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I am an admitted Heinlein fan. I own the entire canon in paper, everything available in e-book format, and everything Audible carries in audio. But this is not his best novel. He wrote it at a low point in his career. The story is still entertaining, but the characters are not his most compelling. So why purchase this book?
Heinlein, as always, provides interesting commentary on our culture. Many of his ideas are coming to pass today. There are creditable observations on how America is moving to a fractured society run by corporate interests and political thugs. Remember that his ideas about the relation of medicine to law were written over 30 years ago. His vision is impressive and thought provoking.
The performance and recording are superb. I was unfamiliar with Anthony Heald until this work. I will seek out his other performances - he's outstanding.
And it's a fun listen. Look, the sex scenes will seem silly. The metaphysical ideas are really out there. But it's still an enjoyable way to spend hours. You won't be bored.
Thank you Blackstone Audio and Audible for adding this masterwork to your collection.
23 of 26 people found this review helpful
David's review of run, don't read is a great review, only a little long.
I am a Heinlein fan. I loved The Green Hills of Earth, Starship Troopers, Starman Jones, Have Spacesuit Will Travel and Double Star. This book is crap.
I did not like Friday or Stranger in A Strange Land. This book is in that category.
This 90 year old man gets his brain transplanted into a 20 something hot chick's body. As a man he was a man's man and loved women. Once he is in a female body, he becomes a airhead. He wants to sleep with everybody including his best friend. He is so pretty he makes gay men want to go straight. I am pretty sure that if tomorrow my best friend's brain ends up in Beyonce's body, I am going to be too weirded out to have sex with him/she. Heinlein believes that a change in body will change our gender, yet studies show that it is the brain that determines the sex.
The worst part is that this is 19 hours long. I could handle eight to ten hours of it, but not 19. After the surgery is over, the book reads like a cheap romance. Lots and lots of girl talk. Hours of girl talk. Mind numbing middle school girl talk with adult situations thrown in.
Please do not let this be your first Heinlein.
23 of 28 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
A pseudo-philosophical study into identity and sexuality, told with the emotional intelligence of Twilight, subtlety of Benny Hill and plotting finesse of a telephone directory; imagined by a dirty old man, gleefully rubbing his thighs. <br/><br/>This book has done for Heinlein what Cop Out did for Bruce Willis - it's so bad, it has cast its miasmic cloud over all other associated works and ruined them a little bit for me. Avoid (also avoid Cop Out). <br/><br/>The premise could have worked and at the very beginning, I had hope. An elderly, dying businessman wants to find a way to escape his hospital existence and since he's also filthy rich, decides to have a bit of fun and puts out an outrageous demand: find a healthy, young body for me to put my brain into. <br/><br/>When his secretary conveniently dies shortly after, his brain is put in her body and the Benny Hill theme tune comes on. It doesn't stop until the very end, by which time we've had hours of internal dialogue between 'the boss' and his secretary (yes, her consciousness somehow survived in her body without her brain in it), sex, talk about sex, 1950s sexist attitudes, competitive promiscuity and worse. There's also an assumption that now that the boss is inside a woman's body, his sexual orientation is automatically female. The topics aren't the problem. It's the way in which they are handled. I suppose you might enjoy reading this if you've always wanted to know what it's like to be inside the head of that man in the park, wearing nothing but an anorak and hoping to expose himself to children at an opportune moment.
What does Anthony Heald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
The performance was great, considering the quality of the book. Having this as an audiobook meant I suffered it through to the end (had it been a physical book, I'd have given up a few chapters in). I don't know whether having spent 19 hours of my life listening to this counts as a bonus, alas.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Some books I can accept were written in less enlightened times but this sexist twaddle is simply awful. Couldn't finish it.