I know I’ve been remiss on getting my Read and Loved posts out there. I fully intended to do them weekly, but when I’ve got a book about to be released, something has to give. Now that Forever Between is out, I have a few days before I go back into my shell for book three! So, here is a goodie I read in 2011 that deserves a shout out.
First, please overlook the cover. Back in the wild days of 2011, independent authors didn’t have to have covers like we do nowadays. Flip past that and dive into the story.
Here is my review as written right after I read the book:
Hunger and Thirst is one of the best novella length works I’ve read in a very long time…maybe ever. (Okay, I’ve read even more since this, but this still holds as one of the most intriguing!) Part horror, part love story, part post-apocalyptic tale and part character study, it is superior in all it’s parts and makes a very compelling whole.
I read it all at one go. I came home from work, opened it up, and spent the remainder of the evening completely oblivious to anything around me. It was one of those stories that you get so deeply pulled into that the real world just fuzzes out. I couldn’t hear the phone, hunger pains or complaints about a lack of dinner. It was that good. And it was utterly unique as well.
With novella length works, one must walk a fine line in giving a synopsis. Too much and it is ruined for future readers, too little and no one knows exactly what the reviewer loved about it. I’ll try to walk that line because I would really hate to ruin your pleasure with this story.
Jack and Natalie are the main characters. They meet in the dry and dusty desert of a post-apocalyptic world where the rules of civilization don’t really exist but they are not so far gone that people don’t remember and appreciate that they were once there. That knowledge is really key to the story. When asked to behave but no one requires you to, do you? Is morality something deeper than arbitrary rules meant for civilized people who must get on in a crowd?
Of course, Jack and Natalie fall in love. That is the love story of the piece but it isn’t your standard love or romance as written today. It’s much more. And it is combined with horror, morality and how people deal with new (and very old) situations.
And yes, like only Mr. Wightman can do, there is a very cool cat in the story. It’s not the same level as the dog in Selection Event, but it couldn’t be really since Event is a full length novel.
As the other reviewer mentioned, there is something very special about the way Mr. Wightman creates characters. Aside from Jack, Natalie and the kitty, there are actually a very large number of characters who make short appearances in the story. Yet, despite their brief appearances, each is fully fleshed and it is done, somehow, in just the briefest of phrases. Someone really needs to study what he’s doing and figure out how he is doing it. He is, quite frankly, the best character artist I’ve ever read.
This is an inexpensive way to get a full evening of entertainment that you won’t regret. The other work of his that I’ve read, Selection Event, is even more fulfilling, so I can heartily recommend both of them. Just don’t start them if you have pressing business to attend to. You won’t get it done.
Caveat: As always, I only include books in the Read and Loved posts that are written by authors I don’t know. This is my opinion simply as a reader.