Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Land Under England” as Want to Read:
Land Under England
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Land Under England

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A terrifying journey into the earth's interior. The protagonist refuses to join the rigidly controlled society of the interior world's inhabitants and must find a route to the surface or perish. "... a totalitarian utopia where little individual emotions are absorbed by the love for the common good. There are only two classes: the leaders and the robot-like citizens, whose ...more
Published (first published 1935)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Land Under England, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Land Under England

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  14 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Im not the best reviewer in the whole world, and in fact, especially since (as of this moment) Im the *only* reviewer of this book, its kinda hard for me to say in words what I felt about this wonderful novel.

What I can say is: Its in my top three of all time and its a crying shame that most people dont even know that it exists. I found it quite by accident too. Most of the time I carefully research each and every potential read that comes my way. This, was as a result of a friend of mine doing
Timothy Mayer
Written by Irishman Joseph O'Neil, this was one of the forgotten masterpieces on KEW's essential list. The author had a job in the Irish ministry of education, not hard to believe because he did like his wordage. Not that being a verbose author is such a bad thing; look what Will Shakespeare was able to accomplish. But all the narrative does make for a tiring read.
The book is narrated from the POV of a man searching underground for his father. The narrator is descended from a long line of Roman
I knew very little about this book before reading and I'm glad that was the case. Simply put, a man goes in search of his missing father and ends up in an underground city with very strange inhabitants in the form of roman descendants controlled by a kind of physic hive mind. It sounds strange and it is. It's also very dark with introspective moments and thoughts on society. Some of those thoughts do seem a little simplistic at times but that's only a minor thing.

Overall I enjoyed this.
Well that was really something. I was expecting 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' but instead got a dystopian story in the vain of the 'Time Machine' (but much better).

A really nice original dystopia and deep psychological examination of how it came to be. This is when the book is at its best. The more our protagonist begins to understand this lost civilization the more interesting it becomes. For a brief period its a truly great novel before dropping slightly back to just really, really good
Paul Hancock
The prologue to this book essentially lays out the entire story spoilers and all, but without any warning that this was going to be the case. As such the story was less enthralling that it could have otherwise been. In addition to the spoilers there were to other things that made this a hard slog of a read. Firstly was the near complete lack of dialogue, and secondly was the very (VERY) long sentences. Often entire paragraphs were made from a single, long, sentence.

There are parts of this story
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is touted as a classic of science fiction, but I found it dull and depressing. It starts off on a promising note:
The story that I have to tell is a strange one--so strange indeed that many people may not believe it, and the fact that the events related in it happened in Great Britain itself will, probably, make it less credible than if it had happened in Central Africa or the wilds of Tibet or the lands round the sources of the Amazon, now so much favoured by travellers.

But soon enough our
Exceedingly tedious style, filled with repetitions and pointless nattering. And almost no dialogue at all...eek! Seriously, it could have been cut in half without any problem at all, and possibly would've been at its best in the 50-100 page range. The delineation of the underground society is the only real point of interest, and unfortunately the narrator reacts to it all too often in that kneejerk pulpy way (the same kind of guy who points to the heretic in some hokey medieval movie and screams ...more
Edward Davies
This is a bit of an odd concept, and I’m surprised it was considered so highly. It seems to take two completely separate ideas; a lost Roman civilisation and a race of telepaths, and combines them in an unusual way that shouldn’t work, yet it does, I didn’t feel myself questioning the concept as I read, nor how these people became telepaths in the first place, which just goes to show that it must have been reasonably well written for me to not think of this when I was reading. Instead I became i ...more
Whew, finally done. I definitely agree with other reviewers that there was too much repetition & not enough dialogue, but I usually give anything tagged dystopian a try. Basically it's a novel about tyranny & mind control, but I'm sure there is a lot more meaning to the story that just flew over my head. The automatons kind of reminded me of the eloi in H.G. Wells "The Time Machine", but at least the eloi talked. I know "Land Under England" has been put up there with "Pilgrim's Progress" ...more
I really didn't like this. In fact I pretty much hated it. At times it was torture to make it through. The only reason I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 is that it is very original. I'm not going to go into it, but don't read it. Especially if you are at all claustrophobic. Pretty much the whole thing is underground, in the dark, etc.
Kieran McAndrew
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anthony Julian goes to the Land Under England, a sideways universe which echoes Rome, in search of his father.

This 'Inferno' inspired SF novel, written by the Irish Secretary for Education during the rise of Hitler, contains many warnings about totalitarianism and mind control.

More relevant today than, sadly, it should be.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Yes, it's a long hard slog to get through this book. But really all those underground metaphors about the meaning of life and breaking free from your past, err, I mean father...

Still, it's good for you and I'd encourage anyone to read it.
Thomas Cotterill
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2016
Uber Blag
rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2018
rated it it was ok
Sep 26, 2016
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2007
rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jan 15, 2018
rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2016
rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2013
rated it liked it
Aug 21, 2018
rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2017
M.k. Yost
rated it it was ok
Jun 29, 2014
rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2009
rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2011
Barry Hill
rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2011
William Oarlock
rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2016
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
There is more than one author with this name on Goodreads.

Joseph O'Neill was an Irish novelist. O'Neill was born in Tuam, in the Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland, in 1886 (or 1878). He became a school inspector and subsequently Secretary of the Department of Education in the newly formed Irish Free State.

He wrote five novels, of which the best-known was Land Under England, a sc