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Long Afternoon Of Earth (USA) Paperback – July 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus Ltd (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075511339X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755113392
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,434,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison ( on May 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This noted novel was originally a series of science fiction short stories which appeared in 1960 and 1961 in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (in fact, the series was awarded the 1961 Hugo Award for best science fiction short stories of the year). Certain critics have remarked that this is one of the best science fiction books to appear in the early 1960s. I have later learned that the American publisher made considerable editorial changes in the original novel; much later, Aldiss republished this work without those changes. Unfortunately, this is not that newer version. But, the book is required reading of any serious student of science fiction literature. The novel takes place on an Earth in the extremely distant future. This Earth has ceased to rotate about its axis; thus, one side faces the sun while the other side is constantly in the dark. Almost all animal life has disappeared, with just a few representatives left. Plant life has taken over the planet, much of it feeding on other plants or what remains of animal life. The land on the sunny side is covered by a giant banyan tree upon which other plants live and thrive. In this tree also live the remnants of humans, who are now one-fifth their original size and have no memory of what they once were. The "hero" of the story is a young male named Gant who, in his travels, is infected by a sentient fungus called a morel. This fungus is able to uncover man's racial memories and, in so doing, helps Gant to learn to think and analyze for himself. Also included in the story are the Traversers, enormous gas-bag vegetable spiders that have the ability to travel through space. They regularly travel between the Earth and the Moon, which now has a more hospitable environment.Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jack Purcell on May 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books to force the mind away from the everyday, the mundane, the what's-happening-today-in-Bongo Bongoland-and-what-are-we-doing-about-it that has our minds squeezed so tight we can't think further than the next daily broadcast of the world news and the next spoon-fed opinion from our favorite demigogue. The planet earth has a future that might, or mightn't include a fragile, two-legged creature who thinks he owns it all. In this book it includes him, but he doesn't own it.
The Long Afternoon of Earth is a lesson in perspective, in humility, in one of the many possible futures of mankind when all the wars have been fought and forgotten, when all the nations and political parties have had their sparks of glory and died. It's a world of no heroes, no cowards, no real signifance except the same one mankind faced in his deepest history: survival. There's a touch of wistfulness here, a touch of melancholy. But it's a good lever to pry your mind away from the mess your dog made on the livingroom floor, the mess your favorite politician made on the floor of your big ideas, the mess your nation made on the face of a planet that goes on and on, where human affairs and the centuries are an insignificant spark.
Read it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marian Powell on March 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Much of this book is stunning in its scope and originality. We are in the far distant future in the last days of the earth before the sun goes nova. The sun is so much hotter that all animal life has died and plants have taken over the earth making it an incredibly lush green jungle. All animal life has died but one species -- man -- and he is barely hanging on, literally in the branches of the great banyan tree that spans the continent. It's this view of man, not as lord of creation but as the last survivor of the animal kingdom that gives the book its power. That and the image of a green earth that is an incredibly dangerous place. It's a plant eat plant world. We follow the adventures of a boy as he discovers the world and we start to follow the adventures of some other humans that get accidentally taken to the moon by a mile long flying vegetable that is one of the stunningly creative ideas in the story. I gave the novel four stars instead of five because it is too short. With everything that happens you expect a grand ending and instead it feels rushed. The adventures on the moon are cut short and forgotten and the boy's adventures seem abruptly ended with a kind of conventional happy ending. Despite this one great flaw, this is a book well worth reading for it's sheer generosity of imagination. In it's own unique and crazy way, it's a classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Long Afternoon of Earth" is about life on Earth an unimaginably long time from now. Man's civilization is long gone, and humans are a minor species struggling for survival in an ecology dominated by highly evolved plants. Some of the science in this novel has been superceded or is simply wrong, but that does not change the fact that this is an imaginative and enjoyable story about the ultimate fate of mankind and the Earth itself. In this novel life is within a foreseeable distance of its end as the sun is becoming unstable. The world is incredibly dangerous for humans who can do little more than survive, if that.

I first read this novel as a small boy, and it stoked my interest in science fiction--an interest that I maintain to this day. A book that can do that has a lot going for it.

Recommended. RJB.
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