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Time Enough for Love Mass Market Paperback – August 15, 1987

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Sure, there's time enough for love...but who has time enough to get through 281/2 hours of a novel as dull as this? It opens 22 centuries in the future, when the ruler of a remote colony planet tries to keep 2000-year-old Lazarus Long from committing suicide before he passes on what he has learned. What follows is a very talky book, comprised mostly of Long's reminiscences. Curious about his possible blood ties to almost everyone he encounters, Long talks at length about genetics, but what he says now seems absurdly out-of-date, thanks to recent developments in DNA fingerprinting. When this book first appeared in 1973, it was hailed as one of Heinlein's masterworks the capstone to his future history cycle. Now it creaks with age, leaving listeners to marvel at how quickly the future can grow stale. Lloyd James's reading injects some life into the story but not enough to make it a worthwhile acquisition to any but well-funded sf collections. R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


As read by James, each tiny emotional nuance is delicately shaded with insight and understanding, bringing the text into an art form verging on theater. --Booklist

Written as a memoir and narrated with gusto, this saga is both delightful and entertaining. Lloyd James breathes life into Heinlein's characters with an arsenal of onomatopoeia and vocal ranges from machismo to sultry. . . . James's talent for dialogue will make a Heinlein fan of anyone. --AudioFile

As read by James, each tiny emotional nuance is delicately shaded with insight and understanding, bringing the text into an art form verging on theater. --Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 589 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (August 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441810764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441810765
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

194 of 204 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on October 22, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Way back at the beginning of Heinlein's writing career his editor at Astounding, John W. Campbell, published the 'Future History', a two page listing of Heinlein's projection of the significant individuals and scientific, economic, and political events of the next 700+ years, along with a list of story titles that brought each of these events to life. At that time, most of those stories hadn't been written, and from some of the notes and statements in interviews that Heinlein made in the fifties and sixties, it looked like some of those originally projected stories would never be written, most significantly the final entry, "Da Capo". Finally, in 1973, when everyone had given up hope, this book appeared, a book that put the finishing touches on the Future History, a book that closes with that final story.

But before reaching that final story, we are given a cornucopia of other stories, as Lazarus Long, now some 2300 years old, is induced to reminisce about his life as part of a complex deal to preserve the 'wisdom' of the oldest man alive. Each of the stories that Lazarus relates are fairly complete by themselves, and many authors would have chosen to publish each of them separately, but Heinlein chose to keep them all as one piece, as each story helps to illuminate his overriding theme, on just what is love in all of its myriad aspects and why it is so important to man's survival as a species.

The first of the tales, "The Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail", may be the weakest of any of the stories, but for those who know something about Heinlein's life, this story is very clearly autobiographical in nature, with some changes in names and places to protect the innocent.
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119 of 123 people found the following review helpful By on August 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Time Enough For Love is science fiction of the old school -- sci fi as an exploration and extrapolation of ideas, rather than a western with space ships and ray guns.
Almost every review of this book gives it either 5 stars or 1, so be aware that you'll either love this book or you'll hate it. If you understand what Heinlein is doing, you'll give it 5 stars, and if you don't you'll get caught up in the incest, prostitution, group marriage, etc. and give it 1.
Heinlein takes a 4000 year old man who has done EVERYTHING that there is to do in this world -- the challenge is to find something that will make him want to keep living. In the end, the thing that keeps him alive is the same thing that has kept him going for 40 centuries: love. Heinlein's examination of love in all of its forms and the return of Lazarus Long's desire to live are the backbones of the story.
Many reviewers have exposed their own hangups by focusing on the sex in the book. Yes, there is sex, including prostitution and incest, but these reviewers aren't seeing the forest for the trees. Sex is examined as one component of love, but Heinlein makes very clear early in the book that sex and love aren't at all the same thing. He also makes it clear that he wants to discuss love, not sex.
Along the way Heinlein discusses maternal love, paternal love, love of self, love among groups (no, *not* group sex -- group love), intellectual/spiritual love (Minerva and Ira), platonic love...I could go on, but you get the idea. Heinlein even gives Lazarus a female clone so that love of self/narcissism/solipsism can get a real philosophical workout!
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213 of 231 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on March 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was on my nightstand in 1974 (when it was first published in paperback), and it's still there now. (Same copy, too; the old dollar-ninety-five Putnam edition has held up amazingly well. Different nightstand, though.)

I was born in 1963 and learned to read very early. Like Spider Robinson, I lost my literary virginity to Heinlein (in my case, to _Stranger in a Strange Land_ and _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_). To this day I think that _Mistress_ is one of his three absolutely magisterial novels (the other two being _Double Star_ and _The Door into Summer_).

Heinlein also wrote a number of novels that were _very close_ to magisterial, and some of them have been (in my case, at least) more profoundly influential than his Three Greatest. _Stranger_ is one of these, and so is _Time Enough for Love_.

Heinlein published this one after bouncing back from major surgery (having been somewhat incapacitated while writing _I Will Fear No Evil_, which his wife Virginia helped to edit). The old master had his off days, but he's at the top of his form here.

As you're probably aware, this lengthy work is a future history of Lazarus Long (born Woodrow Wilson Smith), the Senior of the Howard Families and the oldest human being alive (well over two thousand years old at the time of this tale). Lazarus is one of Heinlein's best realized characters; I'd recognize his red hair, bulbous nose, disarming grin, and wild grey-green eyes if I passed him on the street.

And I'd immediately put my hand over my wallet. Lazarus is an unsavory character -- a raconteur, swindler, adventurer, sybarite, pragmatist . . . and, above all, _survivor_.
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