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The Long Earth: A Novel | [Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter]

The Long Earth: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 06-19-12
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 06-19-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Different Pratchett"

    I am an uber Discworld fan so I'll listen to anything from Terry Pratchett. The Long Earth was good. Discworld it was not. I enjoyed it non the less. More in the style of classic science fiction, the only thing it was missing was Pratchett's trademark sense of humor.

    46 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. HOPPER 06-23-12
    J. HOPPER 06-23-12 Member Since 2002
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    "An unlikely pair of authors"

    I love Terry Pratchett almost better than life itself. I've read a little Stephen Baxter, but nothing recently. I was a little apprehensive when I read that they were collaborating. I was afraid I'd be disappointed.

    I wasn't.

    The book is science fiction. It's obviously the beginning of a series, and there are lots of threads left dangling. But I really liked the idea of the multiple Earths that people suddenly learned how to "step" into. I'd've loved to have a little more actual STORY rather than just foundation-laying, but I still enjoyed the book.

    The narrator does an EXCELLENT job. Again, I'm used to Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs with Pratchett, and I was worried that I wouldn't like this narrator. But his use of voices and accents was exceptionally good, and really helped to make the characters stand out one from another. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. Well done all around.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-22-14
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-22-14 Member Since 2008

    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

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    "Interesting but not overly entertaining"

    Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter team up to pen this novel with a very interesting premise: Humans figure out how to "step' which allows them to instantly teleport to an infinite number of alternate earths. Since the technology required to build a "stepper" device is readily available to almost everyone this changes civilization as we know it. Economies collapse and governments struggle to deal with the concept of governing across multiple earths.

    This is an interesting concept for sure but the characters created by Pratchett & Baxter are a bit dry and not all that interesting. Pratchett's sense of humor does surface from time to time but those times are too few to carry the day. The story does get more and more interesting as the "Long Earth" is explored but when some larger plot lines eventually emerge the book ends and leaves you hanging.

    Only take the plunge on this one if you are willing to pick up more than one book because as a standalone novel it feels pretty incomplete.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E.D. Trimm 05-14-13
    E.D. Trimm 05-14-13

    A voracious reader/listener with specific requirements for what I read/listen.

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    "A Prachett Book I didn't like??"

    I never thought I'd find a Terry Pratchett book I didn't like. But I didn't like this one. It was loaded with atheistic philosophy which is fine except when you put an entire bit of narrative in that had absolutely nothing to do with the story line at all. I found the book a depressing and disappointing listen. Narrator was good, story wasn't worth reading to me. Sorry.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim TEMECULA, CA, United States 07-03-12
    Tim TEMECULA, CA, United States 07-03-12 Member Since 2003
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    "A scratching Post for Schrödinger's cat"

    I love Terry Pratchett, I have read everything by him I could find….I would read his grocery list or the label in the back of his underwear. So when I discovered that this wasn’t a Disc World novel was momentarily disappointed….but that didn’t last. This is a terrific read, it’s closer to straight science fiction than the Disc World books…it feels a little like Strata (one of my favorite Pratchett books which is only tangentially Disc World based). Once it gets going (which it does pretty quickly it’s a brilliant ‘what if’ book which imagines a world where almost anyone can step between alternate universes each of which contains a variant on the earth we currently inhabit.
    I found the plot a little untidy in places. It develops then somewhat abandons multiple sub themes all of which I enjoyed and most of which would have deserved their own book. Nevertheless I found myself enjoying the book and its impeccable reading like you might enjoy a fine wine or a sunset.
    The story weaves quantum physics and universal branching theory with Cyberpunk, The Lost Gate by Scott Card and even a smattering of Little House on the Prairie. Although frequently amusing, its tongue is nowhere near buried as deep in cheek as with the Disc World books, but the story entertains mightily none the less. If you are already a Pratchett fan you can buy this book in the confident knowledge that whilst lacking Vimes or Vetenari you will enjoy a diverting diversion from the typical Pratchett cannon. If you have kids or young adults you might also want to point them in the direction of this book. The style is engaging, fun and easy to follow, whist still posing some intriguing scientific questions.

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D corona, ca United States 06-21-12
    D corona, ca United States 06-21-12 Member Since 2008

    I read, I write; I listen

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    "The Long Earth Falls Short"

    Co-authored with Stephen Baxter this Terry Pratchett book is humorous at times but lacks the normal wit usually associated with his work. At eleven hours and thirty minutes the story jumps around at first with many different characters being intoduced then moving on quickly from one to the next; and at times the whole story drags. Kudos to those who could read the entire book in a day.
    It???s a story about parallel worlds where people learn to ???step??? from one world to another by a simple devise that can be made from parts found at Radio Shack and a potato. The main character Joshua discovers that he can ???step??? without using the devise and meets up with a former Tibetan motorcycle repairman now reincarnated as a super-computer that sometimes resides in a coke machine, and has been legally declared a human due to Tibetan religious beliefs. These two soon set off on a journey of exploration of the millions of parallel worlds ???to see what???s out there.???
    The story has some other interesting characters including, some really tough nuns, a robotic cat, the strange inhabitants on the other worlds, one very annoying character named Sally, some strange troll creatures, and elves that kill for sport, but I never felt really engaged in the story. The narrator, Michael Fenton Stevens is okay but at times drawls on and is just plain boring. A very strange ending which makes it seem this probably is book one in a series.

    28 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 06-22-12
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2008

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

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    "What an Incredible Movie this will Make!!"

    I've never read any of Pratchett's other books, so I'm coming at this with a clean slate. I say this because other reviewers (maybe fairly) point out how lacking this book is to Pratchett's other works. I'll be concise, as I don't want to waste your time, when you should be reading this AMAZING book.

    This book melds multi-verse theory with adult sci-fi PERFECTLY. There are few, if any, holes in its logic. It's clear that it's setting up for the series, but the story comes together in a way that is both fulfilling and intellectually challenging. I've been waiting a long time for someone to actually get the parallel worlds theory into sci-fi in a unique, entertaining way, and THIS BOOK DOES JUST THAT. Due in large part to the spectacular narrator, the characters all have their own voices, and come alive within the story. Yes, there are a lot of characters, but it's easy to keep track.

    The science of the book is sound, which is refreshing, with all the garbage science that most sci-fi books throw at the reader-- almost assuming that we all have a combined IQ of around 20.

    I'm a huge sci-fi geek, and this book is top 5 for me, ALL TIME. As far as journey stories that take place over fascinating parallel worlds is concerned, I can't imagine finding a better book.

    25 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Falkville, AL, United States 07-03-12
    Michael Falkville, AL, United States 07-03-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Not what I expected."

    The story was fair and the premise was somewhat interesting. Regrettably, I could not tell that Terry Pratchett had anything to do with this book. The wit and humor I have loved in the 30+ books of his I have read was absent. If I had been reading it as a physical book, I doubt that I would have finished.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 05-18-14
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 05-18-14

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

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    "Poorly written. Boo to Pratchett and Baxter"

    How can two well known authors get together and pawn this pile of caca off on the reading/listening public?

    For Shame!!

    The long and eloquent review written by Katie Johnson, entitled "Sliders meets Prometheus" covers all the negative issues with this potentially dynamic series written by two of the primary sci/fi writers today.

    The heavy thinkers in the novel are amazingly dumb and the book so obviously is a prequil to another book or series. NOTHING is resolved. A few minor loose threads is fine, especially when we now it’s going to be a series. However an entire book dedicated to nothing more than setting the series up is a terrible disservice to the constant reader-one who buys books based on a name alone.

    As a sci/fi reader since the 1950s and junior high school libraries, I am appalled at the way these authors have treated we readers. Are we dumb? Readers who are unable to easily figure out obvious outcomes? I was so dissapointed in this book that I decided to send it back. Audible/Amazon can take a hit for this bad novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Hartsville, SC, United States 09-24-13
    Terri Hartsville, SC, United States 09-24-13 Member Since 2012
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    "And The Story Line Is????????"
    What disappointed you about The Long Earth?

    No plot, no story line.


    What could Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Plot would be nice.


    Any additional comments?

    I am trying different genres since I joined Audible and have had success with some books and others are a total waste of time. This would be one of those times. I really do try. I listen well into the book - hoping for it to get better. Never happened with this one. Try as I might, I could not figure out the story line or plot. You are introduced to different sets of characters and they may intersect along the way, but unless they all pile up in the last chapter with a conclusion, the characters were never given enough effort. If you like rambling characters, you will like this book. If you prefer a plot, buy a different book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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