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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(2 star, Verified Purchases). See all 571 reviews
on August 2, 2015

A difficult read. I spent far too much time processing the clipped form of English being used. Knowing the story is being written as another language (Russian) spoken in English would have gone a long ways up front. Instead, I lost interest before that was explained.
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on September 5, 2016
I bought the book because I'm a libertarian anarchist and I love science fiction, so this novel should have been perfect for me. However, I got bored with this novel and stopped reading before I finished the first half of it.

-Heinlein is very logical and that helped me suspend disbelief. I didn't find myself thinking "that wouldn't happen."
-I felt transported to a unique world with its own culture and economy and politics.

-Heinlein's writing style in this novel is horrible. Even taken for what it is, it's inconsistent; for example, he leaves out pronouns sometimes, but keeps them sometimes in similar sentences, which made me confused, in short bursts, about what he was trying to say.
-There was so much focus on the specifics of how the revolution was undertaken -- all the tedious details and all the work that went into planning it -- that reading the novel felt like work. Even taken as a spy novel or a heist novel, there were way too many unnecessary details.
-Not enough character development for me to care whether they succeed or not.
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VINE VOICEon February 12, 2008
Assuming you have, this book is worthless. Much less sci fi than even his teen-oriented early work. Much more political talk, with less political ideas, than any of his other work that I've read. Next to no actual action.

The Heinlein cliches of made up words and alt-family arrangements and "oh you might be offended by that? here its completely normal" by-play, not to mention the constant stopping of the story so the main character can ask you rhetorical questions designed to "really make you think" about points that are already abuntantly clear... all of that is here in triple servings. The only one missing is the seeminly obligatory 20 page essay on why cats are so great

I've read maybe 25 Rober A Heinlein novels, and this was by far the worst. I wanted to give up halfway through but kept at it because its supposedly SO great, but it never got any better. Nothing ever actually happened. 90% of the characters, including all the women, are just cardboard cut-outs, with no details or personality of their own. All 3 or 4 of the main male characters act, talk, think and expect the exact same things all the time. There is never an argument between any of them over anything, ever.

Any person who is even halfway nice to the main characters eventually just marries all of them. Makes you wonder why their marriage doesn't include 400 people at the time the story starts, if they're that free with admission. Or it would make you wonder that, if this book was worth wasting a moment's reflection on once you'd finished it

And to top it all off, a story that could have been told in 100 pages ends up taking 400

If you're looking for classic sci-fi, or classic Heinlein, or just something good to read, or any combination of the those, do not read this book. You could literally, at random, pick any other book by this author and get a better example of all 3. Try Starship Troopers or The Cat Who Walked Through Walls or To Sail Beyond the Sunset, any of those are far superior. Hard to believe this actually won awards, but there's no accounting for taste, i guess
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on March 12, 2012
I found the plot creative and interesting and was really excited to get into it (as I love politics and dystopian novels), but I am not a fan of the execution. For me, this book was very interesting in the beginning, climaxed around the middle, dragged on for the second half of the book, and finished in disappointing fashion. The first half of the book felt entirely too rushed and the second half of the book felt entirely too drawn out. The narrator's broken English became quite annoying about a third of the way into the book, as well.

Some parts I found very interesting (certainly creative) and kept me reading, as they were either exciting or had outcomes I didn't expect, but as a whole the book was slow and disappointing.
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on March 24, 2014
Could not get past page 60. It was so slow and just was too boring to keep reading. Was really hoping for a good read.
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on December 5, 2014
This book is less science fiction, more how to start a revolution. There are major chunks of this book dedicated to conversations about how a revolution should go and how others have failed. Not interesting. Doesn't get to the action enough. The language and syntax are a barrier to enjoyment, as well.

Didn't like it.
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on November 11, 2012
I am a fan of science fiction novels and I saw that there were overwhelmingly positive reviews so I was excited to read this book. But I was extremely disappointed.

Firstly, I would say that good science fiction novels in general take a concept of something alien (the future, new technology, the distant past) and use that concept to explore human emotions and the possibilities of a different world. In this novel, however, I felt that the fact that this story took place on the moon was trivial. There were, for example, many peculiar and interesting cultural characteristics of the "Loonies" that did not seem to affect the story or the characters. To take an example, the Loonies had a number of different types of marriages. Although these concepts were interesting, they did not really affect the outcome of the story or the interactions between the characters in a meaningful way.

Secondly, this book overused deus ex machina in the form of the machine named Mike. Mike was an extremely poorly developed character. It seemed as though whenever there was a tough solution, the characters could consult Mike and he would always be right about everything. But in some cases, Mike would make idiotic errors that did not make sense. He would overlook extremely simple details despite having a vast amount of computing power. In addition, the book didn't explore the possible risks associated with having a computer make decisions for people. Mike just seemed to always make pretty good decisions and was obedient to his human operators--pretty boring.

Finally, the underlying theme of this book, that a determined small population can overcome a larger not-determined population, was carried out in a very predictable manner. In addition, it didn't really matter that this small population was on the moon. This small population could have been anywhere else and it would have conveyed the exact same message. This novel was mostly dialogue and the dialogue was mostly about trivial operational decisions about how to prepare for a rebellion without other people knowing.

I thought this book was a waste of time. If you are interested in science fiction about the relationship between governments, overcoming obstacles, and individual determination, I would recommend checking out Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.
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on October 15, 2015
It was "back when" a great science fiction novel. Some 50 years later it is dated.
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