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Simon

Wokingham, United Kingdom
  • 2
  • reviews
  • 168
  • helpful votes
  • 63
  • ratings
  • Earth Abides

  • By: George R Stewart
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Connie Willis
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 200

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Thinker's Book

  • By Simon on 05-10-14

A surprisingly emotional journey

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-03-14

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,079
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,060

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her 'our little genius'. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A stunning read

  • By Simon on 19-01-14

A stunning read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-01-14

Any additional comments?

Having listened to hundreds of audiobooks, this is the first review that I've written … and I'm doing so only because my opinion is so at odds with the two-and-a-half stars that this book has been awarded so far.
I found this a thoroughly gripping and thought-provoking tale; a highly original take on, to be honest, a somewhat hackneyed genre. (I won't mention the genre, as the part of the joy is the gradual unfolding of the protagonist's identity.)
The characters are satisfyingly rounded and the plot both engaging and pacey. From the outset through to the final few minutes, I had no idea of the book's conclusion and, when it finally came, I was far from disappointed.
Mention must also go to Finty Williams for some beautiful characterisation and a warm and textured performance.
So, if I’m waxing so lyrical about this production, why has it been so poorly received elsewhere? Well, I have to admit that it's not the book I had anticipated; and this is due to the necessarily vague publisher’s description. (As I mentioned earlier, giving too much away at the beginning would leach the joy from the first section of the book). So, like me, perhaps other listeners didn’t end up with the book they’d anticipated but, unlike me, found themselves in too much of an unfamiliar setting to enjoy their surroundings.
So, without giving too much away, what you get in the box is, ostensibly, a somewhat bleak post-apocalyptic drama, laced with plenty of warmth to balance the grit and revolving around an intriguingly textured central character. I hope that you find the surprises as pleasing as I did.

162 of 172 people found this review helpful