Any man who saw you, or even heard your footsteps must be ambushed, stalked and killed, whether needed for food or not. Otherwise, so long as his strength held out, he would be on your trail.--The Twenty-Fifth Hour, by Herbert Best
know all about. Maybe they do. But I wonder if they understand how intense it can be with us Deathlanders when it's the only release (except maybe liquor and drugs, which we seldom can get and even more rarely dare use)--the only complete release, even though a brief one, from the overpowering loneliness and from the tyranny of the urge to kill.
To embrace, to possess, to glut lust on, yes even briefly to love, briefly to shelter in--that was good, that was a relief and release to be treasured.
But it couldn't last. You could draw it out, prop it up perhaps for a few days, for a month even (though sometimes not for a single night)--you might even start to talk to each other a little, after a while--but it could never last. The glands always tire, if nothing else.
Murder was the only final solution, the only permanent release. Only us Deathlanders know how good it feels. But then after the kill the loneliness would come back, redoubled, and after a while I'd meet another
A story similar to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, in that it starts out with a gritty account of a post-nuclear war world where people in the Deathlands (most of the U.S.) scavenge and murder just to stay alive. But, rather than just tell that story, amazing technology shows up, then a crazy old geezer.
The characters were fairly well drawn, and the plot, though stretching credulity, at least didn't make everything tidy.
The setting is interesting but I didn't really buy into the idea that after a nuclear war people would just randomly kill each other rather than trying to band together to survive in some form. Not much happens and the writing isn't great either.
A grim, grisly post-apocalypse story with an unpleasant view of humanity. A somewhat hopeful conclusion doesn't lighten things much.
Interesting story of the world after a nuclear holocaust. Its main characters are wanderers in a wasteland and survive scavenging and murdering other people. They have developed a culture on murder. Some people have survived that set up new societies based on technology and when these murderers come in contact with them get a story of savages trying to understand the new world. A little talky in the middle and end on the philosophy of being a murderer and their gradual conversion away from it, sort of like the story of mankind again. It is a good read enjoyed itl
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