Audiobook Review: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

I got this out of the library on a whim. I put it back on the shelf far more deliberately.

I listened to the first CD of the unabridged 10 CD audiobook and I can most definitely say, “It’s a book!”
OMG, they just keep saying the same damn thing over and over! They practically replayed the same scene 5 times with no different intention than the first. It’s like they had to make filler material for the book. I had to stop. If the book gets better after the first 1/10, someone tell me because I’m done with this pulp.

Why I hated it:

They’ve got no sense of practicality. The story says someone posted plans for this “simple” electronic box online that kids all over the world were all putting together with ease. It had relays and coils and switches and a bunch of other simple electronics. Unless they are all living in a Bill Nye the Science Guy inspired universe, there is no effing way these kids could put together these “simple” electronics. OMG, a police woman finds a 1/2 finished box and finishes it on a whim. “Winding the coil was oddly enjoyable” (or something). Have YOU ever wound a coil? Stripped the varnish insulation off? soldered the ends to … anything? The vast majority of you have not.

Most of the characters are obviously throwaways. :-(

The writing doesn’t have a sense of space and time. In the scene where Joshua is stepping with all the other kids for the first time, there is a description of him trying to walk 20 yards to meet up with a girl in the dark. He’s got a flashlight and it’s working but it’s not working and he’s stumbling for way too long. And he can’t figure out how to get around this tree because… well it’s a tree and you know how that can be. And WTF is with every kid on the block building this device and turning it on within like 30 minutes of one another? I imagine this insane forshadowing rush at the local Radio Shack earlier in the day… But Joshua was like “I did it right, I varnished my box and all kinds of shit. I took my time with it.” So how did he finish his box in the same amount of time as the kids who slapped theirs together???

And the vingette on the insane devaluation of gold was touched on for like 30 seconds. What a cop out. And what could the motivation of the people hanging out at Sutters Mill 5 possibly be?? Were they seriously just hanging out to insult any passers by? It smacks of “I’ll bite your kneecaps off (Python, Monty)” wacky hilarity. All the character motivations were off!

People don’t look at one another in this book. It’s weird, I just get this sense that the characters don’t SEE one another.

Why does the book jump around in time? Just to keep us from falling asleep while we figure out where we are again?

In a scene Joshua tells someone that he doesn’t like it when people keep calling his name like they are wearing it out. And then like 30 seconds later someone asks what’s up with him and he’s like, “Hey I’m just Joshua.”

In another scene, Joshua is offered a soda and he says, “I lost my taste for soda years ago.” And no one bats an eye at that pretty weird statement coming from a 14 year old. That statement wouldn’t need explaining from a 30 year old but he’s 14.

Those are just some of the blaring issues. I could go on but I won’t. It’s not worth spending one more second on it.

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