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The Long Utopia  By  cover art

The Long Utopia

By: Terry Pratchett,Stephen Baxter
Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
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Publisher's Summary

The fourth novel in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's internationally best-selling Long Earth series, hailed as "a brilliant science fiction collaboration...a love letter to all Pratchett fans, readers, and lovers of wonder everywhere" (Io9).

It's 2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond.

Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown and, disguised as a human, attempts to live a "normal" life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his 50s, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history. And the superintelligent posthumans known as "the Next" continue to adapt to life among "lesser" humans.

But an alarming new challenge looms. An alien planet has somehow become "entangled" with one of the Long Earth worlds, and, as Lobsang and Joshua learn, its voracious denizens intend to capture, conquer, and colonize the new universe - the Long Earth - they have inadvertently discovered.

World building, the intersection of universes, the coexistence of diverse species, and the cosmic meaning of the Long Earth itself are among the mind-expanding themes explored in this exciting new installment of Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's extraordinary Long Earth series.

©2015 Terry and Lyn Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Long Utopia

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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The series is losing its way

I really enjoyed the earlier books in the series, but the plot (and worse, the constant exposition) is really getting pompous. The original stories looked at a million ways society would change given the sudden ability to "step." But as the series progresses, it becomes less of the interesting "what if" and more outlandish and self-important. The performance is excellent, as usual, but by halfway through, I couldn't stop rolling my eyes at the storyline.

3 people found this helpful

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My favorite book in the series thus far.

Completely absorbing and a true testament to the creativity in people. The way the lives of the characters come together is fantastic. The end of this book is astounding and had me choked up a bit.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful world

The world built is the best part of the book, for me, and this continues to deliver on the natural consequences of an unnatural phenomenon. I would describe this series as reliable, consistent, and interesting, but not as riveting or brilliant.

Before going into the few negatives: I fully plan to finish the series and enjoy it greatly.

Some things I don't like:
The exposition is very painful. Not only do the authors assume that you have forgotten everything from book to book, or that you for some reason decided to start in the middle of a series (and all of that is forgivable), but what truly irks me is the way the exposition is shoehorned into dialog. Characters waste time saying things that everybody present already knows, or saying things their character wouldn't say, especially the Next, all for the sake of explaining things to the reader.
If you need to communicate something to the reader, just write it like you describe a planet or a person - not in dialog! Anything is better than compromising characters for that.

In the narration, characters sometimes lose their accents or voice pitches. Women become men and Nelson loses his South African accent. It's small but has given me a few moments of confusion.

The chapters also feel a bit disjointed at times, not in the way us as viewers get moved between time periods, but in the writing - it seems sometimes like chapters were written separately and out of order, then edited together, and not always enough to flow properly, leading to repeating information.

Overall, though, enjoying quite a bit. Great worldsbuilding.

1 person found this helpful

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Waste of time

This book was absolutely insane and had some of the worst ideas about how to do things that I've ever heard. This book spreads itself too thin as well, there are tons of characters with millions of worlds and the writers decide to write in nonessential back story going back hundreds of years. So much so that you are able to skip entire chapters without missing out on any of the actual story and without being lost later on. The writing was repetitive and drawn out enough to ensure not being lost, almost as if they expected this to be a TV show with "Last time on.." segment reminders scattered throughout. I've listened to many books on Audible that I've disliked, but this is the first I've thought was so terrible that I had to review it.

Can anyone tell me what that Joshua guy was even in the book for? His character did absolutely nothing of note yet we heard his entire family history and had to sit through the reunion of him and his father.

1 person found this helpful

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Another good book in an excellent series.

God I love almost everything Terry Pratchett has had a hand in. I literally laugh out loud and cry real tears from these books. RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.

1 person found this helpful

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A rewarding ending to the series

Any additional comments?

I tremendously enjoyed the first novel, The Long Earth. Unfortunately none of the rest of the novels ever really recaptured the sense of adventure and exploration found in the first (Although The Long Mars came close)

I mostly enjoyed this last novel. It mostly answered a lot of questions raised by the first three novels, but still left a lot unanswered. I'm not sure there is much else to do with the series. But all in all it was fun to listen to and I enjoyed Michael Fenton Steven's performance.

1 person found this helpful

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Not enough beagles

I loved the first two books in this series... but these really started to become a slog at book 3. And this one was awful.

And then there weren't enough beagles. I came to love that species so much, and the trolls, and the kobolds, and in this they were all forgotten.

The first two books feel like they were in a whole other world, and this was just a bunch of random scifi info dumps.

I don't think I'll be continuing the series.

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Flawed, but my favorite in the series

I enjoyed this book so much I leaped to read the next one right after finishing it (mistake). The story was compelling, and I felt the plot arcs wrapped up nicely. This could've been the last in the series and it would've ended on a high note. The next book could also have built on some very interesting threads left hanging at the end of this novel, but it did not, unfortunately. All of the books in this series offered more plot threads than they ever followed up. Instead of spinning up more ideas for other stories, I would've preferred following a smaller number of threads to their logical conclusions. Even though I did like this book, I found it ultimately unsatisfying because so many tantalizing plot suggestions were dangled, and rarely ever appeared again. There are new plot arcs, like the politically correct steppers of the past. The history of stepping seemed like an unnecessary side arc, and also didn't make very much sense since the adjacent worlds should've been far more developed if steppers were regularly going there for centuries prior to Step Day. You'd think the Victorian steppers would've at least built a shed or two, but no--there was no sign of humanity when modern Steppers arrived.

Utlimately, all of these books are very un-Pratchett-like. Pratchett specialized in the small--you get to know his characters well. You know their jobs, their friends, their motivations. If you're looking for his humor and gentle humanity, you won't find it in the Long Earth, sadly.

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Fun Listen

Entertaining and captivating listen. Loved the reader. Annoyed by the strictures of the rating system. 😜

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neatly done

enjoyed the flight of imagination by two masters of the craft.
The theory of Long Phenomena as outlined in this book might yet prove to be accurate and prescient.