A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.
NOTE: This 60th anniversary edition of Earth Abides includes a special introduction written and read by Hugo Award-winning writer Connie Willis.
©1949, renewed 1976 by George R. Stewart; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
This was not a bad book. I enjoyed it. However, it is definitely not action-packed. The book follows the life of a man called Ish, who finds himself one of the few who survives a plague that kills nearly all of mankind. He later is the leader of a small group, mostly made up of his children (born post-apocalypse) and grandchildren, plus a friend and his wives, children and grandchildren. The story mainly follows Ish's cerebral musings regarding life, the old civilization, and how the post-apocalyptic children will grow and adapt, not having the knowledge of anything concerning modern life in the past, other than the remnants that man had left. This is an old book, and quite different than the books I have read recently, and different than most other books about an apocalypse. It is more of a saga, chronicling the life of Ish, his mullings, and his hopes and fears about the future. Not everyone will like it, so be aware of what type of book this is before you listen.
The narrator was okay. Nothing special, but not irritating in any way. Probably a good choice for this book.
Maybe a more modern book would get my attention
On and on and on! Much ado about nothing! In my humble opinion!
Disappointment, The review sounded terrific! The book was not!
Maybe it's just me but this book and Bill O'Riley's "Killing Lincoln" are two of the worst books I just couldn't get thru! I am 63 yrs. old and maybe I am not mature or intelligent enough to appreciate fine writing! Please tell me "it ain't so!! Did you honestly enjoy this book?
I love the post apocalyptic genre, and I really wanted to like this book, but for me, this book had some major problems. Before I start I should state that I only listened to the first part of the audible download for this book (about 7 hrs). It's possible that by some miracle the second part is far better, but I see no reason to believe that. My biggest complaint with this book is the way it's written. The lack of dialogue really made this a dry read. I know that there aren't many characters in the book, so the lack of dialogue makes sense, but it really made this a boring read. Give this guy a ball named Wilson to talk to, or an imaginary friend, ANYTHING. I thought when Princess was introduced that there would finally be some dialogue; nope. This book is 99% narration and 1% dialogue. Speaking of narration, normally a character's personality is revealed through their dialogue, and their actions, but this book is almost all straight narration. Instead of "showing" us an action and leaving it to us to understand Ish's motivations based on past actions and dialogue, the narrarator literally tells us everything. His reasoning, thoughts, motivations, dialogue, none of this is "shown" to us, it is all stated. We never see Ish's suffering, we are just told about it, occasionally. What I'm trying to say is, there are times when reading a book that your imagination takes over and as you read the book you can almost "see" the things taking place in your imagination, this never happens in this book. It's like this book was narrarated to deliver information, and not to engage the reader. It's boring. Last, I don't think this book is realistic at all, I imagine that after a catastrophe like this, a person would try to satisfy their basic needs (food, water, shelter, companionship), instead Ish just drives around judging people; and the thought that a snake bite would cure a plague just seems ridiculous. I can't recommend this book. Avoid it like the plague.
Sorry, I know this is suppose to be a 'classic'. It was classically boring to the nth degree. I even skipped about and nothing ever really changes. Let me sum it up for you. Plague, a few people find one another, plant plants, plant more plants, watch the ants and rats die out, have kids, scribble on a rock for 20 years, the end.
If you want to listen to a really great book, get One Second After. Blows this dull piece away.
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
This book is about what is wrong with us as humans. The beginning of the book is very interesting as the main character, drives around the country to see what is left in the aftermath of the disease that has wiped out most of the population. After that the book goes downhill. The characters are not that likable. The children are brats, and the adults lack the conviction to make them better people. The items which are in the story aren’t realistic (it is very unlikely that gas would not be usable after 20+ years even if stored well), and overall the story just wasn’t very interesting to me. If this is who’s left after then I hope I don’t make it.
Read it forty years ago, it ended just about how you would expect.
Connie Willis was perfect, Jonathan Davis was a little to monotonous and dreamy.
See if Also Babylon or Malevil is in audio format and re-read them. Both are far superior
to this story which is very dated.
Contrary to Connie Willis' review I did not find anything that I missed or enjoyed more the second time. Verry, very talky in parts.
CAUTION: Earth Abides was written over 60 years ago and it shows. The human population is largely wiped out by a disease leaving just a few scattered survivors across the United States, some of whom have been driven mad.
The word that comes to mind about this book is "pretentious." The lead character, "Ish" is a Graduate geology student but sounds more like a 75 year old classics professor from Yale. This is common for books written during this era - few of the characters seem true to life, instead they make fine speeches and have eloquent inner dialogues. Who talks that way?
And boy does Ish think a lot of himself!
Filled with quotes and stories from classical literature and poetry, I haven't heard the words Thee and Thine spoken so much as in this book.
He constantly refers to African Americans as Negroes (this is what first turned me off and again can be explained by the date it was written) Worse, his portrayal of one group of surviving African Americans sounds like a scene taken from Uncle Tom's Cabin.
A strong sense of elitism pervades and the author feels that most Americans, while well meaning and good natured, are essentially stupid and unable to live in anything but the moment. Only rarely does a thinker come along says the author.
Very little happens in the first 21 years of the story. Ish gathers together a small group of survivors into what they call a tribe who survive by living off the scraps of a dead society. Shockingly they don't even set up any kind of schooling for the children until at least that point in the story.
Very slow paced, I found myself fast forwarding through sections waiting for something to happen other than Ish talking to himself.
The technology is from the 50's but I feel sure that the author would tell us that matter little since human being today are much the same as we were then. Perhaps, but at least we're on our way to leaving racism behind.
Earth Abides has nothing but good reviews. But I'm sorry to have to say I didn't much care for it. The Protagonist, Ish, was a hard one for me to connect with. I had a very hard time with his superiority complex. His main priority was pretty much to observe how everything develops in his post apocalyptic environment. I don't do well with characters that contradict themselves. Ish holds himself above everyone else in the story due to his intellect but he didn't have much of an issue allowing the young ones around him to be pretty much ignorant about pretty much everything as the story develops. He even comes to believe himself to be a God. There just was not one thing about this story that I liked.
An aging story.
I liked this novel, but it I am on the fence about it. I liked the book on a whole, but the middle and end dragged into tedium. Pretty unlikely, and too slow to be really interesting, but I still liked it somehow.
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