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Nightfall Paperback – 10 May 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; paperback / softback edition (10 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330314688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330314688
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,608,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sars on 28 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
An editor asked Asimov to write a story after discussing with him a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
'If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!'

The resulting story, also called Nightfall (Nightfall and Other Stories) was first published in 1941.

The novel-length adaptation was a collaboration between Asimov and Silverberg. It doesn't really add much to the story, what it does add is character development. As another reviewer pointed out, it's missing 'that special Asimov touch', particularly in the Daybreak section. However, it's still an incredibly imaginative and thought-provoking read.

Having re-read it multiple times over the past 15 years or so, it's still one of my all-time favourites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elisheva guggenheim on 1 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Yes, it's a good sci-fi novel- But no,it
is not the incredibly original Asimov-story,
first published in 1941: it's much more
diluted, didactic and adapted to the taste
of today's movie-going public.

Still, there is a good analysis of what may happen
after the "horror vision" of a dark sky full of shining stars...
The two authors depict a crazy Post-Nightfall-Society,
characterized by utter disorientation, crime, lack of real
leadership, creation of small, local dictatorships and,
finally,theocracy as the only way out of the
frightening chaos.

Worth reading.

Elisheva Guggenheim-Mohosh, Geneva, Switzerland
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is apparently based upon an earlier Asimov short story (Nightfall and Other Stories) but adds more depth to the characters here, an a co-author in Robert Silverberg, even if the events covered are largely the same. The basic premise - namely that an unimaginable event will happen in about a year's time in a society closely modeled on ours - is simple but the authors manage a quite convincing account of how humanity is likely to deal with it.

You get a fair number of protagonists, all of whom can be said to have been developed in sufficient depth and the writing style is certainly fluid enough (maybe not as much of a page turner for me as some of the Foundation series but still).

Where the book does a very good job in my opinion is in the twin challenges of presenting the likely response of a society faced with an unprecedented but potentially deadly event on their doorstep and of the probable aftermath of such a life altering catastrophe.

The former can very well be likened to the Mayor of Rotterdam dilemma (as used by Arie de Geus in The Living Company: Growth Learning and Longevity in Business) - even if the mayor of the city knew in 1938 that the Germans would bomb it in 1940 and practically annihilate it, his chances of convincing the government and the population to significantly alter their behavior and prepare for this were next to nil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "hornbygrange" on 1 May 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book back in 1980 in its original short story form and later in 1994 in its, now, extended form and was not disapointed. with its more in depth story line and the typical flare and great writing that you would expect from Issac Asimov, this book comes strongly recomended. The end of each chapter makes you want to keep reading.
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Format: Paperback
This is a novel length expansion of one of the most famous of Asimov's short stories. This was a gripping read with interesting things to say about the nature of scientific discovery and the conflict and occasional synthesis of scientific and religious viewpoints. Before the disaster of Nightfall, it is the approach of Darkness the people of Kalgash fear, whereas in practice it turns out to be the appearance of the vast light given off by the multitude of stars whose existence they never expected that unhinges them, which is an interesting and slightly odd contradiction in view of their overwhelming need for the light of their suns. The only real flaw for me though was the resolution pursued by the main character in the last ten pages, which clashed with the flow of the rest of the story and didn't convince me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Carlos Andrade on 4 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Isaac Asimov is, for me, the best Sci Fi writer in the world. The way we see mankind with all its faults exposed in different worlds and characters in his books does everything for me. That said, this book was the first I ever read by Asimov, so, even if I do want to be as unbiest as possible, it's very hard. I think there are two completely different sides to this book: Before and during the nightfall, where you have an interesting pace to the telling of the story, where the suspense is built in an exciting way and where you begin to see where the author is going with the story. The second part is after daybreak, and here, although I agree that this is probably more Silverberg than Asimov, I don't think you have a bad story. On the contrary, I think that Silverberg has a chance to show what is best about his writing; the cinicism in which he looks at the human kind. The story isn't satisfying, far from it; but isn't that the whole point? To reach the end and think... Damn it, I can't believe it ends like this? I think it is, and I think that's very well achieved by the authors.
A great book about the way we deal (or fail to deal) with the unknow. I have to say that, apart from The Lord of The Rings, this probably is my favorite book.
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