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Books - History - Historical Study - Isaac Asimov: Not Just Sci-Fi

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    Asimov's Guide to the Bible : The Old and New Testaments (2Vols. in One)
    by ISAAC ASIMOV
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (12 December, 1988)
    list price: $21.99 -- our price: $21.99
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    Editorial Review

    Isaac Asimov thinks big; readers of his science fiction works are familiar with his grasp and mastery of scale and how the individual stories unfold within the epic work. In Asimov's Guide to the Bible he utilizes this skill to pare down and untangle the many intertwined threads of biblical history and mythology. He views this guide as a way to illuminate the world of the Bible by incorporating the secular aspects of history, biography, and geography into a deeper understanding. Asimov's Guide to the Bible is not a book to be read in continuum but an indispensable companion to any journey through the Bible. Situating the writers of the various books of the Bible in time and space, Asimov gives its writings context and also explains how that context has morphed with time. While some of his conclusions and "qualified speculations" may challenge certain traditional assumptions (for example, there is no reference in the gospels to Mary Magdalene as a prostitute; rather, she was a madwoman whom Jesus cured by casting out seven demons), his aim is not to tear it apart but to flush out some of its mysteries, give it a context that the average Bible reader can understand, and therefore make it more real. --Jodie Buller ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent refernece material.
    Asimov provides an excellent backdrop of historical data and literary criticism in this guide to the Bible. The book is fascinating, addictive, easy to read, and fun. I highly recommend it. As for those religious fanatics who slam it for it's heresies, I say unto you, "wake up!" Faith is for fools. Forget all the myths and magic and use this book to explore WHO wrote the Bible and WHY they wrote the things they wrote. God had nothing to do with it! However, in defense of those Bible thumpers, I will say this: whenever I read a "scholarly" academic book like this and discover that there are no footnotes or bibliography, I get very annoyed. Still, it's a good read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
    Mr. Asimov did a wonderful job of researching the contents of the bible with a completely fresh and unbiased perspective.He dispells the myth and fantasy and provides an accurate context for biblical study.

    1-0 out of 5 stars The Peoples of the Bible
    I recieved this book for Christmas. It was a pleasant surprise because I am a fan of Asimov's spectacular Robot Series. However, when I opened the book and began to read his hypothesis on books such as Daniel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Genesis, Exodus, etc... I found his opinions to be rather anti-Semitic. Here are some points I have to make against the book:

    1. Asimov regards many prophetic books as pure hogwash. I don't down him for this as some do not believe in prophecy. However, he puts forward the conclusion that Daniel and other books were simply political rhetoric of the time disguised ashistorical record. In other words, Daniel and his associates did not exist. They were concocted by some political activist who had a bone to pick with foreign rulers. I found this highly unlikely because Daniel and other books at the time of Christ were held in the highest regard as books and words given directly from God. You don't take a book that was obviously political, wait fifty years and then give it to the public as the Word of God. Either the Jews were incredibly stupid or they were a nation of liars willing to believe that political activists were really Prophets. If anyone truthfully analyzes the kind of mind that would have to take something like Uncle Tom's Cabin and a hundred years later, find it and believe every word was inspired by God, they will see the absurdity of this claim. These books could not have fooled 99% of the Jewish population for hundreds of years. Nations and people groups just don't believe that kind of stuff if its rigged for so long.

    2. Christ is portrayed as a conniving politician. Now some don't believe Jesus was perfect or that he resurrected. Thats fine. But I highly doubt that a man like Jesus could have been the kind of person Asimov makes him out to be and then have his disciples change the records and preach a "Gospel" none of them believed. They died horrible and gruesome deaths for this man. Extra biblical sources confirm it. Why would they run off and "capitalize" on a man they revered and who obviously did not rise from the dead. This is the most unlikely psychological scenario possible. Ask anyone who knows the human psyche and they will tell you how unlikely this is.

    3. Once again I return to what Asimov belives is false Jewish history. He maintains that the stories of Jewish wandering in the desert, Sinai, Egypt, etc... is all a bunch of myth scrambled with some real history. This might be concievable if not for three facts. 1. The Jewish people kept an unbelievably close record on these stories. They had scribes who spent years copying them to perfection so that the sort of thing Asimov believes happened DID NOT HAPPEN! 2. If Asimov is correct, these stories have been tainted beyond all hope of recovery. The "spectacular" angles of this history are littered throughout. If you throw out the miraculous you throw out nearly everything. 3. These books do not bear any of the marks of "tampering". Once one scribe decided to tamper with something and things became a free for all, it would have resulted in a mixed bag of stuff no one would have believed. As it stands the Bible is very readable and the style of writing for each book maintains itself throughout that book.

    There are hundred of copies of the Bible that have been found by archaelogists. Only two copies of Homer's Iliad were ever recovered and that is considered "Bible", pardon the pun, by many historians. And by the way, all those copies of the Bible are virtually identical. They been analyzed in great detail. Therefore, I would wager that Asimov went into this with what I call "a fixed idea" of what he would find. Too bad he missed the mark.

    Read the Robot Series. Forget this book unless you already believe everything Isaac Asimov is going to say. ... Read more

    Isbn: 051734582X
    Subjects:  1. Bible    2. Bible - Biography - General    3. Bible - Controversial Speculation    4. Bible - Study - General    5. Criticism, interpretation, etc    6. History of Biblical events    7. Religion    8. Sale Adult - Religion - Biblical Studies    9. Religion / Bible / Reference   


    $21.99

    Beginnings: The Story of Origins, of Mankind, Life, the Earth, the Universe
    by Isaac Asimov
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 May, 1995)
    list price: $6.99
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    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, informative read!
    This is one of my favorite books for evenings when I feel like learning something in an entertaining way. Of course, if you're looking for an exhaustive treatment of any of the varied subjects covered, you'll have to turn to the many authoritative texts out there (for example, the part about vertebrate paleontology sparked my interest enough to read an old textbook that had been sitting on my shelf a long time called "Evolution of the Vertebrates" which turned out to be excellent!).

    The main charm, and ultimately the main value, of this book is not however its depth but its impressive breadth. I love the sense of mystery it is infused with. Rather than take the typical approach of starting with the Big Bang and summarizing major events after that, he actually begins with a seemingly simple topic that most people feel they know enough about -- the history of human flight. This leads into another chapter about recorded history, which leads to the bigger mystery of prehistoric civilizations, then the origin of man himself... well, you get the picture!

    For anyone with a fascination for science, love of a good mystery, and fondness for the Good Doctor's deceptively simple but always informative prose, look no further than this little gem. I picked it up as an afterthough because I loved Asimov's fiction, but I've now read it three times in as many years!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good... for the beginner
    I am only giving this book 3 stars for anumerous amount of reasons. If i were an average person with little or no understanding of questions of where we came from and what we have done , then this is a good book. I bought this book expecting a deep scientific and philosphical account on thoughts of the origin of the universe, but what i got was something you would learn in a middle school class. I am glad that Isaac Asimov exposed some of the fallacies behind creationist arguements in saying the earth is only several thousand years old. I am a freshman in high school and everything this book I already knew, maybe I am advanced but I don't that. I was also glad that he covered the Stanley Miller experiment where he was able to spontaneously "create" proteins in a simulated early earth enviroment. Of course if you have very little knowledge of evolution, the history of civilization, chemistry, and physics, by all means BUY THE BOOK!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book .
    Ok ..i think i will give this book a 4-star rating unlike what other reviewers gave .Asimov makes a good job in describing the beginnings for lots of things from aviation to universe and this book its fun to read .Iam not handing out a 5-star simply because it includes some not-soimportant issues (at least to myself). ... Read more

    Isbn: 0425115860
    Sales Rank: 500961
    Subjects:  1. Cosmology    2. Life    3. Life Sciences - Ecology    4. Man    5. Origin    6. Science    7. Science/Mathematics   


    I.Asimov : A Memoir
    by ISAAC ASIMOV
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 1995)
    list price: $7.99 -- our price: $7.99
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    Editorial Review

    The long-awaited autobiography of the science fiction master. Filled with his opinions and insights on topics ranging from his own genius and his fear of flying to politics, love, mortality, Hollywood, and religion.Non-fiction. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming read
    Isaac Asimov's writing style is easy to read, but it does not detract from his ability to be profound.This novel was captivating and brought out feelings of compassion in me.Isaac edifies everyone whom he has felt made a positive impact on his life, and in turn shows what a humanitarian he was.

    Isaac was undeniably a great author having published hundreds of books.You can really get a sense of how fantastic his accomplishments are from this book.It is awe inspiring the rate at which he published books and articles.And it seems that quantity did not detract from quality.

    I recommend this book if you are a fan of Isaac Asimov, autobiographies, humanism, or reading.

    Aaron

    5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful reading about a reamarkable man - Highly recommen
    I bought this book with some reluctance, I have not read any book by Asimov since I was in College (In Memory Still Green (old book), Nemesis (kind of new book at the time).
    Supposedley with age I was somewhat a more "sophisticated" reader, whatever that means, and even though I greately regret Asimov's death at the time, I did not feel compelled to buy any more books by him after that time.
    This Christmas among the several books I bought to spend the Holidays I bought I Asimov, and I did not expect too much since I thought that its fragmented structure, with different topics was kind of haphazard, and just a marketing plot to exploit the author`s fame postmortem.
    Boy I was wrong!, from all the books I read this past month, this really made an impression, it was like being in the same room with the man himself, and to hear his evaluation of his memories, and his outlook in what his final days would be.
    Since I was a teenager I enjoyed Asimov`s fiction and nofiction, but I can say that I enjoyed the most when he wrote about himself, and the world he inhabited, I highly appreciated his sincerity, humor, and authenticity.
    It always warmed me to read about how this boy from very humble origins got to get to the top of the the craft that he so much loved.
    This was a very emotional book to read, I laughed aloud many times, and shed a tear at some of the last essays.
    I highly recommend this to anyone who has or has not read Asimov in the past, as an account of a man`s life, his virtues, deffects, accomplishments, and the legacy he left for his family, readers and fellow human beings.
    Finally, I do not think that the Good Doctor had to worry about being forgotten any time soon, each new genaration that reads any of his books will keep his ideas and dreams alive.

    4-0 out of 5 stars More Interesting Than His Works of Fiction
    The first biography that I ever read.It was written in the final year of Isaac Asimov's life.I found the book to be entertaining on many fronts.First of all, Asimov was a devout atheist all the way until the end, although he was technically Jewish.Secondly, it was interesting to find out that a man that wrote over 50 science fiction books and over 400 books in all, almost never left the city of New York...ever!Finally, what I liked most about the book was how flawed an individual Asimov appeared to be, especially in the characterization of his children.He obviously loved his daughter and despised his son, David, although he refused to say that in so many words.This book was clearly better than any science fiction novel that Asimov ever wrote.

    Isaac Asimov
    Wrote About Space and Time But
    He Never Left Home ... Read more

    Isbn: 055356997X
    Subjects:  1. Biography / Autobiography    2. Biography/Autobiography    3. Literary    4. Science Fiction - General    5. Scientists - General    6. Fiction / Science Fiction / General   


    $7.99

    Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare : A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying the Works of Shakespeare
    by ISAAC ASIMOV
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (02 September, 2003)
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $15.74
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Joy to Read
    Okay, here is the analogy. Your hobby is Shakespeare and you have just won the lottery. You have decided to quit your day job, shun the world, sit down, and go over every one of Shakespeare's plays, dissect each scene in chronological order, find out where the characters' names came from, how the plot relates to original source stories such as the myth of King Lear, etc. You research such facts - as they might be available - on whether Shakespeare really did invent the plot of the Tempest all on his own, or as Asimov thinks perhaps it was based on a boat crash in Bermuda. You would go on and on... looking at all the interesting details and side notes plus you would find some maps and drawings. Then - possibly five years later -you would take all the notes, hire Tom Clancy or some other well known modern novel writer and together you would write this easy to read 750 page reference book. Perhaps you could sell a few copies.

    That would be your labour of love, and that it exactly what we have here. Asimov has taken the time to methodically go through all the major works, divide them into three groups, i.e.: Roman-Greek and ancient tales, Italian-Mediterranean more modern tales, and finally the English-Europe stories starting with King Lear. He does not need a writer's help - he brings that to the table. Each play is treated in a short chapter and gets about 20 to 40 pages of analysis, general source comments, and specific comments on a few key lines. He has all the skills needed to keep our attention, make it simple, give us lots of background trivia plus the key guidance, and make it all entertaining.

    I think most would agree that the best book on Shakespeare is the 3500 page monster: The Norton Shakespeare. But the present book is friendlier and at 750 pages easier to read. So this is an excellent reference where one can get a very fast and painless summary of all the works with many interesting details on lines and characters scene by scene without feeling lost or overwhelmed - as sometimes happens with Norton - a book that one can barely lift. Asimov's book is a must buy for most Shakespeare lovers even if you own other books. Simply put this book is a joy to read, an integral part of any Shakespeare library or fine on its own. Asimov spent all that time and made a serious effort, and now we can enjoy it for a few dollars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Azimov on Shakespeare
    Isaac Azimov's Guide to Shakespeare is insightful, educational, controversial, well researched and fun.This is an excellent, alternative interpretation of the Canon.Anyone who wants to understand the history, the mythology and the drama of the plays should read this book.Highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars You Thought You Knew Shakespeare?
    I thought I was pretty familiar with Shakespeare when I picked up Asimov's guide.I thought I had a strong grasp on most of his plays.Boy was I ever wrong!This book taught me things that I never even thought to look for in language that's approachable and engaging.The section where he discusses the REAL history behind the histories is downright gripping -- I wound up reading through it all, not as an explanation of the plays but because Asimov's description of the history itself was fascinating.It led me to read a lot of other literature on the War of the Roses.

    Asimov also explains some of Shakespeare's sometimes hard to understand humor, the puns whose meanings were lost long ago. Scenes that once meant nothing to me came alive, and the characters and their relationships with each other became much clearer.I adore his take on Hamlet.It absolutely changed the way I read the play, made it a good deal more entertaining.

    The reason I gave the book four stars instead of five is that Asimov is a little bit too forward in his personal opinions on some of the plays.There are places where he leaves a lot of questions I have about sections of certain plays unanswered because he's trying to forward an agenda for a creative interpretation of the play in question.Sometimes (as with Hamlet) this works, but all in all, I would have liked to have seen less of it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517268256
    Sales Rank: 17615
    Subjects:  1. 1564-1616    2. Allusions    3. Criticism and interpretation    4. Drama    5. General    6. Literary Criticism    7. Sale Adult - Plays / Drama    8. Shakespeare    9. Shakespeare, William    10. Shakespeare, William,    11. Sources    12. Reference / General   


    $15.74

    Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts
    by ISAAC ASIMOV
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (23 September, 1991)
    list price: $10.99 -- our price: $8.79
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    Editorial Review

    Isaac Asimov was unquestionably one of America's greatest scientific writers--from his mind came the awe-inspiring Foundation trilogy and the classic I, Robot. It hardly comes as a surprise then, that the brain of Asimov was overflowing with facts, statistics, and millions of trivial tidbits. His Book of Facts comprises 3,000 of these little information snippets. To organize this wealth of data are distinct subject areas--ranging from chapters titled "Art" and "Medicine" to more obscure ones such as "Salty Facts" and the amusing "Strange Rules, Laws and Customs."Did you know, for instance, that the Tinguian people of the Philippines have a very unique way of kissing? They put their lips close to each other's faces, and then quickly inhale. Or that in the Middle Ages the Europeans put their disobedient animals on trial? Well, you know now!Asimov's Books of Facts immerses the reader into a humongous vat of information. Asimov feeds the brain. --Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Asimov Didn't Write This
    In his autobiography, "I, Asimov", Isaac makes it clear he did not write this book. It was put together by someone else, and his name was attached to it through some kind of contractual mumbo-jumbo. That being said, it is an entertaining book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Facts: Low Quality
    I think Asimov is pushing it with this one: "he has studied so many things throughout his life, he must be qualified to write a book of interesting factoids." The result is a compendium of trivia with limited interest: since he has tried to draw from his entire career, facts are sometimes even general knowledge within a subject, or not particularly interesting. To be more specific, take:
    "Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel. He refused the opportunity, having no head, he said, for human problems."
    "New York City has 570 miles of shoreline."
    "The hardness of ice is similar to that of concrete"
    etc.
    I thought this book would make good toilet reading and was let down: most facts were unsurprising or not particularly enlightening.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Facts
    I am a junkie for inconsequential facts. This book is full of them, although it also has many facts that we should know and perhaps don't. My only complaint is that it's not a paperback. I can't carry it around easily and read at lunch! I recommend it for other facts junkies. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517065037
    Subjects:  1. Curiosities and wonders    2. Dictionaries    3. Encyclopedias and dictionaries    4. Reference    5. Sale Adult - Reference    6. Trivia    7. Reference / Trivia   


    $8.79

    Fantasy Art Techniques
    by Boris Vallejo
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (28 May, 1996)
    list price: $20.00
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    Reviews (10)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Quite disappointing for a teaching aid
    I absolutely love Boris Vallejo's art, and as an artist, I would love to be able to do what he can. Which is of course why you buy a book like this.

    I was very disappointed when I received the book. It serves more as a look back through his back catalogue of work (some unpublished stuff as well). There are a few (very few) pieces of advice and tips on how to set up your reference photos and prepare a portfolio, but overall it is so general and vague that you will learn little more than "there is no one way to paint skin colour" or "it takes time to get good". Chances are you already knew that...

    This book was either compiled in a hurry by request of Boris Vallejo's financial advisor, or he is simply not interested in passing on the knowledge he has of his craft. Quite disappointing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Techniques of a master illustrator
    Vallejo's techniqe is awe-inspiring and really very simple. He does a rough sketch, poses his models, takes pictures, and composes a finished drawing. He transfers this to a canvas, does an acrylic wash for the lights and darks, then adds colors with oils.
    And that's it!
    Well, he makes it look that easy, anyway. Vallejo let's you in on the medium he uses right down to the fast-drying ordorless turp used by housepainters. This book really disects the methods of an icon of fantasy artwork.

    Thanks, Boris

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best artist ever
    WOW! i have been a fan of his work since 1985 . He is the greatest artist ive ever seen . I was proud to have one of his works from his 1985 calender tatood on my belly.I WANT MORE ! ... Read more

    Isbn: 068481904X
    Sales Rank: 347093
    Subjects:  1. Art    2. Art & Art Instruction    3. Fantasy Illustration    4. Fantasy in art    5. Graphic Arts - General    6. Individual Artist    7. Painting    8. Technique    9. Techniques - General    10. Vallejo, Boris    11. Art / Graphic Arts   


    Asimov's Chronology of the World
    by Isaac Asimov
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (06 November, 1991)
    list price: $45.00 -- our price: $29.70
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
    Asimov's Chronology of the World is a superb reference work. Although not really (and not meant to be) a coherent narrative, it is highly readable and absolutely essential to any historical research. It is useful as a reference tool in almost any historical context; if you're not sure when something happened, or exactly what happened, consult the Chronology. If it was a major happening, it's almost certain to be there, and realtively easy to find.

    Asimov does sacrifice depth for breadth in this work; many more minor events are not covered. Also, if you plan to read this work cover to cover (I did, and it was very well worth the effort--doing so gives a broad perspective on history very difficult to find elsewhere), you need a good historical atlas on hand to understand how events unfold.

    The only complaint I have with this work is that Asimov did not live long enough to write the sequel, chronologizing the events from 1945-2000. If anyone has found a good book to fill this gap, please let me know!

    In sum, Asimov's Chronology is the essential one-volume reference to world history. No home library should be without it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book by a great writer and communicator.
    This may be one of Asimov's greatest achievements.

    Long known as a science fiction and fact great, Asimov was an even greater historian.

    The author of some 470 books wrote my three favorite history books - and each one taught me more in each chapter than did each year of history in public school!

    You're going to find more in this book that will force you to read it in the bath tub, the bed, and, well, you get the point!

    Buy this book and learn about the world you live in - Bill Anderson

    5-0 out of 5 stars asimov's chronology of war
    typical asimov; superior writing and very informative.however; it's more a history of war and conquest through-out history than a chronology of the world (i guess the history of civilization is a history of warfare, unfortunately).
    gives insight to how various nations,cultures,ethnicities of today got started in their dislike of each other!
    A GOOD READ!! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0062700367
    Sales Rank: 57390
    Subjects:  1. Asimov, Isaac - Prose & Criticism    2. Chronology    3. Chronology, Historical    4. Encyclopedias    5. Reference    6. World - General    7. Reference / Encyclopedias   


    $29.70

    The Best of Isaac Asimov Presents Super Quiz
    by Ken Fisher, Isaac Asimov
    Paperback (01 March, 1996)
    list price: $12.00 -- our price: $12.00
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    Isbn: 1569800642
    Sales Rank: 684597
    Subjects:  1. Education    2. Questions & Answers    3. Questions and answers    4. Reference    5. Wonders And Curiosities   


    $12.00

    Asimov Laughs Again : More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks, and Anecdotes
    by Isaac Asimov
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (15 September, 1993)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $11.20
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars More corn then Oklahoma, shows the heart of the man
    This book is more helpful then some of my fellow reviews suggest, as it reflects greatly on who Asimov the man actually was.

    He was an unrepentant sexist, as many men of his generation were. He was arrogant, asmany successful men are. He was self centred, as most of us are.

    However,through this book you can see the pain of the failure of his first marriageand his love for his second wife and daughter. You can see many of thepeople he liked.

    Sure some of it is unfunny, some of it is just plaincrude and some of it is rambling. I liked it and return to it every coupleof years.

    One reason I did like it was it showed how autobiographicalmuch of Asimov's other writings were. If you cross check some of theFoundation series, you can see a reflection in Issac's own life at the timeof writing. This makes this volume a worthy addition for any Issac-ophile.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not only unfunny but embarassing
    Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time, but this book showed that there was a limit to even his talents.Most of the "jokes" are (a) not his; (b) not funny; (c) corny; and (d)sexually boring and/or gross.I was astonished that this was published inthe 90's.It was so dated, I thought (before I checked the copyrightnotice) that it was published in the '70's and was supposed to be"shocking."

    Put this down and reread the Foundation series!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Asimov rules his humor stinks
    Asimov is a great author but this book just isn't funny.I found myself struggling to stay awake through out the entire book.The majority of the jokes aren't even his, he is just retelling someone elses joke.Overallvery boring. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0060924489
    Sales Rank: 295674
    Subjects:  1. American wit and humor    2. Anthologies (multiple authors)    3. Form - Jokes & Riddles    4. General    5. Humor    6. Jewish wit and humor    7. Jews    8. Social life and customs    9. United States    10. Humor / General   


    $11.20

    Limericks
    by ISAAC ASIMOV, JOHN CIARDI
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (02 May, 2000)
    list price: $7.99
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funny! Bawdy yet witty!
    A must for your favorite limerick lover. These clever rhymes will have you on the floor in no time! Rolling with laughter, that is! I love Asimov and Ciardi paired in this way. Makes a great gift.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best
    Isaac Asimov and John Ciardi were both two brilliant men the likes of whom the world is lucky to have known. Both full of genius in their own way, they were, one imagines, excellent friends, and yet equally excellent enemies.

    This is one of the finest collections of limericks I have seen, certainly one of the finest contemporary collections, and the introductions to the two books contained within make the bouquet so much more rich. Their sparring of words, of dashing insults and quick recoveries, is almost as fun to read as the poetry itself.

    And the limericks...ah, delightfully scandalous. I suspect you will find yourself respecting John's concept of meter and stylistic master-strokes far above Isaac's, but at the same time will feel that somehow, for all his lack of understanding the mechanics properly, Isaac understands what the content of a limerick is meant to be.

    That content, of course dear friends, is most often risque. I would certainly not caution parents against letting their children read this collection, but do be warned: The limerick is a bawdy form, and it is hard to fit anything but lewd intonations into its loose meter.

    I recommend this book, for a gift, for something to read on a plane, for something for the WC, a coffee-table book, or any other use you might conceive of. And I will leave you with my own feeble attempt at the form, written post-haste and most likely in poor-taste.

    "A book of fine lim'ricks was writ,
    And though many said they were just... pooh,
    I laughed till I wept,
    And this fine book I kept,
    And to this day I still will read it."

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is one of the few small 2nd. hand book I used to have.
    I really can not remember if I read all of the limericks, but beforeleaving I gave this excellent, witty, naughty book to my eldest son, whomust have thought his Mom was rather 'naughty' herself to have such a kindof literature! Few of us can write limericks, because in a few words youhave to paint the whole picture and what a one that is! I have the highestesteem for Mr. Isaac Asimov, who sadly enough, left us too. I seem toremember he did not enjoy at all flying airplanes. But he left us all sortsof very interesting material to be read by us. I give 5 stars to thiscollection of limericks. Thank you Mr. Asimov. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517208822
    Sales Rank: 433050
    Subjects:  1. Form - Limericks & Verse    2. Humor    3. Limericks    4. Poetry    5. Humor / General   


    Isaac Asimov Presents the Best Crime Stories of the 19th Century
    by Isaac Asimon, Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, Charles Waugh
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1995)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of his best
    My first Issac Asimov book i read was puzzles of the black widows and after that I read the rest of the series and was hooked on Asimov's works. I like his style of writing and his different times his storys are set. Thetitle Isaac Asimov Presents the Best Crime Stories of the 19th Century is abit misleading as many of the stories are written by different authors. Istill loved the book and recommend it to everyone. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1569800510
    Sales Rank: 1459359
    Subjects:  1. 19th century    2. Anthologies (multiple authors)    3. Detective and mystery stories    4. Fiction    5. Fiction - Mystery/ Detective    6. Mystery & Detective - Anthologies    7. Mystery & Detective - General    8. Mystery/Suspense   


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    Isaac Asimov's Detectives (Ace Science Fiction)
    by Gardner Dozois, Sheila Williams
    Paperback (01 August, 1998)
    list price: $5.99
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    Isbn: 0441005454
    Sales Rank: 1185616
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Science Fiction    3. Mystery & Detective - General    4. Romance - Historical    5. Science Fiction    6. Science Fiction - Anthologies   


    Flatland/Sphereland (Everyday Handbook)
    by Edwin A. Abbott
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (16 February, 1994)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
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    Editorial Review

    Unless you're a mathematician, the chances of you reading any novels about geometry are probably slender. But if you read only two in your life, these are the ones. Taken together, they form a couple of accessible and charming explanations of geometry and physics for the curious non-mathematician. Flatland, which is also available under separate cover, was published in 1880 and imagines a two-dimensional world inhabited by sentient geometric shapes who think their planar world is all there is. But one Flatlander, a Square, discovers the existence of a third dimension and the limits of his world's assumptions about reality and comes to understand the confusing problem of higher dimensions. The book is also quite a funny satire on society and class distinctions of Victorian England.The further mathematical fantasy, Sphereland, published 60 years later, revisits the world of Flatland in time to explore the mind-bending theories created by Albert Einstein, whose work so completely altered the scientific understanding of space, time, and matter. Among Einstein's many challenges to common sense were the ideas of curved space, an expanding universe and the fact that light does not travel in a straight line. Without use of the mathematical formulae that bar most non-scientists from an understanding of Einstein's theories, Sphereland gives lay readers ways to start comprehending these confusing but fundamental questions of our reality. ... Read more

    Reviews (123)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ok, so we glimpse the 4thD, is this the Spirit World?
    I read this book over 20 years ago for extra credit in 10th grade geometry.It has the effect of compressing your mind like a spring, (into 2D) then releasing it.What I got was a different meaning than most.And that is...this could explain "where" Heaven and Hell are.If our 3D existance is a subset of 4D or higher as the book suggests, then it "fits" for an answer to a rather basic question of faith in God.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A sci-fi classic about life in two dimensions
    Flatland is a two-dimensional unvierse, inhabited not by people as we know them, but by shapes - triangles, polygons, circles, etc.The narrator, A. Square, introduces the readers to the customs, class distinctions (based on geometric shape), male and female roles, how to tell one another apart, and on general life living in a world of only two dimensions.Square's life is turned upside down when, on the eve of the new millenium, a strange visitor literally drops into his home.This visitor - a Sphere - has chosen Square as his apostle to teach the two-dimensional masses about how more to life there is beyond their flat world view.

    At first glance, this comes across as a novel about higher math: geometry, 2- and 3-dimensions, the possiblity of higher cimensions after the third, etc.Author Edwin Abbott examines and illustrates what life would be like living in such flat world, in which everyone resembles a straight line - whether the "person" is a circle, a triangle, or a square - because only one side of them can be seen.On a deeper level, though, Abbott offers a scathing parody of Victorian society.(After all, the book was first published in the late 1880s.)Class distinction based on birth is rampant.The "lower" beings, such as isocoles triangles and irregular shapes, live in shame and are looked down upon by society.They will never attain the good paying jobs or respectability that those shapes with more sides have.Women are seen as merely lines, very dangerous to society, though, so they must be kept uneducated.Their main purpose is to help their male counterparts achieve higher and higher status through breeding.

    Quite a remarkable book for its time.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into 4D
    This is an absolutely fascinating book. It's also a classic, written in 1880, that has definitely stood the test of time. I am mildly interested in math and fascinated by science, and the concept of multiple dimensions (or fewer dimensions) is one of great interest to me. The notion of Pointland, Lineland, Flatland, and above and beyond into 4-D, 5-D, 6-D, and more is, to allow my geek side to show, exciting. The book also has some interesting social statements to make. I can't recommend this book enough to anyone at least mildly interested in math or science. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0062732765
    Subjects:  1. American Science Fiction And Fantasy    2. Classics    3. Literature - Classics / Criticism    4. Physics    5. Science Fiction - General    6. Science/Mathematics    7. Science / General   


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