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The Descent by Jeff Long
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The Descent (original 1999; edition 2001)

by Jeff Long

Series: Hadals (1)

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9722712,813 (3.77)44
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:The Descent
Authors:Jeff Long
Info:Jove (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fantasy

Work details

The Descent by Jeff Long (1999)

Recently added byrena75, private library, Inkdrunnergirl, croberts0802, 4MountainBooks, Jeeps, Frak
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» See also 44 mentions

English (25)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
great idea that only got worse the more he wrote ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
Hard to follow. He did a lot of skipping around from character to character. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
The Descent holds a special place in my literary heart. When I first read it my response was 'meh.' But by the end of the week I was practically in love with it. Scenes and snippets of dialogue kept creeping back up on me at odd times, and I liked it more and more. Especially the tension between Ike's stoic personality and Ali van Schade's merciful one. There are a few exchanges between them that really gave me shivers. (I won't tell which so that I don't give anything away.) The comparison to Wells and Joules is not amiss. This is truly a subterranean epic. Granted, there are a few themes that could, if one was so inclined, be considered racist. There is no lack of 'dark other' in this book. Nor is there any lack of demonising of religion and mankind. But the themes are not so strong or intentional that they detract from the enjoyment of the story. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Feb 24, 2016 |
Dont bother
  brone | May 12, 2014 |
This book was an interesting surprise: a unique and entertaining (if appropriately dark) romp through an improbably congruent corporeal Hell, which manages to creatively retcon everything from the Shroud of Turin and Dante's Inferno to the origins of proto-language and human evolution.

I heard about it from a random comment on the internet, by someone who stumbled across this by mistake while seeking a novelization for the 2005 spelunking flick of the same name. As far as I can tell there is no explicit connection, although the two stories have enough overlap to make you wonder if there wasn't at least some uncredited/subconscious cross-pollination going on.

In any case, the novel was an lively cross between Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and Clive Barker's "Cabal", with bits of Lincoln & Child's "Reliquary", Pérez-Reverte's "Club Dumas," and Salvatore's Underdark thrown in for color (infra/uv-only, natch).

Note that the comparison to Clive Barker is apropos -- Long's depictions of physical mutilation ("flensing," in Vernor Vinge vernacular) are frequent and explicit, and sensitive readers (one might say "sensible") will be justifiably repulsed by the rampant and seemingly gratuitous trespass of social taboos. Exploitative cheese this may well be; yet not, in the final analysis, pointless -- there is a rhyme and reason to the gradually revealed subterranean subtext, which ultimately lifts the novel above its basest peers. ( )
1 vote mzieg | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 051513175X, Mass Market Paperback)

In a high Himalayan cave, among the death pits of Bosnia, in a newly excavated Java temple, Long's characters find out to their terror that humanity is not alone--that, as we have always really known, horned and vicious humanoids lurk in vast caverns beneath our feet. This audacious remaking of the old hollow-earth plot takes us, in no short order, to the new world regime that follows the genocidal harrowing of Hell by heavily armed, high-tech American forces. An ambitious tycoon sends an expedition of scientists, including a beautiful nun linguist and a hideously tattooed commando former prisoner of Hell, ever deeper into the unknown, among surviving, savage, horned tribes and the vast citadels of the civilizations that fell beneath the earth before ours arose. A conspiracy of scholars pursues the identity of the being known as Satan, coming up with unpalatable truths about the origins of human culture and the identity of the Turin Shroud, and are picked off one by bloody one. Long rehabilitates, madly, the novel of adventures among lost peoples--occasional clumsiness and promises of paranoid revelations on which he cannot entirely deliver fail to diminish the real achievement here; this feels like a story we have always known and dreaded. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A mountaineer in Tibet falls down a hole to emerge in a subterranean world, populated by brutish and horned creatures. Is this the hell of the Bible? As scientists and philosophers debate, a global race gets underway to exploit its fabulous mineral deposits. By the author of Angels of Light.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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