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North Power Air is in trouble. Their aircraft are crashing at an alarming rate and no one can figure out the cause. Desperate for an answer, they turn to Waldo, a crippled misanthropic genius who lives in a home in orbit around Earth, where the absence of gravity means that his feeble muscle strength does not confine him helplessly in a wheelchair. But Waldo has little reason to want to help the rest of humanity - until he learns that the solution to Earth’s problems also holds the key to his own.
In a world where almost everything is done by magic spells, Magic, Inc., under the guise of an agency for magicians, is systematically squeezing the small independent magicians out of business. Then one businessman stood firm. And with the help of an Oxford-educated African shaman and a little old lady adept at black magic, he was willing to take on all the demons of Hell to resolve the problem - once and for all.
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By Jim "The Impatient" on 02-13-16
I'M NEVER IN A HURRY
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
By Jane Taylor on 08-04-14
It was better when I was younger *sigh*
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