3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Basis of Genius,
This review is from: For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs (Hardcover)
'For Us, The Living' is not among the best works of Robert A. Heinlein, in fact it is not a very good example of the science fiction novel as written by even the most journeyman writer.
The premise, that a man awakes in the body of another, not only one hundred and fifty years in the future but probably in a subtly different reality, offers real potential. The protagonists; a Naval Aviator from the past, a beautiful dancer from the (future) present, offer the opportunity for great plot development.
Sadly, Heinlein does very little with his raw material, in this his first, lost, and unedited novel. I would not recommend this a a light, holiday read.
However, for the serious student of science fiction, (or for any aspiring author), this is an astonishing work. Here Heinlein lays out in excruciating detail the entire basis of his future lexicon. Wanted to know where the social mores set out in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress come from? How about the whole basis of A Stranger in a Strange Land? In fact almost all of the Great Man's future worlds can be glimpsed in this one boring novel. Read this one, then go back to any other of his books, (even say Starship Troopers or Glory Road), and you will understand Heinlein's work all the better. If you are serious about science fiction this is required reading.