Cover of The Sensuous Dirty Old Man
Book 112 Humor 1971
What Makes the Sun Shine The Best New Thing
3 spaceships-and-suns
Asimov fan
3 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader

With utter frankness, Dr. A. touches on every angle of the art of being not only a dirty old man, but a sensuous dirty old man: the stare, the leer, the snicker, the snort, the fatherly squeeze, the uncle-ish tweak, and the “problems”: What do you say when the husband arrives? What do you do when you meet that dread adversary, the dirty old woman?


Oh, but I love this book.

When I was much younger (and less experienced) than I am, I avoided it because it’s “dirty.” I didn’t buy it for a long time, and I felt “dirty” myself for having bought it when I finally did. Nowadays, I would take the attitude that it’s worse to pretend that sex doesn’t exist unless one happens to be in the marriage bed and healthier to deal realistically with sex for what it is than avert the eyes whenever it pops up.

This is still not a book I’d have handed daughters when they were eight-year-olds, of course, although to be frank, they saw smuttier things just by watching TV ads during prime-time than are to be found in this book. I would, however, heartily recommend it to an adult or a teenager as a delightful skewering of people who are obsessed with sex (like people who make TV ads, perhaps?) and, particularly, obsessed with it and not particularly interested in getting any. Or of people who feel that it is the duty of every male of the species to be constantly and incessantly ignoring any aspect of any female beyond how tight her clothes are.

Asimov assumes an air of mock seriousness throughout the book, discussing in minute detail the proper way to leer, for example, all the while mixing words, spellings, phrases, and any and every aspect of language with the ease of an accomplished juggler. (I, for example, hadn’t known that Giuseppe Verdi’s real name was Joe Green.)

This is perhaps Asimov’s single funniest book and well worth getting if at all possible.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...