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This or That Thursday

This or That

 

Recently I read the book Out in the Open by Jesus Carrasco. It reminded me very much of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

 

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A young boy has fled his home. He s pursued by dangerous forces. What lies before him is an infinite, arid plain, one he must cross in order to escape those from whom he s fleeing. One night on the road, he meets an old goatherd, a man who lives simply but righteously, and from that moment on, their paths intertwine.
Out in the Open tells the story of this journey through a drought-stricken country ruled by violence. A world where names and dates don t matter, where morals have drained away with the water. In this landscape the boy not yet a lost cause has the chance to choose hope and bravery, or to live forever mired in the cycle of violence in which he was raised. Carrasco has masterfully created a high stakes world, a dystopian tale of life and death, right and wrong, terror and salvation.”

 

 

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A searing, post apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Synopsis and photos from Goodreads.com)

 

If you read and enjoyed The Road you will definitely like Out in the Open. If you enjoy dystopian fiction you will enjoy both.

Both books are set in a dystopian near-future. The summary of The Road places its setting in America. Out in the Open isn’t as clear regarding setting, but the author Jesus Carrasco is from Spain and I definitely got a European vibe while reading it.

As far as characters, the protagonists are a man and a young boy in both books. The relationship in The Road is that of Father and Son; in Out in the Open, the man and the boy begin as strangers.

Both novels are vague as to how the world came to be as it is or how the characters came to be in their current situation-although The Road is less so than Out in the Open. This element allows the reader to, frighteningly, relate their own life and world to the character’s relative situations. They both make the reader consider where they would find themselves given similar circumstances.

These  books are relatively short; The Road at 204 pages in the hardcover edition and 240 pages in Out in the Open.

They are equally and yet uniquely disturbing. Both sets of protagonists must literally and figuratively fight for their lives. They struggle to attain the most basic of needs including food and shelter. In both novels irreparable mistakes are made, and not everyone survives.

I think that the main difference between the two, besides the difference in writing style, is that The Road is viscerally frightening, where Out in the Open is less so and more frightening on a circumstantial level.

Both are very well written with well-rounded characters. I rated both books 4 stars on good reads, but I would actually say they were both 4.5 star reads. If I had to pick one I would choose Out in the Open only because The Road gave me nightmares. I know that some people like to be scared, if that is the case The Road might be a better choice.

What do you guys think?

Has anyone read either or both? 

Any other books that you can think of that fit this model?

 

As always, Happy Reading!

-Nina

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