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The Naked Sun (The Robot Series) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991
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THE NAKED SUN starts up where THE CAVES OF STEEL left off, although you certainly do not need to have read the earlier book to enjoy this one. Earthman Detective Elijah Baley is once again teamed up with R. (for Robot) Daneel Olivaw to solve an unexplained murder. The gimmick this time is that the homicide occurred on one of the mysterious Outer Worlds, and Baley must not only act as policeman, but as an unofficial spy for an Earth government curious as to what the culture is like on those advanced, robot-dependent planets.
The mystery is rather clever, although I did figure out what the murder weapon must have been before Baley did. As usual with Asimov's mysteries, I found myself enjoying the investigation more than the occasional plot logic that's thrown to the audience. In the case of this book, the storyline has some solid twists and turns, the only real flaw being that the cast of characters is so small that one could just pick a suspect at random to have a pretty good shot of correctly identifying the killer.
The real star of this story is the universe that Asimov builds.Read more ›
Asimov creates and socially interesting world in Solaria where people avoid human contact, live miles apart from each other and dependent upon robots to automate their society and keep their standard of living of high. Asimov deftly ties the intricacies of the Solarians into the mystery of the murder and ongoing multi book arc or robot progression. The whole thing is executed with Asimov's straightforward style and the character interaction and relationship between the two main characters is excellent as well.
I highly recommend this series to any science fiction fan as this is really top shelf sci-fi writing from the best. The series should be read in order though and one should start with the I, Robot short story collection before proceeding to The Caves of Steel (which is the predecessor to this novel). Also this series is entirely appropriate for any one of at least high school age.
Bottom Line: This series was revolutionary when it came out in the 50's. It's still one of the best ones out there.
I was a little disappointed after reading CoS, and was expecting something of the sort here, but that didn't happen. CoS was set on an Earth which I found awkwardly described - you got the impression Asimov was trying to say things about the way people thought but couldn't quite get them out. No such problem with The Naked Sun, where Baley's future-Earth foibles are out in the open (figuratively and literally), and Asimov also successfully hints for the first time that a utopia made up of a world where everything is done for you and where people can live for hundreds of years may, possibly, be flawed, a thesis that becomes stronger in "Robots of Dawn" and "Robots and Empire."
Asimov wrote that CoS was an attempt to answer a critic that it was impossible to combine the genres of science fiction with detective stories. The Naked Sun is much more than an answer to that challenge, it's one of Asimov's earliest studies of humanity, and it's a well written thoroughly readable one at that.
I love everyone of his books, and each brings a great story to the table, if you are looking for a good Saga to start reading, check out his Foundation / Robot series. I've read them all the way through several times and each time, loved each book. Each book builds off the one prior and adds a whole new dynamic to the overall universe while still being able to be enjoyed individually. If you are reading this review, Just check out the book, I guarantee it will be worth it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful story, must read futuristic mystery. Commentary on humanities need to be in community and strive to be a better civilization together.Published 1 month ago by Mark N Lopez
Fascinating ideas this series makes you think about the very core of humanity. A beautiful merging of 1955 science with "what if" ...Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It is more of a "who done it" than it is science fiction, but Isaac still managed to incorporate sic-fi into the story line to make it realistic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by William R. Downs
I'm impressed about the contemporaneity of this book. Amazing read for all who wants to re-think our present society. APublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great writers can state something without being overt. This is about someone who lives inside the earth's surface . Nobody dwells on the surface anymore. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Doug Robertson
Not Shakespeare or Dickens but a classic "who done it" and some sci-fi thrown in for good measure. Read morePublished 3 months ago by djeffords
Asimov's Robot series is one of my favorites. I re-read it every few years; it's like visiting with a wonderful old friend.Published 4 months ago by Tedward
Although this may seem like an early 20th century detective novel set in space, as there are so many cowboy movies re-set in space, it is interesting as a development of Asimov's... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barry Abrahamsen