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I. Asimov (The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov #3)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,171 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Arguably the greatest science fiction writer who ever lived, Isaac Asimov also possessed one of the most brilliant and original minds of our time. His accessible style and far-reaching interests in subjects ranging from science to humor to history earned him the nickname "the Great Explainer." I. Asimov is his personal story—vivid, open, and honest—as only Asimov himself c ...more
Paperback, 578 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Bantam (first published 1994)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsNight by Elie WieselAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography
200th out of 2,725 books — 2,983 voters
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Author Biographies and Memoirs
11th out of 161 books — 38 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,274)
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Robert Lomas
I have long been a fan of Asimov's science fiction and have also enjoyed his non-fiction. He has a clear and deceptively simple style of writing which is appealing and engaging which keeps you turning the pages.
This is one of the last books he wrote and it is wonderful roller-coaster of a read. Asimov tells the story of his life as it was. He makes no bones about not liking to travel and how his hard working childhood gave him a work ethic which never failed until he died.
This book, however, is
...more
Xan
El primer libro de cienciaficción que cayó en mis manos fue Fundación. Descubrí un futuro lleno de posibilidades y a un autor que disfrutaba contando historias, ya fuesen novelas de ficción o relatos sobre ciencia, historia y cualquier otra cosa que intrigase a la imaginación de Isaac Asimov. A pesar del más de medio siglo que ha pasado desde la publicación de sus obras de referencia (Fundación y Cuevas de acero) las novelas de Asimov siguen maneniendo su encanto, sobrepasadas a veces por el des ...more
Sheila
I just like myself, that's all, and there's nothing wrong with that. - Isaac Asimov


Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American science-fiction and non-fiction writer, who described himself as a technological optimist, writing books that tend to celebrate the triumphs of technology rather than its disaster. He is famous for his award-winning short story The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories. He also wrote I, Robot and the Foundation series, all of which I haven't read. Perhaps, I'll never be able
...more
Anna
When reading the book, there were several similarities between Isaac and myself. I really enjoyed reading. I heard his voice clearly throughout the entire book. It wasn't rushed or artificial or too wordy. It flowed at the most perfect pace, in the most delicate of tones. I fell like he and I were true friends. :)
James
Oct 01, 2007 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: writers, sci fi fans
This one was better than I expected. I made my way through the 563 pages during a recent overseas trip.

I was turned off in the initial chapters because Asimov has such an ego. However, as the pages and personal anecdotes passed, so to did the megalomania (for example, the dire need to see his name in print was just appalling). I even grew closer and closer to Isaac, and I couldn't help but pity the poor guy almost like you would a distant relative or a close childhood friend. You just overlook
...more
Dawson
If you like Asimov, it behooves you to read his autobiography.
Kirei
This book is a real bargain if you consider that Isaac Asimov commanded thousands of dollars for a forty minute speech. It ends on a touching note and it made me cry. It is all the more poignant because in addition to his other health problems, he contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion but kept it a secret. (You can google for more info.)

It is a very long book and I read it over a long period of time. Each chapter is like a little essay, so it doesn't really have to be read at once. It does go
...more
Thibault Delavaud
Very touching book. Asimov was very proud of himself of course but he knew perfectly his strentghs and weaknesses. He talks very openly in this book about his success and failures. He analyses his life with lucidity. Reading this book really helps to understand who was the man behind Foundation and the Robot series and most of all, why Asimov was such a science lover and a beliver in progress.
Einar Snorri
Skemmtileg lesning en nokkuð sundurlaus í uppbyggingu og dýptina vantaði þangað til í lokin þegar Asimov horfist í augu við vænt endalok.
Jim Razinha
Asimov certainly had no lack of self confidence but was quick to point out his own shortcomings. A nice, if long, read in which Asimov shares his memories and thoughts on his life. Reading about Lester del Rey, John Campbell, Pohl, Sprague de Camp, Heinlein and so many associated with the early years of science fiction through Asimov's lens adds to my list of authors I want to get to in the next few years (Asimov's Robot and Foundation arc in 2011, Heinlein now in 2012 and Clarke for 2013, then? ...more
Vicki
This book was fascinating! Isaac has long been one of my favorite authors (my favorite book of his is "The Positronic Man"), but I never realized how prolific a writer he was. He wrote over 400 books on many different subjects, both fiction and non-fiction. I also learned that he had many of the same life views that I do. I truly wish I could have met him. This is a great book for not only Asimov fans, but general science fiction fans and people who like to write.
Tina
Asimov's dry, matter of fact way of speaking is perfect. He's the ultimate joker, in that he's not quite sure why you're laughing since he is being sincere. I read this before any of his other work, and it led to finding it incredibly easy to hear his voice in his writing, making it all that much more enjoyable. Remember, kids; it's not vanity if it's true.
Ian
A fascinating read. Asimov's autobiography convinced me that he was a great writer. His idea of a great day was to arrive early at the post office, collect and go through his mail, and then retire to his attic where he would write into the evening. Yet, he led a rich and varied life. His story, about himself, his world, and the people in it, reveal a worthy life.
Todd Allen
I don’t think it would be unsafe to say that the details penned in this memoir deviate little--if at all--from the truth and reality that was the life and personality of Isaac Asimov.
What prompted me to read this book, I cannot say. As a young teenager I recall delving into the Foundation Trilogy. Truthfully, I don’t remember much of it. If my memory serves me, there was a planet named ‘Trantor’ that was central to the story. Other than that, and some tinglings of memory when Isaac mentioned th
...more
Tamar Varteressian
I have never loved an autobiography quite this much, I kept putting off the last few chapters just to avoid the whole thing ending.
Peter
Just a wonderful auto-bio in which AA talks about simply everything with his usual understated candor. A very funny and talented man.
Neil
An interesting autobiography, from the perspective of a man coming near to the end. That perspective colors everything here, as does the fact that this is Asimov's second go at his autobiography. He glosses over most of the events of his youth, when most of his best fiction writing happened, instead focusing on things like speaking engagements, clubs, and the prolific, diverse stream of anthologies and nonfiction projects where most of his literary energy went in the last half of his life.

Asimo
...more
Fremen10
Voilà un ouvrage émouvant dans lequel Isaac Asimov n'oublie rien. Il nous révèle sa jeunesse et son amour de la lecture. Le jeune Asimov n'aura de cesse d'ingurgiter tout ce qui lui tombera sous la main contribuant à son érudition.
Il revient sur ces études en biochimie et ses mauvaises relations avec la plupart des gens de la faculté. Il ne s'épargnera jamais et n'émettra jamais vraiment de plainte. Il raconte sa vie, riche d'anecdotes, parfois drôles, parfois sombres comme l'accumulation de déc
...more
Ensiform
A posthumously published autobiography. Told in vaguely chronological fashion, but with each microchapter as a theme --- his children, his wives, people he knew, travel, etc. Asimov reveals a lot of himself, and of others who may not appreciate his candor. The very simple, clear Asimov style means that although the book is 550 pages, it reads quickly and pleasantly. I'm afraid he does come off as a bit of a pompous ass, but much less so than that hypocritical cretin Richard Feynman. At least Asi ...more
Sherry
I was looking for a biography of a scientist who might be interesting for young people to read about. Knowing that Asimov was a well-known author and having recently seen a biography of him on TV, I thought he might be a good candidate. The sad thing is, there really isn't a good biography published on Isaac Asimov. The only biographies I've been able to find about him are autobiographies. The first 2 books are out of print. This book contains his thoughts on a wide variety of subjects. It conta ...more
Poo1987 Roykaew
It is a pleased, smooth, excited and unputdownable time. Asimov left his legacy to this world his prospect of life which he would like to share with his beloved readers, so as we who love him gracious to enjoy his world, memories and imagination. This is an invaluable experience of the old man who lived in this Earth for seventy years with a kind and numerous heart but strong will and strong attitude which based on humanist idea. Needless to say, this book is full of thoughts and beliefs devoted ...more
Kathleen
This is another book I read because it happened to be available for loan on Overdrive (hardly anything I want to read ever is). I had to check it out twice, because it is so long! I haven't ever read much Asimov, but I found this enjoyable, possibly because I have some characteristics in common with Asimov. I often found myself chuckling and nodding.

Rather than telling his story in chronological order (which he did in an earlier, two-volume autobiography), Asimov, goes through his life by topic,
...more
Jose Luis
Una lectura que resultó muchísimo más amena de lo esperado. Asimov tenía un ego enorme, pero también era consciente de sus defectos, y no tenía empacho en reírse de sí mismo. La edición en español tiene más de 700 páginas, pero se me fueron como agua, ya que el estilo de Asimov es muy fácil de leer (aunque no fácil de alcanzar como el mismo menciona). Aunque su vida no fue especialmente extraordinaria, todas sus anécdotas son interesantes y entretenidas. Si ya de por sí lo admiraba, ahora lo ven ...more
Jose Manuel Vera
Estremecedor. La obra destila melancol��a y despedida a partes iguales, sin dejar de ser una de las mejores autobiograf��as que se puedan leer.
Su esp��ritu cr��tico y combativo contra la ignorancia aparece en multitud de ocasiones en las p��ginas.
Jomaweb
Estremecedor. La obra destila melancolía y despedida a partes iguales, sin dejar de ser una de las mejores autobiografías que se puedan leer.
Su espíritu crítico y combativo contra la ignorancia aparece en multitud de ocasiones en las páginas.
Rafael Ontivero
Creo que es una autobiografía de lo más honesta, aunque aquí omite algunos "deslices" que comenta en sus otros dos libros más antiguos, sobre todo cuando estaba casado con Gertrude.

El libro contiene al final la bibliografía completa del autor.
Will Boncher
Sep 10, 2014 Will Boncher marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I like Asimov's SciFi writing. This got great reviews. I don't get it.
So slow...
Earl Baugh
Always enjoy autobiographies of authors I like... this is an interesting one..
Nick
Asimov, as he was - brilliant and condescendent .... you read this book, you understand the man .... I'll give this to the guy - he was upfront about his likes, dislikes, and not shy to talk about himself.

I do like Asimov's SF work .... I do not like his manufacturing of books (i.e. he is a writer who definitely looked at writing as at a job that had nothing to do with talent) .... Kgs (or lbs) of paper - all good/superior quality. Nothing AMAZING though.

That's my $0.02 - take it or leave it.
Gerri Alexander
This book would be interesting even if you weren't an Asimov fan! The story tells how his parents left Russia in 1919, came to New York and raised their son by running a candy shop. It continues through WW2 and trials of nuclear bombs (which Asimov was fortunately too sick to attend!) and of course, reaches into the future.

The only problem with this book is that he intended it to be part 1 of 2, and I think he didn't get around to the other before he died.
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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
More about Isaac Asimov...

Other Books in the Series

The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov (3 books)
  • In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography, 1920-1954
  • In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography, 1954-1978
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

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“I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.” 175 likes
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