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The End of Eternity (Gollancz SF Library) Paperback – July 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
This is the story of an institution called Eternity, which exists "out of time". Eternity takes care of shipping goods from one point in time to another, but, more importantly, "takes care" of history, as well. The people behind this institution are Observers (who collect data in different time periods), Computers (who analyze the data and determine reality changes), Technicians (who carry out computers orders to change reality), among others, all organized in a caste society. The story in this universe evolves exploring the implications of this social structure, the implications of changing history and also the effect that the actions of one individual can have on the whole system.
A Technician, Andrew Harlan, falls in love with a certain woman while carrying out an assignment in a time that's not his own. As members of Eternity, Technicians and other Eternals, live "out of time", protected from the changes in history they effect. The relationship between these two people breaks Eternity's rules and what ensues can threaten its existence. So, there is a romantic component to the story, which makes the characters more palpably human and draws you in, tugging you along by your heart. However, the story goes much deeper than that and only as you turn more and more pages, the fact that this is an extremely well thought out book will become more evident.
Asimov leaves ample room for your own philosophical exercises at the same time as he helps you not get tangled up in knots around paradoxes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I consider "The End of Eternity" to be Asimov's highly philosophical, hidden gem; an intellectual delight that goes beyond the primary narrative and is worth a careful... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Vlad
This is one of Asimov's best works ... he even chose it as one of his favorites himself!Published 1 month ago by Len Lindsay
The love story between Noys and Harlan needed to be developed more, otherwise it's hard to empathize with his motives. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lindsey Fiedler Cameras
You'd think that 60 years after this book was written, you would have already seen all the time travel tropes from this book copied everywhere else. But apparently not. Read morePublished 1 month ago by midday
This is one of Asimov's masterpieces. It's a stand alone novel, but references are made to it in other Foundation and Robot novels. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alastair Browne
Great backdrop story for the Foundation series! A must read!Published 2 months ago by John T. Foster