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Earth Abides
     

Earth Abides

4.2 84
by George R. Stewart
 

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The cabin had always been a special retreat for Isherwood Williams, a haven from the demands of society. But one day while hiking, Ish was bitten by a rattlesnake, and the solitude he had so desired took on dire new significance.

He was sick for days — although, somehow, he never doubted that he'd live through the ordeal. Often delirious,

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Earth Abides 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like a previous reviewer, I first read Earth Abides while high school. I am now 64 and have reread the book at least 10 times. Nothing in the genre has come close to it for the detailed and fascinating account of the course mankind takes after almost being destroyed. Each time i read it, I find something new and feel the same excitement and anticipation that I felt when i was 16.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This tale of diaster challenged rather that scared me ... I stayed awake at night wondering what choices I would make in the remaking of a new civilzation. Not only is there the problem of survival and emotional recovery, but also of ethics, morality, and predjudice. I reccomended it to my bookclub and to my teen-age grandsons. I loved "Clan of the Cavebear"but this tale is relevent.
poetbear More than 1 year ago
Of all the post-apocalyptic novels I have read, this is unquestionably the most realistic, thought-provoking, and engrossing. I read it several years ago, on the recommendation of a Sociology professor, who had used it as an entertaining focus for discussion in his classes, but when I bought the new edition this year as a gift for a relative, I just had to read it again. I couldn't put it down. The story is compelling, the description masterful, the main character someone you come to care about and admire, and the premise and plot not far-fetched or melodramatic. It's a story you can imagine yourself in, and its humanity places it above most in the genre. It would be a terrific book group read, and excellent as a supplementary or focus reading for high school or college classes.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Unlike all contagious diseases before this one that traveled over time, this contagion sprung up globally at about the same time. For practical purposes the human race is extinct. Isherwood ¿Ish¿ Williams survives the pandemic, but wonders if he is the last man on earth. --- In what was once called California, Ish eventually meets up with a small rag tag band of shocked survivors. As his cohorts just try to live, they turn to Ish, more an introspective loner, as the leader. Reluctantly he takes charge not knowing what the future will bring or even if there is even going to be a future. --- This is a reprint of a highly regarded post apocalypse tale first released in 1949. The story is actually told over a period of years broken into five major parts of which the above only briefly touches on the first two sections. Ish is a terrific protagonist whose belief in survival changes over time as he observes his little colony mature. Thriller fans will enjoy this strong after the doomsday tale that in some ways shows its pre-information age initial publication, but remains a strong cautionary story. --- Harriet Klausner
Martin Hill More than 1 year ago
The book was published in 1949, which places it in completely different era from the descibed 1976 date listed. The disappointed reviewer missed the part where Em was described as African American which makes the novel somewhat more modern than would be expected. The story remains one of my favorites of all time even if it is from a 'simpler' time.
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
"Between the plan and the fulfillment lies always the hazard. Between the plan and the fulfillment stands always the frail barrier of a human life" - George R. Martin Isherwood "Ish" Williams is one of the last people on Earth! How will he survive, how can he go on? "Earth Abides" is a book that I have owned for quite awhile & a book that I have always planned to read next, but never did. Finally I read the book and I was not only thoroughly impressed, I was in awe of George R. Martin's ideas about how it would all end and how we could possibly go on. I'm amazed at the amount of the poor reviews for this book, I think most people are expecting more I Am Legend type material. This book is not that at all, there is some violence, not alot, there are no zombies, only people & animals. Many reviewers state that Ish should have done this, he shouldn't have done that, forgetting that this masterpiece was written in 1949. The book is so far ahead of it's time, it's baffling to me how George R. Martin came up with some of these things. Would it be much different it this novel was written today, well obviously yes. Martin's theory of how each animal will thrive before it's numbers level off really made me think. The everyday things that you never give a second thought, Martin brings them to the front and makes you think, what do we do now, how do we get past this? If you like to read post-apocalyptic novels, if you've read "The Road" and enjoyed it, read "Earth Abides" This is the road that no man finishes traveling. Men come and go, but Earth abides! Enjoy~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this to see what inspired King to write The Stand. Its actually an interesting tale but it /is/ a period piece, the cultural differences are glaring in spots.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book. Scary, but so possible. I read it in one day. I knew nothing of this author before, but he is great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was 15 or 16 yrs old. I am 45 today and this is still the best book I have ever read. Nothing will ever compare to this facsinating novel. Read it. It will stay with you forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an early work of post-apocalyptic fiction based on a pandemic wiping out a large portion of humanity. The protagonist is a reclusive type, a young university student of some type, who spends long periods of time in his remote cabin. As the scene opens, he is bitten by a rattlesnake, and falls very ill, though he survives. He soon discovers, on re-entering town, that he survived an illness more than just snakebite, and finds everywhere he goes, including his parents' house, devoid of people. What is fascinating about this book is that it was first written in the 30s or so, before much technology was in place (just radios, though electricity and cars are also part of the plot), so it is a neat perspective on what it is like to survive as infrastructure slowly decays and the natural state of Earth takes over. The author deals with a wide variety of thought-provoking topics, such as plants, pests, pets, infrastructure, the role of laws and society, relationships, and even time itself. It is a good read, though it can be slow in a few places, the topics vary enough to keep you going and interested to see what will happen next.
momander More than 1 year ago
... and I've read a lot of them! The characters are well drawn and you can see how later authors have been influenced by this work. This world ends not in a fiery inferno or spasm of violence; it simply ends. The interesting part is what happens afterward, the next year, the next decade, the next half-century. Highly recommended!
1984Bruin More than 1 year ago
Isherwood Williams survives a snake bite only to find he may be the only one to survive a worldwide disaster. After a cross-country journy (including a stop at a very dissertated Wall Street...which 9/11 gave me a whole new appreciation for the discription Mr. Stewart gives) Ish returns to his home, Northern California. Slowly others are found and children are born, thus a "tribe" is formed. The drama of life is played out through the eyes of Ish and we (the readers) get to speculate as to what we would do if we were in their shoes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Daniel O¿Leary Grade 8 Age 13 I thought this book was written incredibly well. Though this is fiction, the author seems to almost be telling the tale from a personal experience. His writing style makes you want to come back and read the book again. The way Ish, the main character, explores the empty world, going from the woods to the city is fascinating. Ish moves from urban neighborhoods to the greatest American cities, seeing all the different ways they have changed. This book is very origional, and written in a style that does not constantly have action going on, but instead focuses on Ish¿s thoughts and experiences. Though the theme of this book is very sad, the overall story is interesting and captivating.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my all time favorite science fiction novel. The story, the characters, and the impact of this novel easily surpasses anything being written by today's crop of science fiction writers. Even the greats of the Golden Age of science fiction never equalled Earth Abides. Nor does Stephen King's 'The Stand' come even close to comparing to this novel. And yet...Earth Abides was written by someone whose name almost always elicits a puzzled 'Who?' In fact, many well-read science fiction fans have never even heard of George R. Stewart. Even so, Earth Abides is the most haunting tale of the end of the world that you will ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stewart's Earth Abides has long been considered a classic in the sci-fi genre and a classic apocalyptic novel (it even helped to inspire Stephen King's The Stand). And it is no wonder why. Stewart has a highly believable, excellently written story here. Though it does lose something in the the third part of the book, when Ish is an old man. One you should definately pick up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Dad recommended this book to me when I once asked him what his favorite book was. I read it the first time when I was 15, and I have read it at least 10 other times. It is by far one of the most exciting and compelling stories I have ever read. I think this book should be required in all schools to show us the frailness of the human species, and how lucky we all are to be walking around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It is ageless, and it is the kind of book that you continue to think about long after the final page. I cannot recommend it more highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would really like to see this on Nook Audio Book Application...I listen to audio-books while I work at my desk all day, and I would pay for this if it was an audio-book on the Nook App where I have all my other books. I don't want a CD or an MP3, I want it in the convenient library in my nook app for my phone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ish is the main reason i am having a hard time getting thru it.hes just not likable.pompous ass.the story drags as well.i find myself skimming and bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the classics of post-apocalyptic fiction, from which so many later works are derivative. Everyone should read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The number of positive reviews surprises me. Ish is a truly despicable person, and seeing the world through his eyes was very unpleasant, which made it difficult to enjoy the book. Ish has no backstory; he is an arrogant snob; it is impossible to empathize with him; and he is more of an unfeeling robot than a human. The writing was also poor. I love apocalyptic novels, but this one is no good. Read "far north" instead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time in 1972. It was great then and still wonderful. Doesnt ever seem to go out of date. Could have been written yesterday. Needs to be a movie. Will be great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read some of the reviews and do agree that Ish in some parts is a bad character but the storyline isn't that bad. However, It is a book you may have to read twice to fully understand what is going on. Other than that, good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An okay book. Lengthy in some areas. Unbelievable in other areas. There are better books in this genre.
RalphRotten More than 1 year ago
Earth Abides is one of the earliest post apocalyptic novels (a lady wrote the first EOW novel back during the civil war but I dont rremember her name right off the top of my head).  But despite the vintage (it predates WWII) the story is spot on, and represents some very advanced thinking for the time.   This book has influenced a number of top books in ththe apocalyptic genre including The Postman by David Brin, Lucifers Hammer by Niven & Pournel, and Calizona by R.Rotten.  If you like EOW [end of world] stories then all of these are essential reading.