Yay! I finished Collapse just a minute ago. Whew. Wow. I...don't even know what to say. I feel like I just ran a marathon. A marathon that took many weeks.
I was half disappointed that the reader wasn't thanked for undertaking and successfully completing such a long journey at the end of the book. I honestly expected my good friend Jared to wish me good-bye and good luck as he concluded. I mean, I've spent the past month getting to know his ideas very intimately, if you know what I mean.
...No, I don't even know what I mean, haha. But, gosh. I don't even know what to say! I really enjoyed the book in that I learned so much -- there were several in-depth studies -- about societies that I've always been kind of curious about, such as the Easter Islanders, the Mayans, and the cliff-dwelling Native Americans. I even learned many things I didn't know about Japan's history, and that of Montana! And I have been brought very much up to speed on many environmental issues that I didn't know a thing about before picking up this book. So, all in all, a very successful (if long) read.
But, would I recommend it to others? That's a good question. I can't say that I necessarily would, as at times it did seem to drag on. But for someone who is interested in learning a lot (a lot!) about past & current environmental & societal impacts, I say go for it. Mr. Diamond writes very well, in laymen's terms. He states his case very clearly, and draws some interesting parallels. Perhaps he could have done it in under 500 pages, but then I might not know nearly as much as I now know about Australia's history and current agricultural issues. And I have to say, I'm glad I learned what I did.
At the same time, I'm glad to be done. It'll be nice to pick up something new (and much lighter!). :)