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Assignment in Eternity | [Robert A. Heinlein]

Assignment in Eternity

Robert A. Heinlein is widely and justly regarded as the greatest practitioner of the art of science fiction who has ever lived. Here are two of his greatest short novels: Gulf, in which the greatest super-spy of them all is revealed as the leader of a league of supermen and women who can’t quite decide what to do with the rest of us. And Lost Legacy, in which it is proved that we are all members of that league - or would be, if we but had eyes to see.
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Publisher's Summary

Robert A. Heinlein is widely and justly regarded as the greatest practitioner of the art of science fiction who has ever lived. Here are two of his greatest short novels:

Gulf, in which the greatest super-spy of them all is revealed as the leader of a league of supermen and women who can’t quite decide what to do with the rest of us. And Lost Legacy, in which it is proved that we are all members of that league - or would be, if we but had eyes to see.

This collection also contains two great stories, a pair of the master’s finest: one on the nature of being, the other on what it means to be a man.

©1981 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“The word that comes to mind for him is essential. As a writer - eloquent, impassioned, technically innovative - he reshaped science fiction in a way that defined it for every writer who followed him.... He was the most significant science fiction writer since H. G. Wells.” (Robert Silverberg)

“He made footsteps big enough for a whole country to follow.... We proceed down a path marked by his ideas. He showed us where the future is.” (Tom Clancy)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (128 )
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3.9 (115 )
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4.2 (114 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Trip Williams Travelers Rest, SC, United States 06-05-12
    Trip Williams Travelers Rest, SC, United States 06-05-12 Member Since 2004

    Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? I recently listened to "Augustus" while wandering through the Roman Forum. I'm on my third set of "Sleep-Phones". I've been addicted to audible since 2004... I think my friends are starting to suspect I have a problem ;)

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    "You'll like it because you can think..."

    This is classic Heinlein, spinning one of his classic story-lines...

    Heinlein believed that people who read Sci-Fi are a bit more intelligent than the average member of society. He was not a fan of "Readability Formulas" that suggested authors write at a grade level no higher than 7.81 so that the average person could keep up with the information being presented; Rather his opinion seemed to be that if a person is presented with information written at a higher level, they would naturally learn to comprehend at a higher level if that information was presented in such a way as to make the reader WANT to understand it.

    Heinlein motivated people to become smarter by writing enjoyable Science Fiction that was not only fun to read, but was also designed to help the reader become more imaginative and well rounded in a variety of subjects. Heinlein didn't just write to provide the reader with a little escapism, he wrote to "teach". He frequently motivated readers by making them feel as if they were a part of a secret club, open only to the more intelligent... "Someone that could think, and therefore learn to think even better". He tried to make the reader feel just a little "special".

    The above is also pretty much the basis for his book "Assignment in Eternity". The book starts out as light Sci-Fi, but gradually becomes more in-depth so that the smarter the reader is, the more enjoyment they get from nuances and lessons buried in the story.

    "Intelligence" aside, it's a fun read, even if a bit dated (although being a little dated doesn't detract from the story-line)... It's well worth the credit... Besides, who doesn't like being in a secret club? ;)

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip St. Joseph, MI, United States 05-19-12
    Phillip St. Joseph, MI, United States 05-19-12 Listener Since 2004
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    "Love Heinlein, and now Pinchot"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book has 3 fun and thought provoking stories that move quickly. Bronson Pinchot does a great job (I also love his Bronson Pinchot Project) bringing the characters to life.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard L. Rubin Oakland, CA United States 05-15-12
    Richard L. Rubin Oakland, CA United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2007
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    "For Heinlein Fans Only"

    These are four short tales by Science Fiction Grand Master Robert Heinlein. They all date to early on in his career and do not represent his best work. Jerry Was a Man is perhaps the best story in this collection and, unfortunately, the shorted. It's a satire having to do with genetically altered animals which are exploited as expendable laborers or -- as is the case with an intelligent miniature elephant -- custom-made pets for rich people. The narration is OK, but doesn't add any excitement to the tales. If you have never read any Heinlein, I would recommend The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Double Star or Starship Troopers. Those are much better books and represent the Grand Master at his finest.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gem Geek San Diego 06-26-14
    Gem Geek San Diego 06-26-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Enjoyed the first story..."
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the first story, but could not get into the second one. I'll probably have another go at it one day, but I have too many books lined up right now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K 06-15-14
    K 06-15-14 Member Since 2009
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    "A series of short stories to make you think"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved tho book, but then I love all Heinlein's work. He has a great style and the issues he addressed in the past still remain.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Its hard to come up with a favourite character as there are so many.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    NO, but this book is a series of short stories and I didn't want to get up to leave until each story was completed.


    Any additional comments?

    Its surprising that a book written so long ago has so many themes that are relevant in current society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Daniels On the Highway, USA 05-24-14
    Jack Daniels On the Highway, USA 05-24-14 Member Since 2008

    Uplinktruck

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    "Classic Science Fiction"

    This collection of short stories still plays well 60 years after it first hit the shelves. While delivering a look into some of the attitudes and morality from the 1950s, we can see that people have not changed all that much through the passage of time. This one made the miles go by quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Sunbury, Pennsylvania, United States 08-16-13
    Jeffrey Sunbury, Pennsylvania, United States 08-16-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Must have for any Heinlein Fan."
    If you could sum up Assignment in Eternity in three words, what would they be?

    Heinlein Early Years


    What did you like best about this story?

    The roots to many later novels by the grandmaster. You can see the development of the concepts that run through many of his later works.


    What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Awesome Characterization!! I had already feel in love with his narration of Glory Road!! I loved the life he gave to many old favorite characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I doubt that Hollywood will touch any of these stories as is. Look what they did to Starship Troops and Puppet Masters.


    Any additional comments?

    I keep hoping that Expanded Universe would be converted to Audio. This was a good additional to the audio library of Heinlein work.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Greensboro, NC, United States 06-18-12
    Lee Greensboro, NC, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2011

    Have been an avid reader all my life. Started with comic books and had read all Shakespeare's plays & most sonnets by 10th grade. Average reading or listening to a new book ever 2 or 3 days.

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    "Disappointing"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Flesh out stories more. Not so much preaching


    Would you recommend Assignment in Eternity to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. Not a good read/listen


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    none


    Could you see Assignment in Eternity being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Won't happen!


    Any additional comments?

    Have been reading Heinlein all my adult life (over 40 years) and this is about the worst story that I have read by him.

    I was really excited when I saw a Heinlein story that I had never heard of or read. The experience was very disappointing.

    While this was written in the early years it just did not measure up to other stories from that time frame.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
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    Lawrence Wichita, KS, United States 12-05-12
    Lawrence Wichita, KS, United States 12-05-12
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    "Best up front then downhill"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The first story was the best and typical of Heinlein. Faced paced and action packed. The remaining were more reminiscent of early Heinlein.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Larry Niven, "Flatlander"


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    Bronson Pinchot's performance was simply brilliant. He changes easily from character o character.


    Any additional comments?

    First Novella made it worthwhile.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Cottonwood, AZ, United States 09-24-12
    Bill Cottonwood, AZ, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Imagine a older man in a younger womans body"
    What made the experience of listening to Assignment in Eternity the most enjoyable?

    Imagine the conversations you would have with "Yourself" and the "Other", especially if the "Other" if a sexy young female. You (the older male) would have all of his experience and misconceptions one would expect and now has to deal with a young horney (loving) female body and the emotions that would occur.

    VERY - interesting thought


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Assignment in Eternity?

    When the old man woke up to find his brain transplanted into a female and all that implies. Especially when he knew the female who's body he now occupies.


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    He could switch from a Old Grouch to a youthful male and a sexy female at the drop of a hat.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Impossible. Much to long, to intricate and convoluted. You need time to absorbea lot before moving on........


    Any additional comments?

    Typical Heinline. complex, complicated, surprising insights into to the possible and what you might think is the impossible.

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
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