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.
"Adrenalizing, mind-stretching, conviction-testing...unmatched by any contemporary!" (Theodore Sturgeon)
Fidelity is reasonably good; just a little muddy. I was surprised to find that this recording dates back to 1999.
Lloyd James is a competent enough reader, but his interpretation of the primary character (Mannie) was a bit jarring at times. I could handle the Russian accent; but he paused at times he should have kept reading and vice versa.
His Russian accent for Mannie put a new spin on the character for me; along with the French accent for Stu LaJoie. Never really heard those accents in my head while reading the novel, even though I knew that Heinlein had intended it that way.
Prof's manner of speaking was a bit too drawn out. Wyoh was fine, but I would have liked a bit more femininity in the voice. Mike's voice was done as expected.
Was surprised (and pleased) to hear the English accent for the Authority chairman; made a nice touch and really differentiated him from the other characters. James also does Oriental accents well.
Chapter divisions on my iPod were not marked according to the chapters in the book.
As this was my first Audible audiobook, I was pleased to find that there were some stops built into the book; and even more pleased that the iPod remembered where I had left off when I switched to music.
I first read Mistress as a high school student in the sixties, and then reread it many times over the years. Probably my favorite Heinline book. Lloyd James' performance gave it a new life that insures that it will be one that I now also listen to again and again.
I was initially surprised by the use of the Russian accent for the narrator but it works and works well. I'll never read the book again without hearing that accent. And his other "voices" for the main characters - especially "Mike", was right on. This was a very well done reading of a must read classic.
This is quite simply the best book Robert Heinlein wrote. While the premise is somewhat implausible (ship convicts to the Moon? More economical to ship hydroponic grain from the Moon than to grow it on Earth? - I don't think so), it serves as a platform for Heinlein to explore topics in politics and philosophy. These include: what does it mean to be human? What is the relationship between duty, responsibility and rights?
Heinlein is able to pull this off by embedding the "politics" in a real page turner about a revolt by colonists on the Moon against the tyranny of the home planet. Heinlein keeps the plot zipping along with plenty of action and "gee, whiz!" techno gizmos that are only slightly dated today (the book was first published in the mid-60's).
The characters in this book are the among the most fully realized in all of Heinlein's work. The narrator is a one-armed computer repairman, whose best friend is only sentient computer in existence, Mike. Heinlein treats Mike's alienation and attempts to become "human" with a light hand and sympathy.
The first person language used in the book contains a rich argot from the dozen or more nationalities that make up the lunar colony. This contributes greatly to make the setting believable and real.
As good as the book is, Lloyd Jones improves on it. His vocal characterizations are wonderful, and brought out elements of the character that I never noticed before, despite having read the book at least a half dozen times in the past.
I would recommend this book whether you are coming to it for the first time, or if you have read it many times before. It puts a fresh face on one of "the Grandmaster of Science Fiction's" greatest works. If you love science fiction, you owe to yourself to give this book a listen.
I read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" in high school,and now that I'm "reading" it again 15 years later I realize how much I missed the first time. Heinlein has written a literate sci-fi classic that delves into philosophy, Revolution and other always current topics. Narrator Lloyd James clarifies my biggest problem with the book: protagonist Manny's sometimes odd language and syntax. When Manny speaks with a Russian accent, all is clear. Recommended for lovers of sci-fi and good stories!
If you like Sci-Fi mixed with politics, this is a great listen. It reminded me in many ways of _Dune_, which framed political intrigue and social commentary within a sci-fi story line. Having some historical perspective on this piece makes it even more interesting. This was originally published in 1966, before the first moon landing--before I was born. The exploration of politics so left as to be right is as interesting as the subtle and comic development of an artificial intelligence from child-like naivete to nearly omniscient wisdom. The narration is very good, especially considering the abrupt changes in accent necessary to separate the characters. Highly recommended.
I agree with the reviewer who commented on the surprise, but workability of the narrators accents. It explains alot about the syntax Mannie uses. You'll quickly get used to it, and it goes far in letting the listener track WHO is talking.
What can I say? It's classic Heinlein at his best. The anachronisms are a bit attention getting, but not so much that it detracts from the story.
This is a must for any sci-fi buff's collection.
Heinlein once wrote (in _The Number of the Beast_ that Tolstoy's works gained from translation. That I cannot judge, but _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ which is one of my favorate books and one I reread periodically, gains from Lloyd James's translation. In particular, his voice for Mannie sounds both authentic and more multi-dimentional than the voice I imagined when reading the book. His brief chuckles punctuate Mannie's sly humor beautifully.
I know this is an audio version I will be listening to again. In fact, I imagine I will pull it out every time I go back to reread the book.
As for the book itself -- if you only read one book of Heinlein's in your lifetime -- this is the book you should read. Seriously.
Loved this. Great narration. This narrator sets the standard. It has been awhile since I listened and the images are still fresh in my mind. It is amazing that this was written in 1966. It could have been written last year. Excellent story with a great message.
I read the book many, many years ago and was very favorably impressed with the narration and tone. The audio was excellent.
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