I understand Heinlein was a master of science fiction and this particular novel is an award winner. I thought it was pure drivel. Am I missing something? I recently finished Starman Jones which I enjoyed and Starship Troopers which was ok. This story of communism, socialism, anarchism, polygamy - political and social science fiction - fits right in there with Atlas Shrugged. Tripe.
Wikipedia says "it is generally considered one of Heinlein's major novels as well as one of the most important science fiction novels ever written." What am I missing? Robinson's Mars series and Steele 's Coyote series at least keep the BS politics to a side story and have interesting main stories worthy of being called science fiction. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is simply an unsophisticated outdated political fiction that could have just as easily taken place on a remote island in the Pacific (or California for that matter).
This book seems to have been created to really provoke and challenge certain cultural and societal norms while forcing the reader to consider politics, society and our relationships, and modern technology, in different ways.
Mike, the self aware computer, is the most important character in the story and I find him the most interesting.
Mike is a different type of self aware computer that all fans of the genre should become familiar with. Mike is self sacrificing, heroic, kind, thoughtful, ruthless, indifferent, tender, needy, arrogant, funny, tortured, friendly....etc. etc.
The thought of having a super computer that is tied into every aspect of our technological experience is tremendous when you are forced to consider the tremendous power such a computer would have to shape the course of human history.
Its like Mike is Harry Seldon from the Asimov novels. Or Mike serves as the brain of a Harry Seldon-type collective.
The author uses a language and style of talk that is difficult for me to get comfortable with but i think the reader did a great job with the material. He had to use the voice of a computer, and sometimes the voice of a computer imitating a real person, and the strange russian/english type language (no "the"!!!) that Heinlein has the main character speaking.
Yes. The story is short and moves along well.
I think that this is mandatory reading for those that like 60s era sci-fi. For more modern readers the social themes may begin to seem a little dated (a character is arrested for talking about his inter-racial marriage), ... but the technological and political themes are still very relevant and current.
I am a Robert Heinlein fan and this was a great book when I read it 40 years ago. Lloyd James did an EXCELLENT job. Loved the accent. It so worked for the character of Manny.
I've enjoyed a couple of other Heinlein works over the years, but I'm more of a fantasy fan. However I decided to bone up on my classics of the sic-fi genre, and I'm extremely glad I did.
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is unlike anything I thought I would hear. I didn't expect it to be told from a first person perspective, involve revolution, or end as it did. Yet it was it great throughout. And I suppose that's the purpose of fiction: To entertain always and be thought provoking whenever possible. Heinlein succeeds at both.
And Lloyd James' performance makes it sound like the protagonist is sitting with you recounting his experiences personally. Really an excellent interpretation of an excellent book.
I simply can't recommend it highly enough.
It was a fascinating and unique storyline.
I truly enjoyed how he created a detailed evolution of a society on the moon.
I didn't really know what to expect from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised with how rich the story was and how much I cared about Mike's character.
Great story overwhelms the poor accent someone decided the narrator should use. One of the masterworks of science fiction.
Interesting look at possible ways people would behave in the future and possible changes in culture, and sex roles.
Like I said the accent was hard to get used to and narrator slipped out of it a few times.
From the Master of Science Fiction
Very little advanced science or technology. Ridiculously improbable story line. Story applauds a war where the people on luna (aka, the moon) kill more than fifty thousand people on earth. The story also seems to commend aspects of the old Soviet Union, arguably the worst run state in recorded history. This is an utterly bizarre book. Hard to believe this is from the Heinlein who wrote the outstanding Starship Troopers.
Improbable story line and irritating Russian accent of main character
All of them.
Heinlein makes an interesting plot around the idea that the moon is turned into a penal colony and then declares independence. Little of his speculative science (growing wheat on the moon? Electromagnetic slingshots for sending things to earth?) has worked out but he makes some good guesses about the future of computing considering this was written in the late 60's.
Oh, by the way, the narrator fakes a russian accent, which is off putting but you do get used to it.
The more interesting sub plot is about a computer that becomes self aware. This was the fun part that drew me in for the first third of the book. The rest of the story focuses heavily on the political circumstances they had to go through to be free and I found it trying to slog through, maybe because I was hoping for some emotional development that never materialized. The ending was good. Heinlein is a great concept guy and plotter so if that's your thing by all means get this audiobook
This listen is "middle of the pack" for me. The performance was amazing, but I found the political maneuvering a bit tedious by the end of the book
I enjoyed the early interaction between Mannie, the main character, and the self aware computer. I remember as an adolescent reader being turned off when Mike, the computer, also had feminine characteristics. (girls, ugh!). As an adult, those interactions become very amusing.
The books ending was a bit unexpected for me. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it left me in a reflective mood.
The performance was amazing. The narrator is able to use a variety of accents, doing feminine characters, and a computer. I really enjoyed the book.