The Long Utopia: (The Long Earth 4) Hardcover – 18 Jun. 2015
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- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0857521764
- ISBN-13 : 978-0857521767
- Product Dimensions : 16.05 x 3.45 x 23.98 cm
- Publisher : Doubleday; 1st Edition (18 Jun. 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 70,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
"Rich in an awe-inspiring sense of wonder, with mind-boggling concepts thrown out like sparks from a Catherine wheel." (Barry Forshaw INDEPENDENT)
"A triumph . . . brings fresh and exciting concepts to an SF staple (paralell worlds) while keeping credible human characters at their heart . . . as testament both to the diversity of Sir Terry Pratchett's writing, and the skill of Stephen Baxter's, The Long Earth series deserves a place on the bookshelves of hardcore SF fans and general readers alike." (David Barnett INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
"The Long Earth novels are beautifully visual and wittily imagined . . . The Long Utopia . . . serves to remind us just how bewitching and rich this series is, how beautiful is its writing, and vivid its imagination." (FOR WINTER NIGHTS)
"There's the sense of two enviably talented writers having fun as they play in an infinite fictional universe." (Jonathan Wright SFX)
"There's plenty of fun to be had from this . . . a hymn to the joys of unfettered world-building . . . but if the pace of plotting is gentle, the restless inventiveness more than compensates."
"Rich in an awe-inspiring sense of wonder, with mind-boggling concepts thrown out like sparks from a Catherine wheel."
"A triumph . . . brings fresh and exciting concepts to an SF staple (paralell worlds) while keeping credible human characters at their heart . . . as testament both to the diversity of Sir Terry Pratchett's writing, and the skill of Stephen Baxter's, The Long Earth series deserves a place on the bookshelves of hardcore SF fans and general readers alike."
"The Long Earth novels are beautifully visual and wittily imagined . . . The Long Utopia . . . serves to remind us just how bewitching and rich this series is, how beautiful is its writing, and vivid its imagination."
"There's the sense of two enviably talented writers having fun as they play in an infinite fictional universe."
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Top reviews from United Kingdom
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As ever, any book with Pratchett's name on it gets an overwhelming majority of 5-star reviews, regardless of the actual quality of the book, but this really isn't very good at all, and certainly doesn't bear any comparison to the genuinely great work he's done elsewhere.
This book had some good moments, and some strong characters, but they don't seem to mesh like they used to in his older books. The story just felt weak, there were several mysteries\unanswered questions but these didn't really engage me in the same way as the mysteries\unanswered questions did in his Discworld novels of 10 years ago.
I guess that Pratchett's writing style has changed a bit over the years. Some fans like it more, but some fans also like it less. I like this book enough to buy the next one (Due out later this year). But it's not in my top 10 Pratchett books.
I did find some of the ideology that has crept in to this book a little jarring. Particularly a new character how seems to have been shoehorned into the role of a wandering wise man with some rather unusual views on the establishment and the status quo. Based on his introduction and exit form the book readers will be left in no doubt who is based on. Though the message that Pratchett trying to get over is baffling, particularly as you'd expect his assigned task in the book to be filled by one of the main characters as his words of wisdom don't seem to have any bearing on what his place in the plot revolves around. I think that he's supposed to be a commentary on certain aspects of out society, but unless you have views that are similar to the author's it's a little difficult to interpret what he's actually saying. It's a little jarring as I've always been able to quickly tune into Pratchett's other characters and their meanings before.
Overall, it's an OK book, but it's best read as part of the series rather than as a standalone novel. It's better than the Long Mars as it's story is more interwoven with the rest of the books, but it feels incomplete (Yes, I know that there is another book, but I still find myself looking for the "final" chapter of this book after I've read it cover to cover). The first two books in the series were superior.
After The Long Mars I was curious as to where they would take the story next, and this book takes it into a familiar direction with aliens. Naturally it's not quite so simple as that, and there's a considerable build-up to the main event. And here we encounter one of the downsides to the story. As with the earlier books the finale feels rushed compared to what preceded it. In all cases the ending is fitting, but just too abrupt.
The story covers how mankind adapts to the events on Earth and the expansion of humanity into the Long Earth. It also delves into some of the history of the talent, although this aspect feels more of a distraction to the more significant events at play.
Another weakness is reflected in its greatest strength. There's some great ideas here, but they're not really developed as deeply as they could be. For me, this and the forced pacing are the biggest problems with the book, but despite these issues it is an enjoyable read, and I'm looking forward the the release of the next one in the series.
Given the circumstances it was finished under, plus the fact that both authors are masters at their craft, this isn't a bad book. Not by far. It just feel half done, which is such a shame. It could have been so much more.
Following The Long Mars, mankind has taken another step thanks to Willis Lindsey and his journey with his daughter to Mars and its stepwise worlds. The book opens with the apparent demise of Lobsang, the sentient AI who claimed he was a reborn Tibetan man, and how the world moves on regardless of such a death.
But children on a distant Earth have found something, and it threatens everything. I won't say much so as not to spoil it, but the death in this book packed more of a punch than the deaths in any other in the Long Earth series so far. Its not a small side character you'll barely care about, but one who we have followed since the first book.
If you can endure, read it, the ending packs a big gut punch that left me mulling over it for weeks after.