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The Quiet Earth

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  161 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Published (first published 1981)
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Sep 27, 2008 Ubik rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are *really* curious about it after having seen the movie
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Ex Ex
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
John Young
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)
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
Bill Collins
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
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
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
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
No spoiler, but I should have seen it coming.
MB Taylor
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
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
Thomas Quatrale
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Nancy S
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Long paragraphs. I skipped pages upon pages. Not to my taste.
If you can get your hands on a copy, I strongly suggest you do!
Very disappointing ending.
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.
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.
Klarer Lesebefehl für Fans des Films!
Dec 17, 2013 Kate rated it 2 of 5 stars
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 28, 2015 Sabs rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
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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.
Kelsey marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Sarah Abdulla
Sarah Abdulla is currently reading it
Jul 18, 2015
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