The Long Earth
I would compare the Long Earth to the TV show Sliders with a twist. I know it's not a book, but it is similar.
No, only books by Stephen Baxter
ok. ok. ok.
I bought it because I love Terry Pratchett. I can't believe he had any input into the book except for perhaps the "long earth" premise. Otherwise, nothing about it read like Terry Pratchett.
Where's the climax?
Nothing stands out
I don't usually trash a book. I know how hard the creative process is but with all the writers trying to get their books published out there its hard to believe this one slipped through. I bought this book after reading the synopsis thinking that it sounded interesting. The main characters were moderately appealing but ironically this story of two characters who cross a million worlds was like a road trip that never really went anywhere. I kept waiting for something to happen and then it just ended.. at least i think it ended. When i finally reached the end I thought there must be some chapters missing because it just fell flat. Definitely not worth the credit and time i invested.
As has been well noted here, this is not a traditional Terry Pratchett book. It's a sci-fi fantasy book with a bit of a Stephen King feel. Terry Pratchett's "Voice" is nowhere to be found, and if it's wry humor you're looking for, don't bother.
The Long Earth is absolutely full of innovative premises. The set-up is well done and a stable of interesting characters are introduced. Even when implausible, the writers have lent an air of plausibility which is good enough to get by, or at least made the premise fascinating - for example the Tibetan motorcycle mechanic/monk reincarnated as a computer. I was drawn in and, for the most part, entertained through most of the book. Tension is built, unrelated characters begin to interact, more is revealed.
Then it ends. It was bizarre. It was abrupt. Like others, I thought I had a bad download. Absolutely nothing was resolved. I'm certainly OK with a few dangling threads - perhaps an ambiguous romance left in the air, or the future of humanity. But these authors wrote a setup, not a book, then forgot to write the book. Every character is left hanging, or simply dropped from the narrative. Major geopolitical movements, brought in near the end of the book, bring the world(s) to the brink - then nothing. The reincarnated motorcycle monk reappears - in the last sentence. If you appreciate being hung out to dry, this is your clothesline.
For a well written and thoughtful review, see Pete Lamonica's review dated 7-3-12. Astute and on point.
I am and have always been an avid reader and listener of books.
I have listened to the book three times now. Gets better very time.
Only book like this so far as I know and I have been reading sifi for a long time now.
For the author to make sense.
just about everyone
The story jumped around, mid sentence. Jumbled and mixed up. Sorry I read many many books and this one was just WRONG.
its a well written story by 2 amazing writers. terry pratchett's humor combined with stephen baxter's technical imagination make for a great listen.
similar to ringworld, by larry niven.
i chuckled out loud once, maybe twice.
I really enjoyed the speculation about how humanity would react to suddenly having hundreds of thousands (millions?) of easily accessible copies of the Earth available to anyone able to assemble an inexpensive, Radio-Shack style gadget. Other alternate earth stories usually presume special mutant powers or multi-billion dollar technology being required for "shifting", but not this one. What if I could just get up and...leave? My only regret was that the story ends on a massive cliffhanger, with major plot points left unresolved. Mr Pratchett, Mr. Baxter, please write a sequel!
This book brought up a lot of really interesting ideas about resources and the value of things if there was an infinite amount of resources. What would be valuable then? I liked the main character, Joshua, a lot. As for the spirit of the ancient Tibetan who had transfered into circuitry . . . well, I'm not sure what I thought. He was alternately irritating and likeable but made for an interesting foil against Joshua and, eventually, Sally. I thought Terry Pratchett did a great job exploring a lot of the issues that would arise if we were suddenly to find ourselves with an infinite number of earths to explore and exploit. My only complaint was the ending--the story just cut off. Obviously there needs to be a sequel but I wish that the end had felt more rounded off rather than snapped.