I am sympathetic to the now obvious real goals of the author. But i find the whole thing a bit deceptive. I thought I'd hear a fascinating book on the science of the title's subject. There is a little bit of this and it is all that gets talked about on talk shows. But most of the book is a constant harangue about just how awful humans are and how much better the world will be without us. Even as someone sympathetic to this view I find the whole thing taxing and not what I bought this book to hear about. The author should be more honest about his preaching. The reader does not help either with his stern horror house voice.
The narrator has an inexpressive and nasal voice quality that reminds me of my local TV newscasters.. I was so annoyed by this that I had to abandon the book. As for the book, I think the concept is novel and very interesting, but it is not as nicely written as I had hoped. In fairness, however, I may try to read this in print to see if I can better focus on the author without the distraction of the "studio" narrator.
I like happy endings and realism that is realistic rather than gritty.
I found this when looking for a non-fiction "Earth Abides" (George R. Stewart, 1949).
Weisman incorporates history, physics, chemistry, biology, and a bit of sociology in this attempt to answer the questions of what would happen to the world without us.
His answers are manifold as he explores what human absence would mean in various categories--what would happen to plastic? To oceans? To dogs and cats? To radio waves? To music?
Many of these answers involve fascinating accounts of historic cultures and choices, of man-made and natural wonders in the world today, of our highest hopes and darkest fears for the future--with or without humankind.
Some of his answers are depressing--sometimes because the topic is indeed troubling,but other times through heavy-handed pathos and a well-developed sense of guilt (or blame) for the things other people did in other places, long before the author was born. (Or perhaps the narrator's wistful reading...?)
And then from time to time, things just get a little weird... So I nod and smile through those bits and wait for him to get back to the science and history.
Pretty good book overall.
Say something about yourself!
Both terrifying and fascinating at once, this journey from glacial continents to violent tsunamis, supervolcanoes and planets covers a breathtaking amount of ground - and space.
I tend to notice things about the way people speak, and the narrator of this book has a rather nasal voice. Other than that, this book was great! I've been meaning to read it for years, but never had the time. The audible version got me through a couple road trips.
I know more about plastics now than I ever cared for. There are some parts of this book that were interesting, however this book is nothing like the tv series. He writes about how plastic and metals are poisoning our world and as a few other reviewers state how humans basically suck for this planet.
Nowhere near what I expected per the synopsis.
I like to listen to books multiple time as I spend a lot of time behind the wheel. I will not be listening to this one again.
Retired and enjoying volunteering and keeping up with national news. Aslo am learning about therapy dogs and hoping to train my dog to do the Read to a Dog program in libraries. That is, if I can get him to learn to behave!
If you want to get really depressed, listen to this book. I could not listen to the whole book. I could only get through half of this book and I had to stop. COULD NOT TAKE IT.
It had some interesting ideas and it did confirm my idea that we are a part of the evolutionary path of this planet and if we all just disappeared, it would take millions of years for the planet to repair itself from what we left behind.
I don't know how this book ends....
This book is really about the damage that we humans have done to the earth and it's environment. One only needs observe areas where humans have ceased to be and one can observe amazing changes. It also cites historical examples of change that is observable in the last few hundred years. We have also created some monuments that will last for millenia: Mt Rushmore and radio waves emitted into the universe are examples. Well researched and exampled, the book became boring as the author recounted multiple examples on his theme. I would have enjoyed it better at about half it's length.
Audible books are the perfect companion for my 4 mile morning walk!
There's a lot of information in the book, but I just couldn't figure out the point after listening to a couple of different chapters in the course of an hour. Perplexed I looked at the book's Kindle site and noticed a lot of negative reviews making this same point more eloquently. And it turns out a big part of the book is about "what would the earth look like if humans hadn't evolved?" Why would I want to listen to hours of speculation on this rather theoretical point?
I was disappointed. First, the book is not read by the author (and yes I knew that when I bought it). The author does read a 20 minute acknowledgement segment at the end so there's no real reason not to. Second, I thought the book would be about what happens after humans leave but it turns out to be mostly about what is happening to the Earth now with humans.
As an example, the author talks about the places in the ocean where trash accumulates. That felt like old news. Discussions about how the NY subways will flood seems too obvious Post-Sandy.
The author talks about how plastics will hang around for a long time and speculates that a plastic eating bacteria might come along someday. But I would like to know how that would actually happen.
I also was hoping that there would be a discussion along the lines of - we know the dinosaurs didn't achieve a high level of intelligence during their last 10,000 years of existence because ... After all, this book seems to say that in far less time than 65 million years all human traces will be gone.
The book was well read although when a professional is reading the points of emphasis tend to always be made in the same way. I think the actual author would not do that.
Here is what should happen with this book. PBS or the Science channel should get the rights to this book, film a series in the style of James Burke's Connections, retitle it "What Humans Do to the Earth" or something like that. It would be like "Connections" but the connections would not be from the past to the present but from the present to the future - a future with or without humans.