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.
Among the best of Isaac Asimov's novels. Certainly ahead of it's time. The characters are engaging. The story is imaginative and plausible. Better than the average Sic-Fi novel, and this novel has aged very well, which cannot be said of very many Sci-Fi novels from this era.
I read this book more than thirty years ago, I was immediately engrossed again. But, if temporal paradoxes are not your thing you better stay away. The narrator grew into the story. His style of careful pronunciation annoyed me at first and throughout the book he makes mistakes with intonation. But his hateful Finge, his driven Twissel and his lovely Noies will stay with me for the next thirty years.
Asimov is at the heights of creativity, story-telling, and message. Highest possible recommendation. Much for each of us to apply to our own individual life and for all of us to consider collectively.
Big surprise ending
Computer - quintessential citizen of the time
Great twist and turns! Another great mystery by the king!
apparently, at least something needs to be said or I can't submit the review. So, it got a little slow but the ideas expressed at the end made up for it. Bruce Willis was dead the entire time!
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.
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