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The Hab Theory

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
This large contemporary novel tells the story of an ordinary electrical engineer who, aged 94 & dabbling in the earth sciences as an avocation, discovers a shocking truth--that time after time since the beginnings of the planet, life on earth has been periodically been virtually destroyed & has had to start over again. Such a disaster, which occurs at intervals of ...more
Published 1976 by Popular Library (NY)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dave Jones
The end of the world is coming via a wobble in the Earth's rotation. All things considered, an entertaining read but the plot concluded in a very unsatisfying manner.
Wolfgang
A book in re-print, given to me by a friend.

Two stories interwoven.

First, the launch of a fully developed "pole shift theory" into the public via a dramatic encounter between the theory's author and the US president. The president and increasingly the academic world embrace the idea that earth goes periodically through a cataclysmic "capsizing" where the position of the poles shift by 180 degrees. The theory says that the next tilt is imminent and that forces the president to rapidly assess the
...more
laurenpie
Great science fiction plot, but too much tunnel-visioned self-adulation

The science fiction story here is extremely interesting and fairly well written. The side-story on the other hand, that of the main character's romantic involvements, is downright nauseating, embodying the epitome of 70's macho-ism. Ugh!

Herbert Boardman was a wonderful character. Ms. Dowde was okay. I actively disliked virtually every other character. The other females are so shallow they're downright insipid. The main charac
...more
Kathy
Jan 21, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-favorites
This is one of my favorite books of all time! I have read it multiple times. At the bottom of the intrigue is the theory itself....that the earth flips on its axis every 4-8 thousand years causing untold disasters and wrenching of the earth, thereby creating a series of civilizations in the earth's history. Just the idea of this captured my imagination. The rest of the book is about scientists of all types getting together and debating whether or not they think it's possible or even likely, and ...more
Duane
Finally getting to the end of the Hab Theory. It's a long book, and the end honestly plods a little bit. It's a bit anachronistic, in the mode of Arthur Hailey and that bunch.
Not a bad book but not a GREAT book, which is what it wanted to be. A bestselling topper to such things as 334 and The Sheep Look Up, with a new twist on the global disaster thing.
But too much focus on developing sorta stereotype characters made me picture everyone wearing dacron polyester and hoping there would be fondue.
Patricia Dietz
Jul 10, 2012 Patricia Dietz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started out a great idea. Plenty of interesting "facts" but the story focuses on establishing the problem over and over and over. If the main character didn't smoke, you could cut 20 pages of meaningless cigarette-related actions. He ditches a loving wife and kids for a woman who's been with 45 other men (really!) and spends most of the book trying to justify it to the reader. This one goes in the recycling.
Gloria
Mar 28, 2013 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was in my teens and its story has stayed with me through all the intervening years. I've never forgotten it.

It tells the story of a man whose decades long hobby of detailing weather patterns and historical anomalies over the course of thousands of years leads him to develop a theory that has far reaching consequences and may soon impact the fate of the world.

This book is no longer in print, is VERY hard to come by, and is not available as an eBook.
Mallory Carl
This book had me and then it lost me. Then it had me again at the very end. I thought the plot was very interesting and thoroughly enjoyed the story, but for a big chunk (I'd say about the last third) I felt like I was reading a textbook which definitely wasn't what I was looking for.

Overall a good read, I just good have done without all of the ridiculously detailed explanations discussed during the symposium.
Neil
Dec 25, 2010 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always thought this was an entertaining story about scientists of different disciplines working together (kind of like Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan) but then I found out that the author, and a small but significant number of readers, actually believe the "evidence" in the book and the subsequent implications. I still enjoy the story, but it does make me look at it a different way.
Chris
700 pages. I confess to reading about 350 pages before I got fed up and skipped to the last 100 pages... then the last 50 pages... then the last 15 pages... then the last page. Sheesh. Apparently from the point at which I stopped until the last 10 pages or so, the book dealt with a symposium held on the HAB theory.
Bj
Jul 25, 2012 Bj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allan's stories are always researched quite well and his ability to weave a story around facts is absolutely wonderful. This story was almost autobiographical to hear him tell it. He was a good friend of ours and told us how he researched this theory. It's a wonderful story--He was just upset because the libraries classified this as science fiction!
Joseph
Jun 10, 2011 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on a real person Hugh Anchluss Brown, an electrical engineer. His theory that humans have built several advanced civilizations on earth over the last 50,000 years, but they seem to dissapear... every 5000-7000 years and that another near-extinction is overdue is very interesting and if true you should read this book soon.
Monte
Nov 24, 2011 Monte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real page turner and a departure from the historical fiction I love reading from. Interesting scenario, keeps you glued to the book.

If I have a complaint it is the abruptness of the ending. Still, well worth picking up.
Virginia
Apr 08, 2011 Virginia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one book that makes me think. I really like the comment of the earth will rotate so that North America is the South Pole, due to the weight of National Geo in the basement of the United States.
Storm
Jul 31, 2011 Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my all time favourite book (so far!)
I'm no geologist/ancient historian; but the 'evidence' behind the theory seems plausable enough.
Could have done without some of the sub-plots...didn't really contribute and were not necessary. But still, a blimmin good read!
Heather
I first read this book when I was in high school. I chose to re-read it again last year. The plot is great but the subplots go on a bit long. It is very poignant given the current state of the world and global warming.
Cindi Avery
Jun 07, 2012 Cindi Avery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never forgotten this book, though I read it nearly 35 years ago.
It should have become a movie. The story is fiction, of course, but it really makes you wonder if it could ever be possible. I loved this book!
C.I. DeMann
Oct 22, 2013 C.I. DeMann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book. It was an out-of-nowhere surprise for me, but I absolutely inhaled it.
Mica
Sep 29, 2012 Mica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of all time
Glen T.
Apr 01, 2008 Glen T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting because of the evidence that supports the theory.
Brandie
Feb 04, 2008 Brandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My other favorite book.
Petra
Feb 18, 2012 Petra added it
Read this eons ago and remember that I couldn't put it down. Will have to revisit it one day to see if it holds up.
Erik Graff
Jun 27, 2009 Erik Graff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: global disaster fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
This is a near-future global disaster novel based on actual, albeit questionable, scientific theory. The author, Eckert, is primarily known as a naturalist and American historical fiction writer.
Britni
Mar 05, 2014 Britni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-owned-books
This book would be 5 stars without the worthless romance side-story that contributed nothing in my opinion to the very interesting scientific plot of possible global catastrophe.
Deb
Sep 22, 2012 Deb marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of all time. I never get tired of reading this story and have passes my copy on do often it looks well loved.
Marcia
I read this a long time ago. I thought it was great. With globall warming, etc. it might be a good time to read it again. An interesting theory to explain some of the earth's "mysteries."
Chris
Jul 09, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Outstanding and thought-provoking!
Johnnylaw
Jan 10, 2010 Johnnylaw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Read it in high school and I am seeing networks such as science and history channel alluding to predictions that were in this a long time ago. I might have to add it again to my re-read list.
Betty
Aug 19, 2008 Betty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this when it first came out. Am glad it is back in print! Will get another copy to re-read.
Peter
May 28, 2008 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I actually did read this twice.
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Allan W. Eckert was an American historian, historical novelist, and naturalist.

Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, but had been a long-time resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, near where he attended college. As a young man, he hitch-hiked around the United States, living off the land and learning about wildlife. He began writing about nature and American hi
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