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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress | [Robert A. Heinlein]

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 (3659 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kevin P. Gibbs Chicago, IL United States 11-06-12
    Kevin P. Gibbs Chicago, IL United States 11-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Always Wanted to Read"
    If you could sum up The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress in three words, what would they be?

    This is less a book about science fiction and more a story about a revolution.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have pitted Mike against a similar Earth bound computer as was suggested could have been a possibility. It would have added a little more drama. Similarly, Mike could have been playing tricks with the lunar revolutionaries which would have also gone along with his initial character construction.

    In any event, I wish the story had been told from Mike's perspective.


    Which character – as performed by Lloyd James – was your favorite?

    Mike


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Tracy, CA, United States 11-05-12
    Steve Tracy, CA, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Heinlein was a visionary!"
    Where does The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's not the best I've listened to, best definately worth the credit.


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

    The awakening of the computer called Mike, the descriptions of life on the moon, and the battle for freedom.


    What about Lloyd James’s performance did you like?

    Great performance!


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

    Yes it was.


    Any additional comments?

    I like a wide varitety of novels and while this book was written well before my time the story is relevant to these times. I typicall read more modern day novels, buy the story telling of Heinlein keeps drawing me back in to want to listen to more of his novels. This is the fourth book of his I've listened to and like his others well worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam SAINT JAMES, MO, United States 10-01-12
    Adam SAINT JAMES, MO, United States 10-01-12
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    "Fantastic"
    Would you listen to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress again? Why?

    Yes, great performance


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a smart, stimulating read


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

    I believe this is his best performance, "Starship Troopers" was the only one of his performances I didn't care for


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

    TANSTAAFL!!! (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Heath Freppon 09-25-12 Member Since 2012
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    "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to be better than the print version?

    I've never read the print edition.


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

    I have not.


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

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 09-17-12
    Frank AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great story, wonderfully explained values/ideas"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    The political ideas described.


    Which character – as performed by Lloyd James – was your favorite?

    Professor Bernardo de la Paz


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

    Liberty or Death!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Fitzsimmons Montgomery, AL USA 09-17-12
    Michael Fitzsimmons Montgomery, AL USA 09-17-12
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    "Heinlein's Best given first class treatment!"

    A superb production of one of Heinlein's greatest novels! The "inside baseball" choice of Manny speaking with a Russian accent and with a "guy at a bar" laconic recitation of history make this a performance I will treasure, and listen to many, many times in the future as well as recommend to my Heinlein fan friends.
    Kudos to Lloyd James for a wonderful performance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada 09-09-12
    Amazon Customer St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada 09-09-12 Member Since 2014
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    "WOW!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    Rich characters and something different.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent and timeless science fiction. I had rather given up on older science fiction because the new stuff (Robert Sawyer, Vernor Vinge, et al) were so good. Went back to the 60's with this one and was amazed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Los Angeles, United States 09-04-12
    James Los Angeles, United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2013
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    "So many things to enjoy about this audiobook"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version of this book but the fabulous performance of the narrator, covering as he does numerous and diverse characters, both male and female, kept me glued the whole way. The principle character does not speak in "standard English" but rather in "Luna". The fact that it is narrated really highlights how interesting and cool this is.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is amazing to think that this book was written in 1966. But for the references to the phones, which are still in this futuristic setting, fixed to landlines, it is easy to believe that it could have been written this century. The language is wonderful, the characters entertaining and complex and the story brings eveything from great drama to great humour. The self-aware supercomputer reminded me of a cross between Hal 9000 and Marvin the Paranoid Android.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tulay Quakers Hill, Australia 08-27-12
    tulay Quakers Hill, Australia 08-27-12
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    "Magnificent!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! Read superbly... Heinlein shows insight into economics and society.


    What other book might you compare The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress to and why?

    Similar to 1984 and A Brave New World, this story shows an imaginative distopia, not too unlike society as we know it!


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

    No. Excellent reading voice,though.


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

    Yes!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-05-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-05-12 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A libertarian parable all sides can appreciate"

    A stunningly brilliant exposition on what freedom really is, and how human nature will find its own societal equilibrium if left to fend for itself. I wish schools spent more time studying work like this and less on dystopias like 1984. I suppose Heinlein is still considered merely science fiction by mainline literature snobs.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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
    London
    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
    CaerphillyUnited Kingdom
    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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