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The Ugly Little Boy Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553561227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553561227
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,309,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This expanded version of the late Asimov's classic 1958 tale is a collaborative effort that surpasses the original. There are no plot surprises; the authors have retained the basic story of an alien four-year-old child who is kidnapped from his time zone and brought into a future world. Yet this is a fresh and satisfying version, primarily because the characters have been made richer, the depiction of 21st-century society rounded out and the history of the Neanderthal tribe from which the eponymous boy was abducted more fully given. When the woebegone waif, now named Timmie, was snatched from his epoch, he was brought into a pool of no-time, which exists coincident with the present. Since Timmie is condemned to living within that pool forever, his presence raises moral questions: Is it abusive to leave him alone in this limbo for eternity? Would it be equally cruel to send him back to the Ice Age? Asimov ( Foundation ) and Silverberg ( Lord Valentine's Castle ) explore these issues in an intriguing story supported by seamless writing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The boy has learned to speak, to read, and to write.
Rachel Fisher
This is actually a short story, later expanded into a novel with the co-writing of Robert Silverberg, and there's oodles of Asimov to read and enjoy.
Beverly Diehl
As with Sturgeon's novella above this story simply uses technology as a background to a wholly human, and self-revealing tale.
Raymond Mathiesen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Asimov's novella Ugly Little boy & so I tried the novel. The authors ,I'm guessing, did an intersting approach to collaboration. Rather than trying to merge their different styles (something that would've been very difficult) they ,once again I'm presuming, wrote 2 stories & connected them. The Neanderthal story of where the child came from is pure silverberg, the future tale of where the boy ended up is a great deal like the original novella so it's pure Asimov. This works because asimov's original story was about the child being "a fish out of water" & silverberg does a good job of showing the "waters" he came from. Therefore the contrasting styles are almost necessary. In novel form it becomes a story of a child going from a Silverbergian world (Which in my experience means beautiful, passionate, melancholy, dangerous, & in this case primitive) to an asimovean one (Which I'm more experienced with: rational, shiny, techy, & in this case a bit cold). This approach makes the contrast between the primitive & the futuristic more real. It will please fans of prehistoric romance & futuristic fiction. Also it's just a great story about being thrust to a place where you don't fit in, but where you find people to care about anyway. Recommended & I wouldn't mind other collaborations using this technique. If ,of course, they really did use the technique I described. I'm almost certain they did, however.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sathyanarayanan Sekar on July 31, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Asimov in his introduction to the short story, put it as a "tear-jerker" and his second favoutite story. It is my all-time favourite though - a wonderful read. The novel is good - there is some expansion on the Neanderthal times from where the boy is brought as a specimen to today's world. But what is truly relevant here is the way the maternal feelings grow in Nurse ???(whats her name) and how mutual love develops between the two. The finale is brilliant. I would recomment all to read this one. There is nothing special in the "Silververg" part as I see it. The short story of Asimov is what carries the thing through - and so, you may as well read the short story. Its his finest tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Banshee on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Two of our most famous sci-fi authors, Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg got together to produce a great "what if" story exploring how technology of a make-believe 21st-century lab could go far enough to bring right back a child from 40,000 years ago to live with a caregiver in a bubble.

Miss Fellowes, who had been hired under very strict regulations to watch the prehistoric boy, had a kind of a sharp tongue and sometimes acted like a demented soccer mom, especially when nosey scientists and the media eagerly flocked over to gawk at the kid and make a big fuss over him. But she had fallen into love with the strange-looking Neandertal child and thus would never want to part with him.

The little boy named "Timmie" had turned out to be such a charming little angel in spite of his "unsightly" prehistoric appearance. And he had also ended up facing a very uncertain fate, especially with a scientist who brought him over, yet didn't intend to keep him forever, an overzealous child advocate who screamed bloody "child abuse", and a worried nurse who feared that he wouldn't survive in a prehistoric environment after a few years of learning to read and eat with a fork.

In addition to Timmie's heartwarming adventure in the modern times, we also get glimpses of the prehistoric tribe that he had left behind, which was now facing its own dangers forty thousand years back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Ugly Little Boy" is a book about a little boy named Timmie (Skyfire Face), who got kidnapped from his native tribe and was shipped to the future. Even though a Neanderthal, Timmie managed to master all the abilities a modern boy his age should have. With the help of his dedicated nurse/mother he even learned to read. But the media didn't care; to them he was a simple ape-boy and nothing else. It just proves that prejudice is stronger than acceptance.
I recommend this boook very much to readers of all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Diehl on March 11, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is actually a short story, later expanded into a novel with the co-writing of Robert Silverberg, and there's oodles of Asimov to read and enjoy. I loved the whole mind-bending of the story, of scientists who find a way to bring forward people from an earlier time, but only in a small enclosure, and for a limited period of time. They want to talk to them, take tissue samples, study how they move and behave. After scoring with a peasant from the Renaissance, they manage to bring forward a small Neanderthal boy. If this story doesn't make you cry you have no heart. And afterwards, it'll make you think.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff

Little Robin Martin is three years old and has lived for as long as he can remember in a small boarding house. The other people who live there are to him a part of his environment which he accepts totally. There is of course his mother Sue Martin who works as a nightclub entertainer. There is Sam and "Bitty' Bittelman who own the boarding house, quietly look after their guests and pay special attention to Robin when his mother is asleep or working. There is Anthony O'Banion, a lawyer from a 'good' family, who has become Robin's special buddy. There is Phil Halvorsen who works in vocational guidance and has a very observant and inquisitive mind. There is Mary Haunt who works as a secretary at the local radio station, but who has her heart set on being a movie star. There is Reta Schmidt a nervous and uptight school librarian. Then there is Robin's special friends "Boff" and "Googie" who nobody else sees but who he believes in with a certainty of a child. Observing all of these people are two aliens who wish to know if the human species uses "Synapse Beta sub Sixteen", which is vital to long term species survival. In order to speed up their scientific work the aliens decide, against their better judgment, to run an experiment, so they tinker with their "new-model [widget]" and their "[miserable] [primitive] [battery]-powered [wadget]" and commence meddling with the lives and minds of their human subjects.

Theodore Sturgeon is one of the 'classic' authors of science fiction and horror, but he is unfortunately now largely ignored. Here is an excellent chance to remedy any ignorance you may have and take up my own thirst for the 'oldies-but-goodies'. In this novella Sturgeon delves into the human mind.
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