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.