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The Long Earth (The Long Earth #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  20,271 ratings  ·  2,771 reviews
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From the back jacket:

NORMALLY, WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING TO DO, HE LISTENED TO THE SILENCE.

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...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by HarperCollins Harper (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Lawrence
Everyone loves Sir Terry. I love Sir Terry. I love the books & have great respect for the man. This review is simply my opinion of the success of this particular collaboration. I'll be 1st in line for the next T.P book and I'd even give T.P + S.B another go.

From the slew of 4 & 5* reviews already on show I may be out on a limb on this one - so don't listen to me - give it a try.


-------------

Collaboration. It’s a word with an unfortunate aftertaste. Collaborators get a bad rap. Sir Terry...more
Melissa Proffitt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
Aug 01, 2012 Andrea marked it as flipped-to-the-end  ·  review of another edition
A did not finish read.

I think, in its way, this could be regarded as a form of apocalyptica. A device allowing easy jumping to countless alternate worlds (conveniently free of human populations) is invented. Many people embrace this passionately, and rush off to stake their claim in a 'land rush' with no visible end game. A small percentage can't go and others don't want to, but the effect of this mass dispersal is economies collapsing, new religions, fighting among old religions. It's a book ab...more
Juan
I finished The Long Earth yesterday, and came to see what others thought, and in many respects I agree; The Long Earth has an incredibly novel premise, but a storyline that in the end, doesn't really go anywhere (no pun intended).

The book essentially offers a thought exercise of what would happen if relatively unlimited inter-planetary (or more correctly, inter-dimensional) travel were available to the masses on Earth. What would people do? Would there be a mass exodus? Would people try to explo...more
Chris
Those poor French. You lose to Spain at the Euro and Terry Pratchett takes an accurate pot shot at you in this book.

C'est la vie.

I'm unsure to give this three or four stars. I really am. I didn't quite really like it, but I didn't just like it. I went with four because it is my default when I read such a book and it makes me think.

The idea behind this book will be slightly familiar to those who watched Sliders or who have read comic books. The twist is that most people can step to the words eith...more
Tfitoby
This was quite the infuriating book to end up enjoying. A strange blend of young adult and science fiction written for the novice and almost as many pop culture references as Ernest Cline. If I'd only been informed in advance to expect a young adult novel I would have been less annoyed, Pratchett has written some of the very best YA there is, but as it stands this is apparently a book for adults. Stephen Baxter has written some of the most complex science fiction I've ever picked up let alone re...more
Rebecca
You know how famous authors will occasionally complain about how readers will come up to them at cons and tell them that they have this amazing idea for a book; the author should write the reader's idea, and then they can split the money. The moral to this kind of story is always that this is a ridiculously ignorant concept--ideas are easy, it's execution that's hard.

This is a novel in which two extremely prolific authors forgot this.

Well, to be honest, calling this a "novel" strikes me as gene...more
Tari_Roo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penny
Simple concept, brilliantly executed. This was my first non-discworld Pratchett and my first Baxter and between the two of them they put together an excellent novel.

The premise behind The Long Earth is a fairly simple one at first glance - there are multiple universes parallel to our own and with the aid of a stepper you can move from one to the next in a "linear" fashion. Easy concept, but as with most things, the devil is in the details.

On each Earth, evolution has taken a slightly different...more
Wealhtheow
One day, humanity discovers they can "step" from our world into parallel worlds. Each of these other Earths is slightly different from the next--but humans exist on no other world but our own. Humans immediately start stepping into other worlds to explore and create new homes. Resources and space are no longer scarce; old hierarchies start breaking down.

Joshua Valiente is a natural Stepper, someone who can jump from one world to the next without any ill effects. And so the first AI to be declare...more
Brad
The basic conceit behind The Long Earth is simple: There are parallel universes and one day human beings discover they can "step" from one to the next quite easily.

But while most parallel universe stories would use this as a stepping stone to tell about the conflict between our world and one where the Axis powers won World War II, or where the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs never struck the earth, The Long Earth takes a different approach: humans don't seem to have evolved on most of the ot...more
David
This is a fun, "feel-good" science fiction novel about a world where people can "step" from one Earth to another. The story centers on Joshua, one of the few people who can step spontaneously. Most other people need a relatively simple device to aid in their stepping. One can step "east" or "west", and proceed over and over again, stepping into parallel universes.

The Earth in each universe has a geology that has developed differently, and life has evolved into different forms. Some Earths are ve...more
Bob Milne
The Long Earth is a concept Terry Pratchett first developed back in the mid-80s, around the same time that he was finishing up the third Discworld book, Equal Rights. The novel was a victim of Pratchett's own success, getting left behind when the Discworld series proved to be so successful. Sadly, as much as I wanted to like it, and as promising as the first few chapters were, it really does feel like a book that was written 25 years ago, handed off to somebody else, and then rushed into print....more
Arielle Walker
3.5

Though this book feels in many parts like an awkward blend of The Hitch-hiker's Guide and The Time Machine, but lacking in Adams' trademark humour and oddities (and Pratchett's, come to think of it) The Long Earth is still an interesting read. Focusing on ideas rather than plot has been pretty unusual in recent releases so it's quite refreshing to be allowed to explore all these worlds - different earth versions - without having to keep up with multiple relationships and character development...more
Scott
"And in a sky on the other side of the world a gaudy airship hovered in the dawn light, listening to such whispered stories, before it vanished into deeper stepwise realities". So, The Long Earth is the first in a series by two stellar authors within the Sf/Fantasy genres (Baxter for his Science Fiction work/Pratchett more so for his Fantasy series) that here combine their talents to bring about a novel of "what ifs?". What if you discovered that you could "step" into new Earths that exist just...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Percy Blakeney? Percy Blakeney?! I was intrigued enough to give this a try. All it took was two words. Except that it turned out to have nothing to do with The Scarlet Pimpernel. (Except the name, as far as I could tell. Though I'm not very familiar with that canon.) And that character was actually very peripheral, as was the policewoman who is also mentioned in the jacket copy.

For me this was okay to read to pass the time. It was a mildly interesting look at the many-worlds concept but did not...more
Cher
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

Another book that started at its apex and subsequently went downhill. I loved the unique world idea, but towards the end, it became a bit silly and the plot seemed to melt into a big pile of randomness. It also wrapped up with an extremely abrupt "ending" (if you want to call it that). I'm not referring to a cliffhanger, just something that felt more like a chapter ending, or even a paragraph ending. I dislike when authors of trilogies/series do not give each book its own...more
Britain
GREAT fun! I love Pratchett, and this did not disappoint. Really interesting idea--humans suddenly realize we can travel through endless stacks of parallel universes, each created by a different branch on the probability tree. Hugely entertaining descriptions of how this discovery impacts politics, property ownership, police, industry, and of what these worlds look like--why humanity is unique to our own. A great 'what if' story, with the narrative built around a thread of the main character inv...more
Jason
4 Stars

This is a case where I actually would give it full marks because it is right up my alley. I loved this story. The concept and themes are very thought provoking. The book really suffers as it broaches so many heavy themes that it does none of them any real justice.
Stepping the beginning:

“‘Well, maybe. At least he gave people a new option. Although he said people were going to have to learn to think, out there in the Long Earth. He said once, “I am giving mankind the key to endless worlds....more
Dianna
I finished 'The Long Earth' and it was dreadful. I can barely deal with how dreadful it was. There's a smug AI that claims to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan motor cycle repairer. The hero becomes his Doctor Who companion ("Doctor, I am dumb. Please explain stuff.") as they fly over landscapes. "Look, there's a big ocean, there's a crocodile, there's an animal that's half elephant half rhino." Whenever the authors need to do some exposition that the AI and the companion aren't around to see, t...more
Paula
Imagine you are going about your business one day and as you take your next step you find yourself in a field you've never seen before. When you step back, you find yourself back home. The Long Earth explores the possibility of parallel earths that are just a step away from our own. Once this phenomenon of "stepping" has been discovered- people all around Earth 1 "The Datum Earth" start wondering what is out there on the Long Earth and how it will change civilization as we know it. The main char...more
Bee
I'm only half way through and I'm bored.
I've been reading the other reviews here and see I'm one of many.
I agree that the premise of the book is good and interesting, that's why it gets the star.

The big bummer about this book?
Unlikeable or vapid characters.
If Joshua is bored by the multiple views of new Earths how do the authors expect the reader to be excited?
The robot isn't funny or quirky or interesting enough.
The horrible Green family - willing to leave behind a brother so happily - are sno...more
Patrick
[3.5 really.]

Lots of people I know love Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. People expect me to be a Terry Pratchett fan. But truth be told, I've never really got into his books. I first stumbled on them in the school library at the age of 13, and his humour never really clicked with me. Twenty years later, I was recommended Night Watch by a law student who thought I might appreciate its take on criminal justice, and while I did quite enjoy it, it didn't make me want to go back to the rest of the...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
Great fun, despite the fact that this book feels like it's only building the setting for the next one. And it gives you so much food for thought regarding the evolution. A perfect blend between the warm and funny voice of Pratchett and the spectacular imagery and the scientific rigorousness of Baxter.
Heidi
Slight tendency towards 2.5 stars

This was a weird book; sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so much.
It's crammed with interesting ideas, though none of them is satisfyingly executed, but usually just more or less vaguely touched upon. It's like a never-ending teaser. "Oh, that's nice, I'm curious to learn where it leads." Well, nowhere, to be honest, including the utterly open and fairly rushed ending. If I hadn't know that it's just the first book in the series (I only found that out while I...more
Mike
I suspect that there's much more Baxter than Pratchett in this book. I stopped reading Stephen Baxter (and in fact hard SF in general) years ago, because of exactly the hard SF flaws that infest this book: characters that exist almost solely so they can give you idiot lectures, other characters that exist largely to be mobile cameras for the tourist documentary about the setting, and hardly a protagonist in sight.

There are some characters with great potential. The leftist nuns, who we mostly see...more
Chris
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

It is said that the population of the whole world, if packed together into a city of the same density as New York City, would fit into the current boundaries of Texas. This Texan mega-city wouldn't be a pleasant place to live, and there's the challenge of infrastructure and living space and waste management, but the point is clear: there's a lot more space on Earth than we think there is.

True, a lot of it is unfriendly to us - ocean, desert, ic...more
Peter Manning
First, I want to make it clear that I did like this book. Even so, it's frustrating to read.

Essentially, the book fails on a structural level. There is little to no resolution at the end, and only something barely resembling a climax. The world it presents is fascinating, but the way that the narrative is set up prevents the reader from enjoying certain elements of the story.

Truth be told, I didn't see much of Terry Pratchett in this story. There is the marvelous skill at world-building that mak...more
Lydia Presley
As a rule, I'm not a fan of co-authored books. I mean, I enjoyed Good Omens because I knew I love Neil Gaiman and had heard good things about Terry Pratchett. So, following in that vein, I enjoyed Good Omens and Pratchett's writing, so I was willing to give The Long Earth a shot.

While this wasn't the best book I've read, I will say it was pretty amusing and interesting. Gee, that's glowing praise isn't it? I don't want to give the impression that I didn't like the book, because I did. I found my...more
John Xero
I'm torn. This is one of those moments where I wish I could give a book 3 1/2 stars. I've rounded up to four because it is very readable, very interesting and very well-written. There's an undeniably Pratchett-esque vein of humour running through it, though nothing like as thickly as through a Discworld novel.

The problem with the book, for me, is that it lacks any real tension for the most part. One of the characters has a sense of impending doom and in a parallel storyline (ha) another characte...more
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,...more
More about Terry Pratchett...
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1) Mort (Discworld, #4) Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8) Night Watch (Discworld, #29)

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