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The End of Eternity | [Isaac Asimov]

The End of Eternity

This stand-alone work is widely regarded as Asimov's best science fiction novel. Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan's job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs....
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Publisher's Summary

This stand-alone work is widely regarded as Asimov's best science-fiction novel.

Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan's job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind.

Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs. During one of his assignments, Harlan meets and falls in love with Noÿs Lambert, a woman who lives in real time and space. Then Harlan learns that Noÿs will cease to exist after the next Change, and he risks everything to sneak her into Eternity.

©1955 Isaac Asimov. All rights reserved. (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

“His most effective piece of work. Asimov’s exemplary clarity in plotting is precisely suited to the material at hand. Asimov’s engagement with the present is clearer here than in his other works, as is his engagement with the human.” (Locus)

"Asimov’s flirtation with the tropes employed by A. E. van Vogt and Charles Harness is startling for an author deemed ultra-rational and scientific....The effects of this influential, seminal book echo to the present, in the works of such writers as Greg Egan, John Varley, Kage Baker, and Greg Bear." (SciFi.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1124 )
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Story
4.0 (793 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Greg Rossvanes 01-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Stunning!"

    Possibly the best Sci-Fi listen I've heard yet. The reader was also good.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Redondo Beach, CA, United States 02-09-10
    Aaron Redondo Beach, CA, United States 02-09-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    "Bores me to death"

    I don't know if I can finish this book. The narrator's ability to very deliberately speak each word as if it stood on its own rather than in the flow of a sentence is maddening. Listen to a sample and see if its something you can stomach on your commute. Also when character's are being "emotional" we are treated to a particularly annoying whiny voice that has only one timbre.

    Otherwise the book is decent, though I find the main character's motivation a little hyperbolic and rash without enough exploration by Asmiov as to why. It ends up feeling forced in order to push the dramatic plotline along.

    14 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Sorrell Amarillo, TX USA 11-03-10
    Stephen Sorrell Amarillo, TX USA 11-03-10 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Good Book"

    We really like the book, not the reader. He was far too flat an emotionless. Just doesn't sound like the Asimov I've heard in my heard for years; almost the opposite.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-11-11
    03-11-11 Member Since 2005
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    "almost the worst narrator ever ..."


    ... almost

    This is probably a pretty good book. It's a very interesting premise. But, it is impossible to listen to.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Philadelphia, PA, United States 04-14-14
    James Philadelphia, PA, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Way. Too. Weird."
    What disappointed you about The End of Eternity?

    This book is extremely hard to get into.
    The premise seems interesting enough. But I feel like I need an instruction manual just to understand what was happening in the first paragraph.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn 04-04-14
    Karyn 04-04-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GREAT ENDING"

    I enjoyed this book. The ending surprised me, but it was a good ending. Well worth the listen/read on this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Shea 03-12-14
    J. Shea 03-12-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Good story but bad narrator"

    Asimov is always great, and I really enjoyed this story. He has a very creative vision for time travel and the type of situations it could create. However, the narration was very painful for me to listen to. The narrator sounded like he was reading the dictionary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 01-16-14
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 01-16-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What is the reader thinking about?"

    The reading of this book is so disconnected from the story that it's actually difficult to follow. It's like the reader has no idea what the story is about—just a series of words he's pronouncing. I've re-started listening to this audiobook three times, and each time given up after only a few minutes.
    Too bad—I suspect this is a really good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Lier, Belgium 11-17-13
    Alex Lier, Belgium 11-17-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    Story
    "Mind bender"
    What did you love best about The End of Eternity?

    The immensely complex ideas around time travel and the possible consequences they entail.


    What other book might you compare The End of Eternity to and why?

    It's a bit like Eon, by Greg Bear, only more complicated due to the concept of multiple realities coinciding alongside one another. Bear's work is also much more character-driven than Asimov's.


    What three words best describe Paul Boehmer’s performance?

    "Correct". "Impersonal", yet extremely "Apt" for this book.


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

    The ideas around multiple realities and reality changes boggle the mind at first. It made me lose some of my focus while driving - which is hardly recommended! It was a fascinating read/listen nonetheless.


    Any additional comments?

    Other reviewers have called the narrator's performance boring and even bland. While there is some merit to those comments, I would like to emphasise it does get better as you progress. Perhaps it's just a matter of getting used to the reader's voice, or maybe, the narrator's performance is just appropriate for this kind of story. I'd say it's the latter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer StL 11-02-13
    Kindle Customer StL 11-02-13
    ratings
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    "Asimov's novel is time travel at its finest"
    If you could sum up The End of Eternity in three words, what would they be?

    Thrilling
    Scientific
    Complete


    What other book might you compare The End of Eternity to and why?

    There are several time travel related books available; however, Asimov's novel focuses so much more on the mechanics and possibilities. The End of Eternity goes beyond anything I've read in the genre.


    What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

    Paul Boehmer's performance was excellent! The shift in characters was outstanding. He did a great job of pairing voices with characters, and really brought the story to life. I will absolutely look for more works by Mr. Boehmer.


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

    No laughing or crying, but a lot of deep thought and consideration for the story and the possibilities it introduces.


    Any additional comments?

    100% recommended to sci fi and time travel enthusiasts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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