As an alternative for a review, synopsis, or anything of the like, I decided to create a soundtrack for the book. Please note that quite a bit of this is intended to be playful and irreverent. I’m rarely serious and this post is no exception.
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig is a timely, apocalyptic novel. It primarily follows teenage sisters, scientists, and a religious radio host as the world as they know it begins to dissolve around them and political tensions rise. It’s a character and science driven novel, and all of the events are plausible, which separates it from a novel like The Stand (though, yes, they are similar). Engaging, relevant, and humane, Wanderers shines an uncomfortable light on human nature in the face of the unknown.
All My Life // Foo Fighters.
I know I know I know I am only a teenager, Dad reminds me, like, every day, and my sister reminds me that I’m still young, and I don’t care. I have so many things I want to do, so many boys I want to kiss and so many places to go and so many ways to change the world. I’m ready to get started. Because everything and everyone has to start somewhere, right? I’m starting now. Mom, if you’re out there, and if you ever read this, I’m sorry you won’t get to see what I do. Maybe you’ll come back to us again. Maybe I’ll find you, who knows? Maybe that’s what this is all about. Me finding you.
Shiny Happy People // REM
“Hell, nobody’s okay. Maybe we never were, and we damn sure aren’t now. But we’re here. Until we’re not. And that’s all I find it fair to ask for.”
Generator, Second Floor // Freelance Whales.
As she walked, she felt out of sync, receiving strange flashes of sound and sight and sensation that did not line up with this place. The girl did not know if these were memories, or if they were something else: She heard the crush of the ocean, saw sidewinders of desert sand sliding across the open highway. She saw mile markers and speed limit signs. She saw a dead man in a car, a gun stuck in his mouth, fixed there by bulging threads and struts of white fungus. She smelled blood. And mold. Crushed juniper, hot tar, seabrine. She heard murmurs of voices, saw smeary faces walking alongside her like ghosts – sometimes they were there, most times they were not, but even when they weren’t, she could feel them still.
Sympathy for the Devil // Rolling Stones.
“Humankind was a disease. The earth was the body. Climate change was the fever.”
Subterranean Homesick Blues // Bob Dylan.
“Talking about coal was never about coal, though: It was always code for making promises to blue-collar America about their blue-collar ways of life.”
Thunder Road // Bruce Springsteen.
“Nothing except the desire between them, the ground below them, the night above.”
Out of the Woods // Taylor Swift.
His anger at her dissipated suddenly… If she’d lied to him, it was because she knew no other way. He reached out and touched her hand. A small gesture. But he saw her smile – a sad smile, to be sure, but a smile – in return.
Dancing in the Dark // Bruce Springsteen.
Moon in the sky, stars out, the wide-open expanse of nothing: it made him feel free and alive as the daytime never did.”
Panic Attack // The Glorious Sons.
It was like watching a fog roll out to sea, once more revealing the shoreline, and the moon, and the stars. Clarity came to Arav. He looked suddenly to the shotgun in his hand and quickly lifted the barrel to the sky, his other hand letting go of the stock and also raising in surrender. Benji moved toward him with an urgency to his step, quickly moving to disarm Arav. The young man, his friend, let him. It was over.
Except really, it wasn’t over. Not for any of them.
Little Vessels // The Lighthouse and the Whaler. I am not including a quote with this one, it could give away a bit of the plot.