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The Ugly Little Boy

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,599 Ratings  ·  112 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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Aug 24, 2008 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
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Νομίζω ότι δεν έχω ξαναδιαβάσει σε τόσο λίγες σελίδες τόσα πολλά! Η μις Φέλλοους και η πράξη της δίνουν τη πανανθρώπινη διάσταση της αγάπης χωρίς καν να την αγγίζουν τα όρια του χωροχρόνου...Υποκλίνομαι...
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
Είναι μια πολύ πολύ πολύ πολύ τρυφερή ιστορία και χειροκροτώ όποιον επέλεξε να την εκδώσει. Είναι μια ιστορία για τη βασική προϋπόθεση της κοινωνίας μας, τη συμπόνια, όσο και της αρχής πως το μαχαίρι αλείβει βούτυρο και το μαχαίρι σκοτώνει άνθρωπο. Άξιζε κι η αναμονή και η αναζήτηση της. Βγάζει γλύκα και βγάζει πίκρα. Ίσως και μια επίγευση της θεωρίας ‘’ο κόσμος είναι ιδέα μου’’. Γοητευτικό παραμύθι και θα ‘θελα να ‘χω την ευκαιρία να το διαβάσω στο γιο μου, αν είχα οικογένεια. Για τη συμπόνια, ...more
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.

Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel really got me hooked from the very start of the story. Most enjoyable! This was originally a short story by Asimov that first appeared in the September 1958 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction under the title "Lastborn". It was later republished under the current title in the 1959 collection Nine Tomorrows. Robert Silverberg later expanded it into a novel with the same title, published in 1992 as this full-length novel (also published as Child of Time in the UK).

The story is about a Neand
Blagoy Nikolov
Малко неандерталско дете е измъкнато от каменната ера и пренесено в 21-ви век за проучвания на епохата му. Звучеше интригуващо, поне за мен. За съжаление липсва всякакво развитие. В самото начало почти като зверче, по-късно момчето се развива, проговаря на английски, научава се да чете и доказва, че изчезналият му подвид не отстъпва интелектуално на хомо сапиенс. Има и доста информация за създадения метод за изтегляне на предмети и хора от минали епохи и бегло обяснение защо това не влияе на ход ...more
Aug 05, 2015 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
Mar 27, 2009 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
Katia Bou
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Δεν περίμενα να διαβάσω ένα τόσο τρυφερό κ συναισθηματικό μυθιστόρημα από τον συγγραφέα.. δυστυχώς η κοινωνία των ανθρώπων είναι η χειρότερη, σε όλες τις χώρες, σε όλες τις εποχές.... :/ συγκινητικό το τέλος, όπου δείχνει πως η αγάπη δεν ξεχωρίζει ή κατηγοριοποιεί τους ανθρώπους..
Apr 22, 2009 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
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I'm sure I read some Asimov years ago, but I can't recall which titles I read. I know that I didn't read this one, and it took me by surprise. If I'd had to guess who wrote it, Asimov wouldn't even have made my long list. How much of the story was written by Silverberg?
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Сумная гісторыя. Але чытаецца на адным подыху.
Асобны дзякуй за выдатны пераклад на беларускую Генадзю Шупеньку.
Georgia Susurkova
I found myself being endlessly exasperated by Fellowes's though process, being able to keep trudging through the book solely thanks to the prehistoric subplot and its prose... and then I left the book halfway through and didn't pick it up until yesterday. And - it seems - now I've found something better in it. It's a good book - which might seem dismissive, but the world needs books who are simply unexceptionally good.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm. Just looked at the currently most popular reviews in English here. Have to say I don't a bit regret the lack of "edginess" in Silverberg's expansion, and that I'm fully convinced by his answer to "What happened after they went back?"

But then, I'm one who's content to read on their own terms 50yo works, including Asimov and Edward Eager; 100yo, like Sherlock Holmes, Henry James (sometimes), and P.G. Wodehouse (always); and even 200yo, like Sir Walter Scott.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Ugly Little Boy" is a good illustration of how Asimov's fiction improved over his lifetime. At the risk of upsetting those readers who have accorded his early novels -- and especially the highly-lauded "Foundation" trilogy -- sacrosanctity, I have always contended that the author's early novels were better conceived than executed. By this I simply mean to say that they often feature two-dimensional characters and wooden dialogue, and just as frequently lack the sort of action which imparts ...more
William Tracy
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a surprisingly good read. I was expecting it to be pretty dated, based on an Asimov story and expanded by Robert Silverberg, but it delves into a lot of assumptions about what makes us human, and does fairly well in representing male and female characters. The ending is a little abrupt, and I would have preferred another chapter or so to resolve things, but overall very enjoyable.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book about 25 years ago. I loved it then. I love it now. Isaac Asimov has always been one of my favorite writers and I've read much of what he's written alone or as in this case with Robert Silverberg another giant. There's is my third read and I'm recommending it to my granddaughter . I think she'll love it too!
I found it very difficult to suspend my disbelief far enough to actually entertain the idea that the majority of the public would be okay with basically kidnapping a child and dragging him through time. In the end I'm a sucker for Neanderthal stories, though.
Simran Sandhu
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't have words for this story.Such a masterpiece. This story revolves around an unmarried nurse who develops motherly feelings for a Neanderthal child TAKEN BACK FROM TIME, who was extraordinarily ugly and had to go one day. A great SCIENCE FICTION !The end is amazing!
I wanted to like this better, so I read it a second time. The writing is good, but the future seems so dated ... kinda like the 1980's. Still only a 2 star.
Anupriya Karippadath
Once again the short story is better than the full length novel (like Nightfall), but it's a good book nonetheless
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magical adventure
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, very well told. Magnificent and unexpected ending: heartfelt, moving and hope-inspiring.
How would you like to babysit a Neanderthal? Granted, Edith Fellowes didn't realize that was the job description. She knew she'd be responsible for caring for a small boy from the past -- a wild child, a true savage who could not discern the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork -- but never did she imagine working with a true Neanderthal. (Besides her boss, anyway.) A company called Stasis, Ltd. has developed the technology to pull small articles from the far past and hold them in a ...more
Rachel Fisher
Feb 23, 2012 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
Gal A.
Sep 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
My least favorite Asimov story, maybe because it isn't 100% Asimov. The 3 star rating is actually quite generous. The story revolves around a neanderthal kid "stolen" from his time too the 21st century for an anthropological experiment. There's a littler bit of moral dilemma about the ethics of disrupting a kid's life for science. However, in that example the dilemma's resolution is obvious to me-it's completely unethical. Anthropology isn't biology (medicine), physics or another practical scien ...more
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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 one of the most prolific writers 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 o
More about Isaac Asimov...