T. Edmund's Reviews > The Long Earth

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
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Oct 02, 12

Read in September, 2012

I love Terry Prachett, not so familiar with Stephen Baxter, but things started well with this book. The vibe was very Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, but with some darker serious overtones mixed in with the satire.

The idea of infinite earths to explore was well introduced and formed a good setting for the plot to develop. Also our main character Joshua, is a compelling and interesting hero that I found myself getting quite attached to.

So what happened?

First of all the main thrust of the story relied a little too heavily on our scientific curiosity, rather than a sense of tension. Joshua goes exploring and attempts to see just how far the long earth goes, which is as said is very interesting but not exactly page-turning tense. The writing is pleasant enough to not make reading a chore, but excitement is lacking.

Perhaps if the writing was a little worse more effort would have been put into the structure of the story. Throughout the book there were many tangents, almost short stories, about the appearance of the long earth which once again while interesting, disrupted the flow of the story (such as it was).

The final flaw(s) made possible by the above concerns, were that without a central tension to the story the end had little impact. There was a running side story of 'what happens on real earth while everyone else prances around on the long earth' which was largely ignored for the greater part of the second half of the novel but then returned for a rather melodramatic ending, which didn't make up for the lack of drama in the main plot.

In total I enjoyed this book - even though the majority of this review is negative. I really just wished that Prachett and Baxter penned a really bizarre 2001 space Odyssey type ending to suit the genre rather than what they gave us.
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