We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
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.
Regular Price:$24.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (3664 )
5 star
 (2006)
4 star
 (1110)
3 star
 (372)
2 star
 (121)
1 star
 (55)
Overall
4.4 (2445 )
5 star
 (1446)
4 star
 (666)
3 star
 (236)
2 star
 (71)
1 star
 (26)
Story
4.4 (2417 )
5 star
 (1445)
4 star
 (650)
3 star
 (227)
2 star
 (61)
1 star
 (34)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 04-15-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 04-15-11 Member Since 2015

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4364
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    367
    211
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2306
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book, great narration"

    I enjoyed the book and loved the narration. I have read many great books and some I have failed to appreciate. This is a classic that I have just failed to appreciate a lot. There were parts that made me laugh out loud. I felt that best character development is exemplified in the computer Mike. Not being so far into the future, 2070 or so, one might expect to identify closely with some of the characters. I did not. The story seemed quite implausible and that says a lot given I have read much more phantasmagorical books that even seemed possible some time in the future. With all the criticism, the book was enjoyable. When I started writing this review I gave the book a rating of 4 stars. As I finish it I have concluded that for me it really only ranks 3.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader 02-15-15
    Reader 02-15-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    167
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and fabulous narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It is a good story and it creates an interesting world.


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

    Hmm. For some reason it evokes old memories of the Andromeda Strain or Dune, but it has been a long time, and those may not be exactly on point. I see why it won its share of big awards.


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

    Clearly, the main male lead, Mannie. I love the Russian accent. One of may favorite lines was Mannie, when asked by a female if he is rich, he pauses and says "Not wealthy", pause pause, "Not weeping".


    Any additional comments?

    If you are trying to knock out various lists of the 100 best fiction books, as am I, read this. It is on some of those lists, and it should be.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe SEATTLE, WA, United States 03-28-14
    Joe SEATTLE, WA, United States 03-28-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    267
    62
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, Amazing Narration"
    Would you listen to The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress again? Why?

    I would. As I stated in my title, but narrator does an amazing joo. Of the hundreds upon hundreds of audiobooks I have listened to, this might be the best one yet.


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

    The unusual accent he gives the main character helps the listener to get the feel that the moon is an amalgamation of cultures, races, and people. Manny is truly brought to life by Lloyd, as well as the rest of characters. Each one has a slight;y different feel that grants them their own personality outside of the words tat they are speaking.. Lloyd Games does not over-act or force any of the voices, they seem to flow khi of him.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is a great one, especially in today's political climate. Rebellion and revolution and an important and sometimes necessary aspect of life, but is so often forgotten. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress shows how can happen when people come together and stop letting themselves be controlled by tyrants. This theme combined with an incredibly good narrator makes this a must listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 04-25-08
    Lynn 04-25-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "well done presentation"

    I read the book many, many years ago and was very favorably impressed with the narration and tone. The audio was excellent.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shafik Monte CaparicaPortugal 12-01-07
    Shafik Monte CaparicaPortugal 12-01-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "wow!"

    The story in itself is already a classic, I won't even write about that, there's plenty about it on the Net, just search about it.

    But what to say of the narration ? simply A-S-T-O-U-N-D-I-N-G !! The narrator does a fabulous job - he did not cease to amaze me with his prowess doing accents, voice pitches, etc, amazing story to be heard!

    The bad thing is: It won't believe a single word of what you hear and listen on the TV news anymore, you'll see and appreciate the machinations behind everything from this point on... thanks to professor De la Paz and the rest of the conspiratory group ;-)

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Beeman Seattle, WA 05-06-08
    Ellen Beeman Seattle, WA 05-06-08 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful audiobook"

    One of Heinlein's best books, beautifully read by an excellent narrator.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Monument, CO, United States 08-10-12
    Bryan Monument, CO, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2012

    ColoradoRight

    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Fair Dinkum Thinkum"

    This is the history of how the lunar penal colony - the only prison that didn't need guards - and how it revolted against the combined might of Earth and became a free nation. The recollections of Manuel Garcia O'Kelly tell the story of how the Lunar Authority's computer, who he nicknamed Mike, became self-aware and developed a sense of humor. And how Mike and Manny and Wyoming Knott and Professor Bernado DeLaPaz started the revolution that freed the Moon.

    This is Heinlein at his best. A wonderful story, a self-aware computer (remember this was written in early 1960's when computers were huge boxes with less memory than your phone has today), a very recognizable future based on assumptions that still might be possible today, and characters that you can recognize and empathize with.

    And it has one of the most plaintive lines in all of science fiction. "Are you listening Bog? Is a computer one of your creatures?"

    The narrator is wonderful and is able to capture the essence of a variety of different characters. However, I must pick one little nit. In all the times I read this story (and they are too many to count) I always heard the line "no hu-hu" as sounding like an owl (hoo, hoo). It is always done as laughter in this version (ha ha) and it just didn't seem correct.

    You won't find a better science fiction story, so hurry to add this to your library.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 01-24-10
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 01-24-10 Member Since 2014

    Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1021
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    144
    82
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    0
    Overall
    "Very Unique - A classic worth reading...."

    I read this a little ways back and am glad I waited to write the review, as the book has grown on me a bit.

    When I first finished the book, I left a little disappointed, but as time has gone on, the story, and the presentation, have stuck with me.

    First of all, telling the entire story in first person narrative is really unique. How many novels do you know that are written entirely in first person? Short stories - yes, but novels? Not many.... And it is done so well, that it doesn't wear on you.

    Plus the idea of how social anarchy works on the moon and the way in which they pursue their independence - all very unique and creative.

    It is also slighly humorous to consider Heinlein's idea of what a "future" computer would be like. There are parts of it that he got right, but other parts are somewhat amusing.

    Not only a good read, but a fun, thought-provoking book that definitely earns the title of "classic".

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Fayetteville, GA, USA 06-23-07
    Mark Fayetteville, GA, USA 06-23-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great story and excellent narrator!"

    This is one of Heinlein's best short novels. The characters are very real but are taking part in a future event - the revolutionary war to free Luna from the tyranny of Earth. Heinlein's talent to make heros out of ordinary people is just plain fun in this story. The narrator has a very expressive voice and a wide range of accents and ways of speaking that mimics the different characters in a very believable and enjoyable way. A good way to get yourself through the work day!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon Beaumont, TX, United States 03-14-07
    Gordon Beaumont, TX, United States 03-14-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Just excellent"

    I thought I had outgrown Heinlein but I loved this book. If you "get" Ayn Rand you will find this story engrossing. However, if your heroes are Jesus or Che Guevara, then you may want to look elsewhere.

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.