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Pebble in the Sky Audiobook

Pebble in the Sky

One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil - so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of 60. Joseph Schwartz is 62.
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Publisher's Summary

One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil - so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of 60. Joseph Schwartz is 62.

This is Isaac Asimov's first novel, full of wonders and ideas, the book that launched the novels of the Galactic Empire, culminating in the Foundation series.

(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (589 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (362 )
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Story
4.3 (351 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    bonnie 08-18-09
    bonnie 08-18-09

    DaWomz

    HELPFUL VOTES
    185
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    "Jewel of a book"

    I don't know why I am always so surprised at how wonderful an Asimov story turns out .. and this was no exception.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan San Diego, CA, United States 10-18-13
    Jonathan San Diego, CA, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be..."
    Any additional comments?

    Grow old along with me.
    The best is yet to be.
    The last of life, for which the first was made.

    --Robert Browning (Quoted by Joseph Schwartz)

    This is a great transitional book to the Foundation series and should be read before starting it with the book "Prelude to Foundation". This is the only book which includes a person from Earth in the present day (1949). It's amusing to have someone experience Earth in the distant future like the reader would have. The main character returns to Chicago after 10,000 years have elapsed and sees a city without the remotest connection to what he was used to except for the waterline. There are some great ideas in this book like every book in the Foundation series. The development of an ability to control other people telepathically is portrayed so well as to seem kind of realistic. The characters represent the final chapter of life on earth and it really puts perspective in understanding the view toward earth in the Foundation books

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramon B. Cano Orem, Ut 02-04-13
    Ramon B. Cano Orem, Ut 02-04-13 Member Since 2015

    tvaelm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story with interesting premise."
    Would you listen to Pebble in the Sky again? Why?

    This is classic Asimov story telling. The technology and cultural stuff is, of course, dated (having been written in the 1950's) - but the premise of the story is interesting and it's a quick read/listen. What I love about Asimov's books is his consistent universe between different books. This book takes place during the time the galactic empire is expanding from Trantor. Other books take place before and after this time - but the empire and it's history are always consistent (which is nice). The narration is good - but a little over dramatic at times - But not too distracting from the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 04-19-10
    Dean 04-19-10 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
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    "Rip Van Winklestar."

    A quaint Sci-Fi Rip Van Winkle story set in the "distant" future. The Story is OK, at times I thought it a bit trite but was worth the read. I have not read any book length Asimov before, and although I would not place this in my top 10% for literary quality, I think I will look for some additional IA pieces.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Molndal, Sweden 04-02-16
    Robert Molndal, Sweden 04-02-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great pebble"

    A great sci-fi story that really stand the test of time. This is where it all started, the foundation of Foundation. A "must read" for all true Asimov fans

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Milan Plecas 01-30-16 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "Very good book"

    This book is an excellent prelude story for Galactic Empire yet completely standalone and enjoyable if you are not familiar with other Asimov's books. Naration is superb. Very good voice acting for every character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melita Albany, NY, United States 05-09-15
    Melita Albany, NY, United States 05-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "You can't go wrong with Asimov"

    A good story with the usual surprise ending! Well read by the narrator. I always find Asimov's ideas intriguing. A nice way to while away the chores!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 06-27-14
    George 06-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read On...."

    One of Asimov's first novels, it was unencumbered by 21st century baggage. A story of greed, prejudice and hubris set when earth is but a speck of the imperial galaxy. Add time travel and you have a great read. Read on....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 04-23-13
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2012

    I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid Boyhood Sci Fi"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pebble in the Sky to be better than the print version?

    I would. I think the Asimov series in Audible is very well done. It captures the "old time radio" feel of the stories. This is not heavy literature, and the production is well done and appropriate.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a good story relative to the rest of the Galactic Series which in turn is a fine back story to the classic Foundation Series. The time travel concepts also inter play with The End of Eternity which in my view is Asimov's best stand alone novel.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Fass’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I thought he did a great job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I think this novel is more contextual within the cannon of Asimov. I am glad I read it because it helped to fill out some data relative to the Galactic Empire.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great summer book. Not heavy, interesting plot and very enjoyable. If you only read one Asimov I would recommend End of Eternity, if you only read 3 I would recommend The Foundation Series, but if you like Asimov and want to connect the Robot, GE and Foundation Series this is a must read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Davy 11-30-11
    Ken Davy 11-30-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Real life time travel"

    I read this as a boy along with many other books by Isaac Asimov. Now as a working adult I don’t have as much time for reading as I used to. Hearing the performance was a chance to visit this work again and enjoy it in a new way. It’s still as good as I remember.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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