The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov (unabridged audiobook read by William Dufris; 7 hrs 40 min on 6 discs): This time around, Lije Baley is sent to solve a murder case on another planet. I just want to note that sometimes dated SF can be really amusing. In this case, I was entertained by the notion that the “expressway” between DC and NYC takes ten hours. But that’s neither here nor there. As an Earthman, Baley is used to crowded underground cities and always being surrounded by people, be it in the cafeterias for meals or in the public restrooms. The planet Solaria is the opposite: the planet is home to only 20,000 people, each of whom has a private estate and lives more or less as what we would consider a recluse. While three-dimensional holographic “viewing” is a perfectly acceptable means of being social, being in the physical presence of another human being has become thought of as utterly distasteful. Most of the story deals with the society itself, coupled with Baley’s struggles with agoraphobia. I was fascinated by all the different characters, even if the murder mystery felt somewhat artificial. After all, I was more interested in the science fiction part of the story, and in that respect Asimov never lets me down.

A note on the audio: Dufris continues to entertain. I especially love the dichotomy between gruffly emotional Baley and ever-placid Daneel.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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