Earth Abides

  • by George R Stewart
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Connie Willis
  • 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the first International Fantasy Award. George R. Stewart (1895-1980) was a Professor of English at the University of California. He published a number of novels, including two studies of natural catastrophe, Storm and Fire. Earth Abides is his only work of science-fiction.
Published to great acclaim in 1949, Earth Abides is generally regarded as the classic tale of life struggling on after a global disaster. This audio edition celebrates the 60th anniversary of this science-fiction masterwork and includes a special introduction written and read by Hugo Award-winning writer Connie Willis.
A mysterious plague has destroyed the vast majority of the human race. Isherwood Williams returns from a wilderness field trip to discover that civilization has vanished during his absence. Eventually, in San Francisco, he encounters a female survivor who becomes his wife. Around them and their children a small community develops, but rebuilding civilization is beyond their resources, and gradually they return to a simpler way of life.


What the Critics Say

"A profound, poetic, post-holocaust novel of immense stature: so special I wanted mine to be the only copy." (Garry Kilworth)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A surprisingly emotional journey

Any additional comments?

In my humble opinion, Earth Abides is an outstanding read/listen, although undoubtedly a book of its time. Published in 1949, it compensates for its slower pace and lack of sensationalism with a depth that is rarely encountered in more modern post-apocalyptic literature.
If you're looking to take arms against flesh-hungry zombies while fleeing the depraved offspring of a nuclear winter, then this isn't the book for you.
But if it's more your cup-of-tea to indulge in a philosophical exploration of mankind's nature, via the vehicle of an individual's journey through the dawn of a new age, then you might want to run this one up the ol' flagpole to see if it flutters,
I found Earth Abides to be challenging in content (although accessible in tone), thought-provoking and surprisingly moving ... or possibly I'm just a big girl's blouse.

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- Simon

A Thinker's Book

This is a fairly heartwarming story that pulls few punches. As with many books though while the start builds up the situation nicely it then trails off a bit and is very slow burning. The main protagonist Ish develops strongly throughout the book from the bravado of youth through to the passive vulnerability of the very old.

My problem with the book was that it was just a bit too slow. Ish ponders at great length about many of the developments and by modern standards this slows the story down considerably. There's nothing wrong with that per se but some of the "ponderings" really did amount to little more than listing the possible explanations behind events that had occurred rather than adding anything interesting or useful.

Overall though I'd still recommend this book. It's an interesting look at the social aspects of a post apocalypse world and the author reveals a lot of thinking about base human nature. A good book, but no roller coaster ride!
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- Simon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-09-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios