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The Long Earth [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett , Stephen Baxter
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (554 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £3.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

9 May 2013

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No Man's Land gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive (some said mad, others dangerous) scientist when she finds a curious gadget - a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way Mankind views his world for ever.

And that is an understatement if ever there was one...


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552164089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552164085
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (554 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the global bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. In all, he is the author of fifty bestselling books. His novels have been widely adapted for stage and screen, and he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, as well as being awarded a knighthood for services to literature. Worldwide sales of his books now stand at 70 million, and they have been translated into thirty-seven languages.

Photography © David Bird

Product Description

Review

"By turns thrillingly expansive, joyously inventive and utterly engrossing *****." (SFX magazine)

"An absorbing collaborative effort from two SF giants...a marriage made in fan heaven - Pratchett's warmth and humanity allied to Baxter's extraordinarily fertile science-fictional imagination...there's much to enjoy...a charming, absorbing and somehow spacious piece of imagineering" (Adam Roberts GUARDIAN)

"The idea of parallel Earths is one of the most enduring that science fiction has given us, but rarely has it been explored with quite so much gusto as in this new novel by two of the giants of British speculative fiction...a triumph...accessible, fun and thoughtful" (David Barnett INDEPENDENT)

"***** Literary alchemy...In the hands of Pratchett and Baxter, the possibilites are almost infinite...a story that revels in big ideas...you can sense the excitement of the authors as they toy with the labyrinthine possibilities of their premise, and it's infectious...thrillingly expansive, joyously inventive and utterly engrossing" (SFX)

"[Pratchett] succeeds in working seamlessly with Baxter...adding a welcome shot of fun to the world of science fiction" (Alison Flood SUNDAY TIMES)

Book Description

Now in paperback - The Long Earth - the first novel in an astonishing, mind-bending new series by the combined talents of the UK's bestselling novelist and a giant of British science fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
201 of 213 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
4 1/2 stars.

The Long Earth is the first of a planned trilogy by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. If you were looking for two of the most unlikely authors to collaborate, you'd be hard pressed to choose better candidates than these.

Pratchett, as pretty much the entire world knows, predominantly writes humorous fantasy, and while it's true that his work has evolved from its beginnings as pure humor to take a much deeper, more profound look at the world through the medium of fantasy, his major appeal is still the humor.

Baxter, on the other hand, is the hardest of hard science fiction authors. His books are meticulously researched, and his speculation is firmly rooted in bleeding edge science. Like Pratchett, Baxter has evolved, in his case to include more believable, rounded characters with real stories. But when you approach a Baxter book you do so for the science fiction. (Even in his alternate history Northland series, Baxter follows the logic of his premise with a sharp, unyielding, scientific focus.)

If you approach The Long Earth expecting to find something matching either Pratchett's or Baxter's usual output, you are going to be coming at it all wrong. This is a genuine collaboration, and between them they have produced something quite different from their normal works.

In the year 2015, mankind suddenly discovers the existence of possibly infinite alternate worlds, differing only marginally (but progressively, the further out they are) from our own, which can be reached by the means of an electronic device that anyone can easily assemble. But there is one thing that is different about all of these worlds: humanity hasn't evolved on any of them.
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109 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Judgement suspended 24 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like most of the reviewers, I looked forward to this collaboration of two of the greats of sci fantasy. Now I have finished the book I am in two minds as to what to think of it.

One the one hand, it starts off with a good premise and two promisingly individualistic characters. Locations are well described and it gets off to a good start. On the other, once you get into the third chapter it just meanders along going nowhere very much and just as it seems to be picking up speed and getting really interesting..it ends. It doesn't quite say "To be continued", but it might as well.

I could have done with fewer tediously idyllic or uneventful alternate earths and more characterisation and action. For Pratchett the style is closer to "Nation" than Discworld. This is no bad thing - Nation is a great book, but the main "human" hero - Joseph Valiente - is downright boring. Lobsang has a lot of potential to be truly fascinating but after a few quirks of humour in the beginning, he fades into the background to become an annoyingly omniscient presence. Yes I am going to buy the inevitable follow up, but I have a feeling that I'll be disappointed. I hope I am wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Big Ben TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The collaboration between two of my favorite authors is a scary event for me.
The possibilities are wonderful, but they raise expectations that might be disappointed, so it was with a mixture of trepidation and gleeful anticipation that I opened The Long Earth for the first time.
No need to worry!
The writing is assured, and the central topic is based on science rather than Discworld Magick - one might assume that this is down to Stephen Baxter rather than Sir Terry Pratchett, but Sir Terry is also responsible for the remarkable Science of Discworld series that combines entertainment, humour, fantasy and proper science in a number of (highly recommended) volumes.
Laugh as you learn, indeed.
The Long Earth is all-new in both concept and execution.
Nothing of other works by these two excellent authors was detected in it. It brings the infinite worlds view of the universe screaming into the 21st century with the aid of a potato.
Yes, you can tell that Terry Pratchett is involved! But the potato is there for a solid scientific reason.
.
At one stroke the two authors have created a vast canvas on which to display their skills, and the characters depicted on that canvas do them justice. One of the more interesting characters is no longer wholly human, which adds greatly to the possibilities.
The old Hollywood blockbuster maxim was something like "Start with an earthquake, then build to a climax", this book starts with the deconstruction of human society as we know it, and yes, it does builds to a climax that left me wanting more.
The Long Earth is the first of a trilogy (at least) since there are now three books in the series, I'm about get in the queue to buy them.
.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really didn't work for me 23 Jun 2012
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
To be honest I like Stephen Baxter and I like Terry Pratchett so I was really looking forward to this story for quite some time. After all the last tale that was an amalgamation between Terry and another (Neil Gaiman) was Good Omens and a real joy to read.

What this tale does is unfurl at an incredibly slow and convoluted pace, its sadly lacking the magic that either of the authors bring on their own and sadly feels more like a case of big names selling rather than a tale of gripping imagination. It's difficult to work your way through, feels like it has no real twists and sadly lacks character wise for me as a reader to have anything to hold onto. All in its OK but at the end of the day it feels like a real let down to me as a reader.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read and interesting concept
The story runs well and characters develop to the extent that you start to root for them to succeed. Leaves you looking forward to the next chapter in the story.
Published 3 days ago by tony hoare
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special here i'm afraid. I ended up reading ...
Nothing special here i'm afraid. I ended up reading it for the sake of reading it in order to finish it.
Published 8 days ago by Biggus Diccus
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant concept!
Cracking combination of two excellent writers and a brilliant concept. I found myself talking about it to all and sundry, trying not to mention too many details, so as not to spoil... Read more
Published 8 days ago by J. J. Alsop
2.0 out of 5 stars boring
I found this tedious and felt it went nowhere really slowly!
Published 9 days ago by J. Nenova
5.0 out of 5 stars While initially it wasn't an easy book to fall into I became very...
While initially it wasn't an easy book to fall into I became very quickly invested in the characters and plot. I loved the concept of the science, the idea is fantastic. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Danica Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent start to the series.
Published 13 days ago by Mr Paddy Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
After receiving book 3 in the series as a gift I just had to get the first two. Arrived very promptly and haven't stopped reading. Great value too.
Published 13 days ago by P A KING
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my brothers gift, he loves anything Terry Pratchett
Published 16 days ago by josie paige
4.0 out of 5 stars One potato, two potato, et voila !
Interesting perspective on the Multiverse theory and examination of the issues it would throw up (sorry!) in this version of it. Read more
Published 20 days ago by embramike
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
Pretty cool thought experiment; what if all that tethers human expansion disappeared overnight, replaced by some simple rules that may or may not be absolute? Discuss. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Foggie Loon
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