Review of The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter. What if you could build a small cheap device that would let you step into a parallel world. It only takes a flip of a switch and a step. What the catch? You can only take what you can carry.
My review of The Long Earth
The Long Earth is a wonderful thought experiment, a good story with interesting characters and it is all well told, A very thoughtful and enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
The Long Earth is one of the more philosophical books that I have read in quite some time. It has clearly been thought though quite a bit. It talks about the economic consequences, the sociological ones, the political implications.
My review from 2014 of The Long Earth
I really like science fiction that ask big what-if questions and then runs with it. Think about all the repercussions of that idea. That thinks about all the possibilities and then explores them though the plot of the book. The Long Earth does just that.
The core idea:
Humanity discovers how to step into an infinite number of parallel worlds devoid of human life. Which to me is a fascinating premise. This of course put an end of many resource shortages.
A collection of vignettes that turn into a story
Though the plot does not start until pretty late in the book, it pulled me into the story. For the first 100 pages I thought that I would be perfectly happy without any real plot. The story is composed of a main story interjected by a lot of vignettes. Some vignettes has repeating characters, such as Monica Jansson while others are one of stories. The vignettes and shifting point of view really works in this story. It helps tell the broader story of how the stepping into parallel worlds affects the world, without annoying me, as shifting points of view often does.
The story holds a true sense of wonder, the kind of wonder science fiction is supposed to hold. The virgin worlds parallel to Earth are just amazing. There as some very short but effective landscape and animal descriptions of all the wonders of those worlds.
Parts of the books was impossible to put down while others were slower and quieter. But all of it was very enjoyable.
The Long Earth is one of the more philosophical books that I have read in quite some time. It has clearly been thought though quite a bit. It talks about the economic consequences, the sociological ones, the political implications. It thinks about a the longer term consequences and the story is told over about 15 years, which is quite a lot longer than most books.
The last 25 % of The Long Earth made it impossible to put down the book, the plot really kicked in and the mean authors left me on a freaking cliff hanger. Now I have to read the next book, but I wanted to do that anyway.
The stats: The Long Earth
Published: 2012 by HarperCollins
Length: 336 pages
Read: January 05 to 14, 2014
Authors: male, white, United Kingdom
The protagonists: Joshua Valienté, strait, explorer, able-bodied.
This review was originally posted: January 14, 2014. Updated and edited July 1, 2023