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Great North Road Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 399 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230750052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230750050
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 6.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (399 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for Peter F. Hamilton's

"The Evolutionary Void"

"Satisfying and powerful . . . Space Opera doesn't get much more epic."--SFFWorld

"Spiced with plenty of action and intrigue."--"San Jose Mercury News"

"The Temporal Void"

"Fusing elements of hard SF with adventure fantasy tropes, Hamilton has singlehandedly raised the bar for grand-scale speculative storytelling."--"Publishers Weekly"
" "
"A great, sprawling, ripping yarn reminiscent of Golden Age Science Fiction."--SFCrowsnest

"The Dreaming Void"

"A real spellbinder from a master storyteller . . . dozens of scenarios, a surprisingly well-delineated cast of thousands, plotting enough to delight the most Machiavellian of readers."--"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)

"Peter F. Hamilton [is the] owner of the most powerful imagination in science fiction, author of immense, complex far-future sagas."--Ken Follett, author of "World Without End"

"A mesmerizing page-turner."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"A gripping saga that blends wilderness survival, police procedural, political and social intrigue, and dynastic sf into a mammoth tale featuring believable characters and exceptionally skilled storytelling."--"Library Journal" (starred review)
"A perfect introduction to [Peter F. Hamilton's] gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling."--"Booklist" (starred review)
"Compelling and original . . . an awesome novel [with] plenty of action."--SFRevu
"One very compelling and entertaining science fiction novel."--SF Site
"Simply brilliant . . . an astonishing achievement."

"From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

St Libra is paradise for Earth's mega-rich. Until the killing begins.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If "Game of Thrones" can be turned into a TV series then I think Peter Hamilton's latest novel should be turned into a show too. The Great Road North is an excellent story: imaginative, clever, and well paced; it blends sci-fi with crime, horror, doomed romance, and a bit of political/action thriller. I had been looking forward to this book since reading the plot summary several months ago and I was not disappointed. To me, a long-time fan, it seemed like he had gone through all his previous novels, cherry picked the best elements and weaved them all together.

Talking of weaving, one of the most enjoyable and challenging things about Hamilton is tying his story threads back together using the limited (but very deliberate) clues he writes in before the plot is revealed. I got a fair few, but some of them eluded me until about page 930... It's always fun trying to guess, but I don't think I'll ever be able to call him predictable.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the way he wrote against a believable background, speculating on where modern science and technology might take us and describing how people will live in the near future; think Michio Kaku but with verve, humour, and a lot of very British style. Of course with sci-fi it has to go a little bit further and we have seemingly implacable aliens, spaceships and strange planets. However, unlike the Void trilogy, it doesn't stray into fantasy; believability makes this story more accessible.

Of course Hamilton already has a great reputation for his story-telling skills, but I think that with Great North Road he has improved his writing style. Recent novels have had a large cast of characters, which often led to uneven coverage.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a monumental book in lots of ways, not just its length (1087 pages) or its size (slightly larger than a house brick), but also in the story that he writes here.

It starts with a murder, and the body that is fished out of the river is a North, a family of genetic clones, and this corpse has had all the identity markers removed. There are five puncture marks on the chest, and the heart has been shredded. The last people to die this way did so 20 years ago, on the colony of St Libra, and the woman who was tried for the murders is still in prison. So begins the most sensitive, and politically charged investigation of Sidney Hurst's career.

With the new murder, the HDA decide that they need to go back to St Libra and fully investigate the claim by Angela that the murders were committed by an alien. She is pulled from prison and sent through the gateway, essentially a wormhole, with a crack team of legionnaires and back to St Libra to find this entity.

And so starts this epic story. It flips between Newcastle, and St Libra and you follow the ebb and flow of the characters in their successes and failures. The people on St Libra start to conclude that the plant they are on is a bioformed planet, and the alien is there as a guardian. St Libra`s sun suddenly red shifts, sending the planet into a mini ice age, and the alien starts to eliminate the legionnaires in the group. Meanwhile back on earth the investigation into the murder has become a lot more complex and charged, and it starts to look like the fall out between two corporations, and the police are playing catch up.

Apart from the fact that this is enormous, and took even me a while to read, I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked the sound of this book, the story caught my attention. The first 200 pages are hard work and I nearly gave up, essentially it feels like the author takes a while to get into his stride. Also the naming of every vehicle and technology is pretty tedious and not necessary. All that being said the book delivers a very reasonable read. The story flows and the plot is good. I wish the editor had been more brutal in the beginning, would have made this a much better book. It's not a classic and doesn't deliver as much as Alastair Reynolds does, but it is probably worth the space on your bookshelf.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book three years ago and have just finished re-reading it. At 1000+ pages it takes two readings to fully absorb it, it has a huge range with multiple threads across two main worlds and a few subsidiary ones. I'm giving it a 5 star rating but it could easily lose 200 pages without losing any of the action or story.

What I really like about this book is that at its heart its a murder mystery but one that seamlessly integrates with the future technology and sci-fi setting. I also like the fact its not US focussed. While there are many explorations of a technological singularity, one based on man-machine integration, downloading of souls or the like, this book is based around a biological singularity where an entire world can build to a single consciousness.

The action takes place a couple of hundred years in the future but there is enough connection to now to make it seem real. Its a world where everything is privatised, including the Police but the normal worries still exist, school, work, promotion and money. Its close enough to now that you can relate to it immediately and the technology deployed is realistic.

The technology is just there, no twisted or detailed explanations to get in the way of the plot. It also takes a 'grown up' view of politics and relationships, which I find deeper, more nuanced and more enjoyable than the usual sci-fi pulp fiction that I read.

I won't call this literature but its a very well written, detailed and believable story, I've enjoyed it twice now.
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