As The Quiet Earth begins Jim Hobson wakes up one morning in rural New Zealand to find his watch stuck at 6.12am. And so begins Hobsons attempts to keep his sanity and survive, while searching New Zealand for any sign that someone else may have been spared. What struck me, as a child of 1980s New Zealand, is the unvarnished, ugly truth about relations between white New Zealanders and the indigenous Maori population. It is also true that every year, every decade, has seen improvement in relations between races, with many white kiwis of my generation voluntarily learning the Maori language as adults, and working towards real equality. Id forgotten some of the attitudes towards Maori that were prevalent among white New Zealanders, and The Quiet Earth puts them on display, front and centre. (view spoiler) When Hobson discovers he is not alone, and that there is at least one other survivor- a Maori man and army soldier named Apiata Maketu - his attitudes speak volumes. Part of this is Hobsons own arrogance, but a large part of it is the prejudice that was widespread in 1980s New Zealand, and Harrison shows this patronising, dismissive racism in all its underhanded nastiness.
The Quiet Earth concerns the plight of a man who wakes up in a world where all of humanity sans himself has disappeared. I would advise you to watch the Quiet Earth movie before reading this review. 2. The Quiet Earth is my favorite movie. 3. I have wanted to read this book for ages after seeing the movie. This is the point I want you to walk away with: The movie is excellent, but so is the book for the same reasons, and also for their own separate reasons. No, they do not match up totally, but the book manages to encompass and perhaps even explain the limited ending we saw in the movie in its own way. It isn't so much a straight sci-fi piece about the end of civilization and the disappearance of humanity, although that setting is explored satisfactorily and plays a huge part in the book. There were many interesting passages that I feel set this book apart from just about anything I've read before. I recommend this book highly if you enjoyed the Quiet Earth movie or just like post-apocalyptic writing and scenarios.
If youre like most people and saw the film first (duh! so of course you saw the film already) then youre probably thinking you can breeze through the book and there will be minor changes. One other character besides Api does get introduced towards the very end of the book and she is female, but she is unconscious (Api hits her with the shiny new car he just stole) and subsequently dies after only mumbling a few words in another pacific islander language other than Maori (cant recall what it was) 2. Recall that in the film, the reason is that they were between life and death at the moment of the event and so got "stuck" living. Instead of being about 40ish, the character is much younger and there is a subplot about suicide involving how his life has gone to shit because his wife left him after their autistic son drowned in the bathtub (long story, but he "let" the kid drown himself).
I'm not sure if I liked this book or not.
By the time I reached the end of the book, I didn't really care what caused the event that made everyone disappear. I figure I'll go with the nonsensical reason the movie gave as why it all happened. There are a few main "topics" or themes that this author dwells upon in this book. There are two main characters in this book and its viewed all from the point of view of a geneticist, John Hobson. Yes. It is worth a read through, especially if you are a fan of the idea of "what if I was the last person alive?" Suggestion: After reading it, go to the wiki article to get the wiki's answer for what caused the event if you were like me and just stopped caring.
Die Einleitung im ebook habe ich vorsichtigerweise erst NACH Lektüre des Romans gelesen: Weshalb nur werden diese Art Erörterungen nicht als Nachworte veröffentlicht?! ;) Ich sehe den Film als eigenständig an, als eine auf den Motiven des Romans basierende Geschichte. Letztere habe ich gelesen - und dann gleich noch einmal gelesen: Ich wollte die Romandetails vor dem Hintergrund des Romanendes noch einmal aufnehmen, wobei zum Teil mit hineinspielte, dass das Englische nicht meine Muttersprache ist und ich überlegte, ob mir deshalb ggf. Der Punkt ist, dass der relativ kurze Roman diese Möglichkeiten eröffnet.
The Quiet Earth is a first person narrative of New Zealander John Hobson. (view spoiler)Eventually he finds another person, Apirana Maketu, a soldier and a Maori, with his own issues.
I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to. There isn't a whole lot that happens for large chunks of the book, but the author's beautiful prose and the flashbacks (where we learn about our MC and who he is) keep things from getting dry. She dies without giving them any hope of repopulating or getting answers. I liked it a lot.
Harrison has also written junior fiction, including The Dumpster Saga, published by Scholastic in 2007.