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The Old Man and the Wasteland Paperback – April 5, 2011

950 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

  • I read through Nick Cole's The Savage Boy in one sitting. This follow up to Old Man and the Wasteland is a great addition to the story. -BoingBoing.com
  • It's a riveting story, brilliantly paced, tragic yet hopeful with as much action to offer as it does emotion and one that not only entertains but provokes thought in all the right places -EamoTheGeek.com

About the Author

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 of his life and acting in Hollywood after serving in the U.S. Army.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461076382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461076384
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (950 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Cole is a former soldier and 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 be found writing books for Harper Collins.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

262 of 283 people found the following review helpful By thisismypenname on July 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never heard of Nick Cole. I had just purchased my and kindle and had a hand full of books ready for a nine hour flight. On a whim I bought this. I finished the book in my terminal. I didn't touch any of the other books in those nine hours. I just read this one over and over. Its that good.

I really didn't know what I had purchased. Beyond the description all I really expected was something along the lines of The Road meets The old man and the sea. And it has elements of both. But it takes the idea of the Old man and the sea and truly makes it its own. It tells a tale of of hope in hopeless times. And the way it is written will draw you in. I'm staying vague because you should experience if for yourself instead of reading another review. Its an outstanding novel. Honestly the less you know the better. Its short and cheap you have nothing to lose in purchasing it. When I return home I will definitely be buying the paper back and telling everyone I know. This author needs more attention.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Inspired by Hemingway, The Old Man and the Wasteland is, according to Nick Cole's introduction, an illustration of the lesson taught by The Old Man and the Sea: you can lose, but only if you give up will you be defeated. The Old Man and the Wasteland is short enough to qualify as a novella, and the revised edition reviewed here includes a preview of Cole's upcoming novel, The Savage Boy.

The old man in Cole's novel lives in a postapocalyptic wasteland in the American southwest. Like the other members of his village, he salvages whatever he can find that still has value. He was once a hero, having made great finds, a refrigerator among them, but later he became a symbol of bad luck, cursed for bringing a radioactive radio into the village. Now the old man hunts alone.

The novel addresses the three literary conflicts everyone learns about in high school English: man against man (a crazy hermit, a nomadic band of killers), man against nature (wolves, scorpions, monsoons), and most importantly, man against himself. As the old man searches for salvage, he strives to rekindle the person he once was, to find what he has lost within himself. At the same time, he knows that the key to survival is to "let go of what is gone," to set aside the pain of loss, to focus on the present, on salvage, not on "what had been or what was lost." The search for salvage is both a test of physical endurance and a test of character. Does the old man still have what it takes to find salvage that will help his village?
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76 of 83 people found the following review helpful By C. Brunner on April 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was written so well. The story was one that takes you on a road. It takes you on a journey through what was once America. This journey takes place many years after a devastating catastrophe that has wiped out much of humanity. It shows you what the landscape looks like. It shows you who and what has survived! The different types of people and civilizations that evolved after the disasters. The differing ways that the survivors choose to live during the years after the disaster and what choices were made. This book also had an ending which is more than a lot of the books that I have read have had here lately. The biggest problem was that I wished it was a little longer. The way everything was described was superb. You really feel like you are there. I really enjoyed this novel. A friend of mine loaned it to me on my kindle. After reading it, I decided to go ahead and buy it for my collection of books.
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78 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Rotties Mom on July 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can not tell you how many books I've read, Hundreds certainly, but this one will undoubtably stick with me for a long time.
Survival after disaster is on of my favorite genre's and this author does not disappoint.
The title and synopsis kept me from purchasing this book for a few months. It appeared to be yet another "I'm going to walk the wasteland and describe everything that "once was" while I fight off Zombies" or some other nonsense. (I just don't enjoy Zombie books)
NEVER judge a book by it's cover.
This author ranks up there with Alas Babylon(Pat Frank)and Earth Abides (George R. Stewart), two of my top 10 books.
There were many instances that I thought original (R.I.P. Sgt Mjr John Preston), but the one that stands out the most is the Airplane graveyard.
So simple, yet sheer genious. I have not seen this used in anything that I have read so far, and trust me when I say I've just about read them all.

Well done Mr. Cole. I hope you favor us with many more.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By JFincher on December 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an entertaining book to read - the prose was well done, and I like the Hemingway-like terse sentence structure and pacing. The promise and premise of the story was set early on, and overall it delivered well. I look forward to reading more of Nick Cole's work.

The story is predictable in places. It follows a fairly straight-forward path from village through the wasteland to the Promised Land (which wasn't all it was purported to be) and back again. The author references Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" a lot, which makes me want to read that book now to see if there are comparisons I may have missed.

The author could have elaborated more in places - the description of the Horde was piecemeal and would have been entertaining to learn more about. The hotel owner was two dimensional and needed some more background material to make real. And I would have liked more details on the Seargeant Major - as it was, his story was introduced late and was over quickly.

Inspite of needing more in places, the story actually needed to end a bit sooner than it did. The last part of the book from the grand-daughter's point of view was unnecessary, as was the epilogue. The story ends just fine right before those parts - read them yourself and hopefully you'll agree.

Despite all this, I was entertained, and I wasn't disappointed with my purchase. I enjoy post-apocalyptic tales, and I'm eagerly waiting on the next novel to come from Nick.
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