Earth Abides

Alternative Worlds

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Earth Abides
George R. Stewart
Del Rey, Apr 2006, $13.95
ISBN: 0345487133

Unlike all contagious diseases before this one that traveled over time, this contagion sprung up globally at about the same time. For practical purposes the human race is extinct. Isherwood “Ish” Williams survives the pandemic, but wonders if he is the last man on earth.

In what was once called California, Ish eventually meets up with a small rag tag band of shocked survivors. As his cohorts just try to live, they turn to Ish, more an introspective loner, as the leader. Reluctantly he takes charge not knowing what the future will bring or even if there is even going to be a future.

This is a reprint of a highly regarded post apocalypse tale first released in 1949. The story is actually told over a period of years broken into five major parts of which the above only briefly touches on the first two sections. Ish is a terrific protagonist whose belief in survival changes over time as he observes his little colony mature. Thriller fans will enjoy this strong after the doomsday tale that in some ways shows its pre-information age initial publication, but remains a strong cautionary story.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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Jun 29, 2014
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The journey of Isherwood Smith is wondrous and sad as he struggles to find other plague survivors and keep civilization and learning alive. Powerful and moving , it is by far one of the most beautiful end of civilization novels ever written. A great book from a great writer. (y)
 
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