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I first read this book in paperback when I was very young and it has been one of my favorite Heinlein novels ever since. Although, as I got older, I found myself liking Heinlein's writing style less and less, I always had found memories of this book so, when I saw it on Amazon, I purchased it.
The first thing I found was that the Audible version is different from the version I first read back in the 1950s. I was surprised enough by the differences that I did some research about the early book. What I found was that some of the anti-communist content, which is in the current Audible version, had been removed from the print version that I originally read because it was felt to be inappropriate. That seems a little surprising to me considering that the 1950s was thought to be a strongly anti-communist period and yet the anti-communist content was removed so as to not influence young minds. Interesting fact.
More than 60 years after the first publication of this book it feels a bit dated. Heinlein always had a libertarian view toward society and that view is clear and present in this book, but many of the background assumptions simply seem odd today. Taxis do not fly, cars cannot jump over rivers and marriages are not contracted for a specific period of time. None the less the book is still a fun read and retains a good deal of the appeal it had for me when I was a pre-teen.
The one truly annoying thing about this book is the narration. Mr James has the habit of pausing continuosly thoughout the book for no specific reason. Person 1 speaks, pause, person 2 replies, pause, person 1 replies, pause, ... It got so bad that I ended up listening to this book at 1.25 x speed (using the Android Audible reader) and thought about trying to listen at 1.5 x speed. The pauses are just maddening and detract a great deal from my ability to enjoy listening.
Still, if you can put up with the pauses, I believe this to be one of the better Heinlein novels. Still enjoyable after more than 60 years.
36 of 36 people found this review helpful
I first read Heinlein's classic alien invasion story more than 40 year ago, and listening to it now feels like walking into a time machine. I honestly enjoyed it, but I suspect younger readers may find it strange. The story was placed app. fifty years into the future when written, and now in 2000 after World War III, The Soviet Empire is still around and Venus has been colonized (not very successfully due to the large jungles on the planet). All television is in 3D, and there are three space stations. However, no Internet and no satelites, and interestingly it seems that France some years ago went nudist. I could go on and on. The book is quite a good thriller with some good "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" moments, but to me the most fascinating thing was being transported back 50 years looking forward to the dim and far away future of year 2000 and beyond. Great Fun.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful