Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review of "Asimov Laughs Again," by Isaac Asimov

Review of

Asimov Laughs Again, by Isaac Asimov ISBN 0060924489

Four out of five stars

Lighthearted with some seasoning of bitterness

 As a big fan of Isaac Asimov, I can honestly say that I have read over 150 of his books. For years, I bought every paperback collection of his essays I found and read every book that appeared in the libraries of Mount Mercy College and the cities of Hiawatha and Cedar Rapids. He has no peer in making science understandable and the knowledge I gleaned from his books has helped me greatly in my career as an educator and writer.

 This book is copyrighted in 1992, the year of his death. There are several points where he acknowledges his age and the toll it is taking on his body. Asimov is also very frank about his concerns about the world and his significant medical procedures. He confesses to his unrelenting flirtation with women, citing many actions that would clearly find him in legal jeopardy in the modern world.

 Like all books containing jokes, there is a wide range of topics and level of giggles that they will generate. Of course, there are many that would be much funnier when spoken live by Asimov. What is different about this book is that there is a trace of bitterness. While those passages are honestly stated, his discussions of his first wife Gertrude, her mother and brother are very uncomplimentary. He also mentions how he has held mild grudges against people that he considers to have slighted him. Some of which were valid, but others where he simply should have been told, “Let it go, Isaac.” These features reduce the level of quality of the book.

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