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Extended Audio Sample The World Without Us Audiobook, by Alan Weisman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (15,474 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Weisman Narrator: Adam Grupper Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2007 ISBN: 9781427201492
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Discover the impact of the human footprint in The World Without Us. Take us off the Earth and what traces of us would linger? And which would disappear? Alan Weisman writes about which objects from today would vanish without us; how our pipes, wires, and cables would be pulverized into an unusual (but mere) line of red rock; why some museums and churches might be the last human creations standing; how rats and roaches would struggle without us; and how plastic, cast-iron, and radio waves may be our most lasting gifts to the planet.
But The World Without Us is also about how parts of our world currently fare without a human presence (Chernobyl; a Polish old-growth forest, the Korean DMZ) and it looks at the human legacy on Earth, both fleeting and indelible. It's narrative nonfiction at its finest, taking an irresistible concept with gravity and a highly-readable touch.
Some examples of what would happen:
· One year: Several more billions birds will live when airplane warning lights cease blinking.
· Twenty years: The water-soaked steel columns that support the street above New York's East Side would corrode and buckle. As Lexington Avenue caves in, it becomes a river.
· 100,000 years: CO2 will be back to pre-human levels (or it might take longer).
· Forever: Our radio waves, fragmented as they may be, will still be going out.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Offers us a sketch of where we stand as a species that is both illuminating and terrifying. His tone is conversational and his affection for both Earth and humanity transparent. Barry Lopez, National Book Award-winner

  • This is one of the grandest thought experiments of our time, a tremendous feat of imaginative reporting! Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
  • An exacting account of the processes by which things fall apart. The scope is breathtaking…the clarity and lyricism of the writing itself left me with repeated gasps of recognition about the human condition. I believe it will be a classic. Dennis Covington, author of NBA Finalist Salvation on Sand Mountain
  • The imaginative power of The World is Flat is compulsive and nearly hypnotic--make sure you have time to be kidnapped into Alan Weisman's alternative world before you sit down with the book, because you won't soon return. This is a text that has a chance to change people, and so make a real difference for the planet. Charles Wohlforth, author of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner The Whale and the Supercomputer
  • It's narrative nonfiction at its finest, taking an irresistible concept with gravity and a highly-readable touch. Ebooks30.com

  • “A fascinating nonfiction eco-thriller…Weisman’s gripping fantasy will make most readers hope that at least some of us can stick around long enough to see how it all turns out.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The book boasts an amazingly imaginative conceit that manages to tap into underlying fears and subtly inspire us to consider our interaction with the planet.”

    Washington Post

  • “Extraordinarily farsighted…Beautiful and passionate.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Brilliantly creative…An audacious intellectual adventure…His thought experiment is so intellectually fascinating, so oddly playful, that it escapes categorizing and clichés…It sucks us in with a vision of what is, what has been, and what is yet to come…It’s a trumpet call that sounds from the other end of the universe and from inside us all.”

    Salon

  • “An astonishing mass of reportage that envisions a world suddenly bereft of humans.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • The World Without Us gradually reveals itself to be one of the most satisfying environmental books of recent memory, one devoid of self-righteousness, alarmism, or tiresome doomsaying.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “A refreshing, and oddly hopeful, look at the fate of the environment.”

    BusinessWeek

  • “This book is the very DNA of hope.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “I don’t think I’ve read a better nonfiction book this year.”

    Time

  • “In his provocative new book, The World Without Us, Alan Weisman adds a dash of fiction to his science to address a despairing problem: the planet’s health.”

    US News & World Report

  • “One of the most ambitious ‘thought experiments’ ever.”

    Cincinnati Enquirer

  • “Alan Weisman has produced, if not a Bible, at least a Book of Revelation.”

    Newsweek

  • “Weisman’s enthralling tour of the world of tomorrow explores what little will remain of ancient times while anticipating, often poetically, what a planet without us would be like.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Weisman is a thoroughly engaging and clarion writer fueled by curiosity and determined to cast light rather than spread despair. His superbly well-researched and skillfully crafted stop-you-in-your-tracks report stresses the underappreciated fact that humankind’s actions create a ripple effect across the web of life.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The imaginative power of The World Without Us is compulsive and nearly hypnotic--make sure you have time to be kidnapped into Alan Weisman's alternative world before you sit down with the book, because you won't soon return. This is a text that has a chance to change people, and so make a real difference for the planet.”

    Charles Wohlforth, author of Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning The Whale and the Supercomputer

  • A 2007 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2007 AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction
  • A 2007 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2007 Barnes & Noble Top 10 Books: Politics and Current Affairs
  • A 2007 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • Winner of Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards: Best in Category, 2007
  • Winner of iTunes Best Audiobooks, 2007
  • Among longlisted titles for AudioFile Best Audiobooks, 2007
  • Winner of ALA Notable Books - Winner, 2008

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Mount | 1/24/2014

    " Has a permanent place on my bookshelf, a great read, a mixture of science fact, history, and science fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abigail | 1/15/2014

    " Really interesting conceit, but gets a little repetitive. Still, worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra Munger | 12/19/2013

    " This is a wonderful thought provoking book. Made me want to give up plastics and I plan on buying as few as I can. The problem is that so many things are made with plastic these days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alia Tulloch | 12/13/2013

    " I liked liking this book much better before it was turned into a TV show. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra Alonzo | 11/3/2013

    " Do not read (or listen to the cd set, as I did) if you are depressed!! OMG, nothing good is happening to the earth, and it's all our fault. This is a ten disc set, and truly is well-written, very scientific, appears to be factual, must've taken a ton of research, and I believe it all. However, there were just too many facts and not enough hope for the lay person. We've trashed our planet, which for sure is an important fact, and I wish there was more I could do about it, but seriously, there were not many practical suggestions (if any) for the reader to adopt. Since I listened to the book in my car, it's a good thing I didn't just drive off the side of the mountain in desperation after hearing all this bad news. I'm going to look for a few happy picture books in my bookcase and cheer myself up. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rlmteacher marcus | 10/26/2013

    " This book was too depressing to continue reading. There too many better books out there to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Traci | 10/4/2013

    " Amazing perspective into the world without humans and some great theories of our evolutionary choices currently... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 9/8/2013

    " I definitely should have paid more attention in biology class. I love that the book explores the world before humans and after humans. A fascinating read that will make you check the ingredient list on products more thoroughly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 8/24/2013

    " Reinvigorated my passion for environmental health. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gekko | 8/9/2013

    " a bit slow in parts, but covers a lot of interesting ground "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annwang | 7/14/2013

    " ok, so i maybe didn't read every page of every chapter, which is unlike me. i liked what i read, but it was a little bit overwhelming. maybe i just have a bad imagination. fun exercise all the same. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jordyn B | 4/14/2013

    " It seemed like it was a long essay made into a book. Great concept just wish it was written by someone else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 2/22/2013

    " The last couple chapters weren't my favorite, but overall I found this book fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Nye | 9/13/2012

    " The idea is intriguing, but I mostly read this thinking about all the assumptions and possibilities, all the "well, this could happen ..." underlying, well, every sentence. Clever for about a chapter or two, but I had to resist the urge to skim. Meh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Steinberg | 4/23/2012

    " Fantastic thought experiment. Every chapter was interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Nalley | 11/11/2011

    " Very nice thought experiment book but not as in-depth as I would have liked. Also, has a strong hippy leaning and while factual, takes away from the principle idea. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 10/12/2011

    " Eye-opening. I was fascinated by the descriptions of current "worlds without us" such as Chernobyl and the DMZ between North and South Korea -- life really does find a way, and we don't leave nearly the void we think we do when we're gone! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Gray | 7/3/2011

    " Dry oh so very dry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gobasso | 5/29/2011

    " Not a pleasant book to read. What would the world be like without us? How long would it take for our civilization to be absorbed by the world. For anyone who is concerned about the environment and what the human impact has wrought this is a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamila | 5/22/2011

    " This book definitely gave a more realistic look instead of the whole post apocalypse the modern world has given us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 5/17/2011

    " Reinvigorated my passion for environmental health. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayder | 5/8/2011

    " if the earth is destroyed we have no backup for the live earth
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 4/23/2011

    " A very real, and sometimes unsettling view of the world after humans are gone. It really makes you think about what you use, throw away, or produce on a day to day basis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Traci | 4/18/2011

    " Amazing perspective into the world without humans and some great theories of our evolutionary choices currently... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caiti | 4/13/2011

    " A very interesting account of what happens, variables considered, if the human race disapeared. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 4/12/2011

    " A compelling vision of the future (and analysis of the present) that will sneakily turn you into an environmentalist. Each chapter is well written. Good stuff. "

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About the Author
Author Alan Weisman

Alan Weisman is the bestselling author of The World Without Us, and an award-winning journalist whose reports have appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic MonthlyDiscover, and on NPR, among others. A former contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he is a senior radio producer for Homelands Productions and teaches international journalism at the University of Arizona. His essay “Earth Without People,” on which The World Without Us expands, was selected for Best American Science Writing 2006, and he is interviewed frequently about how humans exist on the planet.

About the Narrator

Adam Grupper is a voice artist and actor. His audiobook narrations have earned six Earphones Awards and a nomination in 2008 for the prestigious Audie Award. His Broadway performances include Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme, 45 Seconds from Broadway, The Wild Party, Guys and Dolls, among others. He has appeared in films such as Trophy Kids, Music & Lyrics, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, and Two Weeks’ Notice. On television, he has appeared in The Sopranos, Third Watch, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, Ugly Betty, and As the World Turns.