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This book is a must read for everyone. Period.
Good Content, Burdened Writing
I found the content of the book to be interesting enough to keep me reading to the end. The author does a good job of explaining how humans have impacted the world and how things would change if we weren't around. His speculations are based, as much as possible, on data about what we currently have to do to keep our world functioning and what has happened in places where humans have been excluded such as in the Korean DMZ and on Cyprus.
The overall impression I got from the book was that humans are impressive in their ability to alter the world but that there is little to nothing we have done that will survive us for more than a few thousand years. The Natural world will consume it all. The book conveyed simultaneously a sense of grandeur and smallness of the human species, and i enjoyed that.
There is a subtle conservation undertone to the book, but it is not nearly as loud as I thought it would be. The author certainly does not convey that the world would be better without us. He simply describes what things are like now, how things were before us, and how things might be after us.
For the most part, I did not enjoy the author's writing style. It seemed too burdened with ornate descriptions when more direct sentences and paragraphs would have worked better.
Each chapter is largely independent of the others. Although there is an overall theme for the book, the chapters do not tie together in a very elegant way. Occasionally knowledge gained in one chapter will be used to make a point in a later chapter, but those threads are thin. About half way through, I got tired of that lack of connection.