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As a big Arthur C Clarke and, in particular, Asimov, fan, encountering my first Heinlein novel is like discovering a whole new motherlode of my favourite type of science-fiction. Although a little dated in places (people smoke, for example), I was astonished, on finishing the book, to see that it was first published in 1941 so, when the moon landings are mentioned they are in the characters' past but the writer's future.
The plot itself is a little pedestrian - a series of events rather than the build up of tension more typical of modern writing. Perhaps this was because it was originally serialised. Having said that, it raised lots of interesting issues and was full of ideas. It's also not afraid to include "real" science and maths that the reader/listener is unlikely to understand. I like that.
The narration was fine - not a great range of voices though. And the Australian accent in the first part of the book is absolutely hilarious.
Overall, a great introduction to Heinlein - I'm just gutted that the next book in the "Lazarus Long" sequence ("Time Enough for Love") isn't on Audible. I guess I'll have to actually read it then,,,
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Loved it. I found it difficult to put down. The same great stories I've come to know and love from Robert Heinlein. Macleod Andrews always does a fantastic job with his superb narration skills. I'll be looking for more titles he has narrated. Space travel, fountain of youth, faster than the speed of light, we aren't the brightest creatures in the universe. Saying anymore would spoil it. I'd rate it a 10 out of 10.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
From start to finish this is an ever changing book. We start on Earth, travel interstellar space, visit two planets and come back to Earth. I have read a lot of Heinlein, but this book seems different in his use of words. Since the rest of his books don't sound like this I think he spent a lot of time studying a dictionary. I am not complaining, it seems to add to the story and it is not over anybody's head. Her is a small example: ANY MINORITY DURING THAT PERIOD OF SEMANTIC DISORIENTATION AND MASS HYSTERIA WAS A PROBABLE TARGET FOR PERSECUTION, DISCRIMINATORY LEGISLATION AND EVEN MOB VIOLENCE. Throughout the book he uses words that seem a little heavier than needed. When he starts talking about science it almost sounds like pseudo science. Fans of Alan Greenspan should love this.
I WOULDN'T BE YOUNG AGAIN FOR OVERTIME WAGES
The story is told in different parts and several issues are in play, so to pin down a feeling on the book is difficult. At the beginning Immortality is the main issue and Heinlein's vision of society is an interesting one. Cars are controlled by traffic towers, men wear kilts, privacy is highly valued, etc..., it is a Heinlein envisioned future. Then we get into conspiracies and politics. We then have space travel and lots of talk about the mechanics of it, lots of talk about time and space and other science. Did you know that carp and amoeba's never die? At the first planet I thought Heinlein was going to copy H.G. Wells. The second planet is even more interesting with lots of philosophy on living in paradise.
YOU CAN DEPEND ON A WOMAN TO BLOW HER TOP AT THE WRONG TIME
As far as character development, there is basically Lazarus Long. He is the Archie Bunker of the book and all other characters are their to support him. To be honest I did not care for him. He is a pushy have it his way type of guy and when someone disagrees with him he is put down soundly. He will ask for discussion, let those who agree with him speak and those who disagree with him are made fun of.
The book has a whole was entertaining and thought provoking. I did not like it enough for five stars, but I am glad I listened.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
I had read another of Heinlein's books about the same characters (Time Enough for Love) where he was writing about Lazerus Long as he looked back on a v-e-r-y long life. So when I found this one I had to have it. It was a delight as I listened to the beginning of the history of the Howard Family and their fight to survive against their short-lived kin and incidentally became the first people to voyage to the stars. There was some overlap in the two storylines but the details were more fleshed out in Children.
If I had this book in paperback it would probably be in a definitely worn condition because I would want to read it again and again.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful