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4.0 out of 5 stars Grim but entertaining...
I wasn't sure how I'd like this, based on the fact that usually I find older novels dated and stale. I was happy to find that this wasn't the case on this occasion. Granted, the cover looks like an old B-Movie poster with it's colouring and skyline and naked woman, but get beyond that and you'll find an engaging read.

The concept is one that fascinates me -...
Published on 17 April 2009 by Me read

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging & uncomfortable but worth reading
This is very much an "English" SF novel. Set in a future, post apocalypse, Europe, it follows the fortunes of a group of astronauts who have left Earth expecting to return a few years later but, due to a miscalculation in time dilation, they arrive many years later than they expected. They discover that the world has changed greatly and not for the better...
Published on 5 July 2000 by John Peter O'connor


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4.0 out of 5 stars Grim but entertaining..., 17 April 2009
By 
Me read (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Quiet Place (Paperback)
I wasn't sure how I'd like this, based on the fact that usually I find older novels dated and stale. I was happy to find that this wasn't the case on this occasion. Granted, the cover looks like an old B-Movie poster with it's colouring and skyline and naked woman, but get beyond that and you'll find an engaging read.

The concept is one that fascinates me - astronaughts travel into space for what is thought to be a short jaunt......due to a malfunction they return home to find that time hasn't elapsed on earth as it has for them in space and centuries have come and gone.....for reasons unknown the population has been all but wiped out and civilisation is no more.

We never really get to a point where we know exactly what has happened to the planet, but that's only because we learn/know things as they are learned/known by the heroes. They never really reach a point of understanding therefore neither do we. The closest they (we) come to knowing is mention of the time known as 'Nowell time' to the few remaining humans, and that's as good as it gets.

That's what makes it gripping though. It's the not knowing. It could be waiting to happen, just around the corner from where we are now. It's a grim, brutal world they have returned to and the skills and knowledge they have don't count for very much in this new world. It was automatic to put myself in their position and wonder how I would cope, or if I COULD cope. There are no clues to what happened, there is no-one alive that remembers the period from which the heroes came, time has ravaged almost everything that could help with finding answers and it's like an itch that can't be scratched. So they resign themselves to starting again. With nothing. They quickly learn that it's not going to be an easy ride.

The writing style is such that the pace seems slow, but before you know it the ending has crept up on you and you're wishing there was more.

The story stayed with me well after the last page was read because in this climate of global change, the world could be closer to 'the quiet place' than we realise and if the end of the world is anything like this story, we'd better toughen up and prepare for the worst.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but compelling and disturbing, 1 Jun 2001
By 
Jason Mills "jason10801" (Accrington, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Quiet Place (Hardcover)
This fellow has a tin ear for dialogue and, as another reviewer here has said, the plot device put forward as the explanation for the fall of civilization is contrived and weak. But those are my only complaints. This is a bleak and brutal drama in which what IS plausible is far more memorable than what isn't. Indeed, the protagonists themselves remain existentially uncertain as to what has happened, so the contrivance mentioned is forgiveable. The title is a strangely accurate description of a very savage world, and it is the sinking into oblivion of our heroes, like a stone thrown in the sea and leaving barely a ripple, that is the most melancholy yet believable element. Worth your time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Apocalyptic astronaut antics, 8 May 2013
By 
Andy Phillips (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Quiet Place (Paperback)
A group of astronauts undertake a space voyage expecting to arrive home in a few years. Due to unexpected effects involving time dilation, several hundred years have passed by the time they return, and the Earth has reverted to a second Stone Age. This reminded me a bit of the original 'Planet of the Apes' film without the simians. I can't really say much about what happens for the rest of the book, but they attempt to adjust to life in this new society while speculating about what happened.

In a sense this is a fairly typical journey-through-a-post-apocalyptic-landscape story, but the twist of having a group of characters that are aware of what's happening, and another group that has no idea, makes it interesting. The characters are well described and the style of the writing is enjoyable. The ending is slightly frustrating, following a couple of odd events, but at least there is a conclusion and a more-or-less complete answer to what happened to civilisation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space returnees find disaster, 19 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Quiet Place (Paperback)
A spaceship returns from a scientific mission to find 400 years have past and that a terrible disaster has happened.

It's tricky to write a review of this book without spoilers so don't read further if you don't want to know more.

The style is good, it's very readable, the characters are interesting and clearly defined. Lots of exciting things happen and there is plenty of murder and mayhem. As Europe has regressed to hunter gatherer level, pre-horse and dog taming and pre bow culture the spacemen try to survive and introduce innovation and use their skills to survive and make their niche. Many of the local tribes are savage and the spacemen lose a fair number of people pretty fast. All through the book I was waiting for these eminent scientists and in one case blacksmith skilled guys to settle down, make a waterwheel and mill and move things up by several hundred or thousand years, but they are much more laid back than that and their major innovations are small and by the end hardly any are even used any more, but their arrival has improved the lot of the tribe and made them powerful.

One of the decisions in the book that was made that caused a disaster was ludicrous and hard for me to understand why it had been made, that action had a number of long reaching consequences that lead to the main character sulking for the next god knows how many years and basically doing nothing and things regressed.

Not every book can be like a Connecticut Yankee with its rapid innovation but I found this book a little disappointing despite having enjoyed it, they could have done so much more. If you like space time stories, tribal warfare, food gathering, cattle and women stealing and following the group as they wander around post apocalyptic tribal France and England then this is for you.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic English Sci-Fi., 25 Sep 2009
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This review is from: The Quiet Place (Hardcover)
This is an interesting novel, it veres away from the classic post-apocalyptic formula and instead sees the protagonists return to a 'savage earth' some 60 or more years after a never disclosed or discovered end. The prose is clipped, dated and classically English; think John Wyndham or James Herbert, however this for me only served to add to the novel given that the survivors of our story are by their very character just that, in essence it serves to give it a more human quality when compared to many more modern writers such as King or McCarthy.

I would imagine, given the style of the world encountered, that this story owes much from the 'origional' post-apocalyptic novel 'After London' by Jefferies. It pictures an abundant world of untapped resource, free of disease and hunger in relative terms, almost a return to Eden, for the natural world and a native population with no interest in rediscovering what it has lost.

In conclusion, a very enjoyable if at times slightly slow, post-apocalyptic story and well worth a read both for those new to and those enthusiastic about the genre.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging & uncomfortable but worth reading, 5 July 2000
By 
John Peter O'connor - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Quiet Place (Hardcover)
This is very much an "English" SF novel. Set in a future, post apocalypse, Europe, it follows the fortunes of a group of astronauts who have left Earth expecting to return a few years later but, due to a miscalculation in time dilation, they arrive many years later than they expected. They discover that the world has changed greatly and not for the better. Due to some cataclysmic event, civilisation, the whole world over appears to have gone back to an era thousands of years more primative than the world that they left behind.
The travellers attempt to bring some semblance of order and civilisation to a world that is a mixture of primitive savagery and old artifacts. Returning to England, through a derelict channel tunnel, they attempt to form and civilise a community. Can they succeed and turn their new found followers into a reborn civilisation of will they just be a glitch on a downward spiral?
This book takes a bleak and deeply pessimistic view of the human spirit. It is not a comfortable read but it is well written and it makes an interesting tale. Parts are rather weak and too "off pat" to be convincing and this diminishes the ultimate impact of what would otherwise be one of the most upsetting future histories that I have read.
The author's rather flacid logic for the fall of civilisation is the worst part of the book. It would have been a better story if he had not felt the need to address this issue which is not central to the main story line.
I give this a recommendation as a good, if not great book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars man's reversion to savagery, 12 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Quiet Place (Hardcover)
you wont be able to put it down - a worrying yet feasible story of mans potential future
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The Quiet Place
The Quiet Place by Richard Maynard (Paperback - 28 Jun 1990)
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