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Earth Abides Paperback – March 28, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
But it's Stewart's refusal to tread the usual Golden Age sci-fi path and make Ish a superscience hero that makes the novel very special. Ish may be a scientist, he's academically bright, but like many people he's low in energy, street-smarts, and foresight. By and large his motley clan possesses even lower survival skills. They aren't much different from the Valley Girls in another good story in the end-of-the-world genre, the movie NIGHT OF THE COMET. Both are based on an understanding that if the human race's average IQ is 100, half the people who are likely to survive a major disaster aren't going to be awfully competent. Stewart certainly knew that, and it provided both the uncanny realism and the rather depressing pessimism of this story. It's fascinating to note that the other reviewers have noted both aspects of EARTH ABIDES.
The protagonist Isherwood suffers from the same disease that afflicts even the best of men - he lacks direction, loses initiative, becomes too preoccupied with the daily stresses of living and watches his life trickle away in the post apocalyptic environment without ever seeming to summon the right kinds of ambitions to carry out his grand dreams of rebuilding the old world.
Stewart was quite prophetic considering when this book was written because many modern anthropologists have since confirmed that many previous civilizations have died out precisely because of this "critical threshold" of the division of labor and sheer numbers of vanished races being too low to sustain a breeding population and achieve the critical mass that leads to a progress oriented civilization. Stewart was very perceptive too be able to articulate this phenomenon and even narrate its exact trajectory following the loss of so many people who were vital components in the world that Isherwood regrets the demise of.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have you seen that show The Last Man On Earth? This book is like that, only it's not a comedy.Published 1 day ago by Johnny Heering
Classic destopia story. Hard reading at times but makes good point about the human condition that are still true todayPublished 3 days ago by Nicholas Wicksall
I've listened to the radio version with John Dainer as Ish and wanted to read the book for several years. It has exceeded my expectations. A good readPublished 15 days ago by Craig Muller
most of the other "end of days" books I have read have had a MUCH darker view for the survivors. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Classic and thoughtful post-apocalyptic tale by the great George Stewart. I read this 40 years ago in high school and re-read just now. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Read 20 years ago, never forgot it, still own a copy I picked up at Goodwill. A great, and I think very likely, end-of-the-world scenario. Read morePublished 1 month ago by mother of twins, Atlanta