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Job: A Comedy of Justice [Paperback]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 1985
After he firewalked in Polynesia, the world wasn't the same for Alexander Hergensheimer, now called Alec Graham. As natural accidents occurred without cease, Alex knew Armageddon and the Day of Judgement were near. Somehow he had to bring his beloved heathen, Margrethe, to a state of grace, and, while he was at it, save the rest of the world ....

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 Nov 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0450058409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450058400
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A great cosmic guffaw of a masterpiece

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein was one of the greatest science fiction writers of the century and won the coveted Hugo Award on several occasions. He died in 1989.

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The fire pit was about twenty-five feet long ten feet wide, and perhaps two feet deep. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heinlein's hilarious take on religion 13 July 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
Many people seem to prefer (or despise) Heinlein's more "political novels" such as "Starship Troopers" and "The Moon is a harsh Mistress". My favourite Heinlein book has got to be "Job". It's an SF-story about parallell universes. It's a story about a modern Job who is tested by his God. It's a love story featuring two people from (in more ways than one) different worlds. Starting out as pure comedy, the book progresses to raise some interesting questions about religion and our relationships to it. Not a major philosophical work, but a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read, loaded with humorous remarks and insightful observations. Heinlein's funniest book (and I have read them all). In the end, however, it is really just a wonderful love story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Man of God 3 Sep 2009
Whenever the subject of Heinlein comes up, certain works of his always seemed to get mentioned, such as his Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land. But for some reason, there is very little comment about this book, which may arguably be the best of his late period "World as Myth" books.

The plot is comparatively simple: Alex Hergensheimer, fundamentalist priest, finds himself shunted from alternate reality to alternate reality, with his only constant his new-found love-at-first-sight Margrethe as his traveling companion and the clothes on his back. Such changes impose severe hardships, as again and again he finds himself without spendable money or records of who he is, and must survive by taking any jobs he finds available, chiefly dish-washing. Culture shock is also heavily prevalent, as his own ideas of what is proper in terms of women's dress, public displays of affection, acceptable language, and what should be (in his mind) the one and only acceptable religion are continuously rubbed headlong into the facts and customs of totally different cultures. Alex is quite a bit of a prig, whose ideas on papists, Jews, and blackamoors are horrendously prejudicial, and finds these changes very difficult to take. His take on the entire experience is that either he is totally paranoid, that these shifts are directed solely at him, or that these are signs and portents of the coming Armageddon. That his paranoia is justified and Armageddon really is just around the corner is the logical conclusion to this, but what he finds and does in both Heaven and Hell may not be at all what the reader is expecting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this book! 25 Feb 2009
By Mart
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I recently read this again after reading it first many years ago and enjoyed it just as much, even knowing what happens.

Many situations in the book are very amusing and the whole idea is irreverent but never intended in my view to insult any religion.

It is very different and is not what I'd describe as SF exactly although there are some elements there.

Heinlein's later work seems to deal with love and affection between people, decency, fairness and indeed Justice as in the title. From my point of view he deals with these subjects well and in a natural, untwisted way.

Some of thw worlds visited are very funny, especially those most like ours. One constant is that whilst the powerful and almighty appear bent on being as unhelpful as possible, there is a willingness running through the whole story of the ordinary person to offer nothing but help and decency.

It is outrageous and funny and not one to miss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An engineer's meditation on religion 18 Aug 2014
By T. D. Welsh TOP 500 REVIEWER
Robert Heinlein's views on religion were no secret: he took a sceptical, even cynical view of dogma, priests, and churches, but nevertheless maintained a reasoned agnosticism. After all, we really won't know whether there is a God, or what kind of God, until we die. So why not just wait and see? That said, he obviously found the topic interesting, and this book represents a spirited - and often very funny - attempt to blend a variety of religious scenarios with the ideas of "World as Myth" and "World as Art" that permeate many of his other books. The subtitle ("A Comedy of Justice") echoes that of his first (unpublished) novel, For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs, which has often been seen as an experimental template for most of his subsequent published work.

As an engineer, Heinlein seems to have been somewhat less horrified by the literal content of the Bible than Mark Twain (whose books he devoured as a boy, and whose influence on his writing was considerable). However, he was fully capable of detecting its many inconsistencies and contradictions, not to mention apparently immoral passages. The Book of Job, of course, tells the story of a just and upright man systematically tormented by God, who seems determined to test his faith all the way to destruction. Alexander Hergensheimer, the protagonist if not hero of "Job", resembles both the Biblical Job and Heinlein himself - who was notorious for his stubborn adherence to principle, even at the cost of long-standing friendships.

I wouldn't advise any devout Jews, Muslims or Christians to read this book, unless their faith is rock-solid and they have a good sense of humour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loving it
Read this book before over ten years ago and loved it, have been trying to find for a while in reasonable conditions and I did, now it takes place proudly on my book shelf
Published 9 months ago by Irbis
5.0 out of 5 stars great
a realy great book, makes you think about god in a new light one of those books that you love or realy hate
Published 9 months ago by mike malynn
5.0 out of 5 stars classic SciFi
Great book. I picked it up on holiday in a libraryat a cottage in Australia but didn't finish it before I left. I needed to buy it when I got home
Published 16 months ago by ROY T HEDGES
4.0 out of 5 stars It's in good shape but it took almost two months to arrive
I bought this book for another person, I was really bummed that it took almost two months to arrive. It's in good shape even though it was a few stickers on the cover.
Published 18 months ago by Sara
2.0 out of 5 stars A juvenile atheist comedy
I'm not a religious man, and neither was Robert Heinlein. Yet, I can't stand Heinlein's juvenile humour. Read more
Published on 25 Dec 2010 by Ashtar Command
4.0 out of 5 stars Life without love is just a cosmic joke
The writings of Robert Heinlein's later years are a good bit different from the science fiction classics he produced in his prime. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2005 by Daniel Jolley
2.0 out of 5 stars Way too much preaching.
This book has an intriguing premise. Our protagonist, Alexander Hergensheimer, a Christian fundamentalist trapped in an unhappy marriage, finds that without warning he is shifted... Read more
Published on 16 July 2005 by Preacherdoc
5.0 out of 5 stars A comical & wry look at life and love with a hidden theme
A great Heinlein book. The master story teller does it again. Not a typical technical Heinlein more of a wry look at society and how other nationalities look at life, death and... Read more
Published on 2 July 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb... you MUST read this.
The story of a simple man used and abused by various deities just to prove a point. Brilliant touches when dealing with religion, sex and nudity, all in Heinleins unique style.
Published on 22 Mar 1999
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