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I'M NOT IN THE HABIT OF JESTING
I seem to be very hot and cold on Heinlein's writings. I either hate it or love them. I love all of his Juvenile novels. These novels are usually positive and encourage education and working hard. His adult novels usually are all about free love, engineers and are a bit negative on the government. According to the introduction this was his first novel to be published, matter of fact supposedly the start of the golden age.
The book had to have been popular at the time, since the word Waldo is still used today. As explained in the introduction, this is two novellas put together to make a book. These stories have nothing to do with each other. Heinlein himself did not understand why they were being put together. The intro tries to explain why they go together, but not too convincingly. Waldo is slow moving. It has an interesting main character who is hard to like. In the 40's, readers were more into the explaining of things and life was slower, so slow moving stories were not a problem. Today, we care less about the explanation and we have less patience. I do not see today's readers enjoying these two novellas. Magic Inc., is like the business end of Magic. The story does a of lot explaining about the rules and regulations of magic. So much so, that it takes a lot of the joy out of the story. Dresden fans are not going to sit through this manual on magic.
I am normally a fan of Andrews, but his narration matched the slowness of these stories. I do think another narrator could have spiced this up a bit.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
I LOVED this in the 1970s when I was a kid but it was a struggle to get through as an adult. I thought I would rediscover Heinlein afresh after 40 years but what I discover is that the same strong and (to me) mildly offensive attitudes (political, social, sexual) that infused his later work so strongly and made me uncomfortable as a young adult woman are here too in the older stuff, just more subtly. They say you can't go home- too bad...
A young teen might really like these though- Heinlein is endless inventive.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful