After the fall of the American Ayatollahs as foretold in Stranger in a Strange Land and chronicled in Revolt in 2100, the United States of America at last fulfills the promise inherent in its first Revolution: for the first time in human history there is a nation with Liberty and Justice for All. No one may seize or harm the person or property of another, or invade his privacy, or force him to do his bidding. Americans are fiercely proud of their re-won liberties and the blood it cost them; nothing could make them forswear those truths they hold self-evident. Nothing except the promise of immortality…
©1958 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
From start to finish this is an ever changing book. We start on Earth, travel interstellar space, visit two planets and come back to Earth. I have read a lot of Heinlein, but this book seems different in his use of words. Since the rest of his books don't sound like this I think he spent a lot of time studying a dictionary. I am not complaining, it seems to add to the story and it is not over anybody's head. Her is a small example: ANY MINORITY DURING THAT PERIOD OF SEMANTIC DISORIENTATION AND MASS HYSTERIA WAS A PROBABLE TARGET FOR PERSECUTION, DISCRIMINATORY LEGISLATION AND EVEN MOB VIOLENCE. Throughout the book he uses words that seem a little heavier than needed. When he starts talking about science it almost sounds like pseudo science. Fans of Alan Greenspan should love this.
I WOULDN'T BE YOUNG AGAIN FOR OVERTIME WAGES
The story is told in different parts and several issues are in play, so to pin down a feeling on the book is difficult. At the beginning Immortality is the main issue and Heinlein's vision of society is an interesting one. Cars are controlled by traffic towers, men wear kilts, privacy is highly valued, etc..., it is a Heinlein envisioned future. Then we get into conspiracies and politics. We then have space travel and lots of talk about the mechanics of it, lots of talk about time and space and other science. Did you know that carp and amoeba's never die? At the first planet I thought Heinlein was going to copy H.G. Wells. The second planet is even more interesting with lots of philosophy on living in paradise.
YOU CAN DEPEND ON A WOMAN TO BLOW HER TOP AT THE WRONG TIME
As far as character development, there is basically Lazarus Long. He is the Archie Bunker of the book and all other characters are their to support him. To be honest I did not care for him. He is a pushy have it his way type of guy and when someone disagrees with him he is put down soundly. He will ask for discussion, let those who agree with him speak and those who disagree with him are made fun of.
The book has a whole was entertaining and thought provoking. I did not like it enough for five stars, but I am glad I listened.
I read this growing up, and found it interesting to revisit. Impressions:
1. This is absolutely not a criticism of Heinlein, for obvious reasons, but these days the reason that the Howard families need to leave Earth comes across as what Roget Ebert used a call an idiot plot, that is, a plot that only works if someone acts like an idiot. Genetics has come a long way since 1940.
2. Some clever writing and clever ideas. No surprises there.
3. One of the things I liked best in early Heinlein was his attempts to transcend his culture, and culture in general. He'd seen a huge amount of technological and social change since he was a boy, and it opened his eyes, just as change, and contact with other cultures, led to the Enlightenment discovery that you could talk about religion and culture in the abstract.
You can see Heinlein constantly stretching himself. For example, he alludes to the Crusades in passing as a bunch of ignorant savages (Europeans) bringing down a much more sophisticated culture. Here, and particularly in later books, the results are uneven; he tries to get past the idea of race, for example, but doesn't really understand a lot of things. The women in this book are much more first-class citizens than they tended to be in 1940, but when it comes down to it Heinlein tends to talk about humankind in terms of men.
Regardless, Heinlein deserves full points for what he's trying to do, and, personally, I'm very grateful for having this particular influence growing up.
4. This extends to the aliens the Howard families come across. Psychologically and culturally they're fundamentally different from us apes. With a few exceptions, human beings are constitutionally unable to live as they do, and ultimately find it dangerous to be around them. But these aliens are also shown as welcoming and as having advanced, viable cultures, and there's no sense that they're hostile or at fault, or wrong, for that matter.
5. A lot of sentence start with words like "Huh?" Makes sense to me. If you record people actually talking, that's the way it tends to go. You can't actually write the way people speak, as Sinclair Lewis found, but this is a nice snappy way of giving a little of the flavor of it.
6. Heinlein isn't particularly convincing about some of the science here, but it's just there to move the story along anyway. He does seem to have had at least some contact with general relativity, and is much less naive about some issues, like simultaneity, than most science fiction writers are to this day.
As for the narration, it gets you from Point A to Point B without too much trouble. Lazarus is given a somewhat stagy country accent, but it sort of works. The Australian accents are silly, but there isn't much of that anyway. Mostly the narration is a little flat, but the book doesn't call for much more than that.
Even if we found a way to extend human life, I doubt I will ever live long enough to get tired of the grand old master of science fiction. I have been reading him since I was eight years old. :)
a bit slow but definitely worth every minute. me and my fiancé cant wait to share this series of books with the next generation.
Yes, I had find it be great listening too.
Well, none really. All of it was good. Couldn't put it down.
This is one of those stories you can read over and over, and always find some new tidbit that makes you think. Heinlein was a master at making his characters human and believeable. Crusty old Lazarus is my favorite science fiction character, and i say that the day Spock actually did pass away. Spock is my other favorite, as I grew up with him and captain Kirk. This book, along with time enough for love are some of the best writing Heinlein ever did. i actually listened to this entire book during the course of a single day. Once started, you cannot tear yourself away. The narrator was also excellent on this one. Time well spent.
One of Robert A. Heinlein's best. I was fascinated from the start. It highlights the distrust between human beings that are different and the lengths posing will go through for equality.
Too often very large decisions are made without any real thought or debate. The concept behind the book is good, and the opening chapters promising, but things fall apart soon after
Heinlein creates memorable characters. He tells a great story. This is one of his best.
Lazarus Long's interactions with people are terrific. Chutzpa should be his middle name rather than Wilson.
Andrew Libby is also a terrific character. I don't understand why Heinlein changed him into a woman in one of his later books.
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