Fantastic Voyage

Author: Isaac Asimov

ISBN: 9780553275728
Pages: 208
Description: You know those tedious shows where they tell you to imagine you’ve been sent to a desert island, and what will you bring with you? For example, which book? As it happens, I have direct information to supply here. When I was about 9, we went off on an extended visit to Italy. My mother is Italian, but, for various complicated reasons, I have never learned to speak the language, even though it would probably have been the easiest thing in the world. So, I was already a book addict, and I was going to spend several months in a place where English books were almost impossible to find.

My well-meaning parents reminded me that I should pack plenty of reading material. But, with somewhat unfortunate timing, I had just discovered Isaac Asimov. Specifically, I had just discovered Fantastic Voyage. I was a geeky, junior-scientist kind of 9 year old, and I thought this book was the most amazing thing I had ever read. I mean, they – wow! – they, like, shrink this submarine down to the size of a blood corpuscle and they inject it into this guy’s bloodstream and they have to get into his brain and zap the clot with a laser (lasers had just been invented) before it kills him, but they take a wrong turn and need to go though his heart and then his lungs and then…

Anyway, you probably don’t want all the details, but there’s even a hot chick in there. I had recently noticed that the world, among many other interesting things, contained hot chicks, and Cora, who’s quite appropriately played by Raquel Welch in the movie, made the book completely perfect. I decided that I was only going to take Fantastic Voyage with me. No other book was necessary. I could never get tired of this masterpiece.

Alas… I’m afraid to say I was wrong. Wonderful though it was, on the third re-reading I no longer liked it as much, and I don’t think I even finished it the fifth time around. So, first of all, if you’re being sent to a desert island, try and bribe someone to let you bring at least half a dozen books. But, second, if you have a geeky 9 year old kid and you’re stuck for birthday present ideas, consider giving them a copy of Fantastic Voyage. Even though they’ll probably change their mind after a while, they may think it’s the greatest book they’ve ever read for at least a month.

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