It left with a lot of unanswered questions. The main character had an idea of what he wanted to happen but you didn't see him play it out so were left wondering if he was able to achieve his vision or not. The descriptions of the derelict city and the warfare were really quite gruesome and atmospheric. The blackened city and the white bones were images that will stay with me for some time.
I really enjoyed this, and was quite annoyed by the person who wrote the introduction claiming how the author was "not a novelist" when he had written two novels that were being reprinted a years later. I doubt the same could be said of the reviewer! Very enjoyable and one I would definitely recommend. Mar 07, Pete Marchetto rated it really liked it. Too much play is made of this as an 'early post-apocalyptic work'. It seems to me the SF aficionados come at it and find it wanting, while the likely best readership for the work is put off reading it at all.
This is a very singular book which, insofar as it owes allegiance to anything, owes it to Victorian tales of adventure and romance.
The characterisation is minimal, but adequate. It's a page-turner, at least in parts. There's a siege, there are battles, a journey, a voyage, an unattainable b Too much play is made of this as an 'early post-apocalyptic work'. There's a siege, there are battles, a journey, a voyage, an unattainable beloved. Yes, the setting is post-apocalyptic, but why? Jefferies gives us no notion as to what it was that led London in particular, England generally to be abandoned. He's not particularly interested in how much of central England came to be submerged beneath a lake. What he really wanted, a the avid naturalist, was to put Man and his society back into a state closer to nature than that of the London he so abhorred and to weave from that a story which is almost as much about the birds, the plants, the animals as it is about the people.
Certainly he never lets us forget the scenery is there. Oh, and he wanted a lake for our hero to sail across as he headed out to seek his fortune, so Lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction may get off on the final quarter of the book when our hero visits the remains of London, now buried under effluent and a poisonous miasma which kills all who linger, but that seems to be Jefferies' opinion of London anyway, far more at home in the countryside, walking the woods, seeing the trees and the animals, imagining himself in adventures the likes of which 'After London' exemplifies.
So, if you want post-apocalyptic fiction, forget it. This is one for those who like Victorian drama, who like musings upon nature and the environment, and for them this is a gem they will, most likely, given all the post-apocalyptic build-up, never read.
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View all 3 comments. Apr 12, Brian rated it liked it. Still not done with this--will return to complete it. This book--the only work written by Mr. Jefferies I have read so far--while a fascinating example of the first stirrings of modern world-building and post-apocalyptic fiction, and while beautifully written from the perspective of style, technique, and execution, is nonetheless flawed to varying degrees in terms of characterization, plot, plausibility, and other non-linguistic aspects of the text.
The book opens with a short section titled "T Still not done with this--will return to complete it. The book opens with a short section titled "The Relapse into Barabarism". Written as an excerpt from the works of a historian native to the setting, this section describes--in gorgeous and extensive detail--the setting of the book. After opening with a lengthy, detailed, and flawless description of the return of towns and cities to forest "after London ended", describing year-by-year the gradual transformation of neglected fields and abandoned, empty cities into all-but-impassable forests, the destruction of dams and bridges, the flooding of valleys and the return of swamps, the story then turns to the wildlife of the new England.
In addition to wild animals, many feral ones are mentioned as having originated from those raised by us--who are referred to in the story as "the ancients". The scientific and historical aspects of the book's first part have not aged well over the years since its creation, with the description of the catastrophe and the various historical references to Roman times having become vastly outmoded.
After London: or, Wild England
Many of the feral animals mentioned--the feral sheep, cows, and horses in particular--would not be possible if the depicted events were to occur, as they would instead go extinct from either predation or starvation; the same cannot be said, however, for cats or dogs, as they are even now noted to exist in many parts of the world. Yes, it is boring. I am fascinated by how people viewed the world, in the past. And read this one, I might almost say, on a bet. It was on a list of books of Victorian views on the fall of mankind.
There are two parts to the book Part one is "The Relapse into Barbarism", which gives us an account of the various peoples and animals who survive the unknown apocalypse. His account of how the various domestic animals go feral is somewhat interesting, but does not really ring true. His account of the various peoples in less interesting, though somewhat more interesting, but is so implausible as to be a bit ridiculous. Part two, "Wild England," is a story, but the story is both boring told, as well as being rather implausible and boring in plotline.
In the story he illustrates the several types of peoples that he thinks would have developed after the apocalypse which he does not describe. The biggest problem I have is his assumption of a return to a medieval way of life. I was going to try to qualify "medieval" in that last sentence, but there really is no reason to.
They are medieval, knights, serfs slaves and peasants. It would probably be more correct to say that it feels more like the end of the dark ages, just before the rise of Charlemagne, who brings some order to the chaos that follows the fall of Rome. His portrait of London is especially impausible, but I really should just call it fantastic and move on.
He gives no explanation of the apocalypse, and the account of the protaganists journey into the city is fantastic, rather than grounded in any sort of realism. And then it turns into a story of the noble knight who helps the poor primitive shepherds, and it ends on a cliff hanger.
I like to finish books that I start, but this one was taxing, and I won't bother reading it again. Jul 21, Metaphorosis rated it liked it Shelves: After London is made up of two distinct parts. First is "The Relapse into Barbarism", which describes the decline of civilization, but more importantly the recovery of nature, after an unspecified disaster. This section draws heavily on Jefferies background as a nature writer, and is essentially a detailed thought experiment on what would happen to the English countryside without many men around.
For a potentially dry topic, it is surprisingly readable - largely because Jefferies describes the r After London is made up of two distinct parts. For a potentially dry topic, it is surprisingly readable - largely because Jefferies describes the reaction of each aspect or species plausibly, then moves on without bogging down in details. Normally, this kind of material would exist mainly as backdrop for the characters. Here, one gets the feeling that the second half of the book was written mainly as an excuse for this imagination of the environment.
The second part of the book "Wild England", is a more standard adventure story about a sullen and disaffected young noble and his search for a place in the world one that will impress his beloved. The story is simple, and still relies heavily on descriptions of the environment as the hero travels around. But it is again well thought through, and the hero's emotions are as plausible and realistic as the scenery around him.
The book is a pleasant read, if not exciting. I would have considered giving it a higher mark, but for the fact that the story effectively stops mid-stream. We can imagine what happens next; it's not essential that we're told. But because there's no gradual letdown, it feels very abrupt - enough so that on reading an e-copy a couple of decades after the print version, I went looking on the internet to see whether I had somehow been shortchanged. So, a fun, interesting read, but a little disappointing at the end.
Mar 10, Sam Wescott rated it it was ok. The first section of the novel, "The Return to Barbarism", is the literary equivalent to a nature documentary about a foreign landscape. With lovely attention to detail, this section of tedious description and explanation is made vibrant and compelling. I wish the same could be said of the rest of the novel. The second section, "Wild England", is an adventure story set in the world that the reader is now acquainted with. It's a typical adventure story of a moody, privileged male protagonist who goes on a quest to seek his fortunes and runs into varied and assorted obstacles.
The artful descriptions fall flat in this section of the book and the plot drags along by inches. The protagonist is unsympathetic and the plot seems aimless. The only exciting portion of the story was the discovery of what has become of London and that segment of the book over-corrects and swings into incongruous surrealism. I wasn't bothered by the abrupt ending because I did not feel invested in the adventure. I recommend reading the first part slowly and savoring the detailed descriptions. They really are beautiful.
But then feel free to write your own fanfiction set in Jefferies carefully constructed world, because the story he supplied really isn't that interesting. Feb 20, Ian Russell rated it liked it Shelves: I first discovered Richard Jefferies by his nature essays. He lived not far from where I am now; a different time, of course, and so, a totally different country. I found his writing wonderful, and his enthusiasm for nature inspiring.
I had wanted to try an ebook and found After London free to download on Project Gutenberg. There was a section, towards the end of the second half, which was entertaining, dare I say, quite exciting. However, before we're I first discovered Richard Jefferies by his nature essays. However, before we're allowed this we're expected to endure several chapters of obsessive detail about the historical geography of a landscape which doesn't exist, and a exhaustive account of its feral fauna, species by species, breed by breed.
Do we really care that cows in the woods are one colour whilst cows in the marshes are actually quite a different colour? It was all beginning to get a bit heavy going.
Though, once the author had downloaded the entire intricacy of his imaginative new world onto the page to his pedantic satisfaction, things did get a little sweeter. Probably not the best as adventure yarns go but charming enough. But what an abrupt ending! So perfunctory and in total contrast to the beginning. Did he have a deadline; and did he lose sight of the time?
As I know he's a good sort, a naturalist, and he's local, and given it's more or less a prototype of this genre, I'll be generous and give it three stars. As for reading it on an iPad Kindle app , I'll give it four stars - I was pleasantly surprised, I'd thought I wouldn't enjoy it. Jun 24, Hugo Schoen rated it it was ok Shelves: I believe this novel is over if not close to being a hundred years old.
I'm too lazy to go back and research the date at this time since I found the novel to be less than a thrilling read. I understand 'After London' to be one of the first if not the first apocolyptic novels ever written so that fact alone may induce you to give it a try. I found it available for free on Kindle, which may entice you even more.
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It takes place after the fall of man, subscribing to some sort of nuclear disaster, bu I believe this novel is over if not close to being a hundred years old. It takes place after the fall of man, subscribing to some sort of nuclear disaster, but, this information is unclear. Humans have resorted back to a fuedal system where religion is basically lost and not wanting to be found, and the exploration and mapping of the new geography has returned to its fetal stages.
The overall story is that of the youngest prince of a poor but honored estate travelling into dangerous and unknown landscapes in quest to seek his fortune in order to win the hand of his mutually loved yet unattainable princess. The diction of his travels and personal thoughts I found to be somewhat repeating within a storyline I have heard many times before. The first several chapters are rather interesting, however. Before entering the details of the love-lorn prince, Jefferies narrator describes the landscapes, the flora and fauna, and the tribes of men that have descended following the end times with lush detail.
I was quite eager to enter the tale after being immersed in the world he created. Alas, these details overcame the storyline which never emerged victorious. Mar 28, Andy Phillips rated it it was ok. This isn't a terrible book in itself, but I personally didn't enjoy it very much. I read it purely because it's one of the earliest examples of apocalyptic fiction that I could find, but it was a bit disappointing in that respect. The first section of the book is a fairly lengthy description of England some time after an unspecified catastrophe.
A large lake occupies the centre of the country, and dense forests cover most of the land. Society has regressed to a medieval state with various warring This isn't a terrible book in itself, but I personally didn't enjoy it very much. Society has regressed to a medieval state with various warring tribes and competing families. The second and significantly longer part of the book describes the adventures of a son of the head of one of the minor families.
He builds a canoe and sets out to explore the lake in order to impress the love of his life and prove his manhood. That in itself is ok, but it's all a bit pointless. The book might as well have been set in the Middle Ages as there are very few references that point to the story being set many years after the collapse of an advanced society.
The story doesn't rely on that fact at all, so why bother with that setting? More importantly, the main character is a bit annoying and there seems to be little to be learned from his travels. He just wanders around and gets into a series of unlikely and meaningless encounters.
On top of that, the book ends abruptly just as some sort of conclusion appears to be on the horizon. Interesting as an example of very old science fiction, but a bit tedious in my opinion. July Classic book 1 11 Jul 01, After London by Richard Jefferies 1 9 May 05, John Richard Jefferies is best known for his prolific and sensitive writing on natural history, rural life and agriculture in late Victorian England.
Learn more about Amazon Prime. Are You an Author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biog. Showing 1 - 16 of all Results Books: The Amateur Poacher 28 May Not in stock; order now and we'll deliver when available. Story of My Heart: My Autobiography 24 Oct Only 5 left in stock - order soon. The Story of a Boy 26 Aug Nothing quite like it. It's full of adventures that especially suits boys; discovering lands, hunting, fishing, building forts, making sails and a mast, having battles and surviving in a Bear Grylls sort of way but written almost a century ago and full of outstanding observation of both people and nature.
Men should read this book to their or with their sons and I'm glad I read it for the insight into the way some males feel and think. Actually the technical things This book is a huge surprise. Actually the technical things bored me, i. It deserves to be read, a treasure hidden unfortunately, because it takes work and perseverance to get the gold. I'm sorry to have to give this book only 2 stars, but I was so pleased to eventually finish it. I did enjoy many parts of the book and I could imagine myself when I was young doing these type of things, except for the killing of animals.
This I did not do, but I can imagine doing it to survive on an island like they where doing. I suppose in it's day it would have been a great book to own. I would like to know if this was the book that Peter, a character in Malcolm saville's novels won as a priz I'm sorry to have to give this book only 2 stars, but I was so pleased to eventually finish it. I would like to know if this was the book that Peter, a character in Malcolm saville's novels won as a prize in the book Seven White Gates? Oct 26, Sylvester rated it it was ok Shelves: The boys were having fun, building a raft, having a mock war, behaving like wild things.
And then it just went on and on and on. I think I learned how to sail, how to make a gun, how to shoot it, all in painstakingly boring detail. I admit to skim-reading to the end.
After London: or, Wild England by Richard Jefferies
Dec 08, Limopilot rated it liked it. It was a good, yet slow read. A good read for those who would play explorer or war as kids - sections brought me back to a simpler childhood, in which your mind is allowed to wander. Overall a decent read that will stay in my collection, but probably not picked up again Aug 07, Tim rated it it was amazing.
Read this years ago as a Pre teenager. Didn't like the class differences at the time, Bevis being particularly nasty, but realised in later years this was normal for the time. It's beautifully written, Bevis and friends were able to do whatever they wanted, including making guns! As someone else has commented, it's a British Huck Finn. Murray rated it it was amazing Sep 05, Colleen Grove rated it it was ok Feb 11, Melanie rated it it was amazing Apr 22, Benjamin rated it liked it Apr 20, Bevis rated it it was amazing Jan 03, Debs Awesomeo rated it liked it Sep 19,