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Sixth Column Audiobook

Sixth Column

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....
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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 (472 )
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Story
4.2 (423 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ruth Stilphen ILLINOIS, USA 02-13-12
    Ruth Stilphen ILLINOIS, USA 02-13-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    "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
  •  
    clifford United States 12-06-15
    clifford United States 12-06-15 Member Since 2015

    akitonmyers

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow"

    1. I am a HUGE Heinlein fan.
    2. I had never heard of this story before.
    3. After listening to it, I understand very well why this does not seem to be in publication.

    This is one of the rare Heinlein books worth steering away from.

    I understand that this was written during the cold war. It was probably dated a few months after it was written. Its full of almost unbearable racial stereo-types. The plot is structured around the most goofy far fetched set up. America has been taken over by Asians. Washington DC was wiped out by a nuclear bomb. A surprise attack. Its left up to 6 people, 3 scientists, a cook, a private, and a hobo to fight back.

    You can still catch glimpses of Heinlein. Some of what makes him a classically awesome author. But its sad to see him in such a setting that he created for himself.

    DONT READ THIS!!!

    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
  •  
    Brittany Springfield, GA, United States 01-30-14
    Brittany Springfield, GA, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Really?"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the storyline


    Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favorite?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    If you're into books like Stephen King's "The Stand" or J Cronin's "Passage" or "The Twelve".. then don't waste your time... this book pales in comparison.. weak story line.. pitiful ending.. there is not depth to this book. I wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    naughtee 09-10-12
    naughtee 09-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "kinda amusing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    well i wouldn't say "well-spent" but it did provide some chuckles, i enjoyed the dig at religion with some good character buildups but overall ridiculous fun, enjoy.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nan L. Doerr Houston. TX 07-31-12
    Nan L. Doerr Houston. TX 07-31-12

    Nitesong

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    "great book - classic Heinlein!"
    What made the experience of listening to Sixth Column the most enjoyable?

    Great story. Good recording.


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

    It is comparable to Double Star by Heinlein and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress also by Heinlein.


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

    I like the voices Weiner uses. It helps you 'see' the characters.


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

    I wouldn't mind listening to it all at once, but I don't have that kind of blocks of time.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    betty Lafayette, LA, United States 07-02-12
    betty Lafayette, LA, United States 07-02-12
    ratings
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    14
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    "Heinlein at his Best"
    Where does Sixth Column rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Sixth Column ranks in the top 10 audiobooks I have listened to


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the action most


    Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favorite?

    The Leader. Major Ardmore


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me proud of America


    Any additional comments?

    I read this story when I was a kid. I was glad that I was able to find it at Audible. I enjoyed it more the second time around.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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