The possibilities are endless. Just be careful what you wish for....
The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone?
Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some say mad, others allege dangerous - scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find 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. . . .
©2012 Terry Pratchett, Lyn Pratchett, and Stephen Baxter (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I am not sure exactly what I expected from this book. I suppose I expected the dry British humor of Terry Pratchett and the hard science of Stephen Baxter, but what I got was more like the humor of Stephen Baxter and the hard science of Terry Pratchett. While not a total loss this book was a great disappointment.
The story, of course, concerns the sudden appearance of multiple copies of Earth easily accessible through the process of "stepping" across the boundary, either with our without a mechanical aid. This concept provided an extraordinary basis for stories - the "first contact" of people from our Earth with those of alternate Earths - and seemed to allow for a series of future books, each based on the same concept but each very different in nature from the others. The book does have the feel of the first book in a series, but none of these other Earths have any human populations so there is nowhere to go with that general concept. Instead the alternate Earths are full of wildlife but no humans. There goes a whole series of "first contacts" and "clash of technologies" stories as concerns other humans. There still is, of course, the possibility of future stories involving contact between human and non-human intelligences, but there is precious little of that in this book and, I suspect, in future books. Instead we have the main characters "stepping" through the alternatives with little purpose other than to see what is there.
Of course the writing is quite good but I could not but hope for more interesting characters and events. Instead of Stanley searching for Dr Livingston through a dangerous African jungle I have more of the feeling of Stanley searching for the exit from a tame arboretum. Even the "danger" that they find does not seem terribly dangerous and I have no particular interest in reading the second book in the series in spite of the excellent narration by Michael Fenton-Stevens. I should have saved my credit for something more interesting. You might want to also.
Fun and well performed
Consistent voices with distinct enunciation and great pacing
No I enjoyed listening in the car or train over several days as I commuted to and from NYC
I listen to sci-fi for enjoyment not critical competence- I read many less then enthusiastic reviews and found them missing this point- it was a fun listen not great literature- which was exactly what I was looking for. The idea of stepping was somewhat unique and I enjoyed it.
This is different to anything else Terry Pratchett has written, but the humor in his writing jumps out at you. Yes there is suspension of disbelief, but before long you are carried away into the Long Earth. However they split the writing this is a great book. Waiting for book 2 coming July 2013!
So glad to finally be finished with this book
Thoughtout the book I found the technical aspects of jumping from world to world confusing.
The characters were all wooden. The one thing I hated about the book is that no characters grew closer as the story evolved, The story moved at a snails pace and you could pick it up any point and really not miss anything. Aside from the story idea, I don't know how it was rated so high by the sci-fy community.
It shouldn't, but it probably will. This is a lifeless story.
This was a good story, if not Pratchett's best effort. (I was not familiar with Baxter before this book, so can't comment on that.) I'm a huge Discworld fan, and this was a departure from that style. I only had one big problem. I don't mind the ending leaving you hanging. Fans knew there would be a sequel.
However, I think the American characters created a problem for the British authors. Throughout the book, there were words and phrases used by the American characters that were clearly British. (And this was compounded by British pronunciations by the narrator of words that Americans pronounce differently, e.g. "garage".) It should have been copy-edited by an American (I assume it was not). Some of these oversights could have been caught and fixed. For British readers, it may not be noticeable. But for me, it was distracting. Given Pratchett's medical condition, I feel like maybe this book was rushed to print, and enough time wasn't taken in copy editing.
Regardless, it was a wonderful, thought-provoking story, and quite enjoyable. I will still read the sequel, and anything else Terry Pratchett is able to bestow upon us in the time he has left on this earth.
As a long time fan of Terry Pratchett, I can tell you that this isn't a Terry Pratchett book. At least, there is little that would cause a Pratchett fan to think so. There's no humor, no amusing human element, no charm or wit. It's a fairly flat narrative, in fact. It's a sci fi that deals with time travel and other dimensions - hardly original stuff, but not bad either. In my opinion, there are better sci fi works out there.
I would, it was a good story and the performance was fantastic.
None really come to mind. Though the changing worlds and craft remind me of Number of the Beast by Heinlein.
Really all were good.
Delightful vintage Pratchett! I really enjoyed this book, it's my favourite genre (science-fiction) but with a sprinkling of humour from one of my favourite authors! The way it read was somewhat reminiscent of Good Omens (another Pratchett collaboration, with Neil Gaiman) in the way that the obviously Pratchett one-liners popped out of the text but it's obvious that it's not just one-liners Pratchett provided. This is very obviously a collaborative effort and the Pratchett additions to the plot and story are reasonably obvious. I've not read anything by Stephen Baxter before, but I've just added his trilogy to my [To Read] list as a result of reading this book.
A lot of the enjoyment I got out of this book was the humour, the plot was interesting, although I have to admit that one of the pivotal plot points really didn't make any sense and there are definite inconsistencies throughout the book, especially when it comes to the grand finale (as much as part one of a series can be said to have a grand finale) which don't really allow the book to function very well as sci-fi, certainly not hard sci-fi (which I believe Mr Baxter is renowned for).
I went into this knowing that it was part one of a series, if I hadn't known that I would have been very, very upset with the ending. Don't start reading this if you don't like unfinished stories as The Long War won't be released until at least 20th June, 2013!
All in all, treat this as open-ended light sci-fi/comedy and you'll be alright!
Mr Fenton-Stevens did an excellent job and there are no annoying audio "features" added to the narration.
Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.
This was a good story and a good read.
It stretched my mind a little too far. I am not a sci-fi fan at heart, but it WAS a good story and I would recommend it for all.
It is a fine book for young people and it does get one to thinking.
The story had promise, but just didn't really develop into something that gets you hooked. Sometimes books take the first 50-100 pages to take off and I'm the patient sort. This one just never built up the steam to get rolling.
I do enjoy this narrator.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content