Shira's Reviews > The World Without Us

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
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Sep 22, 07

Read in September, 2007

Ok, even though this book is a bestseller and many people seem to think it is so great and so deep, I found it to be very repetitive and not necessarily that well-written. I read this for my environmental book group, and probably would not have picked up such a depressing book on my own.

The basic idea is kind of interesting -- how would nature respond if people suddenly disappeared from the earth? Would the damage we caused to the environment be corrected? It's kind of a novel concept and would be good as an article (which it originally was), but it certainly didn't need to become a full-length book. After about the first 10 pages, I got the point. Without people, animals would flourish, plants would bloom, buildings would crumble, etc. I didn't need 150+ more pages of this (incidentally I only got through the first couple of chapters). In any case, my main problem with this book is that it really doesn't tell us anything about what we can actually do to improve the environment short of getting rid of all people, which the author himself doesn't advocate. I definitely found this book extremely disappointing.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by André (new) - added it

André Not wanting to criticize your opinion, I think that this is exactly what the author intented the book to be like. Not an educational pamphlet that constantly reminds us about our "duty" on nature and environment and how bad we tread our planet Earth. I think it was rather designed as a book to shed scientific light on the details of this theoretical situation presented by this thought experiment. Of course, something like this could be summarized briefly in a short 5-pages article, but some people want to know more than that... details, what happens to plastic, to dams, to houses, to ships and cars, or to power plants. I think, that was the main intention behind that book.

I haven't read it yet, I just ordered it on Amazon. But I'm curious.

Kolin I actually agree with Shira. It could have been more concise and 1/3 of the verbage would have still gotten the point through.

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