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Sixth Column Audiobook
Sixth Column
Written by: 
Robert A. Heinlein
Narrated by: 
Tom Weiner
Sixth Column Audiobook

Sixth Column

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Publisher's Summary

It’s six against six million in a brilliantly waged near-future war for nothing less than liberty and justice for all. The totalitarian East has triumphed in a massive invasion, and the United States has fallen to a dictatorial superpower bent on total domination. That power is consolidating its grip through concentration camps, police state tactics, and a total monopoly upon the very thoughts of the conquered populace. A tiny enclave of scientists and soldiers survives, unbeknownst to America’s new rulers. It’s six against six million - but those six happen to include a scientific genius, a master of subterfuge and disguise who learned his trade as a lawyer-turned-hobo, and a tough-minded commander who knows how to get the best out of his ragtag assortment of American discontents, wily operators, and geniuses. It’s going to take technological savvy and a propaganda campaign that would leave Madison Avenue aghast, but the US will rise again. The counterinsurgency for freedom is on, and defeat is not an option.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was born in Missouri. He served five years in the US Navy, then attended graduate classes in mathematics and physics at UCLA, took a variety of jobs, and owned a silver mine before beginning to write science fiction in 1939. His novels have won the Hugo Award, and in 1975 he received the first Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement.

©1949 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (551 )
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4.2 (495 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Roger 01-21-13
    Roger 01-21-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
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    Story
    "Classic Heinlein"
    What made the experience of listening to Sixth Column the most enjoyable?

    Read years ago lost of eye sight made reading impossiible the audio brought back memories


    What other book might you compare Sixth Column to and why?

    Tom Clancy writes with the same details.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final battle


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

    Beware never hide from the world Events will catch you by surprise


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Nebraska, United States 08-14-12
    Brian Nebraska, United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not one of my favorites"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    If I had to do it over again, I might pass on this one. I just wasn't captured like I was with his other books. It was recommended to me by a friend, and that was reason enough to pick up the book. Heinlein does a great job of telling stories, but you can't expect someone to be into every story, can you?


    Would you be willing to try another book from Robert A. Heinlein? Why or why not?

    I've read other Heinlein books, which is why I was more apt to pick up this one. If I had started here, I might not have experienced some really great stories.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Washington State 06-09-12
    Amazon Customer Washington State 06-09-12 Listener Since 2006

    Island Bear

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    "Outstanding Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I thought that the plot was well developed and supported.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sixth Column?

    When the priests confronted the Chinese police who were controlling the USA.


    Have you listened to any of Tom Weiner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. He did a good job.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I appreciated the moment when the Major had to face being overwhelmed by the magnitude of his job.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Coleman 04-05-12

    billc140

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    "Disgusting, racist crap but I love it anyway"

    I have no idea why I've always liked this story. It is anti-Asian racist garbage, I recall reading that Heinlein once said he was ashamed of this stuff. But it flows so well and is one of those good defeating evil stories that even if the bad guys had been my own ethnic group I'd still step outside of my feelings and enjoy the book. Don't know why but...

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard L. Rubin Oakland, CA United States 01-30-12
    Richard L. Rubin Oakland, CA United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Bit Rough -- An Early Heinlein Book"

    This is a very early book by Heinlein and it lacks the smoothness and complexity of his later works. The Red Dawn-type plot is pretty straightforward: The Pan-Asians have conquered the US. A small secret remnant of US soldiers remain. This handful of the military faithful (all male) includes a few scientists, an ex-lawyer who is now in command and a resourceful ex-hobo. Employing the guise of an over-the-top fake religion (the Cult of Mota) and few super-scientific weapons they endeavor to take their country back from the Imperial tyranny. There is some humor here, but the book is very much a product of its grim Cold War mythos. Not a pleasant read for the racially sensitive or politically correct. Very traditional pro-military outlook. Readers unfamiliar with Heinlein should definitely not start with this one -- try The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Stranger in a Strange Land instead. Those are much better books. No complaints about the reader who does his best with what he has to work with.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Stilphen ILLINOIS, USA 02-13-12
    Ruth Stilphen ILLINOIS, USA 02-13-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Was R.A. Heinlein related to Nostrodamas"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sixth Column to be better than the print version?

    Tom W. very good at relating the story. Found it very easy to follow from start to finish


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The squeeze on the protagonists


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

    Could this already be Happening?


    Any additional comments?

    Although dated by the character portrayals, it was a fine listen. Pure Heinlein.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Cole 02-14-12
    Dave Cole 02-14-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Mediocre 1941 tale full of VERY dated language."

    Formulaic and mediocre tale of rebellion against the Pan-Asian Alliance, which has invaded and subjugated the American people. I listened all the way through--I was on a long road trip--and it had some okay points, but i would strongly suggest against this title.

    The narration was quite good, showing a pretty good dramatic range--more than the story itself, actually. It was enough to keep me listening, but not enough to make me glad I had.

    Please do yourself a favor and read (or re-read) either 'Starship Troopers' or 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' instead of this one. Your time and money will be far better spent. Heinlein, at his best, transcended the time he was writing from and portrayed the universal. He just didn't do that here. At all.


    Lastly, I would especially warn off those who might find it objectionable to listen to Asians being referred to (often and throughout the book) as "flat-faced monkey-men" or "slanty-eyed baboons".

    This (overly forgiving IMHO) discussion of race in the book is from the Wikipedia entry on The Sixth Column:
    --------

    "The book was written in the same year as the attack on Pearl Harbor, while its hardcover publication coincided with the Communist victory in China; with the PanAsians being both Chinese and Japanese, it had a direct topical relevance in both cases. It is notable for its frank portrayal of racism on both sides. The conquerors regard themselves as a chosen people predestined to rule over lesser races, and they refer to white people as slaves. "Three things only do slaves require: work, food, and their religion." They require outward signs of respect, such as jumping promptly into the gutter when a member of the chosen race walks by, and the slightest hesitation to show the prescribed courtesies earns a swagger stick across the face. One character is Frank Mitsui, an Asian American whose family was murdered by the invaders because they did not fit in the new PanAsiatic racial order. The Americans in the novel respond to their conquerors' racism by often referring to them in unflattering terms, such as "flat face", "slanty" (a derisive reference to the look typical of Asian eyes), and "monkey boy".

    ------

    The only thing would add is that Heinleins understanding of the 'Asian world-view' is so stereotypical and dated (remember: 1941) that it is laughable where it isn't tragic--or horrific, considering what was just a few years away.

    Hope this helps,

    Dave Cole

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Milkman 12-14-15
    Milkman 12-14-15

    Erasmus

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    "dated and obsolete making suspension of belief dif"
    What would have made Sixth Column better?

    It's age is showing. Yet not as charming as the Victorian or Edwardian Science fiction.


    What was most disappointing about Robert A. Heinlein’s story?

    The invasion of the USA by a Soviet bloc that had actually been coopted by the yellow peril.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tom Weiner’s performances?

    Sure, not his fault


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    Do Not Buy

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BebopKid 12-09-15
    BebopKid 12-09-15
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    34
    5
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    "Underwhelming"
    Any additional comments?

    Heinlein is a great author. But this book fails to live up to his standard. The story is far-fetched even for science fiction. The "science" is more magic than science. The plot contrivances are just plain silly.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben madison heights, MI, USA 11-02-14
    Ben madison heights, MI, USA 11-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The amount of racism ruined it..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    From the context of when it was written maybe it wasn't so bad... and in some ways it it may have not been all that racist for the time... but reading it now was pretty rough. It goes on about the inferiority complex of the pan asian troops... And how America seems to be only whites. And the super weapon that can be tuned not to effect whites... I was not impressed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert A. Heinlein again?

    Some of his stories are pretty amazing, I liked the Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. This one didn't have quality to make up for the racism.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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