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The Book

Cover image for


Author: Michael Shaara
Published: 1953
Language: English
Wordcount: 8,594 / 31 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,971
Added to site: 2010.05.11 27680

A weird world—cut off from the Universe, it had universal wisdom; facing death at every moment, it had the secret of peace!

Show Excerpt

t the wall was just outside the glass, so close he could touch it. From all over the wall a haze reflected faintly, so that the wall stood out in ridges and folds from the great black of space. Beauclaire looked up and then down, and then stood and gazed.

After a while, Wyatt pointed silently down. Beauclaire looked in among the folds and saw it, the tiny yellow gleam toward which they were moving. It was so small against the massive cloud that he lost it easily.

Each time he took his eyes away, he lost it, and had to search for it again.

"It's not too far in," Wyatt said at last, breaking the silence. "We'll move down the cloud to the nearest point, then we'll slow down and move in. Should take a couple of days."

Beauclaire nodded.

"Thought you'd like to see," Wyatt said.

"Thanks." Beauclaire was sincerely grateful. And then, unable to contain himself, he shook his head with wonder. "My God!" he said.

Wyatt smiled. "It's a big show."

Later, much later,

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.3 from 3 reviews: *****

Nicely written and thought provoking, highly recommended.

Sardo Weems

The previous reviewer nailed it. I concur. Surprisingly insightful story from 1953. Worth reading.


An enjoyable tale about a trio of space explorers: Wyatt, a weary galaxy mapper, Beauclaire, his green replacement, and Cooper, a beligerant third hand. The three explore a planet located in a dust cloud such that it is blocked from seeing the stars. On the planet, the discover a human population that evolved similarly to ours (yes, you have to go with it). They are like us in every aspect except...they are utterly lacking in one human trait: curiousity. The character development is a little uneven and the ending a little abrupt but it's worth a read.



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