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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 (3481 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Adam 11-26-11
    Adam 11-26-11
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    "Excellent"

    This is a classic, and for good reason. The story is compelling and full of detail. At first I wondered how the writing would hold up in today's computer age. I can now say that it holds up very well. Although some of the specific technologies in the book are not what we would consider to be modern, the concepts are spot on (computer networking, communications, complex computer systems that can predict human thought and action, etc.). Heinlein shows his Sci-Fi mastery with this book.

    This is a must read/listen for anyone that calls themselves a Sci-Fi fan.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 11-02-11
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 11-02-11 Member Since 2005

    Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Work! Handled with Skill and Care!"

    Lloyd James does a masterful job of capturing the argot of Luna. Wonderful performance. While some readers blandly read whats on the page, Lloyd James, chuckles, snorts and adds those verbal spacers that, while not written, are implied. Everything I could have wished for. Will listen multiple times for sure. I read this when it was first published and it is near and dear to my heart. Second only to Have Spacesuit Will Travel in Heinlein's lexicon.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy LANCASTER, CA, United States 10-20-11
    Randy LANCASTER, CA, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2010

    Auto Repair shop owner. I love Yoga, and playing my Fender Stratocaster. I Walk my dogs twice a day.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Price of freedom"

    A real classic. Heinlein gives us another taste at what the struggle for freedom is all about.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Tehachapi, CA, United States 10-04-11
    Alan Tehachapi, CA, United States 10-04-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Classic Heinlein, scifi and social commentary"

    This is one of Heinlein's best in my opinion, and even 45 years after it was written, it still holds up very well. The colony of Luna is very well thought out, and the structure of the society very interesting. Not only is the technical side of this novel very good, but you begin to see the ideas form and take root that burst into life in later novels like Time Enough For Love, and the Cat Who Walks through Walls.

    My only complaint about the novel is the Russian accent the main character is portraided with, it is a little overdone, and sometimes I had a hard time understanding it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Schetz CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH, US 10-01-11
    Marilyn Schetz CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH, US 10-01-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stands the test of time"

    While I enjoy many different types of literature, Sci-fi is my favorite. I also enjoy many contemporary writers, but reading books like these make me realize that the old classics still pack a fascinating and satisfying punch.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E Rosenquist San Anselmo, CA, United States 09-19-11
    E Rosenquist San Anselmo, CA, United States 09-19-11
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    "RAH at his very best"

    Long time RAH fan, I've read all of his works, most of them many times. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is my favorite. Heinlein's economical combination of accurate science, compelling characters, and his great storytelling make his story of the Lunar Colonies a moving retelling of a familiar story. If you can only hear one of his books, you can hardly go wrong with this one. If you are already an RAH fan, you owe yourself to read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Matt P 09-09-11
    Matt P 09-09-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Great entertainment"

    Great story. Not too much of a complex, detailed SciFi, but nevertheless very interesting.

    Accent of the characters is at first kind of shocking and unexpected, but you learn that it very much adds to as you listen on

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mundell Auckland, New Zealand 09-04-11
    Mundell Auckland, New Zealand 09-04-11 Member Since 2010
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    "One of the best ever Sci-Fi classics"

    This book introduced me to sci-fi many (many) years ago. Hearing it in audible format was great - it added a whole new life to the novel. The voices only take a few moments to get used to, then you realise how much sense it makes to have the accents. It's a great story that has intellectual depth as well as interesting characters that you can care about. Do yourself a favour and listen to one of the best sci-fi books from the classic era (before the sci-fi genre got all weird, bloated and hard to read).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Corryton, TN, United States 08-01-11
    Margaret Corryton, TN, United States 08-01-11

    Married, middle-age, owner of 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a messy house.

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    "Still a wonderful story"

    I first read this book in about 1980. It is a book that I never quite stop thinking about. Listening to it puts a new spin on the characters, and happily the narrator does an excellent job. His talent only adds to the story. Heinlein's obvious wish for humanity to treat each other fairly is evident, and the characters are warm, personable people that I wish I could talk to. The story is wrapped tightly around Heinlein's political beliefs, but it is not a political book. It is a coming of age story with many elements. I look forward to listening to it several more times.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    John 05-31-11
    John 05-31-11

    Audiobooks are the greatest invention ever!

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    "It was OK"

    Heinlein is one of the greats. Lloyd James is a great reader. I loved his read of Starship Troopers. That said, I learned from this book that a story about a revolution + lunar location + guy with a mechanical arm + a character that is a computer = science fiction.

    I wouldn't tell a person not to get this book. Just because I didn't enjoy it doesn't mean someone else won't. Many already have.

    One warning for those who have already heard Lloyd James read Starship Troopers: Some of Prof's lectures will take you straight back to H&MP. That is balanced by a wonderful rendition of Mannie that lacks even the slightest hint of Juan Rico.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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