The Quiet Place Paperback – 28 Jun 1990
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Set in the future, this story concerns a group of astronauts who return to Earth after what they believe is 60 years. They do in fact arrive centuries after they set off, to a land of savage hunting tribes whose only link with the lost culture is a crude version of former language.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished on 8 May 2013 by Andy Phillips
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... Read morePublished on 25 Sept. 2009 by Liammons
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... Read morePublished on 5 July 2000 by John Peter O'connor