KingMidget's Ramblings

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The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis


In my last post, I revealed that I had ordered six books from Amazon in preparation for my trip to Spring Training.  In that post, I shared Into the North Wind, a memoir about a woman seeking to complete a 1,000 mile mountain bike race across Alaska.  In winter.  It was a good book.

I also promised that I would share with you the other books in that purchase, so it’s time for The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis.

When I started writing fiction, one of the things I wanted to try one day was what I referred to as a post-apocalyptic story.  Not like The Hunger Games or the Divergent series.  Instead, I had this idea of a man and a boy crossing the landscape of a devastated world trying to survive. Then I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy and realized my story had been done and there was no way I could improve on it.

I still have ideas for something post-apoclyptic.  In the meantime, I’m intrigued by the ideas other authors have.

The Wolf Road is about Elka, a young woman set adrift in a world devastated by what appears (strongly) to have been a nuclear conflagration between those damn Russians and the powers of the West.  The conflagration occurs years before her birth and she is set adrift by a storm that leaves her homeless and her grandmother dead.  Her parents having left her behind years earlier to seek their fortune up North.  Rumors of gold and riches took them there.

In the end, Elka is raised by a man she calls Trapper.  Who ends having a deep, dark secret that sends her on the run when she is about seventeen or eighteen years old.  Surviving on the talents Trapper taught her to live in the wilderness.

There’s a lot more here.  Layers upon layers.

And a whole lot of human brutality.

I wonder if all of these stories get it right.  So many post-apocalyptic stories seem to assume that the result of “the end of the world” is brutality, degradation, depravity — the worst human nature has to offer.  It’s all there in The Wolf Road, just as it is in many other novels like this. What if, instead, at the end of the world, humans realized that all of the violence and hate and need to diminish and dehumanize others was what led to the end of the world and that love and tolerance and community was a better option.

Just a thought.  Back to The Wolf Road.

It’s an interesting twist on the genre.  If you like this genre, I recommend it.  If you have delicate sensibilities, I don’t recommend it.

That’s all I’ve got.

 

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10 responses to “The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

  1. pinklightsabre March 29, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Man I must say, I pity anyone who feels as if Cormac McCarthy got to your story first. Good luck with that…

    • kingmidget March 29, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Yeah, I actually started writing my story. It opened with a boy watching a leaf float in the air and land on the cracked pavement in front of him. It was gonna be about a man and a boy traveling in a desolate world. Virtually alone in the wasteland. I really only wrote the opening scene and thought about what would come next. Then I read The Road. The idea became a non-idea real quick. The Road is simply one of the best stories I have ever read.

      • pinklightsabre March 29, 2017 at 8:31 pm

        It is all that. For kicks, you should try his very first book some time. It’s really really weird (The Orchard Keeper). Loved the writing but can’t honestly tell you what happened.

      • kingmidget March 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm

        I’ll probably not take that recommendation. I’ve learned something about Mr. McCarthy. He has some incredible tales — The Road and No Country for Old Men are my favorites. On the other hand he has some absolutely hideous, convoluted tales that are like a thousand, million fingernails on a chalkboard. I’ve decided not to take the chance on picking up a McCarthy story and having to try to wade through the latter.

        He’s basically the Neil Young of literature. Some beautiful pieces surrounded by sheer noise. 😉

      • pinklightsabre March 29, 2017 at 8:35 pm

        Ha, brilliant! Yes, good call. How about that film adaptation of “No Country” though…talk about brilliant.

      • kingmidget March 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        Agreed … Now that I think about it, though, I had some major problems with McCarthy’s work on No Country. It was well written, fascinating, an incredible tale. But at the end there were so many questions raised during the course of the story that were left unanswered. I loved, loved the story until the end and then wanted to throw the book against the wall. Over and over and over again.

        But The Road … ah, one of the best stories ever. Maybe I need to read it again. One of my proudest moments as a father who loves to read is that I shared The Road with my older son when he was but a young teenage lad and he loved the story too.

      • pinklightsabre March 29, 2017 at 8:51 pm

        How many times he calls the boy so thin. Funny, yes: what a book. That dude had wings with that one. From the very first paragraph.

  2. cinthiaritchie March 31, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    There is a book that is kind of like that, a positive story after the so-called end of the world, it’s Carolyn See’s “Golden Years” and it’s funny and wonderful and I’ve read it, like, five times and you know what? I think I’m going to read it again this year. Cheers and hope you’re enjoying Arizona.

  3. Pingback: Alligator Candy by David Kushner | KingMidget's Ramblings

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