Listening To: THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein

moonharshmistressI listened to this periodically over the last two weeks on Audible.com, through a new partnership with Amazon Prime. Heinlein is a favorite author, and I hadn’t read this one in some time. The audiobook is over 14 hours, unabridged, and read excellently by Lloyd James. I really enjoyed his Russian accent for the narrator, Manny, it brought home the melange of languages Heinlein created for the book, which takes place on our moon in the future, of course, when Earth has been using it as a penal colony and dumping ground for unwanted Earthlings. With inhabitants from many Earth areas and countries, it seems quite sensible that the common language would incorporate slang and words from many languages. Heinlein pulls this off admirably. Anything I didn’t understand was clear from context. James does other accents and makes all the characters reasonable distinctive. The only thing I didn’t care for was his handling of the female voices. Wyoming, the female lead, comes across a lot stronger in my head than in the reading. It would be great to have a woman doing the female voices in a situation like this.

“Moon” is a talky book, pretty late in Heinlein’s career, but the talk is mostly focused on the plot: the inhabitants of the Moon are being treated badly, their resources are being depleted by Earth, and Manny, Wyoming and a sentient computer called Mike come up with a solution: revolution and independence! Heinlein works out every detail beautifully, and it’s no easy task for the characters. Could they have done it without Mike, who has control over all the systems on Luna? Perhaps not, but given that, the logistics of revolution are believable and even exciting once the plan goes into action. Great book, and I enjoyed listening to it. I’m sure I missed details here and there, but much of the dialogue remains with me even now, so the Audible experience was a good one that I will try again.

Recommended.

One thought on “Listening To: THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein

  1. Richard Bruning

    I LOVED Heinlein as a teen/young adult. Actually, “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel”, may have well been the book that got me hooked on SF at the tender age of 13? 14?
    I am reluctant to reexperience those (many) classic/well-loved SF books of my youth. Rereading them now makes them seem less than what my memory of them was. My emotional vulnerability was so much greater then. I don’t care if they weren’t really as great as I thought they were but it kind of breaks a spell regarding how I’ve seen those books in my mind over the years. Hard to recapture that subtle flame.

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