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My husband is a fan of Isaac Asimov. I was a bit dubious, especially considering there’s a demon on the front cover. I don’t like horror-type anything, so I was fearful that this book would be scary. (I guess watching horror movies as a child left some kind of permanent damage on my psyche.) My fears could not have been further from the truth. Azazel is not at all scary. Not even a wee little bit.
The way the book is written is quite interesting. The reader is essentially sitting in Asimov’s seat, hearing a series of short stories related by a friend of Mr. Asimov himself. I use the term ‘friend’ loosely. The friend in question is George, a man who has the ability to call forward a two-centimeter tall demon. This demon, Azazel, lends assistance, not for George himself, but for those around him whom he sees fit to assist. Unfortunately, George’s assistance is more like a curse, but it’s not for lack of good intentions. It’s sort of a series of be-careful-what-you-wish-for cautionary tales. Each chapter contains its own mini story, so it’s very good for light reading. Or lite, if you prefer fewer calories.
Azazel is fairly brimming over with wit and dry humor. The good-humored jabs that George and Asimov direct at one another are some of the best parts of the book. Here’s one of my favorite lines, from page 60, “What kind of a harebrained, idiotic, malapropistic, omniklutzistic rear end of a diseased Bactrian camel are you?”
Conclusion: I’ll be reading more Asimov. His writing is witty, entertaining, and it challenges me to go find a dictionary and expand my vocabulary. It’s appropriate for adults, not so much kids.
Rating: 5 Stars
Until next time…