Critical Insights: Isaac Asimov Review

This volume of the Critical Insights series essentially serves as an introduction to the life and works of the author Isaac Asimov. Through a collection of informative and expansive essays, this book explores Asimov and his writings from a number of angles and vantage points. From bird’s eye analyses to detailed studies, M. Keith Booker has brought together a number of writings to help flesh out and define the character and importance of perhaps the most famous and prolific science fiction author in history.

Critical Insights: Isaac Asimov begins, as one would expect, with a biography and discussion of Asimov. Following these biographical writings are 14 essays divided into two main areas: Critical Contexts and Critical Readings. The four essays in the first section look at Asimov and his writings from a more encompassing vantage point, discussing such topics as his cultural and historical context, critical reception, etc. The second section delves into more detailed and specific analysis of Asimov’s writings. Contributions in this section explore such topics as race and robotics, morality, gender, and Asimov’s Shakespeare writings. This book also includes a chronology, a list of Asimov’s books, a bibliography, contributor information, and an index.

Compiling an exhaustive collection and analyses of all Asimov’s writings would be nigh impossible. Fortunately, this book does not attempt such a feat, and instead focuses on laying a foundation for further research and understanding of Asimov, his works, and his importance to literature and culture. The essays are interesting and informational, doing an admirable job of exploring a variety of perspectives. Any collection including Asimov’s works would benefit from adding this title to its collection.