Lauren Roy's Reviews > Earth Abides

Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
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Jul 06, 2012

really liked it
Read from January 26 to May 10, 2012

This was a book I'd meant to read for nearly half my life, since I learned it was partly an inspiration for THE STAND. Finishing it at last was kind of bittersweet for me, because I get all sentimental like that.

EARTH ABIDES is dense and science-y, a fascinating look at what would happen if most of the human population went away or died off. (While the inciting incident is called The Great Disaster and seems to be an illness, Stewart barely mentions the bodies of those who succumbed.) It's also a study in what could happen to society when the world as we know it ends -- who will teach the generations after the Disaster about science and history and math and literature? Why would they care about the arts?

This is a quiet, dense novel. If you're looking for lots of action and intrigue in your post-apocalypse, you won't find it here. Sometimes, though, you don't need gunfights and explosions. The quiet decline (and strange rebirth) of the human race through the eyes of Isherwood Williams keeps the pages turning.
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