Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg Book Review

“The Stars,” Theremon said aloud. “And what, in fact, may they be?”

“They are the instruments of the gods.”

“Can you be more specific, do you think?”

“The nature of the Stars will be made more than amply clear to us,” said Folimum 66, “in a matter of four hundred and eighteen days.”

 

They live on a planet that has never experienced total darkness. The many suns rise and set constantly, each following their distinct orbits. But now–everything astronomy, psychology, journalism, archeology, and religion have studied and concluded will be challenged. A startling discovery promises to throw civilization into chaos in fourteen months.

It’s almost like the set-up to a bad joke. An archeologist, a psychologist, an astronomer, and a journalist enter a bar. Each of them has stumbled upon pieces to an unbelievable truth. To their chagrin, the world’s renowned religious leader had prophesied about this puzzle they now face. Will these chosen few work together to prepare the world for the upcoming dramatic event? Can it be stopped?

Well, first, they all have a drink. After all, the apocalypse is nigh.

New words enter their vocabulary. Foreign words like “eclipse” and “stars.” The words alone are catalysts for terror. The world will never be the same.

Asimov and Silverberg succeed in molding characters that are easy to understand and move the plot along nicely. A few stereotypes emerge and evolve. From Twilight to Nightfall to Daybreak, the ensemble cast is thrust into scenarios and situations to challenge their former belief systems and customs. Some will not survive the chaos of Nightfall.

It makes you wonder, would you survive?

Nightfall

 

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