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comment by rd95

I'm almost done with The Earth Abides. It's pretty good, though I think in my opinion the whole of the book doesn't live up to the amazingness of the first chapter. I think my only real quibble with it is that the author thinks some things will last a lot longer than they really would. After twenty years, most canned food would be without flavor or nutrition, and even if they were able to get a car running again, by that point gasoline would have long since gone bad. The ideas are fun though, especially when the author describes what's going on in the world outside of Isherwood's view, and the whole story unfolds very easily. It's not bad.




francopoli  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ordeal By Hunger, also by Stewart, is a great read. I seem to recall us talking about his book "Storm" where he personifies a terrible hurricane that hits California. I read that one in high school.

kleinbl00  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I think my only real quibble with it is that the author thinks some things will last a lot longer than they really would.

Bear in mind: this is the first book to describe a post-apocalyptic future without Morlocks and Eloi in it. Gasoline was a petroleum distillate with tetraethyl lead, not the postmodern witches' brew we have these days and power generation was a lot less optimized and therefore more stable. When the book was written in 1949, "gasoline" was a newer technology than "fax machines" are today. Shit, when that book was written, fax machines were fifteen years in the future.

Now? Sure, we've got a popular culture sheep-dipped into Dark Tower and Walking Dead and Road Warrior and every other postapocalyptic tale I'm forgetting but Patient Zero is that 70-year-old book that you're quibbling science over.

"In 1974, samples of canned food from the wreck of the Bertrand, a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in 1865, were tested by the National Food Processors Association. Although appearance, smell and vitamin content had deteriorated, there was no trace of microbial growth and the 109-year-old food was determined to be still safe to eat."

rd95  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I stand corrected on my minor quibbles. Even then, they don't detract from the book. In all honesty, I think it's a lot more fun because it doesn't have ghouls, or raiders, or crazy mutated animals, or oppressive governments, or whatever other tropes you can think of. Those things are all cool ideas, but they're over used and often not always that well executed. When one of your biggest sources of conflicts in the novel is a community's overall lax attitude, it's pretty refreshing.