Began reading sci-fi 71 years ago, at age 4, will continue until my clock quits ticking.. Best education one could have ever wished for.
Jonathan Davies does an excellent job with the material and his characters come to life, unfortunately he has little or at best a smattering of compassion and real intellect from this story by G.R. Stewart. The production is well done and I find no fault with it's rendering, however, having grown up in the area and being aware of all the resources available, even at the time frame in which the story was placed, I cannot believe that his supremacist ego driven "Ish" could avail himself of so little, other than a Berkeley library to assist in the education of his "tribe". The story sadly lacks the sense of comradeship that would almost from necessity exist for the "tribe" to survive. There are better stories of this genre and type.
In 1949, the cadillac was named Motor Trends' very first "Car of the Year"; it was hailed as "modern, innovative, stylish, with substance and mass befitting the luxury." Eager consumers were probably lined down the streets, their fists full of silver certificates, anxious to own one of the new award-winning cars. Also in '49, a Berkeley College professor, George R. Stewart wrote Earth Abides, a stunning,"modern, innovative" novel, that went on to receive the very first International Fantasy Award. (Maybe he drove a cadillac?) Today, 62 yrs. later, unless you collect old cars, the '49 cadillac is probably just a curiosity. I'd like to see one; I'd bet they're a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, the big crome hubcaps, the shiny huge bumpers, the hint of the first fin tails, the "pool table-sized trunklid". But actually on the road...? Gas that V-8 land-yacht up, use both arms to turn the behemoth around a curve, sit in the back with the stationary windows. A bit anachronisctic in 2012, (unless you've got a bag of salt water taffy and a parade to go to). Earth Abides was like that caddy to me, a curiosity.
I won't belabor the points that have been made by some critics about the racism, sexism, etc., tokens of some literature of that period. I will say that Ish and his eventual tribe of regressing spawn were some of the most uninteresting, unmotivated, dull and dim-witted characters I have read about in a long time, and that made this quiet novel hard to stick with in spite of good writing and a somewhat still relevant and interesting story. The inward Ish reminded me less of Robinson Crusoe and more of "Wilson" (Tom Hanks' ball in Cast Away), and seemed to have about as much gump-tion.
There are boatloads of philosophical as well as biblical references--you can make this about as deep as you want (I picture SNL's the LUV-AHS in the hot tub with a glass of wine discussing this one). As for me, I want something a little more zippy, a little more schnazzy, a little more staying power under the hood, 'crushed velvets seats, oozing down the streets...'
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
The survivors of Earth Abides are far from the sharpest pencils in the drawer.
How can they take an empty world filled with great buildings, works of art, and great libraries and choose to live in a decaying suburban neighborhood?
How can they turn their children into bow hunter gatherers with stores full of firearms and ammunition?
How can they watch the entire world decay without carving out a portion of San Francisco or Mill Valley and making it livable and sustainable?
How? They lack any imagination or foresight and leave their children with a hammer to start over without the ability to even read. The meek inherited the Earth and watched civilization die in one generation.
Not a bad book given the mindless ineptitude of the survivors.
Geeky, weatherman, birdwatcher, ultra-marathoner (if you've never run 50 to 100 miles for fun you wouldn't understand)
The story draws you in. Makes you think about what you would do in such a situation
Cross country road trip
Sure, kind of long for one sitting though
Starts of slow... But gets better. Better to listen at 1.5x speed because the narration is slow too.
Amazing story about one possible outcome of Civilization crash. I listened to the entire book pretty much from front to back, very engaging, superb piece of literature.
I know it's supposedly the first of its kind, but I honestly wasn't impressed. It lacks much in the way of reality. Most technology fades slowly. While this adds to the overall themes of the book, I found myself constantly thinking it wasn't realistic. The "hero" is a very consistent character, but his self doubt and pedantic manner make him hard to like. Finally, most of the book is narrative. The narrator does really well at these points. On the other hand, the brief moments of dialogue suffer immensely. Final analysis: glad to have this classic checked off my list but won't listen to it again.
Yes, although this book is 60 years old, it holds up remarkably. It being the father of "disaster" stores is a must read by any sci-fi fan.
Funny thing, it was a disaster but somehow and for some reason I found it to be comforting, that even in the midst of horrible circumstance a man can still be true to himself.
I a sucker for a good ending, shame how many books miss this. I let out a sigh and contemplated what I had just heard.
No, I wanted it precisely because I knew it would take a while and I didn't want it to end once I was into it.
It could be accurate for some people, but the lack of desire to rebuild, sustain or improve the way life disturbed me. (spoiler ) Why not develop a way to keep electricity running? spend time understanding the water system? relocate to areas of manufacture to keep certain important systems running? I realize it would change the story, and maybe intended, but ithe complacency bothered me.
There do not se to be many books by this author available in audiobook format. That is a shame, as its very rare for a book to move you or make you think as wonderfully as this book. I felt as if i was actually there as the painting of the scene in words was delicately put forth. I will not soon forget this experience.