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The Number of the Beast Audiobook
The Number of the Beast
Written by: 
Robert A. Heinlein
Narrated by: 
Bernadette Dunne, Emily Durante, Malcolm Hillgartner, Sean Runnette, Paul Michael Garcia, Tom Weiner
The Number of the Beast Audiobook

The Number of the Beast

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Publisher's Summary

The wickedest, most wonderful science-fiction story ever created in our - or any - time. Anything can begin at a party in California - and everything does in this bold masterwork by a grand master of science fiction.

When four supremely sensual and unspeakably cerebral humans - two male, two female - find themselves under attack from aliens who want their awesome quantum breakthrough, they take to the skies - and zoom into the cosmos on a rocket roller-coaster ride of adventure, danger, ecstasy, and peril.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was the dominant science-fiction writer of the modern era, a writer whose influence on the field was immense. He won science fiction's Hugo Award for best novel four times.

©1980 Robert A. Heinlein. 2003 by the Robert A. & Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“One of the grand masters of science fiction.” (Wall Street Journal)

“The most influential science fiction writer of all time!” (Locus)

“[A story] about two men and two women in a time-machine safari through this and other universes. But describing The Number of the Beast thus is like saying Moby-Dick is about a one-legged guy trying to catch a fish.” (National Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (564 )
5 star
 (236)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (519 )
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Story
3.9 (514 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Aden LAFAYETTE, CO, United States 02-26-13
    Aden LAFAYETTE, CO, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It. Never. Ends."

    I have most of Heinlein's work in print or audiobook. This is the worst one for so many different reasons.

    Story:
    Allah have mercy. I feel like I've done an N-space jump into universe of arrested pubescent development. "Stranger In A Strange Land," is brilliant because it rode high on the crest of the 60s counter-cultural movement, challenging nearly every moral bedrock of Western society. It is superb and does what Sci-Fi does best. This work isn't even an echo in an out-house of the mind that created "Stranger," or "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress." The story is as juicy as a packing peanut.

    The dialogue in this book is pointless, too. I feel like I'm being treated to the discarded remnants on the cutting floor of "Time Enough For Love." The characters in this book are the same as Laz/Lor/Athena/Gallahad without the hook-laden narrative of Lazarus Long or great storyline.

    I'm a loyal masochist so I suffered through the whole recording the same way I listened to Robert Plant's solo work simply because I'm a Led-head and thought, "At some point, this will get good." I had hope, so much hope. Now I just have scars.

    Performance:
    It's a good thing I don't have a yard arm and a length of rope or I may be swinging in the breeze. I'm having a hard time describing this performance without using expletives. Horrible is a compliment. Female narrators should not try to imitate male voices by lowering theirs. [Under any circumstances]. Seriously. There should be a law. This was like listening to a woman with traumatic brain injury but without the benefit of being a public service announcement. Someone should be held accountable.

    I now have a soundtrack for the waiting room in Hades...

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 10-01-12
    Donald 10-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    2
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    Story
    "A Chick Flick,"
    What disappointed you about The Number of the Beast?

    Almost no adventure. You would have almost as much fun listening to your wife and her girls friends talk.


    Has The Number of the Beast turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No he has written a lot of great books, just not this one.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    None


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Read his older works.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris midvale, UT, United States 06-04-12
    Chris midvale, UT, United States 06-04-12 Member Since 2008

    Dr. Christopher W. Roberts Ph.d I am a Computer Geek working around the U.S. and the world. I have a lot of Air miles to listen to audible titles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Must listen before cat that walks through walls"

    The sory in this book besides a homage to the authors of the golden age of SF & F is the ultimate multiverse story. The two following novels form RAH "The cat who walks through walls" which also has the prerequisite of "The Moon is a harsh mistress" the novel "to sail beyond the sunset" is also based on the result of this book. A must listen for Hienlien fans.
    Great listen

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liberty Dunedin, FL, United States 10-12-12
    Liberty Dunedin, FL, United States 10-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
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    10
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    "Take an exciting ride in Gay Deceiver"

    This book was written for those of us who grew up checking cereal boxes, just in case, because smart girls need spacesuits too! About a year ago I begged Audible for this book. Let's face it, we aren't getting any younger, and no large print editions were available. Experiencing this book in audio is truly a wild ride in the Gay Deceiver as it should be done, voice and ears only! This is a MUST LISTEN for Heinlein fans.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 06-26-16
    Jessica 06-26-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "one of my favorites"

    i must preface this review by saying that Heinlein is my all-time favorite author. this book is narratively a mess, and I love every uncomfortable, disjointed, anarchic, self-indulgent second of it. my only real complaint is in the performances. this book is told in point of view chapters from each of the four main characters. in particular the female who reads for DT ends up sounding weak and insipid a lot of the time which does not fit the character at all. if possible I recommend the audio version read by George Guidal his single performance managed to capture the wit and charm of the style so much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Seattle 04-19-16
    Amazon Customer Seattle 04-19-16 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    30
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    Story
    "vapid bobbleheads go on a space hike for no reason"

    I couldn't get through 8 hours.
    four readers. one talks through her teeth. another whines half the time. when you have a cast of four and only four major characters that spend their time together speaking to one another, why not produce something like a radio play instead of each reader reading all characters with completely different takes on how the character speaks (and that's not done in a clever 'differing perspectives' kind of way, more like amateur time)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    big_jim_ok 10-12-15
    big_jim_ok 10-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't start here..."

    The performance is interesting, with the round-robin of narrators reading the chapters as told from the various characters' points of view, and the narrators do very good jobs, but it's ultimately Heinlein himself who lets us down. The concept of the story is good, but the story itself is just a hot mess. Jerry Pournelle once said that Heinlein's biggest problem was that he became too big to edit, and this story is proof of that statement.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Adelaide, Australia 06-24-15
    Patrick Adelaide, Australia 06-24-15 Member Since 2010

    A Science Fiction fan since I could read.. and to a lesser degree Fantasy.... I however enjoy many types of books......

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read the paperback as a teenager. Now in my late 40's forgot what a long convoluted and ultimately unsatisfactory story."

    Great performances but this story doesn't really translate to audio. Better in print. The huge amount of dialogue between characters becomes very tedious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holdfast 05-05-15
    Holdfast 05-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Well worth the re-read!"

    This fits in well with Heinleins other later works. I first read it a long time ago, possibly when it came out.
    It is the story of four or five people. They are all very clever but also impressively individualistic (selfish) and have some rather bizarre personal politics .
    On fact, all of Heinleins books show his politics to be right wing and libertarian, in the US usage of the term.
    As a child, I never noticed the politics of this excellent story and would recommend it.
    You might benefit from having read some of his earlier books first though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra M. Miller 05-02-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "Love the Story"

    The voices were wrong, IMHO. Zeb's voice was too old, Jake, not "professor-ish" enough. The story, for me, was strong enough to overcome, but the voices were distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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