- Paperback: 415 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (23 Sept. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575068620
- ISBN-13: 978-0575068629
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 3.5 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 827,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Descent Paperback – 23 Sep 1999
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This blockbuster confection of adventure, paranoia and horror is receiving bestseller promotion. Jeff Long gives a fresh spin to the underworld caverns of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth by populating these vast spaces with demonic creatures whose existence explains the myth of Hell. They're our feral relatives, Homo hadalis or "hadals", afflicted with horns and deformities by a harsh environment where necessity is the mother of cannibalism. Greedy for new frontiers, governments and corporations move to exploit the recently discovered underworld. It's deadlier than they think; much hideous bloodshed follows. Long expertly hits a range of nerve-jarring emotional buttons, playing on our fears of darkness, monsters, mutilation, torture and worse. One major plot strand follows a literally bedevilled expedition through terror-fraught tunnels under the Pacific to the remnants of a 20,000-year-old civilisation below. Another speculates about the charismatic hadal leader "Satan" and his impact on world religion (this is where the Turin Shroud comes in)--a tastily paranoid reinterpretation of history. There's a slam-bang climax down in the deeps, with enough horrific trimmings to make readers nervously shield their tender parts. Though the incidental science is poorly handled and occasionally absurd, The Descent reads well as nightmare action-adventure. Not, as they say, for the squeamish. -- David Langford
In a high Himalayan cave, among the death pits of Bosnia, in a newly excavated Java temple, Long's characters find out to their terror that humanity is not alone, that, as we have always really known, horned and vicious humanoids lurk in vast caverns beneath our feet ... This audacious remaking of the old hollow-earth plot takes us, in no short order, to the new world order that follows the genocidal harrowing of Hell by heavily armed, high-tech American forces. An ambitious tycoon sends an expedition of scientists, including a beautiful nun linguist and a hideously tattooed commando former prisoner of hell, ever deeper into the unknown, among surviving savage horned tribes and the vast citadels of the civilisations that fell beneath the earth before ours rose. A conspiracy of scholars pursues the identity of the being known as Satan, coming up with unpalatable truths about the origins of human culture and the identity of the Turin Shroud, and are picked off one by bloody one. Long rehabilitates, madly, the novel of adventures among lost peoples--occasional clumsiness, and promises of paranoid revelations on which he cannot entirely deliver, fail to diminish the real achievement here; this feels like a story we have always known and dreaded. --Roz Kaveney
Adventure isn¿t dead. It¿s just gone to Hell.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I would have given it 4+1/2 stars if I could but it's not quite a 5!
I have struggled with 'epic' type novels in the past, but this one can only be described as 'unputdownable' (if you will excuse the overused cliche).
Long manages to turn a fantastical premise into a story that is believable, even worryingly possible. He must be forgiven for the odd failure (the provision dropping method is ludicrous - thank you for the perfect example, a reader from London)because he achieves the most important aim of every author - come up with a good story and tell it well.
Read 'The Ascent' by Jeff Long. Not in the same league as this masterpiece, but a good read all the same.
The first read of this book a few years ago elevated into my top 20 reads (yes I am a nerd - I have 'top' lists, albeit mental ones, I am not quite so nerdy to write them down. Yet.)
My second read of this book recently, and we have it in the top 10. what an awesome read.
I look forward to getting my hands on the sequel, Deeper, although am slightly concerned it might fall into the regular sequel trap. Wilbur Smith pulled it off with some of his series' (although also managed to spectacularly fail aswell with others!). Lets hope Mr. Long can manage another great.
"A giant skeleton - possibly a human freak - lay in shackles solid with rust. The forensic anthropologist thought the deeply incised geometric patterns on the giant's skull had been made at least a year before the prisoner's death. Judging by the cut marks around the entire skull, it seemed the giant had been scalped and kept alive as a showcase for (the hadals') artwork."
Author Jeff Long has crafted a riveting sci-fi epic that is not easily put down. Early on in the storyline, Mankind learns of the hadals' existence and fights the underground war by which the latter are ostensibly eradicated. Then, the Helios mega-corporation sends a survey team to cross underneath the Pacific Ocean's floor in order to lay claim to undiscovered riches outside international boundaries. In hindsight, maybe that wasn't a good idea. The two main characters in THE DESCENT are Ike Crockett and Ali von Schade. Ike, a former mountain guide, has been rescued from hadal slavery after more than a decade of torment.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave this 5 stars not because it was perfect, but because it did what any good book should do - it made me want to keep reading. One night I read it until 3. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Karl Drinkwater
At first i did find this book hard to get into, the first half is a mix of different back storys and events, eventually all these events and characters come together and make a lot... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tomwright21
I am just going to come out and say it; I loved this book. And yet, I fully understand why others didn’t. Let me explain. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Such_Pretty_Words
This has to be one of the most absorbing books I have read in a while.There is such a lot going on and with fascinating characters,It has pace and mystery and It sucks you right... Read morePublished 11 months ago by crunchytop
Well, compulsive in that I finished it, but what drivel! A ludicrous scenario; interlinking caves under the ocean, undiscovered species that suddenly become deadly and then... Read morePublished 21 months ago by A. Mackintosh
The Descent holds a special place in my literary heart. When I first read it my response was 'meh.' But by the end of the week I was practically in love with it. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2012 by Sadie Forsythe
Firstly, I haven't seen the film of the same name but this book doesn't appear to be anything to do with it. Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2011 by Andy Phillips
On a par with Stephen King and David Gemmel, Jeff Long has a talent for creating characters you just want to know more about. Read morePublished on 19 Jun. 2011 by Amazon Customer
I picked this up in a charity shop, intrigued by the premise and having never read anything by Long before, or even seen any reviews previous, I entered Long's subterranean world... Read morePublished on 29 Nov. 2008 by Bewarethetoon