The Long Earth by Terry Pratchet, Stephen Baxter


Book Review


The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: The Long Earth #1

Released: 6/19/12 by HarperCollins

Pages: 336  Price$ 25.99 hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

Buy the Book: Amazon The Long Earth

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library. 


Book Synopsis:


The Silence was very faint here. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. Did people in this polished building understand how noisy it was? The roar of air conditioners and computer fans, the susurration of many voices heard but not decipherable…. This was the office of the transEarth Institute, an arm of the Black Corporation. The faceless office, all plasterboard and chrome, was dominated by a huge logo, a chesspiece knight. This wasn’t Joshua’s world. None of it was his world. In fact, when you got right down to it, he didn’t have a world; he had all of them.


From the inside jacket:

The possibilites are endless. Just be careful what you wish for….)

1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of no-man’s-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive–some said mad, others allege dangerous–scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson finds a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and…a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever.

The first novel in an exciting new collaboration between Discworld creator Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth transports readers to the ends of the earth and far beyond. All it takes is a single step….

My Review:

I must be in a science fiction mood lately.  The only books that are pulling my attention and keeping me interested are of that genre, so instead of fighting it I am going to go with it and put the romances and vampires on the back-burner for a while.  Having stumbled upon Pratchett’s work recently when this one came up available through my library I decided to give it a shot.  I am not familiar with Baxter’s work but will have to check into his titles soon.  I see from Goodreads that this book has mixed reviews but it did win the reader’s choice award in 2012.  After finishing it and desperately wanting to dive into the next I am going to go with the notion that this book deserved the award.

I loved this.  It was just smart enough science wise that I could see the deeper theories that the story was based upon but it didn’t delve in so far that I felt stupid.  Essentially the authors took the idea of parallel dimensions in string theory and said what if.  What we ended up with was a fascinating story and journey into a world where another Earth is simply a step away.  Now some people have claimed that this story was a little slow but I didn’t find it that way.  I enjoyed the constant idea of if this didn’t happen then the Earth might be this way.  Then to see what might happen to the human race if other worlds were open up and the consequences it might bring.  Sure it would be amazing to explore everything but being humans we would surely muck everything up or suddenly the powers that be would no longer be the powers that be.  Simply fascinating story that had me thinking about the possibilities of what might happen.  The characters were well done too, perhaps a little heavy-handed at times but in the whole, I didn’t find anyone overly objectionable.  The “artificial” life was another interesting aspect and I hope to see him in future books.  I don’t think all his cards have yet to be played.

I’m glad I listed to this one as the narrator did a nice job with the accents, although his female was a bit off.  Tough to make a believable sounding opposite gender, though, I’m finding.  My only complaint is that this book ended with a freaking huge cliffhanger and now I have to wait for my turn at the next one.  That’s okay because I have another book I waiting on in another science fiction series and I honestly don’t know which one I want to follow first.  Take some of the criticism with a grain of salt and just let yourself get lost in this world I think you might be surprised at what a good story it is.  If not, then you can always DNF and step into another world.

My Rating: 5 Stars


One thought on “The Long Earth by Terry Pratchet, Stephen Baxter

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