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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

4.4 (4257 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    YouYourself&Yourself Doraville, GA 12-09-13
    YouYourself&Yourself Doraville, GA 12-09-13

    The Ellimist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just fabulous."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to be better than the print version?

    I feel like it was easier to get through the audio version since I could freely work on art projects and such while listening. I don't know if it is better or not.


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

    I've never heard him before, but if this recording was any indication of the quality with which he presents his craft, I'd wager that they are all comparably fantastic.


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

    I did get choked up a bit on a couple of sections, pace around in frustration, and laugh hysterically for a moment or two. The way in which the author wrote some of the scenes and the manner in which the narrator spoke the lines elicited feelings of sorrow and of love, hate and anger, and joy and happiness.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel KITTANNING, PA, United States 11-13-13
    Daniel KITTANNING, PA, United States 11-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, bad reading"
    Where does The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The narrator (Lloyd James) is very bad at trying to speak with an accent for each character, making it hard to understand what he is saying at times. This is very distracting and annoying, I wish I had just bought the book and read it myself. The story is read so badly that I had to stop listening after only a few chapters. I was not able to follow the story due to being annoyed so badly by the reading. This otherwise excellent story was a waste of my time and money. I do not recommend purchasing this or any other book read by Lloyd James.


    What did you like best about this story?

    stop listening


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He read from the book.


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

    Disgust and disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I will never purchase another book narrated by Lloyd James.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 10-18-13
    Dan 10-18-13 Member Since 2012

    LikeTheColor

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story I had trouble putting down"

    I enjoyed the story to the point that I found it hard to stop listening. The only reason I didn't give a good rating on the performance is that at times characters would speak with another character's voice. I also noticed at one point the character Mike said "thanks, Mike" when I believe it should have been "thanks, Man". I've not looked at the original text but the situation was where Mike and Manny were in a conversation and Manny just complimented Mike. There was no reason that Mike should be thanking himself. Not horrible and not too frequently but when it happened it disrupted the flow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart Temecula, CA, United States 10-08-13
    Stuart Temecula, CA, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely outstanding. Heinlein's best. Get it."
    What made the experience of listening to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress the most enjoyable?

    Possibly the best book I've read in years. Period.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mike.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't say (spoiler)


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

    One of the few books that provoked a significant emotional response from me.


    Any additional comments?

    Simply brilliant and inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 09-30-13
    David 09-30-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed, but not knocked out"

    Not enough grit in the main character's narration. Could've done with less sermonizing about the social structure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth P. Wisconsin 07-26-13
    Beth P. Wisconsin 07-26-13 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great story, got used to the reader"
    What made the experience of listening to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress the most enjoyable?

    Heinlein is very quickly becoming a favorite author and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is second only to Stranger in a Stranger Land. I am a sucker for a good revolutionary tale and after listening to 1984 (for the hundredth time) it was a nice change of pace.


    Any additional comments?

    It did take me a little while to adjust to the readers voice. I listen to these books while I'm at work so I listen in seven to eight hour stretches. While James is a good reader, it took a couple of chapters before my ear adjusted to his pauses and inflections. All in all this is well read and a fantastic story. Worth the money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin der Kinderen 07-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "TANSTAAFL"

    I understand Heinlein was a master of science fiction and this particular novel is an award winner. I thought it was pure drivel. Am I missing something? I recently finished Starman Jones which I enjoyed and Starship Troopers which was ok. This story of communism, socialism, anarchism, polygamy - political and social science fiction - fits right in there with Atlas Shrugged. Tripe.

    Wikipedia says "it is generally considered one of Heinlein's major novels as well as one of the most important science fiction novels ever written." What am I missing? Robinson's Mars series and Steele 's Coyote series at least keep the BS politics to a side story and have interesting main stories worthy of being called science fiction. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is simply an unsophisticated outdated political fiction that could have just as easily taken place on a remote island in the Pacific (or California for that matter).

    Da?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sieh MATTAPAN, MA, United States 07-10-13
    Sieh MATTAPAN, MA, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2014
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    "more politics and intrigue than action but..."
    What did you love best about The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

    This book seems to have been created to really provoke and challenge certain cultural and societal norms while forcing the reader to consider politics, society and our relationships, and modern technology, in different ways.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mike, the self aware computer, is the most important character in the story and I find him the most interesting.

    Mike is a different type of self aware computer that all fans of the genre should become familiar with. Mike is self sacrificing, heroic, kind, thoughtful, ruthless, indifferent, tender, needy, arrogant, funny, tortured, friendly....etc. etc.

    The thought of having a super computer that is tied into every aspect of our technological experience is tremendous when you are forced to consider the tremendous power such a computer would have to shape the course of human history.

    Its like Mike is Harry Seldon from the Asimov novels. Or Mike serves as the brain of a Harry Seldon-type collective.


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

    The author uses a language and style of talk that is difficult for me to get comfortable with but i think the reader did a great job with the material. He had to use the voice of a computer, and sometimes the voice of a computer imitating a real person, and the strange russian/english type language (no "the"!!!) that Heinlein has the main character speaking.


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

    Yes. The story is short and moves along well.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that this is mandatory reading for those that like 60s era sci-fi. For more modern readers the social themes may begin to seem a little dated (a character is arrested for talking about his inter-racial marriage), ... but the technological and political themes are still very relevant and current.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 07-03-13
    Calliope 07-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now I know why it's a classic"

    I'd heard about this as one of the science fiction classics, so now I finally got around to "reading" it........and now I know why it's a classic. It's a terrific story about a the independence movement on the moon, and the narration is spot-on perfect. In fact, I think this is probably easier to listen to than to read, since the protagonist speaks in stilted English (as if it's not his native language), and hearing it with a Russian accent makes it easier to understand than on the printed page (I looked up the text to compare it).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce PIQUA, OH, United States 06-21-13
    Joyce PIQUA, OH, United States 06-21-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Well Done!"

    I am a Robert Heinlein fan and this was a great book when I read it 40 years ago. Lloyd James did an EXCELLENT job. Loved the accent. It so worked for the character of Manny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • jan819
    10/31/06
    Overall
    "Still Great"

    'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' is as enjoyable and controversial today as when I first read the book all those years ago. The story has an interesting setting and first person perpective that I found absorbing and there are points in the narrative where I found it all but impossible to put the book down.

    The story is typical Heinlein in that it combines well thought out action and controversial philosophical ideas that are just begging to be discussed and argued over.

    I had some initial doubts about Lloyd James as a reader, but having listened to several of his books, I have become used to his voice and feel that he has done this book justice, adding a valuable dimension of characterisation that has helped my visualisation of the story no end.

    This reading should appeal to all Heinlein fans.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    8/21/09
    Overall
    "The best got better"

    I've always loved this book - and it's as old as I am. The first person style, written in a mishmash of languages, just works as does the telling from the perspective of someone caught up - and eventually leading - a revolution.
    Then you move to the audiobook version. Instantly it comes to life. Most of it is told in a pseudoRussian accent, but quickly you find this switches with the dialogue. The pace is a little slow at times, but very soon you are into the action. And then when the final chapters kick in you are gripped to the end - even if you know what the ultimate end must be.
    Heinlein at his finest? Probably

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Raj
    UK
    8/12/11
    Overall
    "Fantastic introduction to Heinlein"

    I was given some recommendations on which Robert A. Heinlein books to start out with. Many people suggested I start with “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” and I was not disappointed. A fantastic listen; you are left guessing where things will go right up to the end. The narrator does an excellent job. Overall, extremely enjoyable, and highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Louise Hartgen
    5/15/10
    Overall
    "My All Time Favorite Sci Fi Book!"

    There are many kinds of books. Some are fresh and new, once read, even if enjoyed, you don't want to revisit them. Some you can re-read, maybe just once. Some books you like so much, you can read, and read, and re-read and they become as familiar as a comfy pair of slippers, but remain fresh and new for you every time.

    Such a book, for me, is Robert A Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. This classic mixture of science fiction at its best, and political thriller, held me enthralled from the first sentence to the last.

    I borrowed the book in dog-eared braille copies, and in special audio format, to revisit it from time to time, and now, thanks to Audible, I have it to keep forever. Given, by Lloyd James, one of the finest narations I have ever heard, this book is a must read for anyone who is into Science Fiction. Everyone I ever introduced to it loved it, so go on, add it to your wish list, or download it today!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    Andover, Hampshire, United Kingdom
    8/24/08
    Overall
    "A great book presented well"

    This was a much loved book of mine already, and it was a wonderful surprise to have Lloyd James reading it - I really like his style of reading, and in particular how he gives a wonderful flavour of the type of person who is narrating it.

    Top marks - thank you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    10/16/06
    Overall
    "Llod James cannot read!"

    Terrible reader - listen to the sample before you buy it!

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Charles
    SchuttrangeLuxembourg
    6/1/07
    Overall
    "Teach Yourself English"

    Yeah, spoken text almost incomprehensible. I used to teach English as a foreign language -- I would have failed a pupil with an accent like this.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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