Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Old Man and the Wasteland (The Wasteland Saga, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Old Man and the Wasteland (The Wasteland Saga, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Old Man and the Wasteland

(The Wasteland Saga #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  5,297 ratings  ·  344 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
ebook, 125 pages
Published 2011 by Lulu
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Old Man and the Wasteland, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Anne (w/ an E) I would say that this could be read as a standalone. I didn't notice any unanswered questions at the end, if that is what you mean. …moreI would say that this could be read as a standalone. I didn't notice any unanswered questions at the end, if that is what you mean. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,297 ratings  ·  344 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Old Man and the Wasteland (The Wasteland Saga, #1)
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ratings: 4.5 stars.

Old Man and the Wasteland is a captivating and moving story of an old man trying to disprove the accusations of being "curst" by taking onto the wasteland, fighting any obstacles including his laziness. This beautiful novella is grounded in every way possible and does feel relatable to our world and/or humanity.

I would highly recommend this novella to anyone looking for a good read, and a must if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic adventure or that of The Old Man and the Sea.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 01, 2011 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
Jan 14, 2012 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 th
Rebecca Carter
I loved this little novella. Short and sweet and by the final pages I felt as if we had gotten to know the old man pretty well. This short read is set in a post apocalyptic future. Civilization has been destroyed and seemingly the village the old man is part of still retains its humanity, which is pretty amazing with the grim reality of the world. His village came together after the end of the world as we know it and survived by salvaging; although they daren't venture too far incase the area is ...more
Shayan Foroozesh
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
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
I encourage anyone starting this book and finding it a little "slow" to keep going... quickly things turn to more interesting events well worth hanging in there for. ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a dark introspective little story. I found myself rooting for The Old Man on his journey. I got a little lost in his memories with him. I suppose in the end, that is all we have.
Steve Love
Oct 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Clark Hallman
The Old Man and the Wasteland by Nick Cole – This short post-apocalyptic novel takes place some forty-years after the nuclear destruction of the cities in the US. People survive by salvaging through the wasteland. One old man begins a salvaging hike in the baron Arizona wasteland to prove he can still contribute to his small band of survivors. He forages through desert wilderness and abandoned cities while struggling to survive the climate, wild beasts and murderous savages. The old man is a big ...more
Lj Ducharme
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Patricia Kaniasty
Jun 29, 2013 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. ...more
Tim Davis
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was great. Only wish it were longer.
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is the story inspired by the Old Man and the Sea, creatively transferred to the setting of post-apocalyptic desert of Arizona forty years after the country (and probably the world outside) was destroyed. Maybe it is better to call an hommage to Hemingway's book.
The laconic style and rhythm of the text intensifies the similarity and suits the story of a old man who fights the odds against age, nature and savagery to prove his worth to the village and bring his "swordfish".

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
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.

Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Nov 18, 2011 rated it really liked 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. ...more
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Don Stahl
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The imagery was outstanding. Someone should seriously consider this as a screenplay. I didn't want it to end. Get this book. ...more
Heather Hartling
Excellent book. I couldn't put it down! I can't wait to read more of Nick Cole's writing. ...more
M.T. Owens
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Feb 02, 2014 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Savage Wars (Galaxy's Edge #1)
  • Madame Guillotine (Tyrus Rechs: Contracts & Terminations Book 3)
  • The Best of Us (Galaxy's Edge #1)
  • Through the Nether (Order of the Centurion #4)
  • Gods & Legionnaires (Galaxy's Edge: Savage Wars Book 2)
  • Forget Nothing (Galaxy's Edge #0.4)
  • Dark Operator: A Military Science Fiction Special Forces Thriller
  • Galaxy's Edge: Takeover: Season Two: Book One
  • The Reservist (Order of the Centurion #5)
  • Rebellion: A Military Science Fiction Thriller (Dark Operator Book 2)
  • The War of the Flowers
  • First Shift: Legacy (Shift, #1)
  • Order of the Centurion (Order of the Centurion, #1)
  • I Know My Name
  • A Night at the Movies, Or, You Must Remember This: Fictions
  • The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury
  • Game Changer
  • Oh Myyy!
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

The Wasteland Saga (3 books)
  • The Savage Boy (The Wasteland Saga, #2)
  • The Road is a River (The Wasteland Saga, #3)

Related Articles

Get ready for some out-of-this-world reading and some insane near-realities with the science fiction and fantasy books that are catching the...
265 likes · 28 comments
“Don't let someone spend money who never earned it.” 17 likes
“People don't hate each other. They hate each other's ideas.” 12 likes
More quotes…