who have lost any sense of human qualities and function only at animal-like capacities.
In a unique plot the author tells an original story in the rapidly overcrowded post-apocalypse genre. The Old Man is one of the few left in America who can remember what life was like before the bombs fell.
His village survives though scavenging what little is left in t...more
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199737
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...
The Wasteland Saga: Three Novels: Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, The Road is a River The Savage Boy The Road is a River Soda Pop Soldier: A Novel Savage Boy (Book 2)

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