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Earth Abides
Earth Abides
Author: George R. Stewart
A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either ...  more »
ISBN: 116
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.

2.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

MattColeman avatar reviewed Earth Abides on
Helpful Score: 6
I am a fan of post-apocalyptic literature, but this one sits high on my list. EARTH ABIDES is not the punked-out, mad-ass-dash for gasoline and mutant-freak battles one might be used to with this genre.

True post-apocalyptic literature isn't as much about the disaster as it is about the people who survive the cataclysm, and more, how they live and cope. That said, EARTH ABIDES fits the bill nicely, moreso than any other I have read.

George R. Stewart looks at the survival of mankind from an ecological and sociological viewpoint. What would it take for man to survive near-destruction from plague? Should they rebuild, or reform society? Is regression preferable to progression in this brave new world? There are many such questions posed throughout, and the absolute joy of this book is that all of them aren't the answers we want.

Get this book, read it, give it to someone else. Only do it FAST.
Sleepy26177 avatar reviewed Earth Abides on + 218 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Earth Abides is a classic post-apocalyptic tale about what might be and what might happen after humanity has been visited by a great plague, killing most of the humans. Although written in 1949 George R. Stewart knew how to implement what scientist already knew all those years ago.

He describes how young Isherwood Williams, also called Ish, survived a snake bite which might have conquered the greater disease that had fallen upon him and saved his life.
The young student soon learns that he isn't alone left in what he knew as civilization. He travels through the U. S. now and then finding survivors who were either under shock and crazy or hostile against him. Sometimes it was even him who feared them. He sees how fast nature takes but men took from it a long time ago.
Domestic animals vanish or become hostile. Whole animal species seem to vanish overnight while other thrived from what men left. Insects and rats without boundaries overrushing towns destroying what's eatable and vanishing when the resources are eaten. What's left are cans and bottles and other goods that aren't eatable.

Getting back to his hometowm he meets Emma and in an desperate attempt for love and ending the loneliness they become a couple and later a family. With the months passing more people enter the little community, bearing children who bear children.

The community grows and with it the thoughts about future and what might become of Ish's children and their children. During his whole lifespan Ish tries to teach them how to read without understanding that the new generation isn't interested in reading and knowledge but likes the careless life they life, indulging what is left of a civilization they never knew, slowly learning to adapt to the world they know.


Sometime in the beginning of this year I saw a documentation on the history channel which was named Life After People that pretty much described with impressing pictures what happens to what's left of the civilization we know today.
Earth Abides is just one example of how things might go on if there are people left capable to go on.
A plot that can't be outdated, at least not yet, but nevertheless gives impressions and lots of thoughts.
book-reader avatar reviewed Earth Abides on + 144 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A fantastic book about a plague that almost wipes out mankind. Set in the late 1940s early 1950s. Excellent read.
Twintoni avatar reviewed Earth Abides on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is as relevant now as it was when written in 1949. An excellent insight into the human race and the ability to survive and thrive.
buzzby avatar reviewed Earth Abides on + 6062 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was one of the most memorable books I ever read, I read it for Jerry Williams' Geography class in 1979. Stewart has been called the inventor of the Ecological Novel, since it is about what happens to the environment (of the world in general, of the East Bay around Berkeley in particular) after humans all but disappear.
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reviewed Earth Abides on
This was a decent post-apocalyptic story. It was a little slow in some places, and a little vague in others, but the story pulls through and you're there until the end, with the character. It starts where the main character wonders out of the forest after being there for some time, to a world where there are no people, cars are parked everywhere and where electricity starts going out. A virus has wiped out most of the population, leaving few. In his journey the main character finds people, some come to him and he discovers the extent of the destruction. He forms his own little community and the tale continues as generation after generation are born and he tries to hold onto what once was.
Mahala avatar reviewed Earth Abides on + 192 more book reviews
This is an awesome book! It kept me riveted from start to finish. I really cared about the main characters and I could see myself in their shoes post-plague. This is a good one!
mgomatt avatar reviewed Earth Abides on
'Earth Abides' is a classic novel of the end of human civilization and it's rebirth. Unlike other apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy novels in the mold of Mad Max, there are no weapon wielding skin headed cannibals roaming the wasteland. In fact the only violence in this novel is an encounter with a pack of wild dogs and the heart rendering decision the community makes to deal with one of the human survivors. In light of recent research exemplified by books such as 'The World Without Us', 'Earth Abides' is astonishing prophetic and knowledgeable. You might say that this novel is an environmentalist's apocalyptic novel 50 years ahead of its time. The novelist's understanding of modern ecology is amazing considering when it was written. The theme of the novel is stated in the title. Human civilization may disappear but earth will abide. A modern classic that should not be missed.

Book Wiki

Common Title
Isherwood "Ish" Williams (Primary Character)
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