Lazarus Long, the main protagonist and Heinlein's alter ego, is so in love with life he refuses to die. Born in 1916, he lives through multiple centuries. Time Enough for Love is the telling of his journey, lovingly detailed, through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Using the voice of Lazarus, Heinlein expounds his own philosophies, including his radical (for 1946) ideas on sexual freedom. Time Enough for Love is the capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's Future History series.
©1973 Robert A. Heinlein; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A big novel, an entertaining one and an important one for science fiction." (The Baltimore Sun)
"Time Enough for Love is a full, rich, in some ways towering novel." (Kansas City Star)
I'm a long time Heinlein fan and 'Time Enough for Love" is one of my favorites. This is continuation of the short story 'Methuselah's Children', begins to tie in all the stories that Heinlein set in his "future histories", and sets the stage for several more novels (also among my favorites). Anyone who has a taste for a good ripping yarn and is interested in what might happen to the practices and mores of humanity given enough time and sufficient space will find this novel of interest.
My reason for a poor review is in the audio product created from this wonderful work. The narrator has an awkward delivery, mispronounces words, and lacks continuity in his voicing of the various characters.
There is at least one area where a significant portion of the text is missing while a blank space continues to play (the ambient sound during the blank space indicates that the material was not properly recorded rather than this being an online delivery issue). There is a periodic clicking that is distracting and by the sound is that of narrator hitting the enter key as he scrolls through the text.
I purchased this novel to allow me to once again enjoy this wonderfully rich story (as I am limited in my ability to hold and read a bound book these days) and was taken out of the flow of the story again and again by the inconsistencies and flaws in the product.
I WILL recommend this audio product strictly as a springboard to anyone looking to explore the world of Heinlein for the first time. Hopefully, the audio experience will lead the listener to other works from the "Dean of Science Fiction" and first recipient to receive 2 Hugo awards.
I enjoyed this. The difficult job here for the narrator Lloyd James was to make interesting not only the adventure parts of the story but all of the "intermissions" as Lazarus Long muses on life, genetics, details of engineering or construction or pioneering. I do not think the narration rises to that. I agree with the reviewer who called the reading "halting". I would go further and say that he, or his producer, made the wrong voice choice for Lazarus Long as a slow-speak ornery midwesterner, instead of a fast-speak one, given that much of the book is in Lazarus' voice. Interestingly, voices of the dozen other characters are remarkably distinct and move along at a good clip. I did not hear blank spots or clicks, and I listened using earphones. I do note that, oddly, the musical interludes actually included by Heinlein in the text (a few bars at each chapter head) are not reproduced here. "Time Enough" is a future history of several parts, each one a mix of rocket adventure and musing as Lazarus tells the 2000 year story of his life in retrospect. By part 4 he is experiencing life in his present and part 5, the book's wonderful payoff lasting the final 5 hours, he is focused on his boyhood family in Kansas City. It is here moving between several characters and Lazarus' private thoughts and letters that the narration comes together to reflect the book's compelling conclusion.
Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.
I first read this book roughly 20 years ago and have read most of Robert Heinlein's books. This is one of my favorites (along with "Starship Troopers" and "Stranger In A Strange Land"). But what prompted me to write this review was the narration. It is on a par with the narration for "Water For Elephants". The narration does a good job of making each character distinct and bringing the story to life. It is a good example of an audio book that is better than the dead tree version.
Time Enough for Love is an old favorite of mine. I first read it probably 35 years ago, and several times since. This is the first time I've listened to it, and as always with audio, it allowed me to experience new facets of a story I had thought worn smooth by experience. Much like the story of Lazarus himself, listening to it gave me something new to experience with this story, made it worth experiencing anew, and again.
The Tale of the Adopted Daughter was always my favorite part of the book, and hearing it read was heartwrenching. I found myself crying by the end, unashamedly and freely. It was as beautiful as it was terrible, and hearing it made it trebly so.
This is where this audiobook could be improved. Mr. James had a hard task put to him, and did fairly well, including singing some portions that other readers would have simply chanted. I give him kudos for that. But he could have done a bit more homework on some points that will get under the skin of deep Heinlein fans and the more pedantic of his audience.
"Lapis Lazuli", for instance, is not ended with a long "I" sound. I know, I know, the first entry in Wikipedia has an "aI" ending, but that's not the COMMON ending. "lap-iss laz-zew-ly/lee", with an "ee" ending is what anyone who has ever admired that gold-flecked blue stone has ever called it, and I almost ran a rock shop.
"Root, hog, or die," is not a set of three options. It is an imperative to the hog. Reading it as if it were three things one may choose from misses the point. Mr. James does a decent job on the female voices, but needed to do something, find a way to make the counterpoint between Lorelei Lee and Lapis Lazuli something the listener could differentiate, given that they were supposed to be from two identical voices from two characters identical in practically every way and thinking nearly with one mind. WE still need a clue to tell them apart, that we get from reading the text. Tricky, but it needs to be done. Perhaps one more from the left mike, one more from the right? One with a hint more fuzz in the voice? A trick of processing, maybe, something subliminal?
I liked the voice of Lazarus. Having lived near Missouri for a time, the voice was believable. Even though this is not a dramatization, perhaps a little age in the voice at the beginning, and less in the "Boondock" chapter would have been a good touch, but that's just me.
The book everyone said could never have been made into a film.
The editing of this work was...lacking. The ending of each chapter ran almost instantly into the next with no pause, and there were odd, long pauses inside each chapter that hurt the pacing. The worst were the chapter endings in "The Tale of the Adopted Daughter", notably the chapter ending in "wouldn't ten mules do?", and the end of the Adopted Daughter tale itself, running into the second Intermission -- the gap is practically nonexistent going into the next line, and there should have been a beat. The ending of the "Daughter" chapter is so poignant, to wrench the listening into the Intermission without a moment, at least a few seconds, is almost cruel.
There were also some odd corrupted bits of sound, dropouts, mangled warbles and such, which sounded nothing less than reel-to-reel audio tape getting tangled, jumping the heads, or a stretched bit running past. As a former sound designer for a theatre, this is odd to hear in a digital work, and it should have been caught and fixed in production. I will not believe this is some fault at my end, this is a tablet we're talking about -- there's nothing to mangle or skip. It must have been the source medium that was corrupted, and it got past the editors. This is simply shoddy workmanship, and there's no excuse for it.
This was a really tedious book to listen to. The narrator did a poor job here. Both the voices (especially of the women) and the speed or "flow" seemed to be off somehow. Production quality seemed to be very good (quiet recording, no hiss or background noises, etc).
The entire book was about Lazarus Long's love life -- and while that's to be expected somewhat with the title "Time Enough for Love", this was really just too much. The constant tales of how women throwing themselves at Laz -- from his own pseudo-daughters, step-children, and sisters (cloned from his own cells), the orgies with his "family", hell he even goes back in time to sleep with his mother -- that was just too much!
ADD to that the love with an AI who turns itself into a woman, a funky genetic set of twins (brother/sister) who wind up marrying each other, and the orgies on homesteads.. it was just too much.
NONE of it is graphic mind, it's.. well, it's DRY as hell when it's talked about, and it's a full 90% of the book!
I understand the premise, and I even got the message - sexual freedom, no religion, enlightened society, science and math is king, genetics, logical reasoning should prevail, love (sexual, familial, and romance) are the only reasons to live and make life interesting, etc, etc. But enough!
This is one of the few books that the authors message is easily gotten.. simply because it's constantly pounded into you, over, and over, and over, and over again. Really, the first oh.. 45 minutes, and the last 45 minutes are the only bits worth listening to. An abridged version would have been much better.
I've read/listened to other Heinlein works in the past, and usually enjoyed them. But this was.. wow. this was really tough, It's very rare that I actually get done with an audio book and feel like I was tortured (I've listened to 100's of books at this point).. but I did with this one.. The constant sexual escapades, tales of women throwing themselves at him, the somewhat creepy ancestor worship, and the constant focus on sex combined with a deadpan, unnatural narration just made this a horrible combination.
There were enjoyable parts here - talking laz back from using the kill switch, bits about the ride back with the brother/sister, the homesteading part, the time travel, and even some of the philosophical discussion around love.. all of those were fine. Not action packed (actually, no action at all really), but it made for a good bit to flush out Laz's character. But the book could be about 80% shorter and been just as good.
I first read this book 30 years ago and must have reread it three or four times. The characters invaded my dreams. Listening to it last week was a splendid experience and the magic, like Lazarus Long will never die. Too often, revisiting an old and beloved novel can be a horrible disillusionment, but even after twenty six hours of listening I was sorry when it ended. This Audible production, along with my dog-eared paperback is among my prized possessions.
This book is once again the most entertaining and incitful books on the market . The narrator does a great job in his understanding the meaning of what the master is saying ..
I cannot wait for the audiobook of " The number of thr Beast " to come out .! ! ! That is also a masterpeice....
Traveler, Reader, Political Blogger.
A view of the world from a timeless person who seemed to gain little sophistication in his experiences. By hour 13 just had enough and had to delete it. The premise of the story seemed great, and I love time travel books, but this listen was as interesting as an assigned biography, and as modivational as a late summer college lecture. Pitty, Heinlein has had some great stuff.
I have loved this story since I was 16 when I first read it. This book contains lessons for life, color stories, fascinating future history world building, and fantastic character development. Unfortunately, it also contains a few things that should have been edited out (diploid pair genetic analysis for way too long, for example).
Lazarus Long is my idol. I really love this character, and the story brings him to life. I want to be Lazarus Long when I grow up.
Yes! I worried a bit about Mr. James' voice (was raw during some of the read), but it was perfect for the part in every way.
Yes, but I listen when driving. I had to force myself to get out of the car sometimes.
I've read this book in print several times, but enjoyed this reading in a totally new way once the actual story begins (introductory chapters difficult to listen to). To hear all the characters come alive through the brilliant performance by Lloyd James provided a delightful new experience of Heinlein's timeless story of Lazarus Long. Bravo!
"A book of its time"
I am not sure Robert Heinlein has stood the test of time but I still like this book. However, the narrator is slightly irritating and hasn't really got the skill for the multiple voices.
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