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The Best Mysteries of Isaac Asimov

by Isaac Asimov

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2162103,005 (3.69)1
A collection of 31 short stories chosen by the writer as his favorites.

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I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this collection. I love many of Asimov's early novels and stories, but have found his later fiction to be more of a mixed bag. The substance of his ideas often feels much stronger than the depth of his storytelling.

Most of these are simple gimmick stories, more puzzles than traditional mysteries, which provide little satisfaction beyond that which is inherent in the puzzle itself. A few come off as clever, but some rely on misdirection, and others hinge on information so arcane that I certainly didn't feel that I could reasonably be expected to have figured out the answer.

Most of these make little effort in characterization or setting or atmosphere. For empathy Asimov seems to rely on an assumption that genius readers will feel affirmed by reading a genius author write about geniuses being ingenious. Indeed, there is something blatantly egotistical about many of the prefacing story notes, albeit a reasonably charming egotism.

I gave many of these a fairly low rating. There were a few exceptions to prove the rule. My favorite was "The Little Things," one of the shortest stories in the collection, about two elderly female busybodies who investigate an irritating dripping sound coming from the apartment above. ( )
  clong | Feb 16, 2013 |
Mystery has never been Asimov's forte, as they all read like puzzles rather than crime tales. ( )
  mohi | Jul 5, 2009 |
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A collection of 31 short stories chosen by the writer as his favorites.

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