Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Review: As I Walk These Broken Roads

Book Review: As I Walk These Broken Roads.  By Davis M. J. Aurini.  2012.  314 pages.

We're not always reading about the history of communism. 

For years now we've been dabbling in the Zombie/EMP/Post-Apocalypse genre.  Some are entertaining and others tragic, but all offer unique and creative predictions of what the world will look like after a major event.  Davis M. J. Aurini's book, As I Walk These Broken Roads, is a new and refreshing view into a post-event world.

Aurini's story is about a lone traveler in a world long destroyed from nuclear war.  Think Mad Max on a motorcycle.  He is a confident and capable man with a sense for right and wrong.  A survivor.  His name is Wentworth.  He is among a sparse population that, although self-sufficient, are not curious about returning to a world of machines and modern comforts.

Aurini introduces a new theme to the collapsed world theme: friendship.  While all post-apocalypse books present new relationships within a series of events, we would argue that Aurini's book switches this.  Wentworth develops a new friendship that takes the reader through the story's events.

A pet peeve of ours with many books in this genre are the common, accepted events that authors duplicate with little critical thought.  We've recently thrown a couple books into the trash within the first 100 pages because of mass rape or division-size gangs consuming cities and sweeping across the land - all just moments after an EMP or other collapse.  Please.  Any student of human nature knows these are signs of authors with an imagination:focus ratio far out of whack.  The events in Broken Roads are both believable and realistic.  The only head-scratcher for us was the seemingly endless supply of cigarettes for the chain-smoking characters.  (Maybe the only surviving industry was tobacco?  And maybe the lack of lawyers in the story suggests they all suffered horribly before dying alone?  If so, just give Aurini even more credit for finding justice in an otherwise unfair world.)

If post-war humanity from Aurini's book were represented in a line graph, the time of the story would be presented as pulling up out of the bottom of the post-war dip.  While few items from the pre-war world still work in the story and those that do are held together with duct tape, communities are forming, travel is somewhat safe, and trade is thriving.  Further, Aurini's main characters are of the intellectually curious types who are the seeds for the next modern civilization. Thus, we'd say As I Walk These Broken Roads is a positive view of humanity based at a moment in time when negativity could prevail. 

We congratulate Comrade Aurini for writing a fine book.  And we hope it is not his last.

CLICK HERE to buy this book now.

And check out the author's blog, Stares at the World, and his YouTube channel

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