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.
(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?