reviewed by Dave C.
This book covers an amazing variety of fascinating historic, geographic, and scientific topics in only 250 pages. The author’s purpose is to explore what would happen if people suddenly vanished from the earth, something he thinks is pretty unlikely, but which poses a lot of interesting questions. He looks at what might happen to animals, plants, buildings, roads, bridges, and evaluates what the long and short-term effects of mankind would be on the planet. Along the way he describes how the earth and it’s inhabitants developed and how things got the way they are, covering many of the same topics described by Jared Diamond in his books “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, and “Collapse”. However, I found this book to be much more readable, probably due to the author’s journalistic style of writing.
I don’t think I discovered any great new truths from this book, but I certainly enjoyed learning about unusual places and things such as:
− the abandoned beach resort town in Cyprus which has remained empty since the island was partitioned in 1974;
− how the Korean DMZ has become a refuge for endangered species of wildlife;
− vast ancient underground cities in Turkey;
and a lot more. I’m certain I did gain a new appreciation for the complexity of relationships between man and the natural world. But mostly I was really entertained!
I definitely recommend this book.