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.
“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, The Devil?
If you liked War & Peace, this might be for you.
I usually love Heinlein's work, but this story was so rambling and in dire need of serious editing that I found myself wishing some of the characters would just shut up and get on with the action. For instance, when they first visit Mars 10 they spend an inordinate amount of time arguing and fooling around that it was a massive relief when they finally met other people.
I don't know who narrated each part, but the ones who narrated Zeb and Deety were awful. They read very. del-i-ber-at-ely and enunciated way too much instead of reading naturally like other books I've listened to. The man who read for Jake was pretty good. I liked listening to his parts. The woman who read for Hilda was much better than Zeb or Deety but not as good as Jake.
There was a lot that was good about the story. It could have been amazing, and the parts that weren't idiotically boring reminded me why I love Heinlein's other books. He brought a lot of beloved characters in from other books.
I wanted to like this book, cherish and grok it as I have Heinlein's other books but between the narrating, rambling and the end...I won't tell you how it ends although I can't possibly ruin the ending any more than the author did.
The book is a great piece of R.A.H,, but the narration ruins the books. The voices and tone are completely off. A single narrator would be a better choice the the way the ensemble cast was used.
The ensemble narration was not done well. The narrator for Zeb read the other characters parts during his sections, which causes a sort of cognitive dissonance when the next narrator takes over readying D.T.'s lines. The choice of narrators for their parts was odd, not good representations/interpretations of the the characters.
I love the book, but would demand a refund for the Audible version if I could, as I don't think I'll be able to get near finishing it, and it is a favorite book of mine. The narration is killing this version.
The story is fantastic, but the only way I know that is because I read the book.
The narrators have managed to make it sound like a whiny romance / space opera. Deety, who is written as a brilliant computer programmer, comes across as a spoiled little girl. The other narrators are not as bad, but they still don't bring out the personalities of the characters.
I hope someone re-issues this book with a good traditional narrator. It doesn't deserve what has been done to it.
iamanerd in Lynden
of course I love it, I have Time enough for Love! great author good read
I have always enjoyed Heinlein and have reread him throughput my life. They usually have a nonspecific sexual overtone and become more adult oriented as you proceed through his series of books. Early fiction definitely teen oriented ; later books more adult oriented.
Enjoy. Read as many times as you can.
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.
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)
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.
A Science Fiction fan since I could read.. and to a lesser degree Fantasy.... I however enjoy many types of books......
"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.
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.
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