We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Number of the Beast Audiobook

The Number of the Beast

Regular Price:$27.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (798 )
5 star
 (334)
4 star
 (199)
3 star
 (144)
2 star
 (70)
1 star
 (51)
Overall
3.9 (729 )
5 star
 (322)
4 star
 (159)
3 star
 (128)
2 star
 (65)
1 star
 (55)
Story
4.0 (723 )
5 star
 (323)
4 star
 (185)
3 star
 (127)
2 star
 (52)
1 star
 (36)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Aden LAFAYETTE, CO, United States 02-26-13
    Aden LAFAYETTE, CO, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Stephen M Lewes, Delaware USA 06-29-15
    Stephen M Lewes, Delaware USA 06-29-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's AWEFUL....But I think It's supposed to be."
    What did you like best about The Number of the Beast? What did you like least?

    As Pure Story It was beyond bad. I almost tossed my hard copy of it into a recycle bin so that, if someone stumbled on it in a used book store or library, it wouldn't be on my account and my conscience would be clear. The characters and their dialogue are so tiresome as to bore Prometheus on his rock. It's inane, sexist, verbose, And Ayn Randishly right wing. I tried reading it as a teenager and found it too preposterous even then. I thought, with age and an audio version, I might be able to appreciate something I missed. I didn't until I thought about it. This is a textbook displaying everything you don't do in writing. When you watch a bit though.... When the "Black Hats" show up, while the Odious main characters are blathering away, you will find examples of excellent writing happening in the background. I think It's a practical joke, and many sci fi forums seem to agree. The talent here lies in how Heinlein could write a brilliant premise so abysmally.


    What could Robert A. Heinlein have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Added an introduction with some hint at, what I think, was the actual intent...Or written a separate textbook and burned the manuscript for this one.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    Sure. the narrators aren't at fault for the writing.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My head hurts to think of it.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 10-01-12
    Donald 10-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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
  •  
    Liberty Dunedin, FL, United States 10-12-12
    Liberty Dunedin, FL, United States 10-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    241
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Mary Ann Wagner 10-15-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overacting?"

    The narrators (actors) try way too hard. I couldn't finish. Sophomoric. I got into it enough to be severely turned off. I don't mind Heinlein, but this is presented badly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rex 08-17-17
    rex 08-17-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "nonsense and chronic lack of reason"

    I get that Mr Heinlein was attempting a statement still it would be a nice gesture to place that disclaimer on the cover sonewhere. This book was more grueling and quite possibly could serve as an excellent alternative to water-boarding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    korneel 08-08-17
    korneel 08-08-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    166
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Skip this one, choose another book of Heinlein."
    Any additional comments?

    Imo Heinlein has written some masterworks such as "the moon is a harsh mistress" and "the door into summer". This is not one of them. At some point i was wondering if he had some writersblock and was just dragging along.
    After 1/3 of the book i stopped listening because it became pointless, my mind kept drifting away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-13-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wouldn't recommend"

    I typically love heinleins work, but this story is downright difficult to listen to. Just a constant idiotic power struggle between the childish crew. the science fiction is more magic than is typical for heinlein. skip it. it's not even close to his best work.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fedupintx Texas 06-08-17
    Fedupintx Texas 06-08-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Huge disappointment"

    Starts out OK and somewhat entertaining but turns out to be a rambling self indulgent mess, especially at the end .I feel like I wasted 2 weeks of my commuting time listening to this. State through it because it was Heinlein but any other writer I probably would have just quit .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    doorgunner 04-23-17
    doorgunner 04-23-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Super writing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Don't have many friends and of them I am the only Sci Fi buff. They are more interested in fantasy like shape shifters and Vamps.


    What other book might you compare The Number of the Beast to and why?

    Stranger in a Strange Land comes to mind. Great character developement. Could have stretched the ending out a bit more. Heinlein brought together many of his heroes from other stories that could have gone on longer to develop relationships between characters.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Narrator didn't skip over words like I am prone to.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I didn't laugh or cry, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.