It's Been a Good Life and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: CDN$ 30.50
  • You Save: CDN$ 6.10 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Usually ships within 1 to 3 months.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
It's Been a Good Life has been added to your Cart
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Moderate wear on cover and edges. Minimal highlighting and/or other markings can be present. May be ex-library copy and may not include CD, Accessories and/or Dust Cover. Good readable copy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

It's Been a Good Life Hardcover – Mar 1 2002


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
CDN$ 24.40
CDN$ 24.40 CDN$ 17.87

Best Canadian Books of 2014
Margaret Atwood's stunning new collection of stories, Stone Mattress, is our #1 Canadian pick for 2014. See all

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1 edition (March 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573929689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573929684
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.2 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #479,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Condensed by Asimov's widow from the remarkably prolific author's three-volume autobiography, this fascinating but somewhat disjointed collection of excerpts conveys the exuberant spirit of one of the most celebrated founding fathers and eighth Grand Master of American science fiction, who died in 1992. As a child of Russian Jewish immigrants, Asimov gazed longingly at encyclopedias in more affluent friends' homes, and grew up to be a walking encyclopedia himself: a self-educated polymath and humanist, he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and later received over a dozen honorary doctorates. Asimov's widow presents chronologically his thoughts on his writing in the context of his life and his lifelong secular humanism; she connects them with a minimum of editorial comment and occasionally adds illuminating passages from their previously unpublished private correspondence. Also included are a brief chronology of Asimov's life; his posthumous 400th essay "A Way of Thinking," which his wife assembled from their discussions and letters defending "Reason against Chaos"; Asimov's favorite among his multitudinous short stories, "The Last Question," which is quintessential Asimov in its spare, conversational style simmering with optimistic cosmic humor; and the surprising revelation that Asimov's 1992 death was caused by complications from AIDS, which he had contracted through blood transfusions during his 1983 bypass surgery. Generously exposing both Asimov's immense talents as a science fiction author and his ruefully amusing self-deprecating punctures of his own early inflated self-image, this readable and idiosyncratic self-portrait should attract a whole new generation of readers to Asimov's fine creative works. Photos.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Isaac Asimov the author of hundreds of books, both fiction and nonfiction, including the "Foundation" series was a rationalist, convinced that the act of writing was Heaven for him. That rationalism is evident in his three-volume autobiography, which has been condensed into this single-volume work, accompanied by some personal letters compiled by his second wife, Janet Jeppison Asimov. Asimov's know-how, opinions, joys, and successes as a writer, educator, soldier, husband, father, and general intellectual show-off are detailed to varying degrees, but so are his booby prizes. He readily admits to being very self-involved, a necessity for a writer of his output, but such self-centeredness did not work well for his first marriage. It is, however, impossible not to like Asimov and his enthusiasm, even glee, for life as it comes. Asimov was often ill later in life, but his optimism and love of learning remained. Janet Asimov presents a "revelation" in the epilog of this book, but the impression that will last is of Isaac Asimov, the humanist. Recommended for all libraries. Robert L. Kelly, Ft. Wayne Community Schs., IN
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Crowe on Jan. 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
This compression of Isaac Asimov's earlier autobiographical works will principally be remembered as the book that announced to the world that Asimov died of AIDS. But as a one-volume summary of his life, it enjoys only mixed success.
This book both benefits and suffers from its source material: the best chapters are those on Asimov's early life and career, and were extracted from his first volume of autobiography, In Memory Yet Green, which was strongly narrative and, as a result, stronger; the second volume, In Joy Still Felt, was more anecdotal and quotidian, as Asimov settled into the routine of a workaholic full-time writer, and as a result yielded less insightful material to excerpt.
Like Asimov's third autobiography, I. Asimov: A Memoir, and his collection of letters, Yours, Isaac Asimov, the chapters are topical. While some chapters are solid, others are quite thin: the chapters that simply collect funny anecdotes could have been dispensed with. For example, Chapter 26, "The Bible", includes a couple of not-very-illuminating anecdotes related to Asimov's Guide to the Bible, and could have been folded, along with the chapter on humanism, into a longer chapter on religion and unbelief. I would have preferred fewer, longer chapters that went into more depth. Substantial introductory and connective material to piece Asimov's own work together would have strengthened the book; instead, we're given passages that sometimes look like they were excerpted, word by word, with a razor blade.
On a more mundane level, the proofreading is sometimes surprisingly bad, with several misspelled authors' names and even one book title ("I, Robert"?!?) -- just the sort of thing that Isaac would have found bothersome.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 6 2002
Format: Hardcover
Isaac Asimov can justifably lay claim to having been one of the most prolific writers of modern times, producing science fiction, fantasy, essays and other works. His wife Janet Asimov here edits her husband's personal thoughts about his life and works, including excerpts from his letters and insights into his life experiences throughout the process. Fans of Asimov will find It's Been A Good Life to be a warm and revealing literary biography.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Andrew on March 19 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's been a good life is a good way to describe Asimov's life as he describes it in his own words. An autobiographical account of his life, with inserts by his wife, this book details Asimov's life in a funny and interesting volume.
He starts with his birth and childhood, which is an interesting feat. Not many people can remember their young lives. From there, he describes how he became interested in reading, then writing and finally how he first became published. From there, he describes his academic and writing lives in a clear, paced fasion. Everything blends in perfectly, from birth to death.
I was paticularly fasinated by his writing life, as a fan of his. For most of the book, he describes how he became a novelist, then how he stopped in favor of scientific resources and then how he returned to fiction. Because he wrote this in the first person view, it is entirly too easy to fall right into his head, and see things the way he did. This is expecially true towards the end of the book and his life. I really got the sense that he had too much to do, that he wanted to do and didn't have nearly enough time to accomplish it all.
I have read many of his science fiction novels, and from this book, learned a lot about what drove him to writing the stories I enjoy, but also about his life in general. There was much that I had no idea about. For example, he was in the Army, died of AIDs, due to a blood transfusion, and went through writing cycles.
Paticularly helpful was the editing that his wife did. On almost every section, she inserted references to his life that explained what he was talking about a little better. This book would have been very difficult and/or confusing if they had not been put in.
In addition, this book is an extremely fast read.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Edward Seiler on April 6 2002
Format: Hardcover
Isaac Asimov's three volumes of autobiography published in the seventies, eighties and nineties totaled over 2100 pages and 870,000 words. To condense such an enormous amount of detail down to a manageable 300 or so pages, with the addition of enough new material to make the book fresh and interesting, while keeping the story of Isaac's magnificent life lively and entertaining must have been a daunting task, but Janet Jeppson Asimov has done it well. Make no mistake, IT'S BEEN A GOOD LIFE is an autobiography, told in Isaac Asimov's own words, yet it is also the story of his life as Janet Asimov has chosen to tell it.
The initial chapters of the book are ordered chronologically, beginning with Asimov's birth in Russia and his arrival in the United States in 1923, and continue onward from his youth in Brooklyn, his beginnings as a writer, marriage, fatherhood, divorce, remarriage, and his last years of declining health. Janet Asimov has interwoven accounts from all three of the earlier volumes, supplementing his earliest autobiographical recollections with the additional reflections of their significance that came a bit later in his life. She fills the abridgements and adds her own brief commentary with parenthetical remarks, aiming to tread lightly so as not to interfere with the story at hand. Throughout the book she also sprinkles excerpts from the many letters he had written to her over the years, giving the reader a first look at the personal insights shared during their correspondence. Those letters were also used by Janet to compose "A Way of Thinking", Asimov's 400th essay for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which appears as an appendix to the book.
The selections chosen paint a portrait of who Isaac Asimov was.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.


Feedback