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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Audiobook

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.
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Publisher's Summary

In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

Winner of the 1967 Hugo award, this novel marked Heinlein's partial return to his best form. He draws many historical parallels with the War of Independence, and clearly shows his own libertarian political views.

©1965 Robert A. Heinlein; (P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, 1967

"Adrenalizing, mind-stretching, conviction-testing...unmatched by any contemporary!" (Theodore Sturgeon)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (4014 )
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Story
4.4 (2740 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jon from Reston VA 05-01-13

    Jon

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    "Heinlein's failure"
    What disappointed you about The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

    Very little advanced science or technology. Ridiculously improbable story line. Story applauds a war where the people on luna (aka, the moon) kill more than fifty thousand people on earth. The story also seems to commend aspects of the old Soviet Union, arguably the worst run state in recorded history. This is an utterly bizarre book. Hard to believe this is from the Heinlein who wrote the outstanding Starship Troopers.


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

    Improbable story line and irritating Russian accent of main character


    Would you be willing to try another one of Lloyd James’s performances?

    Probably not.


    What character would you cut from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

    All of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Not recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 04-28-13
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 04-28-13 Member Since 2013

    You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.

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    "Great but dated story, mediocre narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to be better than the print version?

    Not in a million years.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great story about David slaying Goliath with the help of the central computer.


    What three words best describe Lloyd James’s performance?

    Uninspired, poorly directed.


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

    Yes, but it was one of my favorite books as a teenager.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold toronto, ON, Canada 04-18-13
    Arnold toronto, ON, Canada 04-18-13
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    "Harsh Mistress Is A Fun Light Read"

    Heinlein makes an interesting plot around the idea that the moon is turned into a penal colony and then declares independence. Little of his speculative science (growing wheat on the moon? Electromagnetic slingshots for sending things to earth?) has worked out but he makes some good guesses about the future of computing considering this was written in the late 60's.
    Oh, by the way, the narrator fakes a russian accent, which is off putting but you do get used to it.

    The more interesting sub plot is about a computer that becomes self aware. This was the fun part that drew me in for the first third of the book. The rest of the story focuses heavily on the political circumstances they had to go through to be free and I found it trying to slog through, maybe because I was hoping for some emotional development that never materialized. The ending was good. Heinlein is a great concept guy and plotter so if that's your thing by all means get this audiobook

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. BLAND Columbia, SC 04-17-13
    D. BLAND Columbia, SC 04-17-13 Member Since 2013

    Gadget Freak

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    "A Hard but Rewarding Listen"
    Where does The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This listen is "middle of the pack" for me. The performance was amazing, but I found the political maneuvering a bit tedious by the end of the book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

    I enjoyed the early interaction between Mannie, the main character, and the self aware computer. I remember as an adolescent reader being turned off when Mike, the computer, also had feminine characteristics. (girls, ugh!). As an adult, those interactions become very amusing.


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

    No.


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

    The books ending was a bit unexpected for me. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it left me in a reflective mood.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was amazing. The narrator is able to use a variety of accents, doing feminine characters, and a computer. I really enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 04-11-13
    John Algonquin, IL, United States 04-11-13 Member Since 2011

    Any fool can know something the point is to understand!

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    "A little dated but a wonderful performance"

    While I enjoyed the story I was stunned by the voice work on this book. Story was interesting mid-60s fair with the idea that the moon was only years away from full on colonization. Technology will require a bit of overlooking but the Botany Bay approach to the story keep me interested through out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg Puyallup, WA, United States 03-19-13
    greg Puyallup, WA, United States 03-19-13 Member Since 2011
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    "The Master of Science Fiction!"

    This is one of my favorite Heinlein stories. The characters and action are amazing and the narration is perfect for this story. If you have never read any Robert Heinlein books, this one is a can't miss. I would recommend anything he has written without question. We don't have authors like him any longer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 03-18-13
    Peter 03-18-13
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    "A political discussion of freedom"
    Where does The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Russian accent tripped me up until I learned to appreciate it(4 stars). The accent did add to the background of the story line and the narrator. The struggle for freedom and observations of different types of governments caused me to strech.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren WESTMONT, IL, United States 03-13-13
    Warren WESTMONT, IL, United States 03-13-13 Member Since 2014
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    "A Revolution Led by a Computer."

    I am a big fan of Robert Heinlein. He began writing in during the hayday of pulp sci-fi magazines. I began reading his stories and books during the 1950's and I think "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is my 2nd favorite of his many books, only surpassed by "Methusalah's Children". I have read this book at least six times, but really enjoyed hearing it read to me. While the wonderful story didn't change, it had an entirely different flavor. I am somewhat of a history buff. This story is the history of a revolution, between the desendents of the "Botany Bay" immigrants on Earth's moon and the "Lunar Authority". The self-righteous "Lunar Authority is as oppresive as an Imperial Colonialist in Earth's History and the residents on the moon resent it. But how do you revolt against an authority that is located on a different planetary body and that authority controls all transportation to and fro. Doesn't sound doable. The problem is solved by a computer mechanic, born and raised on the moon, that works as a consultant to the authority, along with a professor who had been involuntarily transported due to subversive activity on the home planet and a beautiful blonde, whose family was exiled when she was a child and due to dangerous conditions occuring as they reached the moon, is unable to have healthy children. They get help from a wealthy French tourist, but most importantly from a self aware computer. Self aware computers are a recurring feature in several of Mr Heinlein's works. The self aware computer is the master computer that pretty much runs most of Luna for the authority. It's a wonderful ally. Most people now living don't even think about how powerful computers affect their lives on a daily basis, even though it happens on a continual basis. This novel was written in the 1960's long before really powerful computers were an accepted part of everyday life. Only large corporations had computers and their computing power was probably less then one of today's smartphones. Computer scientists venture to guess now a days that in the future computers may become powerful and fast enough to become self aware. If you consider that this story was written about 50 years ago, when computer science was in its childhood, the manner in which this story develops to its climax makes it all that more amazing. Read, listen and enjoy.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jon auburn, NY, United States 03-07-13
    jon auburn, NY, United States 03-07-13 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "The story and narration were fantastic"

    Okay, this book has been on the shelf for a long time.
    I remember reading it in high school, read it again in college and once more mid 40's.
    Still have the paperback in the attic.

    The story is still great, technology is dated but who cares.

    What really got me was the narration. Best I've heard in the last dozen or so listens.

    Give this one a listen.

    You won't regret it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GP 02-27-13
    GP 02-27-13

    amboise

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    "Wears very well with time"

    Often when I've picked up a science fiction novel that I enjoyed in the past, I find it's just too dated both in technology and in character that it no longer works for me. I've read this book before, but probably at least 30 years ago. I loved it then, and I was pleased to find that I love it just as much now, if not more.
    Lloyd James performs the narration narration extremely well, with just the right tone for all the characters. Although written in 1966, it wears time well. You can understand the references to nation states and political thought of the time, but it's also as easy to just go with the story without reference to the past. Of course, even the expectations of technology weren't on the mark, it doesn't matter to the story, in spite of one of the main characters actually being a computer.
    Well written, wonderful characters and story.
    Stranger in a Strange Land, also written by Heinlein, has long been one of my favorite books. I think Moon has climbed up that list after this listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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