I have most of Heinlein's work in print or audiobook. This is the worst one for so many different reasons.
Allah have mercy. I feel like I've done an N-space jump into universe of arrested pubescent development. "Stranger In A Strange Land," is brilliant because it rode high on the crest of the 60s counter-cultural movement, challenging nearly every moral bedrock of Western society. It is superb and does what Sci-Fi does best. This work isn't even an echo in an out-house of the mind that created "Stranger," or "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress." The story is as juicy as a packing peanut.
The dialogue in this book is pointless, too. I feel like I'm being treated to the discarded remnants on the cutting floor of "Time Enough For Love." The characters in this book are the same as Laz/Lor/Athena/Gallahad without the hook-laden narrative of Lazarus Long or great storyline.
I'm a loyal masochist so I suffered through the whole recording the same way I listened to Robert Plant's solo work simply because I'm a Led-head and thought, "At some point, this will get good." I had hope, so much hope. Now I just have scars.
It's a good thing I don't have a yard arm and a length of rope or I may be swinging in the breeze. I'm having a hard time describing this performance without using expletives. Horrible is a compliment. Female narrators should not try to imitate male voices by lowering theirs. [Under any circumstances]. Seriously. There should be a law. This was like listening to a woman with traumatic brain injury but without the benefit of being a public service announcement. Someone should be held accountable.
I now have a soundtrack for the waiting room in Hades...
Almost no adventure. You would have almost as much fun listening to your wife and her girls friends talk.
No he has written a lot of great books, just not this one.
Read his older works.
Dr. Christopher W. Roberts Ph.d I am a Computer Geek working around the U.S. and the world. I have a lot of Air miles to listen to audible titles.
The sory in this book besides a homage to the authors of the golden age of SF & F is the ultimate multiverse story. The two following novels form RAH "The cat who walks through walls" which also has the prerequisite of "The Moon is a harsh mistress" the novel "to sail beyond the sunset" is also based on the result of this book. A must listen for Hienlien fans.
This book was written for those of us who grew up checking cereal boxes, just in case, because smart girls need spacesuits too! About a year ago I begged Audible for this book. Let's face it, we aren't getting any younger, and no large print editions were available. Experiencing this book in audio is truly a wild ride in the Gay Deceiver as it should be done, voice and ears only! This is a MUST LISTEN for Heinlein fans.
i must preface this review by saying that Heinlein is my all-time favorite author. this book is narratively a mess, and I love every uncomfortable, disjointed, anarchic, self-indulgent second of it. my only real complaint is in the performances. this book is told in point of view chapters from each of the four main characters. in particular the female who reads for DT ends up sounding weak and insipid a lot of the time which does not fit the character at all. if possible I recommend the audio version read by George Guidal his single performance managed to capture the wit and charm of the style so much better.
I couldn't get through 8 hours.
four readers. one talks through her teeth. another whines half the time. when you have a cast of four and only four major characters that spend their time together speaking to one another, why not produce something like a radio play instead of each reader reading all characters with completely different takes on how the character speaks (and that's not done in a clever 'differing perspectives' kind of way, more like amateur time)
The performance is interesting, with the round-robin of narrators reading the chapters as told from the various characters' points of view, and the narrators do very good jobs, but it's ultimately Heinlein himself who lets us down. The concept of the story is good, but the story itself is just a hot mess. Jerry Pournelle once said that Heinlein's biggest problem was that he became too big to edit, and this story is proof of that statement.
A Science Fiction fan since I could read.. and to a lesser degree Fantasy.... I however enjoy many types of books......
"Read the paperback as a teenager. Now in my late 40's forgot what a long convoluted and ultimately unsatisfactory story."
Great performances but this story doesn't really translate to audio. Better in print. The huge amount of dialogue between characters becomes very tedious.
This fits in well with Heinleins other later works. I first read it a long time ago, possibly when it came out.
It is the story of four or five people. They are all very clever but also impressively individualistic (selfish) and have some rather bizarre personal politics .
On fact, all of Heinleins books show his politics to be right wing and libertarian, in the US usage of the term.
As a child, I never noticed the politics of this excellent story and would recommend it.
You might benefit from having read some of his earlier books first though.