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4.4 out of 5 stars
177
4.4 out of 5 stars
Earth Abides
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change


on 13 May 2017
No zombies, no savage murdering lunatics and no real drama. This is how it would be. This is a very special book, a real tribute to the observer, the pondering eye.

Billed as the grandfather of apocalypse novels I must say I agree. I would liken this to the black cloud by Fred Hoyle in its style.

Genius
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on 30 March 2017
A thoughtful treatment of a post pandemic Earth and the steps taken by a sensitive young man to ensure his and the species survival.
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on 31 May 2017
I read ts as a teenager, it must be me that's moved on. Nothing wrong with the post apoclyptic scenario though
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on 18 July 2017
First read many many years ago, purchased on Kindle for nostalgia, still as good today !
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Very good read.
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on 19 July 1999
Reading Earth Abides what struck me most was not the story, though this was certainly well told and presented, but how bravely the book took an unusual tack on its chosen topic: the survival factor of our civilisation and man himself when measured against geologic or cosmic time as represented by the planet Earth. Normally we are reasured that the embers of civilisation and man will never go out, and that we will always triumph as a species. Almost every film, book or play impresses this perception upon it's audience. And at first, as Isherwood works to rebuild, it seems Earth Abides will follow the same route. Then things start to change, and the reader begins to feel an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of their stomach; Isherwood's attempts start to fail, and the flickering ember of 20th century civilisation begins to dim. At the last, time takes its own course, and our ability to outlast even our own planet, never mind spread to the Universe as many SF books believe, is brought into question. And it is with this that the book triumphs. We are asked to question our entire society, and its true prospects for survival. One of the few books I've read that made me question the daily trip to the office, not from the point of view of myself, but my entire species, and to wonder what on Earth we are doing to ensure the real future of our species.
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on 10 December 2012
Finished reading this today. Having gained an interest in Sci-Fi over the last couple of years, I have read a few of these SF Masterworks.
Earth Abides leaves me with a just a few doubts. I thought it started well and I happily got through the first hundred pages or so. The premise of being left in a world without the society one used to know is interesting.
I suppose by necessity a description of how the whole world was changing was not possible as it set from the perspective of one central character, hence it must focus on that smaller aspect of his world.
This meant that fair portions of narrative focussed around his thoughts of how his Tribe were forming. At times this seemed to drag on a bit and become a bit preachy.
Wierdly, at times I found myself reading on to get the book finished rather than being entirley rivetted, and yet I wasn't bored either!
That said, having finished it I am happy I did. It ends poignantly and shows some small visions of the future nicley. Completing it actually made the whole worth it.
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on 25 August 2017
Great title, great cover, but that's where the praise ends. Got 14% of the way through it. Published in 1949. Very unengaging and stilted. The main character is utterly irrational, and nasty to boot. I simply cannot warm to him. And the reactions of the few survivors he meets are ridiculous. And it's just boring to boot.
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on 29 June 2015
It is difficult to argue about whether this was a good book or not. To me, Ish came across as a classic apathetic agnostic. He never picked a path to tread on, i.e. he had no firm belief and vision in the future, both for himself and for his people. If this is meant to show the realities of culture, how it just gradually evolves and we as people can make very little difference, than I disagree. Even the smallest things Ish did, had an impact on his community. He therefore could have done more. But to do that, he would have needed to have had 'character' before hand. Ambling by life, or just having a little knowledge of biology is not sufficient.
Overall, the novel seemed to be fatalistic and nihilistic. Perhaps that may be a strength of the novel, if it makes us question what we truly believe. But if we are meant to be sympathetic to Ish, than this wasn't a great book. Just an average run of the mill sci-fi novel.
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on 3 March 2004
This book must be one of the most memorable SF books I have ever read. Well written and thought provoking. Virtually no science involved, just a cracking story with well drawn characters. Like the best SF, it is well written fiction as well as being highly imaginative.
It will stay in your imagination forever.
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