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
“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)
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.
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.
This is probably a pretty good book. It's a very interesting premise. But, it is impossible to listen to.
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.
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.
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.
The immensely complex ideas around time travel and the possible consequences they entail.
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.
"Correct". "Impersonal", yet extremely "Apt" for this book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No laughing or crying, but a lot of deep thought and consideration for the story and the possibilities it introduces.
100% recommended to sci fi and time travel enthusiasts!
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