Cover of Lecherous Limericks
Book 166 Humor 1975
Eyes on the Universe The Heavenly Host
3 spaceships-and-suns
Asimov fan
3 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader

You have heard of

Isaac Asimov

as the Master of Science Fiction.

But have you heard of

Isaac Asimov

the celebrated limerick writer?

With this book the great man makes his debut into the world of the d--ty limerick. Here are stirring rhymed tales of:

  • the impatient couple from Florida
  • the ingeniously musical woman from South Carolina
  • the sad case of the disappointed dowager Duchess
  • the determined action of José at the bullfight and ninety-six others

Read on, dear reader, and you will discover for yourself that

Isaac Asimov

has brought the d--ty limerick to splendid new heights.

I will not deny that I’m not a terribly big fan of Asimov’s dirty limerick books. I am probably more prudish than the average Asimov reader, but I enjoy the “Bawdy” section of Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor well enough, and I find The Sensuous Dirty Old Man to be one of the funniest books I’ve ever read—but the fact is that Asimov’s limericks tend to leave me cold.

Still, the composition of limericks was a surprisingly big part of the Good Doctor’s life, so the dedicated fan is obligated to read at least one of the lecherous limerick books.

Actually, this book has a rather unexpected aspect. Sure, it’s got limericks—one hundred of them of varying degrees of vulgarity and explicitness. And some of them are rather funny, too, even if my standards of scansion are a bit tighter than Asimov’s. And there are pictures, some of them rather free in use of the undraped female form.

No, the unexpected part is the commentary—every single limerick has a title and commentary on its composition or form. It’s astonishing how much the Good Doctor remembers about the details of the history behind some of these limericks, and it’s astonishing that he can stretch out the commentary on a five-line limerick to nearly a page in places, dissecting its form and structure, but he does.

The comments are not exactly illuminating, not in the sense that the comments in, say, The Early Asimov are. There’s only so much interest in how, when, and why Asimov composed a particular limerick. Still, it’s interesting to see them and it’s interesting to have on display one collection of this peculiar little mania of the Good Doctor’s.

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