The Old Man and the Wasteland – Book Review

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Books, Nuclear War

The short story The Old Man and the Wasteland is set in Arizona forty years after several nuclear bombs have fallen onto the United States, taking out a large number of major cities. The Old Man used to be great at what kept the survivors alive; salvaging! Now it seems like he is cursed, returning to the village again and again without any salvage. So one day he decides to break his curse and leaves the village, determined to either return with salvage or die. A  long, hard and dangerous journey through the wasteland begins.

The book is a great combination of showing what a post nuclear american south-west might look like on one hand side. Nick Cole describes very detailed the decay of man-made structures and mankind (as a new savage generation is born). On the other hand how it effects your mind and memories of the past. The Old Man shares memories and thoughts of events that took place right before and after the attacks, completing the scenario of a nuclear holocaust.

The title probably reminds some of you of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea? Well this connection was intended by author Nick Cole, since the protagonist’s greatest treasure is a copy of Hemingway’s classic. Also both Old Men are on a odyssey to break their curses and prevail over their hostile environments.

I can recommend both books (although only one is PA) and when I got The Old Man and the Wasteland I finished it in one day 🙂


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