Top critical review
Important because it has many intelligent ideas, but very dated
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2019
Liked it and appreciated it for its prescience about human problems. Asimov was a visionary. Love the robot stuff.
Figured I'd start at the beginning of Asimov's journey with establishing the foundations of his now-canon robot ideas, as much as I dislike the writing style of early sci fi (it's usually unreadable for me).
So. It wasn't terrible, but still. Disliked it for use of dated words and presentations. Could have cheerfully lived without any biblical stuff (can't I escape this even in robot sci fi?), and use of "golly" or "gosh" from the obedient teenage son and "Jehoshaphat" as a "curse word" from the dad. Please. And the wife crying and acting like Lucy Ricardo, oh, that was painful. I was a 60s kid and was continually disappointed back then for idiotic tv, movie, and book depictions of women. This is no exception. Child-woman, terrified of society and husband's disapproval! I never met any in my family...and seldom anywhere else in real life, either.
But. This kind of junk is always part of old science fiction. Grit your teeth and move on. This is the way men wrote fiction then. (Most women too, trying to meet common expectations for their readers.) These bigger ideas trapped in the silly sexist pages still deserve a hearing, in all fairness. These writers were products of their time, as we ALL are. Someday people will be laughing at MY pretensions.
So, fellow and sister explorer. Read it for the ideas and not for the stupid dialog. Asimov was a brilliant man, and this is clearly an early but earnest effort. He is a better writer than he sounds from this review. He can tell a story, and he's learning here.
Try it. I found myself rewriting the dialog as I went, and still could work with the story. But try the story...take the journey with Asimov and his ideas.