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Publisher's Summary

One moment Joseph Schwartz is a happily retired tailor in Chicago, 1949. The next he's a helpless stranger on Earth during the heyday of the first Galactic Empire. Earth, as he soon learns, is a backwater, just a pebble in the sky, despised by all the other 200 million planets of the Empire because its people dare to claim it's the original home of man. And Earth is poor, with great areas of radioactivity ruining much of its soil - so poor that everyone is sentenced to death at the age of 60. Joseph Schwartz is 62. This is Isaac Asimov's first novel, full of wonders and ideas, the book that launched the novels of the Galactic Empire, culminating in the Foundation series.
(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By bonnie on 08-18-09

Jewel of a book

I don't know why I am always so surprised at how wonderful an Asimov story turns out .. and this was no exception.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 05-28-11

A lot of talk

There were a lot of seeds for future novels and stories by future authors in this story. The galaxy is settle by man, a dark age happens and man forgets that Earth started it all. A man is operated on and now he can learn faster then other humans. Everyone must die at a certain age, so others will have more resources and of course the main topic in 1950, the result of atomic warfare. The problem I had was that it read more like a thesis then a story. The whole story took place mostly in a couple of rooms and the main characters talked and talked and talked. At a couple of points we were lead to believe the main character was going to explore the forbidden zone, but it never happened. IA usually has great ideas that are best showcased in short stories, whenever he lengthens them into novels they get to boring or silly.

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33 of 41 people found this review helpful

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