7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagine the unimagineable
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...
Published on 28 Mar. 2011 by Sars
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic read
I originally read this book in my teens and loved the concept. I recommended it to a friend and leant them my book but they lost it so this is the first time rereading it since then. This book introduced me to Asimov and Silverberg. It's pretty much how I remembered but these days I prefer more depth of character and story development. Still, it's an easy read and...
Published 12 months ago by Annette
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best and Worst,
This review is from: NIGHTFALL (Hardcover)
I am a fan of Asimov, let's get that out of the way first, while this is the first Silverberg title I have read.
OK this is a really good book from start to finish, the carachters are believable in a 1984 kind of way and enarly all of them have some depth. The idea of starting with three seperate storylines is a good one, if a little overone in recent years, and they tie together nicely (and much more unusually) very early in the story (by end of chapter 1 of 3).
The time skip between chapter 1 and 2 is a little lazy and it takes a bit of careful reading earl in Chapter 2 to see the change in relationships and point of view over that time in between. But by the end of the chapter things make sense again.
The third is very different, extremely bleak and slightly odd in the way it treats some of part 1/2's charachters, who have been built up, almost uncaringly, but this is perhaps an attempt to reflect on the very nature of the new world that is being described.
However, this is a 3 chapter book that desperately needs a fourth. The way chapter 3 ends is very unsatisfactory, being neitehr a real ending nor any sort of open ending (if that is possible, as it just feels that there should be more to follow. I assume that this is meant to be clever and show that a story like this will have no discernable ending for centuries (which is true), but honestly just seems like they go bored and decided to end it there.
The book was enjoyable enough whilst reading it, like I said it was a good story, but in the end I look back on a book and think about it. I can usually say that a book has a satifying story, makes me think or teaches me soemthing, this book really has none of those three things.
Overall nice writing and a good story but almost anyone can manage those two things in writing a book, what makes the greats is their ability to connect, teach, entertain and satisfy in equal quantities and this faisl in at least 3/4 of those categories.
I am an Asimov fan still and will look up Silverberg for his writing style if nothing else but forthe beginner I am sure that there ate better titles than this from both.
3.0 out of 5 stars First part is good the second part is not !,
By A Customer
This review is from: Nightfall (Hardcover)
First part of the book is very good. It is fast paced and exciting. The second part describing Daybreak is pretty bleak with a lot of loose ends. The climax is not satisfying. I think that the second part was mainly written by Silverberg hence it misses that special Asimov touch.
1.0 out of 5 stars What was Nightfall?,
A simple concept to which the author failed to give any depth of thought. It was as though 21st century life had been imposed on a different planet without seriously considering all the ramifications. In my view, the story never developed beyond an interesting idea.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to usual standard!,
Having read most of Azimovs books I thought this offering was below par. The story started well enough but the plot fizzled out about half way through. Does not compare favourably with his "Foundation" series.
3.0 out of 5 stars A long time to develop the obvious.,
You can see Isaac's influence in the way the story develops but it lacks the fluidity and mastery of the story line that other novels with his name on the cover so easily portray.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea,
Enjoyed the book, but it seemed to drag a little after half way. Just missing that extra something that would make you not want to put it down.
5.0 out of 5 stars He is the king of scifi,
This book was amazing. Love Asimov and the stories he wrote. My love of scifi started with him, and still to this day he amazes me.
4.0 out of 5 stars worth a read but not the best of Azimov,
a good build up to the dramatic climax but maybe a little tedious thereafter. Good read but not the best of Azimov
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, what ever happened to the great Asimov?,
Oh dear, the wonderful Asimov could have written this as a short science fiction story of about ten pages at most. It seems that Silverberg attempts to put in a love interest. Boring, I would go to another author for that sort of stuff, who cares here? The story can be worked out by any self-respecting Asimov fan from the first few pages , then many tedious chapters skipped over to the conclusion.
Many suns: rare to have night time at any given moment, when it does, they see: stars, go mad (why?) end.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagine a world without nights,
This review is from: Nightfall (Paperback)
This science fiction novel is set on a planet Kalgash that is peculiar in that it has six suns. One of them is the brightest and considered the main sun. Its movement is used for counting days. The remaining five, apparently more distant stars, are still bright enough to qualify as suns. It's never dark on planet Kalgash. "Darkness" itself is an obscene word - in polite company they would instead say (if they really had to) "complete absense of light".
In the first scene of the book, we learn that an entrepreneur has created an amusement ride of the kind nobody has ever seen before - the people will get to be 15 minutes in complete darkness. However, the "amusement" was quickly discontinued after many people came out of it with horrible mental disturbances. A famous psychiatrist is flown in to help deal with the mess.
The hero of the second line of events is a female archaeologist who discoveres remains of past civilizations nobody has ever known before. It would turn out that the history of Kalgash is much longer than so far believed. She is keen to find out why the previous civilizations perished and were so completely forgotten.
The third important subplot will take part in an observatory that has just acquired a new superfast computer. An astronomer happens to run the data on Kalgash's and its suns' movements through it, and finds a difference between most rigorous theoretical calculations and the actual positions of the heavenly bodies. He is perplexed. How can that be? Is the theory of gravitation incorrect?
And finally, we get to follow a journalist who goes to interview the leader of a religious cult that insists that, unless people begin to follow the cult's strict "moral" rules, the gods will send out heavenly flames once every two thousand years and destroy the humankind. The next judgement day is due next year.
All those lines of events will come together in a most strange way, horrifying to some characters, ridiculous to others. The book's title might give you a clue, but it's probably more complicated than you think.
The first half of the novel is superb. Had it continued like that, "Nightfall" would be a serious candidate for the title of my favourite book. However, somewhere in the middle it clearly deteriorates. The events move into a phase that the authors seem to be unable to handle properly. It gets repetitive and eventless, as well as a bit too nasty.
Apart from that, I didn't like:
1) way too black-and-white characters;
2) discussions between characters that are obviously meant only for the readers on Earth (example: one person telling others what would life be like on a planet that had only one sun; there is no way those characters could have fantasised of something that weird under those circumstances).
Other than that, the novel is written most believably. Unlike most old science fiction, it contains no implausible details that would look ridiculous in our days. Overall, a very tough choice between 4 and 5 stars.
P.S. Be warned that there is a short story with the same title by Isaac Asimov. In fact, they apparently extended that story into this novel. I haven't read the story myself.
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Nightfall by Robert Silverberg (Paperback - 27 Nov. 1992)
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