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Janet Jeppson-Asimov badgered her husband to write a third volume of autobiography that had a little more emotional depth than the first two, and humanity should be thankful! His first and second are essentially one book, being written together as one manuscript over the course of about two years in 1978 and 1979. Nevertheless, the books have something of a different character, simply because the events being described become more and more recent.
In the first, Asimov begins with some family history occurring before he was born, and much of it deals with his childhood, academic progress, WWII and the beginning of his first marriage. WWII is a matter of historical record, and little about the broad sweep of its arc is in dispute these days. There is very little drama in the life of a child, or the life of a nerdy young adult whose main interests are science and science fiction. There is also little drama in the first flush of immature love that led to his first marriage. What drama there is, concerns events long past or people long dead, and is dealt with without too much worry. Besides which, the main interest of the book is Asimov's increasingly successful forays as a writer, and while consumately interesting, it is not generally a contentious subject.
By the time we reach this volume, In Joy Still Felt, however, one can't help but notice that every second page is emotionally stunted, truncated, abbreviated and censored. People are described as existing, living in a place, going to another place, meeting other people, eating, giving or receiving awards, and occasionally Asimov deigns to tell us if they had a good time or not. What they really did, or talked about, what they thought, or what he thought of them, we will now never know.
Asimov talks of himself with sufficient frankness, and can be forgiven for some occasional bias here and there since he is, of course, himself and can scarcely be expected to be objective. Nevertheless, his accounts of himself are thought provoking, entertaining and interesting, and one can read between some of those lines to get a better idea of Asimov the man, as opposed to Asimov the prolific author.
The mind races however, when attempting to read into the copious space between the lines concerning the halting descriptions of other people. Asimov's own son, David, is scarcely mentioned, while his daughter Robyn is mentioned frequently and with obvious warmth. What little is written about David elsewhere leads one to surmise he would probably be diagnosed as autistic (sharing many of his father's social limitations, and loner habits, but experiencing delayed speech as a child). He probably suffered a poor relationship not only with his own family, but society at large, and for anyone this would be a shame, and emotionally stunting.
Those people Asimov likes get affectionate mentions as the opportunities present, though it's noticeable that nothing bad ever happens and no one ever has a fight with anyone else. Those people Asimov scarcely describes at all, one can only assume nothing good ever happened to describe.
Nevertheless, much of the book still concerns Asimov's writing (and rightly so, since it always consumed the bulk of his time) and his interactions with the publishing industry, which for fans of either will prove engrossing. There are also many more interesting events to describe, which are done in some, emotionally detached, depth, such as the several cruises he took, usually for scientific reasons (and because he didn't fly) as well as his divorce (dealt with tantalising brevity,) and his second marriage.
While either of these volumes on their own would make a long autobiography, the pages fly past. Asimov's writing style is so genial and conversational that almost no mental effort is expended whilst reading (leaving the mind all the freer to understand, which is what made him such a good science writer). The book is not disappointing at all, it's still wonderful. It just leaves one wondering if the unwritten parts are longer than the written.