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The Quiet Earth

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
232 pages
Published (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 27, 2008 Ubik rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who are *really* curious about it after having seen the movie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2013 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalyptic, sci-fi
I read this book after watching the movie and they are entirely two separate entities. So don't go into this book expecting the movie plot.

The Quiet Earth was an..okay book. I felt that the author wrote this using varied methods of 'stream of consciousness' and it shows in its random and non-organized writing. By the time I reached the end of the book, I didn't really care what caused the event that made everyone disappear. I really didn't. I think they revealed the reason..maybe? But it was mi
Sep 19, 2013 Katesy's rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2013 Kate rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I... Have no idea what to make of this book. I liked the descriptions and the science focus, but... Hmm. The plot seems minimal and the main (and really only) character is unlikable. I think I was happy enough to keep reading, but the story just veered to casually into racism and I just couldn't keep going.
Jan 18, 2014 Debbie rated it liked it
Had me interested to see what was going to happen next, and what the explanation was for the phenomenon. The ending didn't really tie things up well enough for me.
Feb 22, 2014 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks-i-possess
No spoiler, but I should have seen it coming.
Mar 02, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalyptic
Apocalyptic, yes. Perhaps too much of NZ own under content (Maori?) and geography, but that's ok. Went inside heads a bit too much, different from the movie, but most are. Left too much for the reader as an exercise.
Ex Ex
Jun 11, 2014 Ex Ex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, dark, apocalyptic
The Quiet Earth concerns the plight of a man who wakes up in a world where all of humanity sans himself has disappeared. How does a man survive in this world, where only the ghosts of his past and other mysterious beings seem to pass in and out of reality? What is reality when the rules no longer apply? All of this and more is explored within...

1.I may spoil the movie for you. I would advise you to watch the Quiet Earth movie before reading this review.

2. The Quiet Earth is my favorite movie. I
MB Taylor
Aug 25, 2014 MB Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book. I ran across this a couple of months ago at a book store, and it looked interesting so I bought it. Sure glad I did.

The Quiet Earth is a first person narrative of New Zealander John Hobson. He wakes up in a motel room in and quickly discovers that there's no one else in town. Convinced that there must be other people somewhere he begins not only a search for other people but a slow descent into madness starting with (what we assume/hope) is fear of the unknown.

As the novel
John Young
Jul 09, 2014 John Young rated it really liked it
Another reviewer called this book "criminally underrated", and I absolutely agree. This book is rich, dark, and haunting, while at the same time being completely non-atmospheric.

It's Lovecraft without the monsters, or maybe Stephen King with a more nuanced plot twist. It's totally worth a read if you liked "Fight Club."

The 1985 movie of the same name was only very loosely based on the book, and is entirely different in plot and tone, FYI (the movie is also worth seeing)
Jan 28, 2015 Sabs rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Still unsure of this one. Interesting, but uneven. Pacing was slow, I should've seen the ending coming. Very black mirror. Would love to see parts adapted into a play. Not sure I would recommend book though.
Mark Tucci
Much darker and more sinister than the 1985 movie inspired by this book. But still, an interesting take on the last man on Earth idea.
Bill Collins
Dec 15, 2014 Bill Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author abuses the reader of this book by making 9/10 of the book unneeded information about what his characters are seeing, doing and thinking.....all without moving the story forwards. The result is that the pacing is terribly slow, non-existent in the book.

I actually found myself, after reading the first three or four chapters, just skimming page after page; but the story refused to progress. After seventeen chapters and no plot movement worth mentioning, I finally gave up the the book and
Dec 28, 2014 Ralph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Quite honestly, I read this book because I saw the film derived from it years ago. And also, quite honestly, the reason the film is watched, the reason people sit through endless sequences of the protagonist doing nothing is for the climactic, apocalyptic and disturbing final scenes. I don’t feel I am betraying anything of the book at this point in revealing that you will not encounter the same sort of thing in the book, for the book is, above all else, an introspective experience, though one wi ...more
Nancy S
Dec 19, 2014 Nancy S rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The premise (a man waking to suddenly find all life on Earth gone) and writing are excellent. Overall, I found the book to be gripping and entertaining, but the ending felt more like a cop-out than a real ending. It took me out of the book. For its length, it's still a good read if you want to enjoy some quality writing, but can ignore where the plot goes.
Jan 01, 2015 Shannon rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this, but the pace of the plot was unbalanced and I did not like the ending at all. Probably would have enjoyed this more as a book group book.
Thomas Quatrale
Jan 11, 2015 Thomas Quatrale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story, quick read. Glad I found this classic.
This won't be everyone's idea of a good story ... lots of character introspection, i.e., why did this happen to me, what could has caused this "effect", etc., not a whole lot of action. Man wakes up to find he is (apparently) the last human left alive. All the others have seemingly just vanished. The ending is not what I expected.
Jan 26, 2015 Natira rated it really liked it
Ich bin wie andere Leser auch über den Film "The Quiet Earth", den ich sehr schätze, auf die zugrundeliegende Geschichte gekommen, die im letzten Jahr endl. als (engl.) ebook veröffentlicht wurde. Die Einleitung im ebook habe ich vorsichtigerweise erst NACH Lektüre des Romans gelesen: Weshalb nur werden diese Art Erörterungen nicht als Nachworte veröffentlicht?! Mal von der Spoilergefahr abgesehen, geben sie häufig eine bestimmte Lesart vor, die man als Leser nicht unbedingt bei der eigenen Lekt ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Heidi rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2015 Cateline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Quiet Earth by Craig Harrison, Introduction by Bernard Beckett

"The worst thing we could ever imagine is being alone, until we imagine being with somebody else." Introduction by Bernard Beckett.

John Hobson awakens in a motel room to a stopped clock, reading 6:12. Everything is silent, not only silent, but oppressively so. Nothing or no one moves. A ghost town with no ghosts or movement. At least at first (que Twilight Zone music).

The narrative screams "unreliable narrator", but is he? What
Jan 18, 2016 Noll rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I flipped back and forth on this one as I was reading it. On the one hand, it is superbly written with extremely evocative turns of phrase, and rich in prose rather than dense, so it is a pleasure to read. On the other hand, said prose is about two things. Firstly, the occurence of a freak experimental event which has apparently caused the wiping out of almost all of mankind - according to our scientist narrator who explains the science behind it quite vaguely. And second
Peter Redeker
Peter Redeker rated it it was ok
Jun 07, 2015
Jun 28, 2015 Robert rated it really liked it
Really good weird science fiction mystery. Everybody in New Zealand seems to have disappeared. One survivor travels around looking for others. the author drops all sorts of hints about what happened throughout the novel. You also can't tell if the narrator is crazy or not.
The Quiet Earth - Craig Harrison

I thought I'd take a small breather from Agatha Christie and read a quick like story and this one seemed to fit that bill. I will say in my edition there is a foreword, which describes this book; and no chapters. Once I realized the foreword was not apart of the story itself, I stopped reading because I wanted a totally unbiased reading of this book. Not having chapters made it hard for me to navigate the book as I normal am able to. That was a disappointment of m
Sep 13, 2015 Mediumnet rated it did not like it
The ending didn't make sense. I don't like it when books end up in the air and you are not sure what happened.
Jan 21, 2016 Christi rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my favorite books. John Hobson, a geneticist, wakes one morning to find his watch stopped at 6:12. The streets are deserted, there are no signs of life or death anywhere, and every clock he finds has stopped: at 6:12.
Feb 26, 2016 PFrank rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story line and concept is good, but I did not enjoy the author's writing style. Sometimes less is more, unless your descriptive talent approaches that of Tolkien....

This, and so many references that only "locals" would get. It was tedious to read.

Not saying this is a bad book at all, just didn't work for me. That said, the ending is either extremely evil, or pure genius.
James Parker
Jun 17, 2016 James Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! Intriguing story, well written and with a conclusion that has the reader deciding what the whole thing was about. I love the film and now equally love the book...and both have different endings that are both shocking and jaw dropping!
I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to.

The idea of waking up and having the world be completely empty is just terrifying to me. There is a nice slow burn as the MC realizes the gravity of the situation and tries to discover what may have caused it. There isn't a whole lot that happens for large chunks of the book, but the author's beautiful prose and the flashbacks (where we learn about our MC and who he is) keep things from getting dry.

That's about all I can say without giving away the
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Goodreads Librari...: Title Change 2 18 Apr 06, 2014 12:34AM  
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“Perhaps even the dreams would have been better than what followed. I switched off the torch; the darkness was as complete as the silence. It was all very well to think that it was usually quiet at night but in my desire to stay awake for as long as I could, I found myself sitting listening to the silence, holding my breath, hearing even my own heartbeats, in the effort to hear something. I felt sure that I had heard some kind of noise from the direction of the car park below at the back of the motel. It was something moving, and when I listened intently it stopped as if conscious of being detected. For what seemed ages I strained to hear, but when there was nothing further I decided I had imagined it and relaxed, wiping the sweat off my face with a towel in the bathroom. Whilst I was doing this the noise briefly penetrated the room again, furtively. I stood petrified. The hairs on the back of my neck crawled like insects. There was something outside. There, again. This time it was a movement on the loose gravel of the parking area.” 0 likes
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