Earth Abides - by George R. Stewart
My rating - 3 stars
I had joined an old book challenge last year and I thought I had finished the challenge. I realized I had four more decades of books for read near the end of November! So I have been on a mission to finish up the challenge before the end of 2016. I managed to finish the challenge by reading The Lost Continent, A Christmas Carol, The Call of the Wild, and Earth Abides.
Earth Abides is an apocalyptic story written in 1949 by George R. Stewart. The story is told by Ish, who was a graduate student, that survives a great plague that almost destroys the entire human race.
Earth Abides is considered a classic tale of the apocalypse and I feel like I should be giving this book four or five stars instead of three. Especially since supposedly Earth Abides was the inspiration for Stephen King's The Stand (one of my favorite books). For me though, this story just dragged on and there was a lot of repetition by the main character of ideas and observations. The entire book is from Ish's viewpoint. It isn't your typical book about the apocalypse with a lot of action and fight scenes. In fact, there aren't any fight scenes or action. It is a slow moving story that spans probably 40 years. Ish was a graduate student at the time of the plague and has a superior attitude and is constantly reminding the reader that everyone else is clearly not as smart as he is. Which is probably why I didn't really care for Ish very much and soured my opinion of the story. For the majority of the story, Ish makes observations about the world after the plague. Stewart does have some ideas about what might happen to people, customs, skills, disease and education that I haven't seen in other books about the end of the world as we know it. So this is a plus on Stewarts part but the way he keeps having his main character ramble on repetitively dragged the story on.
So if you love to read about the end of the world as we know it, then you should probably give this book a try. You might have an easier time forgiving Ish of his faults then I did.