Home > 26 in 52 > One moon, lots of mistresses

One moon, lots of mistresses


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

by Robert Heinlein

The fruit of my post asking for Science Fiction recommendations, I just finished up Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Filled with politics, humor, and irony, the book has made it on my (short) list of favorite novels.

I’m fairly sure most people reading this know what the book is about, so I’ll spare you that, except to say that it’s the story of a revolution on Earth’s penal colony on the Moon. The book is written from the point of view of one of the protagonists in a jarring grammatical style. It’s only noticeable for a couple of pages, then it becomes quite natural to read. Heinlein creates a fascinating world to place the story in; notably, polyandry is the norm and there really aren’t any laws of which to speak. The technological aspect of the book is also interesting, detailing the irreversible effects of life on the Moon, catapulting grain all the way to Earth, etc. The book rarely felt dated, a very impressive achievement. The book is very funny in spots; I kept cracking up when Mike, the sentient computer, kept calling another, less sophisticated, computer his “retarded child” and “idiot son.”

I told you I wasn’t good at fiction reviews. In any case, I really did like this book. It cracks my top five favorite books, but it didn’t have much to climb through. For the record, it’s currently 1984, Catcher in the Rye, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, A Clockwork Orange, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (in that order). I just edges out Fahrenheit 451, though perhaps because I haven’t read that book in such a long time.

Categories: 26 in 52
  1. May 23, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    1. A lot of the unusual grammar and vocabulary is Russian.

    2. Pay especial attention to the last few paragraphs – the entire story is a tragedy, of sorts.

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