The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

  • by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by Lloyd James
  • 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.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.

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What the Critics Say



Hugo Award, 1967


"Adrenalizing, mind-stretching, conviction-testing...unmatched by any contemporary!" (Theodore Sturgeon)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Heinlein's Masterpiece

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.
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- Peter

This books is better in audio translation

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.
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- kuaikuai

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-11-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.