- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (1 Sept. 1969)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0450002314
- ISBN-13: 978-0450002311
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 x 2.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 83 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 444,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (New English Library Science Fiction) Paperback – 1 Sep 1987
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Another classic novel, now wonderfully repackaged, from the Hugo Award winner: a blend of superb narrative and thought-provoking ideas making the world of tomorrow as real as that of today.
On Luna, an open penal colony, a rebellion is being plotted. The conspirators are a strange assortment - an engaging jack-of-all-trades, his luscious blonde girlfriend, and a lonely talking computer. Their aim is to overthrow the hated Authority, but things don't go according to plan.See all Product description
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My initial impressions were bad, as the main character speaks/thinks with grammatically incorrect sentences (I presume this is supposed to be how they speak in the future) which I found very jarring & a struggle to read. It took maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the book before I stopped noticing the really bad grammar, and so could enjoy the story.
The story itself is a good one, with mostly well realised/believable characters, who have their own motivations & views on acceptable behaviour. Possibly the least believable character is the AI/computer, as there isn't sufficient explanation given as to why it has such a poor view of most humans.
The society on the moon is unlike anything on present-day Earth, which rather unusual social norms, but it's told with sufficient detail & history that it feels fairly believable - the author evidently put a great deal of thought into it. I suppose the bad grammar was intended to help make this future world feel authentically different, and continually remind us their society follows different rules.
No matter whether a book is fiction or non-fiction I always need my books to be entertaining. TMIAHM is great that way. Every time I start it I have to make no effort to keep reading, it just keeps grabbing me and taking me forward.
Many years ago when I read it the very first time, it was a hard cover library copy and I was sitting on the window seat in a bus going to the public library in Delhi. The purpose of reading it then was to see if I wanted to keep it or return it and get something from the library. As I read the first few paragraphs of Mannie's weird mixed up dialect I knew it was going to be a return. However by the time the bus reached the library I was waist-deep in intrigue and wild horses could not have pulled the book from my hands.
Not only do you get engrossed in the story itself, but you start caring about the characters as if they are your own family. Only RAH has that magic! Who else can make you care about a computer as a person?
I would not say you must read this book. No, be very careful picking up this book as it would shake your preconceptions, your prejudices, your lifelong beliefs! And it will probably make you cry. If you have any soul at all, it would make you cry with emotion, happiness as well as sadness. And it will haunt you. For ever!
"What is it that's moral for a group to do but not moral for a member of that group to do alone?" This and other questions like this have stayed with me ever since I read it.
So be careful, but if you can handle the rollercoaster of emotions, and if you love sci-fi, if you love good storytelling, you are in for a treat!
It certainly was worth a read, at least as good as the other 2 books and considered by many to be Heinlein's best book.
The characters, particularly mannie, the main character talk in a slightly strange way (sounded like a russian trying to speak english crossed with some future new language with new words added), but dont let this put you off in any way - if anything it adds to the quality of the reading experience.
I wont talk about the plot or the general gist of the book, etc as you can read this in the description and in other reviews - suffice to say that if you like sci-fi then you will like this. It's not space opera, but it is rather brilliant.
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Recommended reading by SF fans, good read