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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Hardcover]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Dec 2008 S.F. MASTERWORKS
Luna is an open penal colony and the regime is a harsh one. Not surprisingly, revolution against the hated authority is planned. But the key figures in the revolt are an unlikely crew: Manuel Garcia O¿Kelly, an engaging jack of all trades, the beautiful Wyoming Knott - and Mike, a lonely computer who likes to make up jokes...

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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + Starship Troopers + Stranger in a Strange Land
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; 4 edition (11 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082410
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

'The best book Robert A. Heinlein ever wrote' F&FS

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-88) was educated at the University of Missouri and the US Naval College, Annapolis. He served as a naval officer but retired in 1934 due to ill health. He then studied physics at UCLA and worked in a number of jobs before beginning to publish sf in 1939. Among his many novels are Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land.

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First Sentence
I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to examine, license, inspect-and tax-public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blueprint for Revolution 16 Nov 2003
This is my favorite Heinlein novel, and I've read all of Heinlein's works. It is a great mixture of adventure, humor, politics, technology, some thought provoking looks at alternate types of marriages, and the most lovable sentient computer ever to grace the pages of a novel. Mike (the computer) is really the star of this book, from loving to tell jokes, to deciding to help a group of revolutionary-minded Luna 'citizens' actually accomplish their dreams of freedom because the human interaction would keep him from being lonely.
Along the path to revolution, Heinlein, (as usual), inserts thoughts and ideas that challenge your basic assumptions about what is right, normal, necessary, or appropriate. Is a representative democracy the only 'good' form of government? What's so sacred about a 'majority'? How should a government finance itself? (Maybe make the representatives pay for their pet projects out of their own pocket - taxes not allowed!). Are polygamy, polyandry, or other forms of multiple marriage wrong or can they be used to help preserve the stability of a child-rearing environment? How do you most efficiently organize a revolutionary group that must be kept secret from the authorities (given the assumption that there will always be 'stool pigeons')?
Heinlein creates some great characters to go along with his re-worked story of the American Revolutionary war. Mannie Garcia, a computer maintenance man - the only 'real' one on Luna, is the focal character, an average, everyday person (for a Loonie) who gets caught up in the events almost in spite of himself. Professor Bernardo de la Paz is an intelligent, dry man, quiet but stubborn and with some radical ideas about government and individual responsibility, who becomes the intellectual heart of the revolution.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A libertarian handbook 10 July 2002
This is perhaps my favourite SF book, even though I'm more a PKD fan. I agree that it is not his most sophisticated work - see Time Enough for Love or Stranger In a Strange Land - but it is in my opinion his most atmospheric and evocative - and gripping. It is a self-conscious parody of the American Revolution with a good deal of anti-UN propaganda thrown in - and why not!? True fire-and-thunder Heinlein militaristic, anarcho-libertarianism.
Be patient with the odd prose style - it'll grow on you.
And the character of the computer, Mike, is very touching.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must-buy 20 April 2001
This is simply a wonderful book, reminiscent of Asimov or Clarke at their best, but with actual characters! Heinlein's use of language is amazing, forming a whole new slang language which despite being very original is still easily understood throughout, and gives an extra credability to his dialogues, and whilke the plot is about a revolution on the moon, it is told through the eyes of one character and as such manages something that very few sci-fi writers ever manage- he makes the people real as well as the technology. It seems a little dated in teh technology at times, but otherwise is remarkable. Just buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I recall trying to read it first when I was about twelve, a time in my life when the at times quite peculiar "Looonie" language went straight over my head, and the political intrigue was a bit too deep for me. Since then, I must have read this story dozens of times... I think it's about time I treated myself to a new copy, the old one is falling apart!
When, oh, when, is someone going to turn this book into a film? There are so many parallels with the Internet theme that its time has surely come!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Heinlein 2 Sep 2009
Before this novel I had read Starship troopers which had really impressed me. i rented The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress from my library thinking it would just pass the the time beforemy next novel.

It starts excellently with the introduction of the protagonist and one of the best chracters ever, Mike the computer. You have to read the novel to really understand Mike but the other characterisations are excellent, especially the prorotaginist Manauel.

To me this is withinmy top 5 novels, which is excellent because I rented it witohut any review to do so.

Through, this novel has excellent characters, stories and hard sci fi and I rate it as the best sci-fi coup book ever, and nearly as the best sci-fi novel ever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good, but not his best 28 July 1998
By A Customer
Thought of by many as his most important, if not best novel, "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistess" is thoroughly enjoyable and (I hate to use the cliche) one of those books you can't put down. But it lacked real insight into human relationships, something Heinlein displayed a great knack for in "Stranger In A Strange Land." If you're looking for your first Heinlein novel, read "Stranger," then read "Moon."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TANSTAAFL! 31 Mar 1997
By A Customer
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress plays on a main theme Robert Heinlein masterfully weaved in all of his novels; that There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, elequently put together under the word TANSTAAFL. For Robert Heinlein, no thing has value unless you are willing to commit your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor. The central character is Manny, a computer systems analyst reluctantly thrust into being the focal point of a revolution between the moon and earth. Dragged into participation, he moves from severe doubts to its success to being a forceful commited revolutionary who launches his entire being to liberating his beloved Luna. In the bittersweet ending we understand that success or failure is secondary to the value of commitment, and that to care passionately about a noble goal and to give all of yourself is the core of our being and our humanity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A report, not a novel
This book has left me puzzled. The setting (the Moon) is undoubtedly fascinating. The story itself, although it is a sci-fi reinterpretation of the American Revolutionary War, has... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Anakina
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service
Reasonable condition book (in fact is better than looked in the picture), as advertised, and delivered promptly. All this for a very low price. Read more
Published 7 months ago by N. Simon
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
Though not as good as 'Starship Troopers' this book is still great.
It takes a while to kick in but once it did I couldn't stop reading.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars fine
found this book to be really engrossing a solid story line with interesting characters and plot,at times it showed its age but still a good read
Published 10 months ago by m. dosa
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
I have read one of his other books and found it excellent so I was very please to see this one on
sale and even though it is over 50 years old it is still a very good read
Published 12 months ago by brenda craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for anyone interested in sci-fi and politics
This is an interesting conception of a potential human future, where humanity is beginning to take its first steps towards becoming an interplanetary civilization, and in so doing... Read more
Published 18 months ago by LUIS F SFEIR-YOUNIS
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Read
I bought this because over the years I've already worn out two copies re-reading it multiple times. I'm open to the genre but I'm not a hard-bitten 'science-fiction fan' however... Read more
Published on 5 July 2012 by Gnothi Seauton
4.0 out of 5 stars Political Science Fiction that makes you think!
"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is only the second ever Heinlein book I have read, with "Starship Troopers" being the other. Read more
Published on 12 May 2012 by Killie
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
I first read this book when I was in my mid-teens. It had been sitting on my parents's shelves for most of my life and I was always a little daunted by the fact that I knew it was... Read more
Published on 1 May 2012 by Rach
3.0 out of 5 stars Revolution of the Moon
Luna is the Australia of the future. Populated largely by criminal transportees and their families, it supplies critically-needed food to a near-starving Earth. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by John M. Ford
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