When a stranger attempting to deliver a cryptic message is shot dead at his dinner table, Ames is thrown headfirst into danger, intrigue, and other dimensions where Lazarus Long still thrives, where Jubal Harshaw lives surrounded by beautiful women, and where a daring plot to rescue the sentient computer called Mike can change the direction of all human history.
©1985 Robert Heinlein; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio
"Dialogue as witty as Oscar Wilde's, action as rollicking as Edgar Rice Burroughs', and satire as spicy as Jonathan Swift's." (New York Times)
I've come across Robert Heinlein only recently, in the last 5 years... my favorites Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, Friday. This story takes a lot from these a more, but uses Heinlein's more current understanding of how weird real world science is, quantum mechanics,etc... and he simply adds it to his palet to paint a tale that will require reading (listening) to it again, at least once or twice. But I really enjoyed the skill of the narrator, who obviously knows and loves the characters he narrates. I'd encourage anyone who liked the Moon, to take this ride too. Heinlein is spinning a yarn from the natural particles of time and space that we really need to grapple with, and like real, he doesn't tie the yarn into a tidy knot, but for me at least a very satisfying end where I can imagine my own next things to play out.
A plot. Any plot would have sufficed, even a bad one, but realistically, there was nothing. There were occasional hints that a plot might begin, but ultimately nothing.
If this is a 500 page book, then 490 of them were composed of the worst filler dialogue I've ever heard. The sexual innuendos were non-stop, in situations where such dialogue was absurdly unrealistic, inappropriate, out of context, and just flat out ridiculous. Heinlein got weird as he got old, and in place of a "story" it's just a series of situations advocating all forms of sexuality, both monogamy and plural marriage, with enough hints of incest and underage sex that I think those things were originally in the book, but some editor made him take them out. Notice I did not say "wise editor", because a wise editor would have put this abomination to a merciful death prior to being published. I actually listened to the whole thing, possibly because I'm clinically insane, but mainly because I couldn't believe that a man who wrote masterpieces like Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress could write an entire book with a plot thinner than gold foil.
There were so many characters that the narrator was taxed to come up with enough different voices, but god bless his heart, he really did his best to make this abomination into a story, but he had nothing to work with.
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are forced to listen to poetry so bad they wanted to vomit their brains out. Listening to this book was like that, except worse.
Run. Run away. Run as fast as you can, and don't look back at this book. Ever.
My bad, do not like Heinlein. Male Chauvenist, does that resonate? did not finish.
Compulsive reader, or listener... Eclectic tastes.
I have always been a fan of Heinlein since I was a young sprog in the 60s, sadly he did not last as long as Woodrow Wilson Smith.
This is a interesting tale that brings together many of the characters we know from previous novels, unfortunately the narrator is annoying at best. He sounds like a bad imitation of W.C.Fields as Richard Ames.
Firstly, the narrator does a magnificent job with all the voices. You know who is speaking before their name is mentioned. Well Done!
It's a pity the narrator is let down by Heinlein with a slipshod plot concentrating more on "bundling" between anyone and everyone - it seems bundling is a sizable proportion of every character's conversations, actions and motivations. From an interesting start, the story wanders about with inexplicable action and mysterious unrelated antagonists settles into a loose and meandering meaningless conversation soaked middle and finally a rushed non ending. This book attempts to be a third in the Moon series - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Very Good), The Rolling Stones (Excellent) and finally this book (Pathetic). Characters have the same names as those in the earlier two books, but their outlook has changed. The moral standards of the Stone Family do not at all belong in the mythos Heinlein created with his "family" structure for Lunies and the free-for-all considered normal in this book.
As Heinlen often states, "There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" (TANSTAAFL), which doesn't excuse him from a book without a cogent plot. This is the first audible book I am deleting from my iTunes library.
I have recently reread Heinlein's "Stranger In A Strange Land" and "The Puppet Masters" and enjoyed them very much.
I simply could not get interested in this book. I gave up at Chapter 12. The dialogue seemed stilted and old fashioned, like the script from a mediocre 1940's film. In fact I did an internet search to see when this book was written, thinking that it might be an early effort. I was surprised to learn that the book was published in the 1980's (if the information on Wikipedia is correct).
Perhaps one day I'll try to finish the book. I just can't listen to anymore of it right now.
The second half
I wanted to blame the later Heinlein on the success of Stranger in a Strange Land, but looking back on the publishing dates he had later books I liked and earier books not so much. My guess is I like branches that lead somewhere and here he seemed to not only want to bring in many of his old characters, but pay homage to other writers.
This is such a strange book and I do not see where it has anything to do with a Cat who walks through walls. I am not a fan of English dialectic books, they are to hard to follow.
NO and NO
I would not recommend it as a book to listen to.
RH spends too much time on politics and not enough time on the story. This could have been a decent short story.
No. Only Heinlein.
This Heinlein classic is a study in alternate relationships, quantum travel and good old fashioned science fiction. We follow a man living in the future as his life is turned upside down by a series of events that lead to ducking everything from local police to shadowy super villains. There are a few twists in the story.
As it is with most classic science fiction, it is fun to listen to this and compare the technology Heinlein thought up to what we really have today.
This book is a sequel to the Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It is a good listen and makes the miles go by fast.
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