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I. Asimov

(The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov #3)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,060 ratings  ·  140 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 March 1st 1994)
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 ·  2,060 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, biography
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
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
One of the best things about Asimov's story collections has always been his bio ditties. By the time I discovered his positronic universe (age 12, 1997) , the great man had already departed, but he was considerate enough to publish a full autobiography, recapitulating the decades of In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt before moving onto his twilight years.
It is not quite a replacement for the individual anecdotes that accompany his stories; the discussion on his work is not detailed e
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can one say about Asimov that he didn't say about himself.... over and over and over again? Why, nothing. He was a genius and an egoist and a great man and the face of the science fiction field for decades. He's suffered some posthumous criticism because of his attitudes that are now seen as sexist, but I would argue that he was very much a product of his times and shouldn't be judged by contemporary standards. His writings are always fascinating, the story of his life no less so than his f ...more
Robert Lomas
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-stuff
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
سعید سیمرغ
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I dare say that ‘I, Asimov’ is the most impressive book I’ve ever read and it’s influence to becoming to what I am now is undeniable. I had read it 5 times and I can count comparing the English text and Persian translated text as sixth and seventh times. I hope there will be chances of reading it still more times.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Thank you Janet Asimov, and thank you Isaac Asimov. And thanks to all the many others scattered throughout this book and those involved in it. It was intriguing and ultimately uplifting.

Asimov was a legend in so many ways and I am all too eager to defend any who would say a negative word about one of my heroes. While much of his life transpired prior to my own birth, excepting about his last 6 years or so, I read his work with reverence and deep appreciation, for he truly was and remains a gr
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I never want to meet anyone I would consider a celebrity. This autobiography has not changed my mind it has rather cemented this sentiment more firmly. This doesn't mean that my admiration for Isaac Asimov has dwindled - not in the least- but I was yet again reminded that idolizing or idealizing someone because of their creative output does a disservice to the complexity and nuanced nature of the human being behind that output.

It is easy to believe one "knows" a celebrity from the things they sa
Mateus Targino
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While reading the book, I identified myself a lot with some aspects of Isaac and it made me enjoy more this book, which is so well written (like anything he does) that I felt like Asimov himself was alive again and telling me his history; and when I finished it, I had the same sad feeling like he had died again. Isaac Asimov was an amazing person and, sometimes, it's good to know a human being like him to be inspired by.
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Felipe Dias
This is a great book to get familiarized with Asimov's life and with the scope of his writings. It is easy to read this book and think Asimov was self involved and full of himself. He was undeniably self involved, but I think justifiably so and only to a point. In this book, Asimov is fair in his judgment of the things he went through. He acknowledges his successes (and they were, indeed, plentiful) as well as the failures. Also, it is an autobiography after all, which makes sounding self involv ...more
Arun Divakar
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
At a time in my life when I was going through a slump in reading, the one book that pulled me out of it was Asimov’s Robot stories. This was also the first time that I had read Asimov and quite enjoyed his uncluttered and simple writing style. A quick glance through my read list also confirmed the presence of Asimov on through almost every other year that I have been a member of this site. Out of sheer habit or interest (Yet to figure out which) I do pick up Asimov books every now and then. The ...more
Oct 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
I enjoyed this so much! This is Asimov as I remember him. Clear and simple in his writing. He also, while obviously thinking highly of himself, was perfectly aware of his faults to an unusual degree. Remember, this was a guy often compared to Leonardo Da Vinci in the huge range of his interests and writings. I do not recommend this to someone who has not read Asimov in the past. It likely wouldn't make a huge amount of sense or interest. This is for someone who has read several of the "Good Doct ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Thibault Delavaud
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you like Asimov, it behooves you to read his autobiography.
"The man is very immodest, but he has much to be immodest about". Asimov himself quotes a critic of his as saying this about him. Honestly it is true, and is going to be the truest thing I can say about this book - Asimov was not a modest man, he refers to himself as a child genius multiple times and repeatedly mentions how prolific he was as a writer, and yet there is something about the way he writes that lets you know he isn't bragging when he says that. He's just being honest and upfront (he ...more
Glen Engel-Cox
While I read both Robot novels as well as the Foundation trilogy in my formative years, I was never an Isaac Asimov fan, instead inclined towards Robert A. Heinlein, whose mid 1960s novels of time travel and sex captivated my attention much more. (Of the other of the big three, Arthur C. Clarke, I had read only one novel, so clearly didn't prefer him either.) As I moved into my college years, I formed an irrational resentment towards Asimov, based somewhat on the new novels that instantly became ...more
Ahmed Farzad
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is one of the best book I’ve ever read! It was a long and amazing journey. So many insights, it was hell of a ride! Thank you Asimov, For this writing.
The ending part of the book discussed an amazing topic. The realisation of death, the end of a journey, how would it look like? I’ve always wondered. Asimov’s told the story of his share in that topic. Thus I think his autobiography gives his work a poetic end.
Claudette R
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Excellent. I enjoyed learning about his views on religion, life after death, self-pity, etc. I have never read any Asimov book but I am now inspired to read his science fiction especially in consideration that Foundation is being made into a TV series. His productiveness is truly amazing; the book finishes with his bibliography and it is 15 pages long.
Gigs Stoyanova
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I took my time with this book out of respect for the author. At the beginning there were some doubts that I might get disappointed in my favorite writer, but the more I read, the more I realised how personal and intimate thoughts he shared and felt that he had trust in his readers. He wrote the book in a difficult time and the pages where he sounded a bit negative and pessimistic were in the end all explained. Overall, I am happy I saw alittle bit of Asimov's universe.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having read many Asimov books over the years I found it wonderful to learn about this prolific author and what made him tick. His writing style made a collection of potentially random anecdotes flow together in a very interesting way. As autobiographies go, this was by far the most transparent account I have read. Dr. Asimov has no shortage of opinions, and whether or not I agreed with him did not affect my enjoyment of the book. The sections were he talked about the early days of science fictio ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
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.

Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teens-and-adults
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
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting at first, hilarious as he exposes his own arrogance cheerfully while at the same time mentioning every person in his life who has meant something to him, and, finally, boring. He freely admits his own favorite subject is himself, in great detail, and by the end of the 547 pages, I was tired of the subject. I learned a lot of interest, though, especially about the heyday of the science fiction and fantasy magazines that sprouted when he was beginning his career. I learned how prolific ...more
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Asimov's life. Since reading this, I have started reading other biographies and autobiographies of science fiction writers. Asimov's books on science and astronomy were among the elements that inspired me to become a scientist, so I owe Asimov a big debt. Furthermore, I find myself drawn to reread his Foundation series and Robots series on a regular basis. Somethings about his writing annoy me, but I keep coming back because there is a compelling vision there ...more
Jim Razinha
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
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.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
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.
My son was reading Foundation for his English class. I decided to read his memoirs. I had read his books as a teenager. He wrote this as he was dying. Nonetheless, his description of the growth of the Science Fiction community is fascinating: the Futurians, Heinlein, Campbell, the Back Door Spiders, etc.
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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

Other books in the series

The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov (4 books)
  • In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography, 1920-1954
  • In Joy Still Felt: The Autobiography, 1954-1978
  • It's Been a Good Life

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