This book is very dated, and is a boring read/listen. I kept waiting and waiting for something interesting to happen, and when it did, it was over. Trust me... pass on this.
I enjoyed the first chapter of this book and was intrigued by the premise of being alone in the world. "What would I do?" But as I progressed through the book, I felt as if I were walking through mud. Some sections were repetitous and very slow. The characters introduced later in the story became flat. I had a hard time accepting some of the author's conclusions about how the surviving generation would relate the former culture to succeeding generations. The droning voice of the reader made the life of the characters seem joyless. I finally lost interest in the story and simply wanted to hear those famous last words: THE END!
While not terribly written and in some small way thought provoking Apparently only complete morons are able to survive
This book is long, the text is dull, and for the most part I find it to be unlikely and the characters to be unbelievable. I know that this is a classic in the apocalyptic genre, but sometimes even classics can suck. I give it two stars because, given modern transport/communication it may be possible for such a disease as described to spread as quickly as described, unlikely, but possible. Now, the thought that within two generations we will revert back to hunter gathers...that I find more unlikely. Possible, given how lazy many are, but widespread? In short, the plot seems to me implausible and the story itself painful to get through.
First, the positive. This books feels remarkably modern considering it was written in 1949. There are a few racists and sexist statements, but overall, this book could take place now. I read that it is one of the first of the "disaster" style books, so I guess historically it is interesting.
I would not classify this as science fiction, which I thought it was. It takes place in "the present" and there is no fictional technology or anything (just the killer plague).
The negative: I am 2 hours from the end of this audio book and I don't know if I can finish it. God it's dragged on for sooooo long. Let me warn you - the first five hours or so has NO dialogue. It is just the main character ruminating. He is a self-described loner, but I'd go further and say he borders on being a sociopath. He has almost no emotional response to anything in the book, other than feeling fear a few times. When other characters finally appear, he routinely refers to them as stupid dull people, constantly disparaging them even after they've been with each other for decades. I know main characters don't have to be likable, but we are stuck in Ish's head and he is an ass. What's worse is that we have to hear him debate things over and over in his mind, often repeating himself even in the same paragraph. Hmm, my son joey is smart. The rest of the group is stupid. I should teach them to read. But they are too stupid. But I could teach joey. He is smart. Smarter than the rest of these idiots. They will never learn to read. OKAY. I get it.
The narrator does a good job of trying to bring this material to life, but he can't save it. (Don't bother with this book, it is not worth the time)
I am having a hard time describing this book. It borders on being boring, but not quite. It almost gets exciting, but not quite. Very dark book with no action, even when someone is killed it gets censored out. I only got this book because it was on sale for like 10 bucks, I want 6 bucks back please.
I was not impressed. I know it was the 50's but it was not the stone age. They did not have a school for 20 years? No system for settling problems of any kind. And except for George no one who seemed to be able to repair a broken shoelace. I'm sure I may be missing a deeper meaning. But hey, I listen to be entertained also. You can't enjoy a book with so much flawed thinking and behavior. As mark Twain once wrote about Cooper. This auther is no observerer.
And talk about conceited. The main caracter had a god complex that was amazing. I have listened to hundreds audible books and occasionally I make a mistake with my choices. This was one of those mistakes. I have read "The Stand" and some other end of the world, as we know it, tales and this is a weak one.
I agree with prior reviews that this book is unforgettable. It's almost worth the slog. But it's very long and desperately needs editing (they did edit books in 1949). Making it more tedious is the slow narration. On the positive side, its creative and provides great incites to human nature. Although written 60 years ago, there are only a few points in the book where this is noticible (e.g., reference to a "telegraph" and an almost Victorian propriety when discussing sex).
This book could have and should have been written. With about half the pages.
IF your a English major in college then you will love this book. If average sicfi fan you will have to bare Thur the long wined parts.