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Publisher's Summary

Every stand-in dreamed of the starring role - but what actor would risk his life for the chance?

One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe is, as usual, in a bar, drinking away his troubles while watching his career circle the drain. Then a space pilot buys him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knows, he’s shanghaied to Mars. Smythe suddenly finds himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who has been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians is at stake, and failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. 

Smythe knows nothing of the issues concerning free interplanetary trade and equal rights for aliens and cares even less, but the handsome compensation is impossible to refuse. He soon realizes, however, that he faces a lifetime masquerade if the real politician never shows up.

©1956, 1984 by Robert A. Heinlein. © 2003 by the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2020 by Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Double Star

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hugo Award Well Deserved. A+

A must read/listen for Heinlein fans, young and old. The reading by Bronson Pinchot made the story even more believable. He is one of the very best in the business.

Don’t let the formulaic revision of “Man In The Iron Mask” hold you back from this story. You will cheer for our band of political brothers as they survive a series of hazards through initiative, talent and showmanship.

5 people found this helpful

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amazing narration

I've read this book before, but the narrator brings this book so amazingly... He might just be the best narrator I've heard so far.

2 people found this helpful

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The dean of the golden age at his peak!

A tale of an actor-politician the the role of his life. (I would have so loved to have attended the meeting when RAH met Ronald Reagan.)

1 person found this helpful

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65 years old. Dated.

Yes, the technology is in error, but there are many decisions made by the characters that were unrealistic. The ending was preposterous.

The reader had to accept that the planets were populated. Today we know better.

The reader does not have enough range to make a clear distinction between characters. His interpretation of Penny is laughable.

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Science Fiction?

Double Star is an extremely well written novel. Is it science fiction? Yes and no. It has the background of a science fiction story; rockets, ray guns(Life Wand), E.T.s, futuristic medicine(?), moon scenery, etc. However, this story could have happened in any time period. Heinlein is a very technical writer; his engineering and concepts of future life is engaging. But he is also very technical in politics. He ran and lost for some office; I can't remember which one. With Heinlein, you get great fiction, but also his beliefs in how a person should behave and think according to Heinlein. He lays it thick in all areas of his writing. I've come to expect an optimistic 'solution' to whatever problem he creates.

The narrator does an admirable job. I really admire a narrator who 'wears' many hats and faces. It's amazing how many characters differentiated themselves out of one narrator. The only hiccup may be Penny's. He made her 'feel' (to me) as if she only had one tone. Other than that, it was fine acting.

I didn't expect the 'solution' Heinlein chose. An actor who must 'act' a role for the rest of his life has to feel as if he is in prison. But we all have a role to play!

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Heinlein fan

Double Star is one of my favorite books from Robert A. Heinlein. I like Bronson Pinchot as a narrator, but don't feel that this was his best work. The voices he chose for Dax and Penny were off-putting, to say the least. Dax came across as a Cowboy tough guy, and Penny has barely any modulation in her voice, sounding bored and depressed most of the time. If you want to hear Bronson at his finest, listen to him reading Heinlein's Glory Road. It's glorious!

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Great story, amazing narrator

I wish it had been longer. The story was wonderful, the characters creative And
interesting, and the narration was fantastic

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Wonderful Book, Almost Wonderful Narration...

I've read the book before and it's great, and Bronson Pinchot's performance is great as well, with a single glaring exception: his characterization of Penny. He performs her with a kind of slow, breathy lethargy that is perplexing. It's literally like she's taken a fistful Xanax. The character as written is a high energy person, with wit and verve. I simply can't understand his choice in this case, as he's usually so good in everything else. Perhaps a voice director or producer dictated this choice? I have no idea. But it pulls the book from five stars down to three.

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Pinchot shines

a great story and an incredible narration! -
thanks to Bronson Pinchot for making the book come alive. a grand performance.