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Job: a Comedy of Justice Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; Reissue edition (1 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345316509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345316509
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

A great cosmic guffaw of a masterpiece --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

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 ....

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Best sc/fi author
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Standard Heinlein. Not his best
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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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By Patrick Shepherd TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
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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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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By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Aug. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The writings of Robert Heinlein's later years are a good bit different from the science fiction classics he produced in his prime. Job: A Comedy of Justice, published in 1984, is basically religious satire clothed in the guise of fantasy. And, while it's not as odd as, say, Number of the Beast, it ultimately goes in a weird direction that pushes the envelope and then some. Job is probably one of Heinlein's most readable novels, though. While it's ostensibly about religion, it plays as more of a divine comedy than a moralistic, intellectual assault on Christian beliefs.
Job is a modern retelling of the story of Job. The Biblical Job, of course, was the subject of a wager between God and Satan. Satan would throw everything he had at Job, and God bet that his servant's faithfulness would remain intact - as it did, despite Job losing all of his family and wealth while suffering terrible physical torments. Our modern Job is Alex Hergensheimer, a fundamentalist preacher turned fund-raiser from a most devout, sexually repressed version of America. On vacation in the Polynesians, he stupidly wagers that he can walk across a bed of hot coals. Now, fire-walking is generally a pretty dangerous business, but in Alex's case, walking on the hot coals is the easy part. The hard part comes when he emerges from the ordeal - and finds himself in a world that is not his own. It looks like his world, but he finds himself boarding a different ship and living the life of another man - someone named Alec Graham. He decides to play things by ear and try to solve the mystery when he returns to the States. The only good thing about his extraordinary situation is the companionship he finds with a stewardess named Margrethe.
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