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The Ugly Little Boy

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,139 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
When Stasis Technologies, Ltd., plucks a Neanderthal child off the prehistoric tundra and transports it into the twenty-first century, the scientific conglomerate gives no thought to the creature's human feelings. The nurse assigned to the case must somehow bridge the 40,000-year gap to forge an emotional bond that transcends time. And, when Miss Fellows learns of the inte ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published September 10th 1992 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 1958)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 28, 2008 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I love it when a book sneaks up on you and holds you in it's grasp as thoroughly as this one did with me. A simple pairing of stories, really, made fascinating by the 40,000 year time span and the numerous endings that could have been.

I loved Asimov's robot short stories and novels for the moral and ethical dilemmas the author tackles. This novel was similar, in that the scienctific underpinnings are secondary to the unforseen consequences of their implementation.

It was refreshing to see, too, t
Ivan Lutz
Podijelio bih knjigu u dva dijela, gotovo negdje na pola. Prvi dio je fantastičan, brz, pisan toliko čitko da odmah shvatite zašto je Asimov majstor(a ovo je samo potvrda da je njegov jednostavni stil nešto najgenijalnije što sam čitao), i drugi dio knjige gdje se radnja malo razvodnila, ali je ostala britka i čitka.
Premisa je izvrsna: stroj može povući stvari iz prošlosti u sadašnjost(do 40 kg), pa pokus odlazi 40 000 godina u prošlost i dovlači malog trogodišnjeg neandrtalca. KAko se privikav
Silverberg clearly intended this novel as a kind of eulogy to Asimov. It carefully retains the style and thematic approaches that Asimov used. A book of dialog, a measured pace, minimal action, maximum reasoning and logic. As a result, the novel (this is a big 'IMO') both succeeds AND fails because of its achievement of these elements. The novel succeeds in expanding Asimov's short story in exactly the same way Asimov would have likely novelized the short story, 50 years ago. That makes the nove ...more
Mar 27, 2009 Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Asimov is a difficult author to categorize because he's so prolific, but even for him this story represents a dramatic change from the norm. Through a strange new technology, a neanderthal boy is transported from his time to ours. As he grows up he faces the hardships of prejudice, loneliness, and confusion. Where does he belong? Not the typical robot-fare from Asimov, and an enjoyable read from start to finish. This is the full-length version, written in part by Robert Silverberg, of a very fam ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Xabi1990 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es una novela, a medias con Silverberg, que no es sino hacer más largo su relato El niño feo. Le damos un 8/10 porque es totalmente recomendable, si bien el cuento ya tien casi todas las virtudes de la novela. Va sobre un niño neandertal al que traen al presente gracias a una máquina de Éxtasis, que puede traer cosas del pasado pero sin abandonar los límites de ese campo de éxtasis.

No deja de resultarme curioso ver como Asimov nos metía en la CF y a la vez nos predicaba sobre las virtudes que de
May 02, 2009 Awallens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a company has the scientific technology to "scoop" a neanderthal boy and bring him to Earth in modern times, what will happen? Is he human? Can he learn things, even though he looks barely human? Or is he an animal? In this short story turned into a full-length novel, this question is explored, through the point of view of Timmy's nurse, Edith Fellows. She explores these questions and this story alternates with what is happening to Timmy's family 40,000 years ago. I fear I'm not doing this ...more
Child of Time is a very good read by two top science-fiction authors. First published as a short story, "The Ugly Little Boy," by Issac Asimov, this novel expands the tale into a monumental battle between a nurse, hired to take care of a Neanderthal child kidnapped from his tribe 40,000 years ago by a research company, Stasis Technologies, and the firm, which exploits him.

The book builds to a startling climax, as the nurse, who initially sees the child as a subhuman "ape-boy," grows to admire an
Sacramento Public Library
Though named in a way that may seem to put off readers at first, is actually quite fun, educational, and gripping in a variety of ways which will appeal to teens and adults. Taking place partly on the frozen tundra domain of the Neanderthals during the Ice Age, and partly amidst the scientifically well-versed time-travel lab of Stasis Technologies, Ltd. some years in the future, this book answers the question: What if we could bring the past to life? The implications of such a task are more grou ...more
Caroline Lee
Jul 19, 2014 Caroline Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a short read, but was captivating throughout. I feel that Asimov could have touched upon some of the details more, but instead he glazed over the specifics so that the emotional aspects of the story were the central theme. On the other hand, others might argue that it would have slowed down the pace, but I think the details are what make futuristic stories like these so fascinating. Despite the minor annoyance, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and would recommend it as a relaxing rea ...more
I initially read this book in dutch, though I later looked it up again, to which I stumbled upon the short story version of this novel. After finishing the latter, I decided to re-read the story in english.
It's the perfect book for anyone who wants to start reading more of Asimov's works.
Frequently switching between the present, and the neanderthal-era, the further we go into the book, the more obvious it becomes that Timmie, the main character, is in fact the mysterious figure encountered in th
Book Concierge
Stasis Technologies Ltd has perfected a way to reach back into time and bring forth objects for scientific study. Their most recent triumph was a baby dinosaur and now they’ve taken a Neanderthal child from the Ice-age to the 21st century. The nurse assigned to care for the child must somehow bridge a 40,000-year cultural gap. Initially shocked by the “ugly little boy,” Edith Fellows soon recognizes that he is really a frightened child, and slowly forms a deep emotional bond with Timmie.

Rachel Fisher
Feb 23, 2012 Rachel Fisher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For more of my reviews go to

The Ugly Little Boy - Inspirational Science-Fiction
Title: The Ugly Little Boy (this is a short story)
Author: Isaac Asimov
My Rating - 5 Stars

If you've never written a novel before then the first time that you do it will seem weird. Probably more so if, like me, you hadn't been planning to write a novel. It's hard to explain to people what came over you when you suddenly began to 'live' and write a story.

I am not certain that I have an explanation
Sep 29, 2011 Fiver rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another novel that is essentially an expanded short story, and like "Nightfall", it just didn't work, in my opinion.

The premise is strong and has some good moments sprinkled here and there, especially as the titular little boy slowly moves from being viewed as a specimen to being viewed as a human. Fair enough, that sounds like a good short story.

But then, with an ending that you can see coming from a mile away, and very flimsy characters to back it up, this book simply leaves a sour taste in th
Dilyana Georgieva
Чак сега разбирам откъде ми е този интерес към неандерталците - та още на петнайсет е бил запален от Азимов и Силвърбърг!
Винаги ми е било интересно как двама души пишат една книга заедно. Все пак тази доста си мирише на Азимов, но се надушва и чуждото присъствие - не знам, все още ми е мистерия как са се сработили в авторството. Важното е, че резултатът е доста увлекателна фантастика, която някога тогава ме научи на доста за този отдавна изчезнал хомо. Ситуацията е мечтана за всеки учен: не сам
Emily (BellaGrace)
Dec 19, 2015 Emily (BellaGrace) rated it liked it
I bought this book as a joke gift for my brother (because of the title) and then read the "blurb" on the jacket cover and decided to read it first. It wasn't a bad book. The ending was obvious, I thought the entire explanation about why the kid couldn't leave the stacis bubble was silly and the chapters from the prehistoric times were boring - but over all not bad.
Chung Lee
Loved the novelization of Nightfall and expected the same but was sorely disappointed. Asimov and Silverberg must really hate strong willed women. All the female protagonists are unlikable whinny b*t*h. See sawing from crying and complaining how unfair the world is to becoming overbearing and domineering at a drop of a hat.
Jul 03, 2015 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: laura
It may have been a good tale, but any story of an abducted 3-year-old (neanderthal or otherwise) is NOT OK with my parent-of-a-three-year-old brain. No moral ambiguities here for me - no ripping young children away from their families!!
Gerald Kinro
Feb 25, 2012 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two great sci-fi masters collaborate on this heart-warming story. A Neanderthal boy is brought to the present from 40,000 years ago to live in a bubble with his caretaker. Without any regard for his feelings he with his prehistoric appearance becomes the subject of scientists and the media. Even the scientist who brought him to the present had no intention of keeping him. However, his strong-willed caregiver falls in love with him and has other ideas.

Well written, this story deals the ethics of
Христо Блажев
Азимов превръща неандерталче в “Дете на времето”:

Азимов и Силвърбърг са достатъчно популярни имена поотделно, но заедно не може да се каже, че са съумели да изградят нещо запомнящо се. “Дете на времето” разказва за малко неандерталче, което е пренесено в нашия свят с машина на времето. В началото то е малко неугледно зверче, но постепенно с много грижи то се научава на всичко, което умеят човешките деца на неговата възраст, с което се оборват теориите, ч
C.D. Leavitt
Jan 09, 2011 C.D. Leavitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is one of those books that haunted me after I read it. It was my first introduction to Asimov and as a fan of science-fiction as well as paleoanthropology it was just about the perfect book for me at that age. I was twelve and spent an entire Saturday lying in the aisle of the library, immersed in the story that Asimov created and Robert Silverberg expanded into this fantastic novel.

Returning to it as an adult, I've been left to ponder what the ramifications of Edith's choice would be. Ther
Jul 05, 2015 A124-kun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Сумная гісторыя. Але чытаецца на адзінам подыхе.
Асобны дзякуй за выдатны пераклад на беларускую Генадзю Шупеньке.
Beverly Diehl
Mar 11, 2013 Beverly Diehl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is actually a short story, later expanded into a novel with the co-writing of Robert Silverberg, and there's oodles of Asimov to read and enjoy. I loved the whole mind-bending of the story, of scientists who find a way to bring forward people from an earlier time, but only in a small enclosure, and for a limited period of time. They want to talk to them, take tissue samples, study how they move and behave. After scoring with a peasant from the Renaissance, they manage to bring forward a sma ...more
Feb 17, 2013 Leanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book and could not put it down. I have not read the original short story so cannot comment on how it compares. I just know I was gripped from the first page and read it unstoppingly as I HAD to know what happened at the end. I did not feel there was unnecessary detail and it did not seem padded out in the least. I was actually left wanting more and was tempted to restart the book from the beginning straight away.

I also enjoyed how relevant it is now with scientists discussing cloni
Sep 29, 2014 Clivemichael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collaboration, The story fleshed out is a great moral lesson
Dwight Parker
Apr 19, 2014 Dwight Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this shows a way others may see us.
Feb 26, 2014 Jared rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. I would recommend to all sorts of readers. It's moving and sad with characters that do their best with few good choices.
Jul 26, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing
Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg write a wonderful tale of how the bond between a mother and son doesn't have to be by birth alone but by a woman's love and attention to a boy who was frightened and alone. Miss Fellowes is a woman who modern society considered an ugly spinster but a boy from the past shows that it's not what is outside but what is in the heart that makes someone beautiful. I loved the development of the relationship between Miss Fellowes and Skyfire Face (The Ugly Little Boy ...more
Joanne G.
Jan 02, 2014 Joanne G. rated it liked it
Perhaps I would have rated this book higher if it hadn't been expanded from one of my very favorite short stories. Asimov's short story was poignant and thought-provoking. The main messages of his story have been muddied and diluted by stretching it into a novel.

I would recommend skipping this novel to read the short story; however, my copy of this book is dear to me, because my children gave it to me as a Christmas gift, having known of my love of the short story by the same name.

Short story w
Cautivadora y bella historia. Me encantó!. Totalmente recomendable.
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
More about Isaac Asimov...

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