The Long War *Spoilers*

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:26 am

Still reading it, but would pretty much agree, Molokov.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29209
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby rpedro » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:54 am

I actually have a question about the last page. After the earthquake and the flash of light what exactly happens to Datum? Did it blew up?

thanks guys
rpedro
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:50 am

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Molokov » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:34 am

rpedro: are you talking about The Long Earth or The Long War?
Nullus Anxietas V - The Australian Discworld Convention
10-12 April 2015
Novotel Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
http://ausdwcon.org
User avatar
Molokov
Member
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:31 am
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby pip » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:44 am

I assumed it that the datum survived but will be pretty much screwed for a long while
'There is no future for e-books, because they are not books. E-books smell like burned fuel.'
Ray Bradbury (RIP)
User avatar
pip
Member
 
Posts: 9385
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:20 am
Location: KILDARE

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:34 pm

By the time I got to the end I didn't care if it survived or not but I guess Pip has it about right
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10389
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby rpedro » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:10 pm

Molokov wrote:rpedro: are you talking about The Long Earth or The Long War?

, hi, I meant the long war.
rpedro
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:50 am

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Molokov » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:14 pm

So at the end of The Long War (definite spoilers!)
- Yellowstone has erupted, and eventually crashes into an entire crater, at least as big as a US state
- the resulting dust and ash in the air is likely to make life on the Datum all over a very difficult thing to do...
- so it may not exactly /destroy/ Datum, but it's a major disaster.
Although we don't get to exactly know what's happening because we see it through Jansson's eyes as she lays dying.

I'm sure it's not just me, but I expected a short epilogue where Jansson awakes the same way Agnes did at the start of the book...
Nullus Anxietas V - The Australian Discworld Convention
10-12 April 2015
Novotel Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
http://ausdwcon.org
User avatar
Molokov
Member
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:31 am
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:26 pm

Okay, now I've finished it and...well, I think it's a mess. A gigantic, overwritten mess. I didn't think the first book was that great, but at least it stayed mostly focused on the Joshua/Lobsang/Sally story.

Here we get all sorts of new characters added, many of whom (like Helen's father) play no role other than to voice a didactic point of view. I didn't understand the need for or the role of the clergyman. We get far too little of Helen (who to me is little more than a Long Earth version of the long-suffering Helen from the James Herriott books, always waiting at home while hubby it out birthing calves in the middle of the night). The political posturing is banal and childish, with no nuances at all. The whole miraculous 'winning back of the trolls' story--they're all about to go walkabout and a hologram convinces them to return?

So much of this is so stupid. Beagles and kobolds can learn perfect English in days, when it takes humans years and years and years to master a second language? And we're supposed to believe that in ten years kobolds evolved from glorified apes to become conniving CMOT Dibbler types hooked on The Kinks?

And this whole idea of nearby step worlds gradually becoming overdeveloped is ridiculous. It took mankind several centuries with a population of billions of ruin Earth, and now a fraction of that population is ruining the nearby Earths in just a decade?

And also the notion that with millions of these worlds available that Datum would have the resources to go after tiny little settlements in each and every one to make them pay taxes? Hell, there are plenty of places in our world where we can't easily find people.

And, also, if the twains are used instead of steppers to move people across worlds, why then couldn't they simply take those who couldn't step on their own (like Helen's brother) to other worlds? That would solve the jealousy issue immediately. After all, if a twain can move tons of inert inorganic materials across worlds, why not humans?

The resolution of the long war itself is a total cop out. A huge Lennon-like "Give Peace a Chance" rally ends a military operation? Yeah, we've seen how often THAT works in real life. And then suddenly all of the Know Nothings back on Datum earth see the light and become hippie-dippie troll lovers? Sure. Close-minded fanatics are known for their intellectual flexibility.

Worst of all was the ending. Yet another deus ex machina just like the nuclear bomb in the first one. Big, huge destructive catastrophe forces millions to leave the Datum, which looks like it's about to totally explode.

And the biggest waste is the use (or non-use) of Joshua. He's thoroughly wasted here. His trip to Earth has no effect whatsoever. His trip to Beagleworld has no effect other than creating an opportunity for him to be tortured and turned into a potential martyr, although for what we don't know. He doesn't save the trolls; hologram Lobsang does. So why is he here at all?

I think the main problem is that there is far too much Baxter and far too little Pterry. I'd guess that only a few chapters were written by Pterry, and those were the Lobsang chapters because they're characterized by the long-winded dialogue that has characterized Pratchett's recent work.

The only things I truly enjoyed in this book were the references to past DW books. The avatar of Lobsang essentially dressed as a sweeper (named Lobsang!) is a cheeky reference to Thief of Time and the hunt scene on Beagleworld was certainly based on the Wolfgang/Vimes hunt scene from The Fifth Elephant. I don't even think it would be stretching it to say that Second Person Singular is in some ways the Discworld itself, living beings traveling on the back of a living creature.
Last edited by raisindot on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
raisindot
Member
 
Posts: 3238
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:28 pm

I'm in total agreement with this summary. I didn't want to write a review myself until I have read it a second time in the hope that it made more sense then but I cannot face it. The book is frankly crap and a total waste of time reading it and an even greater waste of time writing it.

PS. This is my positive review, the negative one isn't fit for publication
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10389
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:51 pm

I have not bought it yet, after that review I don't think I will bother unless I see it in a charity shop. :|
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 15099
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:52 am

I finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

If you were expecting Discworld, you'll be very disappointed. Not only is it not like Terry's previous books, the whole pace of the book (and I'll include The Long Earth in this) is markedly slower. Whether this is due to Terry or Stephen Baxter, we'll probably never know and speculating about it doesn't achieve much. I haven't read any Stephen Baxter, so I have nothing to compare. But I do hear Terry's voice in there.

I would say that this is a satirical novel in serious sense. It's about humanities reaction to colonisation, immigration and the plundering of ecology. There are historical parallels such as start of the American War of Independence and the Role that Britain played in trying to keep control of its subjects by not doing very much except expecting loyalty and taxes.

There's abuse of sentient beings because they are considered sub human, and conflicts between humanity and sentient beings that fight back.

There's the almost unconscious sense that humans can take, take, take without giving back. The world close to the Datum seem to have been stripped of resources at an alarming rate. The use of the Twains, for example, is something that couldn't work here and now because there's just not enough helium left on planet Earth.

The resolution to the potential war was perfect to me. One of the things that the British eventually realised during the American War of Independence, was that they could never win. America was too big a country to send troops to subdue the locals. If the British attacked and fought the capital, the rebels would just set up a new capital in a different part of the country. It would never end. Likewise how can you subdue a people who just step away to another world. It's not a stalemate - as someone pointed out, the Long Earths make war obsolete.

Where I most hear Terry's voice is in the way that he knows humanity so well. He understands the human condition - something that hasn't really changed EVER. That has always been very clear to me in Discworld and his other books, and it's very clear in these ones.

So - if you were expecting funny and a traditional narrative, then you may be disappointed. But this series has a lot to say and is taking time to say it. These books are a parable for humanity and its future place on this planet and others.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 29209
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:10 pm

I have just rejoined Audible and will download the audible book for £3.99. :mrgreen:
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Who's Wee Dug
Member
 
Posts: 15099
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Stirlingshire, Scotland

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby Catch-up » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:05 pm

I don't think I'm going to be picking it up again, so I decided to read through the comments here. Reading about the plot and ending, I don't think I would be successful if I tried to finish it. I enjoyed The Long Earth well enough and feel confident that I didn't have any expectations when I started this one. I have to say, if it had been written by any other author I would have given up sooner. I could see all the themes being laid out that Tony outlined. There's nothing wrong with taking a long time to tell a story, but this one in particular didn't hold my attention. I could certainly see others really enjoying it, but I'm not patient enough and the story just did not capture my imagination.
“It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees:
User avatar
Catch-up
Member
 
Posts: 6954
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:19 am
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby The Mad Collector » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:05 pm

I'm sorry Tony I wasn't expecting Discworld but was I was expecting was a consistent narrative and it simply isn't there. If this pile of junk had been entered for either of Terry's new writing prizes I would have expected it to be thrown out at the first hurdle. Why bring Agnes back, was it just for a brainless joke halfway through the book as that seems to be the only use made of what could have been a highly promising character? As for the 'with one giant leap our hero escapes' at the end this rubbish should have died out with the 1930's and 40's cinema serials where it was most prevalent. Over a hundred pages are wasted with the Chinese trip to nowhere and coming back again having found nothing. The Long War isn't as nothing happens, it should have been called The Long Bore.
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

http://www.bearsonthesquare.com
User avatar
The Mad Collector
Member
 
Posts: 10389
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Ironbridge UK

Re: The Long War *Spoilers*

Postby cabbagehead » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:13 pm

Tony, the situation between the Datum US government and the distant colonists only resembles a cartoonish popular version of the US Revolutionary War, nothing to do with the more complex realities of the history (such as many of those who fought the revolution were forced and threatened into it by 'Committees of Safety', the important role of the French military that used the opportunity to limit the expansion of the British Empire, revolutionaries whose 'freedom' was the freedom to oppress Black slaves and the native population etc see Revolution Blues - Why do popular histories of the War of Independence ignore modern scholarship?

I found the 'battle' scene a bit painful to read after the events of OWS. The reason the Datum forces 'lost' the confrontation is because key people among their leadership wanted to 'lose'. A truly oppressive military leadership could have done much damage (though as long as enough rebels stepped away in time the rebels would have survived eventually)
cabbagehead
Member
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:26 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Non-Discworld books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests