• I, Asimov

  • A Memoir
  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Jon Lindstrom
  • Length: 24 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 could tell it. 

Here is the story of the paradoxical genius who wrote of travel to the stars yet refused to fly in airplanes; who imagined alien universes and vast galactic civilizations while staying home to write; who compulsively authored more than 470 books yet still found the time to share his ideas with some of the great minds of our century. Here are his wide-ranging thoughts and sharp-eyed observations on everything from religion to politics, love and divorce, friendship and Hollywood, fame and mortality. Here, too, is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the varied personalities - Campbell, Ellison, Heinlein, Clarke, del Rey, Silverberg, and others - who along with Asimov helped shape science fiction.

As unique and irrepressible as the man himself, I. Asimov is the candid memoir of an incomparable talent who entertained readers and listeners for nearly half a century and whose work will surely endure into the future he so vividly envisioned.

©1979 Isaac Asimov (P)2020 Random House Audio

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  • 12-16-20

This great book is now an unabridged release!

While this is technically the Third in Dr. Asimov's autobiography series after "In Memory Yet Green (covering 1920-54)" and "In Joy Still Felt (covering 1954-78)", this isn't actually the Third volume as it was originally intended. That book would have been written many years later and called "The Scenes of Life (covering 1978-????)", but with his health being uncertain he began writing this Third volume which became "I, Asimov". Instead of continuing from where the Second book left off in 1978, "I, Asimov" covers all of Dr. Asimov's life, making it a standalone autobiography. One reason for Starting From Scratch was the difficulty for readers of the Third book being able to purchase the (by then) out-of-print first two volumes. Another was the extended length of first two books at 700+ and 800+ pages each, so this all-in-one Third book was trimmed down to just 600 pages - or 550 for the hardcover. A later book was released in 2002 - "It's Been a Good Life" - which like "I, Asimov" is a standalone novel but refined to a mere 300 pages. When deciding which of these four books to narrate, the first two books might have been considered Too Long, the last Too Short, but this Third book would be Just Right. As to the audio release itself. the narration for the autobiography is spot on. Obviously it's for Serious Fans since at 24+ hours it's not exactly a quick listen, but it's certainly worth it. If you enjoyed reading the detailed commentaries he included with some of his short story collections, then you'll enjoy this narration!
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Some Specs: As listed, the complete title is 24 hours and 13 minutes with 170 individual "chapters". If one is downloading from Audible, it can be downloaded as one file (1.3 gigs / 24hrs 13 mins) or in three parts (457 megs/8hrs 15 mins; 452 megs/8hrs 11 mins; 430 megs / 7hrs 47 mins).

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Additional Info for (Audible) Asimov fans: While Audible has YET to release/narrate the 4th book in the Robot Novels ("Robots and Empire" - hint hint!!), there are many Much Older releases which are Unavailable unless one is fortunate enough to own them on legacy cassette or LP. However there is ONE Asimov title here on Audible that is a true gem. Released previously under different names with different lengths, here on Audible this collection goes by it's 1975 name "Science Fiction Favorites" ( B002V8LG52 ). This collection of short stories is unique as they are all narrated by Dr. Asimov himself. Additionally, this release includes some of his famous story commentaries, which even alone would make this something worth listening to.

25 people found this helpful

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The Wrong Reader

The reader of this book, Jon Lindstrom, did a fine job. But I have read the print version of this book several times and I always “heard” it as I was reading, in Asimov’s voice. So, when I heard someone else reading it...without the New York area accent...without the irony and delicious sarcasm that Asimov himself had when he read his own books or talked about himself, I was disappointed. Lindstrom has a serious, gravely voice. Perfect for a contemporary mystery, for example, but wrong for this book...at least in my mind.

Some of the reviews of this book complain that Asimov was too boastful, that he was too self-centered, and conceited. He would, I believe, agree completely. On the other hand, he accepted himself as he was and with perhaps a smidgeon of self-deprecating humor, was happy with who he was. He was good...and he knew it.

Asimov fans who loved the earlier autobiographies or the autobiographical interludes in books like “The Early Asimov” will love this one as well.

9 people found this helpful

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Human

As prolific as he is many of us readers think of Asimov as transcendent in many ways. Somehow superhuman. Turns out he sees himself that way as well. There are so many things to like about this guy and so many things about him that I find distasteful. I can't decide if I would have liked to have known him or not. The thing is we are all that way. That is what makes us human. What I admire most about Isaac Asimov after listening to his memoir is that he knew all of this. As much as he thought of himself, and he tells us time and time again how much he admired himself, he knew he had faults and didn't try to hide that fact. I don't agree with a lot of his opinions but I respect that they were his opinions. I freely admit to not having read much more than his science fiction, which is a small part of his contribution to literature, but I'm grateful for his stories as I have enjoyed them immensely.

As for this book,..It's as well written and fun to listen to as his Sci-Fi and the reader did a fantastic job.

3 people found this helpful

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Memoir of a self-absorbed narcissist.

The memoir is interesting because of the information he provides about other writers and history.

Had I known Isaac Asimov was such a self-absorbed, self-centered, narcissistic egotist I would have never read any of his short stories or books. Actually, I wish I could get my money back.

The pathetic part is that he's proud of being "A legend in his own mind" who continuously thinks he's smarter and better than everyone else.

This memoir makes it clear and obvious that he's little more than an adult child with delusions of grandeur.

This memoir was not even honest about his death which was from HIV related kidney failure.

2 people found this helpful

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Inspiring and deeply interesting

Enormous talented Sapiens driven in life by his love to the craft of writing, knowledge and possibilities. And yet, still a man of integrity, fragility and affection.
A tale of over 70 year that depicts the publishing and book industry on hard science, and science fiction among others.

The narrative is captivating. As I have never hear Asimov’s actual voice, the narrator became him and in turn became a real treat.

Listening is enjoyable and a lesson on the various ways of life. Very inspiring. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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ear-opening book about my childhood favori author

I like the section he explains why he is not a zionist and why nations shouldn't build upon cultures or religions. To my surprise he said he was not a good scientist nor a chess player or any table-top game player!

1 person found this helpful

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Thank you Mr Asimov

You said it all. You are like a father figure to me.
You are someone I aspire to be like.

1 person found this helpful

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He'll Always be Remembered in my Heart

When I first started hearing this I thought:boy what an arrogant egoist. But the more I listened, the more I realized that it was said by a sensitive humourous soul. As the book went on I started to grow fond of him and by the end I was truly in love. The reader was so good that I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't Asimov speaking. The book really touched me
Thank you Audible for having it in your library.

1 person found this helpful