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The End of Eternity (Panther Science Fiction) Paperback – 4 Dec 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; Re-issue edition (4 Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586024409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586024409
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.4 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘One of the most staggering achievements in modern SF’
The Times on the Foundation Books

‘Monumentally good ideas… fascinating’
Damon Knight

‘Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction’
Daily Telegraph

‘Asimov’s career was one of the most formidable in science fiction’
The Times

Book Description

'A complex story of time travel and time paradoxes considered by some critics to be his best work' The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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ANDREW HARLAN stepped into the kettle. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By VINE VOICE on 15 July 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you, like me, are interested in the many paradoxes of time travel, then this book will stimulate your imagination to the full. In one of the few books that has ever prompted me to immediately re-read it, Asimov explores a world in which selected individuals are "extracted" from the normal flow of time and, in a "Foundation"-like way attempt to run back and forth in history to change its course. The world they live in is called "Eternity", hence the title of the book.

But who invented this method of travelling between the material world and Eternity? Or did it invent itself? In a masterpiece of story telling which surely ranks at the pinnacle of Asimov's achievements, our independent-minded hero Harlan runs this idea to its devastating conclusion. You are left guessing right to the very last page, and indeed after it as you try to fathom the paradoxes it raises.

If you read no other Asimov novel, read this one! If you enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife then read this!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By VINE VOICE on 7 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you, like me, are interested in the many paradoxes of time travel, then this book will stimulate your imagination to the full. In one of the few books that has ever prompted me to immediately re-read it, Asimov explores a world in which selected individuals are "extracted" from the normal flow of time and, in a "Foundation"-like way attempt to run back and forth in history to change its course. The world they live in is called "Eternity", hence the title of the book.
But who invented this method of travelling between the material world and Eternity? Or did it invent itself? In a masterpiece of story telling which surely ranks at the pinnacle of Asimov's achievements, our independent-minded hero Harlan runs this idea to its devastating conclusion. You are left guessing right to the very last page, and indeed after it as you try to fathom the paradoxes it raises.
If you read no other Asimov novel, read this one!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Doc Subster on 30 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
'The End of Eternity' is one of my favourite books, so maybe I'm biased; but it is, nevertheless, one of the most intelligent and subtle works of science fiction ever written.
Asimov takes a potentially dry and trite scenario- a company of strangely dedicated pseudo-gods, striving through and outside of time to change the human race's 'destiny'- and breathes into it an invaluable streak of humanity. The characters are believable; and their woes and travails, though far outside the realms of our own experience, are understandable. This is a story that, despite being set in a reality that is strange and sometimes unfathomable, still manages to unfold more like a human drama than anything else.
Asimov reserves the final twist in the story's many convolutions right till the end; when it arrives (at the end of a surprisingly short book), it is a heart-warming surprise. This book may have many morals and many messages, but the one that seems to endure is this: no matter what we accomplish or what we do, we will always be humans, and we will always be able to love.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Robinson on 16 July 2003
Format: Paperback
Time travel is, of course, a popular theme in SF, and Asimov shows himself to be an SF grandmaster in this excellent and compelling novel.
Andrew Harlan is an Eternal - one of a small band of humans who live "outside time" and can travel to any part of time, from the moment the technique was invented, to billions of years in the future. They have the power to make subtle changes to history so as to avoid undesirable or even catastrophic events. Billions of "Timers" (ordinary people subject to normal time) can be affected without even knowing it.
Unfortunately the awesome power wielded by the Eternals comes at a price, namely, they must be entirely dispassionate regarding the changes they make to history. Alas, when Andrew Harlan falls in love with a woman, destined not to exist in an alternative history, he will do literally anything to keep her, even if it means the destruction of Eternity itself....
This is a highly-readable and thoroughly-enjoyable SF novel from one of the true SF "greats". Top notch.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd on 28 Dec 2003
Format: Paperback
This was the Good Doctor's response to Heinlein's seminal 'By His Bootstraps': a time travel novel that adds more to the mix than just man-goes-back-to-meet-his-grandfather.
Asimov envisions a society that has tasked itself with improving the lot of mankind by introducing carefully calculated changes in the time flow, a society of 'Eternals' that live outside of the normal time stream in their own environment constructed with full living habitats in each century, all powered by a thin line to the far future when our sun goes nova. It is a caste society, with each individual rigidly relegated to the status and job they are deemed best suited for, from Maintenance to Computer to Technician. The individuals are recruited from the normal time flow, as the Eternals, by their own rules, are forbidden to have children.
Andrew Harlan is one such recruit, who is quickly tabbed as having the emotional makeup and intellectual skills to be a Technician, one of those who actually implement changes in 'normal' time. Somewhat naive, a little bit of an aesthetic who is somewhat bothered by hedonistic societies that he is sometimes required to observe or change, he finds himself in a quandary when he falls in love with a lady from such a society. Determined to have her, he decides on actions that he knows might bring about the end of Eternity, for he has determined a great secret, just how Eternity was started in the first place.
Asimov unravels the mysteries and paradoxes of this situation in his usual inimitable style, carefully laying down the parameters of the problem, leaving clues lying about here and there (which Harlan, obsessed as he is, blithely ignores), all leading to a grand climax that gives new perspective to the traditional time paradox problem.
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