Tag: Neil Gaiman

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter – The Long Earth | Review

Title: The Long Earth

Author: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 432

Rating 5/5

 

 

Wow, this was something else. I’d actually been putting it off for a while because historically, I haven’t found Pratchett to be at his best when writing with other people. For example, I hold the unpopular opinion that Good Omens is one of his worst, although that might be because I find Neil Gaiman to be pretty hit and miss to begin with.

Here, though, I shouldn’t have worried, because I thought that both the concept behind the story and the overall execution were fantastic. I particularly liked the way that the authors had thought everything through to its logical conclusion, which I’ll be talking about at length in my YouTube review. It was quite frankly insane, and I loved how much of it was based on science and the concepts that are pretty cutting edge today.

I think one of the things that put me off about this book was the blurb, which didn’t really sell it to me. I’ll try to give a summary of my own instead. Imagine that there are millions upon millions of versions of the earth that are each accessible like going from one card to another in an infinite deck of cards. Each of the worlds is uncolonised, but you have to step from one to another in order and so the further away you go from base earth, the longer it takes to get back.

 

 

Once a device is created which allows people to hop between the different earths, we experience a new type of frontierism in which anyone can expand into any world. The only limitation is that you can’t carry iron across, and most people can’t hop worlds quickly without having a cooling off period in between as they vomit and readjust. This leads to seem interesting developments including groups of pioneers who aim to travel hundreds of thousands of earths away.

This is one of two books that I was reading at the same time where they had the potential to be in my top ten books of the year, and this one is in the running for my overall favourite. I’m also looking forward to cracking on with the rest of the series, and I suspect I’ll be moving on to the rest of the series soon enough. It was just a genuine pleasure to read and I liked the way that the story simultaneously ended and set itself up for a sequel. Excellent.

 

 

Click here to buy The Long Earth.

 


Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book | Review

Title: The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 298

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book

 

I have this problem with Gaiman where sometimes I love his stuff and sometimes I’m ambivalent. This one got off to a good start, but by the halfway mark I’d kind of lost interest. It reminded me of Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett, and I’d rather have re-read that.

It’s not a bad book though, and it could well be my fault as a reader that I didn’t stick with it. I did love the initial setup, but it didn’t manage to keep my attention throughout the rest of the book. But then I’m probably not the target audience for it, and I was coming to this after really liking Fortunately, the Milk and so perhaps I read two Gaimans too close together.

What I do like is the overall vibe of the story. Gaiman’s writing style is unique and so you can tell you’re reading one of his books, and the story itself feels almost classical in that sort of timeless sense that can make it hard to tell when something was actually written. It has a lot going for it, but it wasn’t really for me. I’m still giving it a 3.5/5 though, and I’ll round it up to 4/5 for Goodreads and Amazon. It’s a’ight. It’s not his best and it’s not his worst.

What I will say is that I loved Chris Riddell’s illustrations and the way that they related back to the actual story. Riddell worked on Fortunately, the Milk as well, and I think he almost steals the show. And despite my lukewarm feelings towards this, I will be reading more of Gaiman’s stuff when I get my hands on it.

 

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

 

Click here to buy The Graveyard Book.