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Murder at the ABA
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Murder at the ABA

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  647 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Murder at the ABA (1976) is a mystery novel by Isaac Asimov, following the adventures of a writer and amateur detective named Darius Just (whom Asimov modeled on his friend Harlan Ellison). While attending a convention of the American Booksellers Association, Just discovers the dead body of a friend and protégé. Convinced that the death was due to murder, but unable to con ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 230 pages
Published February 12th 1982 by Fawcett (first published 1976)
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Another bandwagon I couldn't resist the urge to jump on...

ASIMOV: Good morning team. Now, I know you're all eager to get started on Authorised Murder, but why don't we take a moment to introduce ourselves. You first.

ASIMOV: I'm Asimov. Overall concept. I'm proud to say that it's going to be a sexy, post-modernist mystery...

ASIMOV: You gotta be kidding. How are we ever-

ASIMOV: Shut up, Asimov. Next?

ASIMOV: Asimov. Plot and suspense.

ASIMOV: Like you're going to be able to do plot and suspense! I
Simona Bartolotta
Asimov e il caso delle tre penne.

Per andare direttamente al sodo: mi aspettavo molto, ma molto di più. Chiariamoci, il romanzo è decisamente buono, ma con Asimov non sono affatto stata abituata al decisamente buono. Sono stata abituata al massimo, all'aldilà di ogni previsione, al talmente bello che mi mancano persino le parole per raccontartelo. Per questo, mio caro Isaac, non puoi uscirtene con un giallo mediocre. L'opzione non esiste, chiaro?
Ripeto, gli elementi ci sono tutti e sono anche mes
Oct 25, 2014 KristenR rated it really liked it
Up to now I had only read some of Asimov's science fiction work, so when I came across this mystery I didn't know what to expect, but thought I'd give it a try.

It was great! It was funny and clever (and, yes, dated - but enjoyable nonetheless)

I liked how he wrote himself into the story. It was done in a way that really worked, and those were the scenes that really made me laugh.
However, I had to roll my eyes at some of his descriptions of the female characters and feminism.

Overall it was fun to
Sep 13, 2012 Christina rated it it was ok
Ok, but not one of his best. This one felt like he was writing just to write, not because he actually had a story tell. I wouldn't recommend it.
Isaac Asimov... mystery writer??? Apparantly so. Murder at the ABA describes just that; a murder which takes place at the 1975 American Booksellers Association convention. Asimov appears as a minor character in this story, and apparently included enough real information regarding the actual 1975 ABA convention that he had to include a disclaimer that the events portrayed are a work of fiction. The mystery was only so-so. For me the star of this story was narrator Darius Just; especially as he wa ...more
Aug 30, 2013 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asimov obviously had a lot of fun writing this one. The mystery aspect itself isn't really captivating but the story is entertaining and Asimov's style is fresh and easy. The main character, Darius Just, is more or less modeled after Harlan Ellison, and Asimov makes himself a character. The story takes place over a weekend at the 75th ABA in 1975. It's an amusing read and a good reminder that Asimov wrote a lot more than just good science fiction.
Chuck Neumann
Aug 31, 2016 Chuck Neumann rated it really liked it
Interesting mystery written by Isaac Asimov, who writes himself into the book. The setting was interesting, allowing Asimov to include real people in the story (ranging from Carl Sagan to Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) although none had "speaking" parts, except for the author. The "hero" was an interesting character, noting all the unrelated small events that all paved the way for the murder. He also was short, which bothered him more than a little. I figured out who the murderer was fairly early on, bu ...more
Jun 27, 2016 Snailmontr rated it really liked it
well it is obvious that this isn't really his style. reminds me of György Kulin who - as a scientist - wrote science fiction. some parts of the story were sloppy or too predictable, but the overall insight of a scientists' approach to the mystery of space aliens were fascinating. the same scheme is to be applied to this; as a murder mystery it is sometimes sloppy, too slow or too obvious (you can choose) but Asimovs sarcastic insights into the atmosphere and personality types of such a conferenc ...more
This murder mystery takes place at the 75th Annual American Booksellers Association (ABA) conference in 1975. Asimov's publishers actually had him attend the conference in order to write this fictional book, and he cleverly mixes actual events with a fictional story (even going so far as to include himself as a character in the book). The mystery is competent and elusive until the end, and he makes it interesting with a constant flow of characters and conflicts. However, the first person narrati ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Swenson
In the first 25 pages or so, my reaction to this mystery was negative. I got into it after a while; I think the problem was that I didn't find the narrator sympathetic.

It was sort of fun to read about the happenings at the annual conference of the ABA (the Booksellers, not the Bar), and to see Asimov come on the scene as a character -- but not the narrator -- in his own novel. If you're going to do that, though, own it: don't apologize for it in an afterword, as Asimov does here.
I don't know where I found this shabby paperback, but it could not have been better-timed; I was right in the middle of my metafiction craze and just stumbling into online media fandom, and so reading a story set in a convention in which the author appears as a character (a comic one, no less) -- there are no words for how much I enjoyed this.

Which is not to say it's one of Asimov's best. It's -- well, you know how Austen worried that Pride & Prejudice was "too light & bright & spark
Jul 05, 2015 Larry rated it liked it
A mystery novel, set at a book publishers convention. The protaganist is a fictionalized version of Harlan Ellison named Harlan Ellison! A meta-fictive mystery by one of the golden age masters of sci-fi. The author (Asimov) even has imaginary conversations with the fictionalized Ellison! No, I'm not kidding.

It's not a perfect book, but it is certainly weird and interesting. If you see a copy you should buy it.

Mar 08, 2016 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A short, misogynist author who is short is at an American Bookseller Association convention where someone he knows dies. The short POV character is the only one who thinks it's murder, so he goes around pestering everyone until he gets it figured out. And he is short - that must be very clear.

The mystery is okay. The main character is hard to take. I think Asimov wrote this mostly for his own amusement, which carries the book for 30 pages or so.

At least it doesn't take up much space. *rimshot*
Jan 04, 2016 Lis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Un Asimov diverso dal solito che si cimenta in un giallo.
Avendolo già letto alcuni suoi libri dei Vedovi Neri ero partito fiducioso, ma questa volta mi ha deluso.
Il continuo e sottile velo d'ironia non è sufficiente a far digerire una trama fin troppo semplice, dei personaggi poco caratterizzati e una narrazione a tratti zoppicante.
Raquel Malagón
Jan 06, 2016 Raquel Malagón rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2012 Aries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giallo-soft
Che Asimov fosse in grado di scrivere sostanzialmente quel che voleva è assodato.Che i racconti dei Vedovi Neri fossero già un'ottima divagazione nel mondo del "giallo soft" pure.Mi mancava la possibilità di leggere un vero giallo per poterne apprezzare il rendimento e, finalmente, ne ho avuto l'occasione."Rompicapo in quattro giornate" è un giallo reale, con un omicidio, delle indagini, dei sospettati e, dulcis in fundo, tra i protagonisti c'è lo stesso Asimov Il romanzo scorre bene, ha un otti ...more
Jan 19, 2015 Francesco rated it it was amazing
Dopo aver letto le opere di fantascienza di Asimov sono passato a questo romanzo.

In questo giallo Asimov conserva la dote che apprezzo di più : non perdersi mai in parole inutili, mai descrizioni più lunghe di un paragrafetto: tutto il resto sono dialoghi e storia che prosegue.

Magari rispetto alle opere di fantascienza non c'è quella genialità derivante dalla sua immensa fantasia, in compenso c'è tanta ironia (ho spesso riso di cuore mentre leggevo).

Non sono riuscito ad alzare gli occhi dal libr
My first Asimov. A good mystery with plenty of (risque) humour.

More here:
Mar 06, 2014 Ippino rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gialli
Non sono un esperto di gialli, ma questo è proprio bruttino.
L'avevo acquistato solo per il nome di Asimov in copertina, ma non mi è piaciuto molto.
Il difetto è solo uno: trama debole.
Apprezzabile il tentativo, ma questo genere narrativo non è nelle corde dell'autore; ha cercato di inventarsi qualcosa di abbastanza originale, soprattutto nell'ambientazione e nella costruzione del delitto, ma l'intreccio è povero di attrattiva e di mordente.
I personaggi non sono male, ma si muovono in una "cornice
Sep 06, 2014 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a thoroughly entertaining read despite the remarkably unimpressive mystery plot. Luckily, the deft and almost gleeful writing style, the lifelike characters, the publishing world setting, and the rather startling (for me) glimpse into the 1970s via a very male perspective more than made up for the iffy plotting. The murderer is guessable early, which feels clumsy. Still, Asimov as a character was to die for and makes me want to go to back in time so I could attend one of his signings. I ...more
Tyrone Hawk
Slow at first, Ike captures you with his great style. Well done!
Apr 13, 2014 Kathy rated it it was ok
It's a fun read especially for anyone who's attended a SF con and Asimov went to many. It's clever (Asimov's a character in the story) and funny and the mystery is okay. But I don't think even Isaac himself would call it a great work of literature.
Dec 17, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Classic Asimov.
Mar 15, 2011 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Probabilmente non uno dei libri meglio riusciti di Asimov. Sicuramente uno dei meno conosciuti.
Personalmente ho intuito la fine un pò troppo presto, i protagonisti non sono molto strutturati e intriganti e la trama... beh, non mi ha convinto troppo.
L'ho trovato poco curato e sicuramente non all'altezza del grande Asimov.

Alla fine ho avuto come l'impressione che l'autore abbia più voluto togliersi qualche sassolino dalla scarpa rispetto al mondo editoriale che scrivere un giallo come si deve...

Apr 30, 2007 Felicity rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, novel, fiction
A murder mystery set at the American Bookseller's Association conference of 1975, and told from the point of view of a small, insecure, misanthropic author. It is clever and entertaining, as you'd expect from an Asimov mystery, and it's fascinating to see even an outdated look inside the publishing industry; but the book gets an added fillip of the surreal from the inclusion of Isaac Asimov as comic relief, and he and his protagonist taking potshots at each other in the footnotes.
Mar 05, 2015 Luana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 31, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it
I like this book. Asimov's style of writing on this one is just great. He is a minor character in this book using his real name. The major character, a fictional fellow writer, admits that even though Asimov's name appears on the cover, he actually wrote it and he gets to footnote some things throughout the book...and those footnotes are hilarious. This is a complete tourdeforce. A bit of repitition here and there, but still a very good read. Have fun!
Dec 10, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
I like murder mysteries and am a huge Asimov fan. This book is a quick little read where the main character (supposedly modeled after science fiction author Harlan Ellison) encounters Asimov. It was cute seeing Asimov write about himself in the third person.

Anyway, if you're an Asimov fan, i would give this 5 stars. If you're a mystery fan, I'd give it a 3. Mystery fans might be much more interested in his Black Widower series.
Apr 15, 2012 Avi rated it it was amazing
I'm normally not as much a fan of Asimov's fiction as his non-fiction, but this one is great. It's an excellent murder mystery, and also has the unusual feature of featuring the author as a character in the book. He holds conversations concerning the book with the main character, both in the context of the narrative, and within the footnotes. A great read.
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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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“And [Asimov]'ll sign anything, hardbacks, softbacks, other people's books, scraps of paper. Inevitably someone handed him a blank check on the occasion when I was there, and he signed that without as much as a waver to his smile — except that he signed: 'Harlan Ellison.” 54 likes
“Life is not like a murder mystery. In mysteries people always do the same thing. Then when some little thing is out of line, some wise-guy amateur detective makes big deductions. In real life, people don't do the same things all the time. They do different things at different times. In real life, people are crazy.” 2 likes
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