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Nightfall Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
This collaboration by two masters of the genre expands on Asimov's classic short story first published in 1941. Kalgash is a planet with six suns, a world where darkness is unnatural. Scientists realize that an eclipse--an event that occurs only every 2049 years--is imminent, and that a society completely unfamiliar with darkness will be plunged into madness and chaos. The novel traces events leading to this discovery, and the fates of the main characters immediately following the apocalypse. While the premise is convincing in the context of a short story, this longer version brings up too many unresolved questions. The original tale was tightly written, succinct and stunning, but the novelization seems flabby and drawn-out--the reader recognizes the significance and consequences of the impending events long before the characters do. An abrupt and simplistic ending further mars a hallowed SF tale. 100,000 first printing.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
YA-- Because of its six suns, the planet Kalgash is bathed in perpetual sunlight. However, once every 2,049 years all six suns are eclipsed, plunging the planet into total darkness and causing widespread madness that results in the civilization's complete destruction, thus allowing the cycle to begin again. Night fall , expanded from Asimov's 1941 award-winning short story, lets readers experience the cataclysmic event through the eyes and biases of a newspaperman, an astronomer, an archaeologist, a psychologist, and a religious fanatic. This novel improves upon the original through the use of better developed characters and an expanded, more textured story that results in an absorbing, richer tale.
- John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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The central characters in the book are a psychologist, an archaeologist, and an astronomer, all highly educated people. A reporter later joins this group as a main character. This contrasts with the countless stories one encounters today where entertainers, actors, celebrities, and even criminals are highly celebrated.
The plot is basically intellectual with an emphasis on the areas surrounding the main characters: history, astronomy, and psychology. This contrasts with today's countless stories involving spies, police officers, criminals, and almost anyone who is disgruntled.
The basic theme is that people do not learn from the last societal collapse and will repeat the mistakes that led up to it. This is exactly what we are witnessing today in the difference between what was popular in Asimov's time and what is popular today, the difference between stability and collapse.
"Nightfall" was expanded into a full-length novel. It shouldn't have been. The short-story is perfect. Add to that Asimov's other favorites and you've got a delightful look at a potential universe.
Some of the stories show their age more than others, specifically those taking place on Earth. But even those are still worth reading and contemplating for awhile.
Would we be surprised at the day of the eclipse, enjoy the dark sky filled with stars and think how wonderful it is or would we become terrified and loose our sanity?
“Nightfall” is a wonderful “What if…?” kind of story, in which the worse scenario is told, leaving us wondering about the consequences of a total unpredicted change in our scientific beliefs regarding our solar system. In addition, discussing how a powerful religion organization could benefit from this situation, and how it could influence and control people’s beliefs.
The book starts telling us about an archeologist, a scientist, a psychologist and a newspaperman. Slowly, their stories and discoveries connect with each other, converging to the main plot. The imminent threat of total darkness in the planet!
It was a very delightful read, I loved the characters and the ideas explored in the story. The ending was okay, leaving me thinking that humanity always takes the same paths, and the history tends to repeat itself from time to time, no matter what we do. Yes, that was the message of the book for me. Deep inside, I was hoping for something more extraordinary, but I think I understood the point of the authors.
It’s a nice light science fiction discussing science, social breakdown/organization and religion in one package. I gave it 4 stars just because the ending didn’t reach to my expectations, but that's just me.