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The capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's famous Future History, Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it; and so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor. The capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's famous Future History, Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it; and so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor.


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The capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's famous Future History, Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it; and so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor. The capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's famous Future History, Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it; and so in love with Time that he became his own ancestor.

30 review for Time Enough for Love

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Was Robert A. Heinlein a dirty old man? Yes. But he was also a visionary who saw the trends of Western Civilization and expounded out into a foreseeable future, not just in terms of science fiction but also in regard to cultures, morals, sociology and ideology. Time Enough for Love demonstrates the fundamental attractiveness of science fiction, the eternal hope that things will get better. Dystopian fantasies aside, science fiction deals with the future, and that there are people in the future s Was Robert A. Heinlein a dirty old man? Yes. But he was also a visionary who saw the trends of Western Civilization and expounded out into a foreseeable future, not just in terms of science fiction but also in regard to cultures, morals, sociology and ideology. Time Enough for Love demonstrates the fundamental attractiveness of science fiction, the eternal hope that things will get better. Dystopian fantasies aside, science fiction deals with the future, and that there are people in the future still carrying on everyday lives. At its heart, science fiction is about hope, hope that we’ll see a few more years ahead. Time Enough for Love goes one step further and introduces us to Lazarus Long (though he was in prior Heinlein novels) as the oldest living human, over 2,000 years old. Thus, Heinlein allows us to imagine an almost eternal existence, and without the need to live at night and drink blood. I like reading Heinlein because I like Heinlein, chauvinistic and militaristic as he may be; he is also a libertarian humanist who loves life and tells a good story. He’s not misogynistic, he clearly loves women and sees them as capable and wonderful people. Heinlein’s voice, whether Lazarus Long, or Jubal Hershaw, is that of Heinlein himself, his experience is cast upon science fiction of the future. The best thing about Heinlein is that he is a good writer, a great writer of science fiction. And that is demonstrated both in the positive and negative in TEFL. When he is telling a story, it is very good, but in the “in between sections” it drags poorly. The best section is the story about Lazarus and his marriage to short lived Dora and their pioneer life. If RAH made the “Tale of the Adopted Daughter” a full length novel, cutting out about 300 pages, this would have been a very good story. Ultimately, it’s just too long, Heinlein is too ambitious and throws too much in and it collapses under it’s own weight.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    - Mr. Lazarus Long, since you happen to be passing through the early twenty-first century, could you give us a few priceless gems of homespun wisdom for the Goodreads membership to marvel at? - Gosh darn it, when I see all the cute females on this site, how can I say no? Could you just pass me the... cuneiform tablets? Papyrus rolls? Parchment? Oh yes, laptop. Sorry, hard to keep things straight. So... 1. If you're a tired SF hack who's completely run out of ideas, don't worry. Just recycle the ol - Mr. Lazarus Long, since you happen to be passing through the early twenty-first century, could you give us a few priceless gems of homespun wisdom for the Goodreads membership to marvel at? - Gosh darn it, when I see all the cute females on this site, how can I say no? Could you just pass me the... cuneiform tablets? Papyrus rolls? Parchment? Oh yes, laptop. Sorry, hard to keep things straight. So... 1. If you're a tired SF hack who's completely run out of ideas, don't worry. Just recycle the old ones, and pretend nothing's wrong. 2. You may imagine that the books will come out painfully thin. Far from it. They'll be thicker than ever. 3. Next time someone calls you a motherfucker, simply take them at their word. Of course, a time machine is useful here. 4. Don't make these lists too long. By the time you've got half a dozen items, everyone will already be yawning. 5. Er... 6. That's it. - Done! Now, surely there's some gorgeous woman here who's dying to have sex with me?

  3. 4 out of 5

    S.C. Jensen

    People seem to have a love it or hate it kind of relationship with Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love. And I’ve gotta say I’m strapped firmly to the former bandwagon. Granted, I can see why some of the negative Nancy’s are getting their panties in a knot (okay, maybe the incest theme goes a little far), but Heinlein’s weirdness just doesn’t bug me. And I think some critics have missed the mark entirely, by focusing on the wrong stuff. Which is fully within their rights, of course, and an opinion is People seem to have a love it or hate it kind of relationship with Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love. And I’ve gotta say I’m strapped firmly to the former bandwagon. Granted, I can see why some of the negative Nancy’s are getting their panties in a knot (okay, maybe the incest theme goes a little far), but Heinlein’s weirdness just doesn’t bug me. And I think some critics have missed the mark entirely, by focusing on the wrong stuff. Which is fully within their rights, of course, and an opinion is only an opinion. Blah blah blah. Here’s my two cents on why they’re wrong: Time Enough for Love is set up as a series of tales told by the oldest living man in the universe, Lazarus Long. Lazarus is confined to a rejuvenation clinic, where he is being held against his will by a team of people dedicated to preserving his knowledge. You see, they’ve “rescued” Laz from attempted suicide, in order to record his life’s story and hopefully glean some of the wisdom he’s accumulated in over two-thousand years of life. And Lazarus has agreed not to try to take his own life again, until he’s told them about the most important lessons learned in his long life. Time Enough for Love is like Arabian Nights, but in reverse; Laz is telling his stories for his right to die. So the structure necessitates a kind of “bracketing” set up, wherein Lazarus’ tales are divided by his present experiences in the rejuvenation clinic. And I’ve got to admit, Lazarus’ voice is where Heinlein’s storytelling excels. I sometimes had to restrain myself from skipping forward until the next story, although, in the end I’m glad that I did (restrain myself, that is). Heinlein brings everything together nicely once Lazarus regains an interest in life and goes on to set up his free-lovin’ hippie commune on the planet Boondock, and all of a sudden his present becomes the next tale. The number one complaint that I’ve noticed in other reviews is with Heinlein’s apparent preoccupation with incest. But I think that, unusual as the theme is in modern writing, it has a place in the story and is essential to Lazarus’ character. First and foremost is the fact that Lazarus Long is completely obsessed with genetic purity. As one of the first “long-lifers” on Earth, he was contractually obligated to reproduce only with other long-lifers in order to preserve the longevity they had acquired. Then, there is the fact that old Laz, being nearly three-thousand years old, is the great-to-the-nth-degree grandfather of nearly everyone in the universe, so the older he gets the harder it is for him to find partners with whom he is genetically compatible (not being related to them is virtually impossible). Lazarus comes to view the appropriateness of sexual pairings solely through the lens of healthy reproduction—and then, only if reproduction is the goal (in the most extreme example (view spoiler)[Lazarus travels back in time and accidentally falls in love with his mother, an affair that is able to be consummated only because his mother is already pregnant and therefore won’t become pregnant by Laz (hide spoiler)] ). And although the taboo of incest, in the traditional sense, once served a primitive purpose to people who didn’t really understand genetics—the over simplified concept is not applicable in Lazarus’ world. In any case, I really didn’t find any of the questionable relationship in this novel to be creepy, even if I did raise an eyebrow at them initially. Creepy incestuous relationships aside, the next biggest complaint of this novel that I’ve encountered has to do with Heinlein’s characterization. Really, everyone in the novel except for Lazarus himself, seems to fall into a stereotypical kind of mould. Every male character is interchangeable with every other male character, and the same goes for the female characters, even if they have slightly different physical characteristics. However, I would argue that, perhaps this sameness has more to do with Lazarus’ memory than Heinlein’s skill as a writer. It seemed to me, that people kind of blend together for Lazarus; every character is a mixture of all of the people he has ever known, their personalities and their deeds are not necessarily attributed accurately (Lazarus is a textbook unreliable narrator, and is frequently caught in contradictions and fallacies throughout the book). The secondary characters in Lazarus’ tales are place-holders, used by Lazarus to get his point across to his audience, but not important in their individuality. They are anecdotal. This sameness, I would also argue, serves to illustrate Heinlein’s vision of human kind. Ultimately, even thousands of years in the future, human beings can be reduced to their basic needs—the same needs that we have had since the beginning of time. First and foremost, is our need for love. Lazarus’ overarching lesson for humanity is that a person’s worth is measured not by the property and wealth that they accumulate, or by the fantastic deeds that they accomplish, but by the quantity and quality of the time that they spend with those they love—family, friends, and lovers. And that’s a position that I can stand by.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Competent Man: “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A. Heinlein “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specializat If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Competent Man: “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A. Heinlein “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” In “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A. Heinlein This my favourite Heinlein quote. I really am the competent man; the only thing from Heinlein's Dictum that I cannot and have not done, is conn a spaceship, and butcher a hog (but I have seen it being done); I don’t know about the part of dying gallantly. I’ll tell you afterwards…I wasn't brought up on a farm or in the middle of nowhere. I'm from a large town, Lisbon. It's about learning and honing skills, and treating every opportunity as a chance to try them out. For example, I learned the praxis of trigonometry (not just the theoretical part) before I learned it in high-school. It's all very well just knowing it but to be a capable man you need to go further.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    There is plenty of Heinlein's reshaping/questioning of social mores in Time Enough for Love (much like Stranger in a Strange Land); however, without the driving force of Stranger's narrative behind it, Time Enough mostly feels disjointed and long-winded. The novel begins with a recalling of adventures from the oldest man alive. There are some interesting stories here (including one involving colonization on a more primitive planet and time travel to one's own youth); however, the more developed There is plenty of Heinlein's reshaping/questioning of social mores in Time Enough for Love (much like Stranger in a Strange Land); however, without the driving force of Stranger's narrative behind it, Time Enough mostly feels disjointed and long-winded. The novel begins with a recalling of adventures from the oldest man alive. There are some interesting stories here (including one involving colonization on a more primitive planet and time travel to one's own youth); however, the more developed stories occur very late in the novel. Throughout the book, his spokesman makes interesting observations on life and love (but some of that is undermined by Heinlein's patriarchal tone, preoccupation with incest and his seeming belief that most women want to have lots and lots of children). The biggest problem, though, was lack of a sustained narrative. I will read more Heinlein, but this one didn't quite do it for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Till Noever

    (Read the other reviews for plot summaries. No point in rehashing.) Heinlein has profoundly influenced my thinking and life since I was but in my early teens, so I guess this review isn't exactly impartial. Still, there are books of his that bored me, among them Stranger in Strange Land. In other words, I know the man's limitations. With all this said, I still think that TEFL qualifies as a curmudgeonly masterpiece, and it banged my head against a wall again and again and said "Get a life, man! Ge (Read the other reviews for plot summaries. No point in rehashing.) Heinlein has profoundly influenced my thinking and life since I was but in my early teens, so I guess this review isn't exactly impartial. Still, there are books of his that bored me, among them Stranger in Strange Land. In other words, I know the man's limitations. With all this said, I still think that TEFL qualifies as a curmudgeonly masterpiece, and it banged my head against a wall again and again and said "Get a life, man! Get a sense of perspective about what matters and what doesn't." For that's what it's all about. Quoting the man himself: “May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.” It was YB Yeats who wrote that “Sex and death are the only things that can interest a serious mind.” While that almost covers it, and while it's a very Heinleinian thing to say (even though it came from Yeats), I suspect that Heinlein would have replaced the word 'sex' by 'love', with a particular emphasis on the 'romantic' kind. In TEFL, like in other novels, Heinlein cut through taboos (and especially those relating to sex and its many expressions) with gusto. He had the audacity (and it still scandalizes a lot of people today, as evidenced by the comments on this book) to assert that all taboos are social construct—which they self-evidently are!—with possibly a biological basis (e.g. incest); but when that basis disappears then screw the taboos. Move on and get a life. The biggest one of these taboos is incest. I wonder how long it'll take until, for example, consenting, non-child-issue sex between consenting adult siblings will be decriminalized and destigmatized, and become so accepted that the 'ick'-factor disappears from people's knee-jerk reactions. Anybody reading TEFL has to confront this issue and their own reactions to it. The point is that Heinlein shows the breaking of these taboos not as something to be disgusted about, or as something that has terrible social consequences, which is the usual way of representing it in almost all fiction, but rather as no 'biggie' at all. About that other subject of the Yeats quote above: It's been said that TEFL is Heinlein's personal 'fantasy' about immortality, written at a time when he was pretty much staring his own death in the face. Sure, that's what TEFL is also all about. A very thoughtful treatise on human life beyond the boundaries currently imposed on it. And along the way, for those who think about the potential for significant human longevity becoming a reality fairly soon, it gives us a lot of food for thought. Because if human life expectancy is, indeed, extended on a large scale to possibly hundreds of years, all bets are off, and the rules of society and personal life as we know them now are going to go out the window. But if we're still wanting to be 'human', despite our longevity, and if we continue to be driven by our basic human urges, how will we cope with that? Heinlein is the only author I know of who had probed this in sufficient depth, both intellectually and emotionally—and for that alone we should look to this novel as a guide into a possible future by a visionary and passionate humanist who was many decades ahead of his time. But in the end, TEFL is really about the central story, the tale of the adopted daughter, which is still one of the most touching stories I've ever read. It's about love and death and being human and what it all means; what it all can mean, if it's to mean any damn thing at all. And can you really ask for more than that from a storyteller?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This is one of those books that I wanted to stop reading, but I persevered in the hopes that something would redeem it by the end. There was no redemption; only sadness and a burning expletive on the end of my tongue. In a book with over 20 characters, the only one I enjoyed was a talking mule. In a book with nearly 600 pages, only 30 of them contained a story I cared about. (view spoiler)[The author’s command of the English language was acceptable, but there were a few spelling errors that made This is one of those books that I wanted to stop reading, but I persevered in the hopes that something would redeem it by the end. There was no redemption; only sadness and a burning expletive on the end of my tongue. In a book with over 20 characters, the only one I enjoyed was a talking mule. In a book with nearly 600 pages, only 30 of them contained a story I cared about. (view spoiler)[The author’s command of the English language was acceptable, but there were a few spelling errors that made me stumble, not to mention irritating characterization of everyone but the main character (affecting nearly all of the females). While Heinlein is fully capable of stringing together a coherent sentence, his inability to SHOW and not TELL leaves the story to drag on quite painfully for nearly 600 pages. The first issue I have with this story is the disturbing lack of conflict, which is what usually drives the characters and plot forward. Unfortunately, the main character, Lazarus Long (LL), is written as a God-character, used as a vehicle for Heinein to self-insert and fantasize about impregnating women. These God-type-characters, also known as a Marty-stus (male) or Mary-sues (female), are most often found in fanfiction, but not exclusive to that medium. Their purpose is to be amazing, receive compliments and attention from other characters, and to breeze through conflicts while demonstrating how fantastic they are. Lazarus Long fits this description perfectly; he is ornery, has an answer to everything, lectures everyone about how they are wrong and he knows everything, everyone is drawn to him and fights to keep him alive and works together to make him happy. Anytime there is a *hint* of conflict, where I wondered “how will they get out of thi--?” it was quickly solved by LL’s all-knowingness. Of course, LL isn’t 100% perfect, as he suffers from an unnamed condition that is evident by how many women beg him to impregnate them. This is typically triggered whenever he announces he is going anywhere, which usually involves women asking for his babies and then crying when he denies their request, which results in him impregnating them. He has been approached by every woman in the story. NOT. ONE. WOMAN. has been able to resist his allure, and this is a story that includes: a computer inserted into a cloned human body, twin female clones of LL himself, and his mother. (His mother didn’t beg for babies, though, but she made up for it with her bawdy comments and advances. She was conveniently able to sleep with LL without guilt because her husband knows that she is lustful and would not be able to control herself while he was in the army, and so trusted her good judgment to sleep with a man she liked and then tell him all about it after.) This book is rife with incest, or at the very least, emotional incest, where LL becomes romantically and/or sexually involved with a woman he’s raised from childhood. While I’m not a prude when it comes to this topic, I felt disturbingly numb to the concept by the end of the book when LL declared he was IN LOVE with his mother. (In her defense, she didn’t know he was her son, simply believing him to be a distant relative, or, at worst, her brother.) Five-hundred pages of emotional incest had dulled my senses to genetic incest. In addition to incest, the women do not behave as real women do. They seem to enjoy being flirtatious and affectionate to a fault, existing only to warm men’s laps, make men feel better, have floppy breasts, get pregnant and then (on one occasion) flippantly discuss aborting their fetuses if the gender is not female. (Protip: even if a woman chooses to abort her baby, she is not flippant about it, nor does she joke about it with her friends.) This book is not ergonomically safe and I do not recommend it to anyone who has issues with their eyes. I suffered repetitive strain injury from rolling my eyes – usually triggered when someone begged for LL’s babies. Sadly(?), this is an unfinished story. In the middle of one of the two action scenes (in the whole book) LL is shot and then supposedly “killed”. The next few pages show an almost epilogue-style scene where LL is magically back on a spaceship, saved by his Tetrius family (aka. the-hippie-love-family) and brought back to life… FIN. What happens next? I don’t know. I wanted nothing more than for this book to END, but when it finally did, I grudgingly noted that it required 50 more pages to actually tie up its loose ends. Even at the end, when I should have been happy that I wouldn’t have to read any more, Heinlein has robbed me of any satisfaction in knowing things are wrapped up. I’m now plagued by wandering thoughts about “what happened next”. It is a cheap trick to make readers think of a Marty-stu character when they should have been able to put his existence out of their minds. I hope the same trick is not used in Heinlein’s other books. Against my better judgment, I’m allowing my significant other to convince me to read them. Perhaps they will improve my opinion of Heinlein. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    I have a love-hate relationship with Heinlein. Some of his stuff is great. Some of it, like Farnham's Freehold, which I reviewed here, I simply hate. However, I like enough of his work that I seek more. This was a book that took me a long time to get through, but when I got done, it was well worth it. I read it back in 2002. From my journal back then: >>I found it to be a book that makes you think. I thought the opening was a bit slow, but once the narrative was set up, it got interesting.... I I have a love-hate relationship with Heinlein. Some of his stuff is great. Some of it, like Farnham's Freehold, which I reviewed here, I simply hate. However, I like enough of his work that I seek more. This was a book that took me a long time to get through, but when I got done, it was well worth it. I read it back in 2002. From my journal back then: >>I found it to be a book that makes you think. I thought the opening was a bit slow, but once the narrative was set up, it got interesting.... I found that reading the book in segments, a part here and a part there, worked better for me.One of my favorite parts was the Notebooks of Lazarus Long, a section of maxims full of common sense. I also enjoyed the tale of Dora very much, a moving tale of how Lazarus fell in love with an ephemeral woman and their life together til death did them part.<< I also recall the ending for having a nice twist (I am not saying, go read it instead). This is a book about a rascal, a picaro to borrow the Spanish word, which is so much better than just saying "rascal," if nothing else. It integrates different genres. In some ways reminded me of works like One Thousand Nights and a Night and Don Quijote (not the Man of La Mancha's idealism, but the novel's integration of different genres and elements). This has become one of my favorite books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    What would you do if you could live 4,000 years? Try out every profession at least once? Make enough babies to populate a planet? Travel as far as the galaxy goes? Lazarus Long has done all that and more. He’s about to die peacefully when he’s kidnapped and rejuvenated and coerced to tell his memoirs. I could read stories about Lazarus’ life for months, but unfortunately this book only contains two. The rest is action in the ‘present’ (4272 Gregorian), and at the end, an account of Lazarus’ trip What would you do if you could live 4,000 years? Try out every profession at least once? Make enough babies to populate a planet? Travel as far as the galaxy goes? Lazarus Long has done all that and more. He’s about to die peacefully when he’s kidnapped and rejuvenated and coerced to tell his memoirs. I could read stories about Lazarus’ life for months, but unfortunately this book only contains two. The rest is action in the ‘present’ (4272 Gregorian), and at the end, an account of Lazarus’ trip back in time to visit his “first family” (parents, brothers and sisters, grandfather). This is the first of the last four books Heinlein wrote, and it was clear he was nearing the end of his life, looking mortality straight in the face and writing his fantasy of living forever. Lazarus shares his collected wealth of knowledge and wisdom, although he’d insist he’s got nothing to say of any worth, and much of it is the best advice I’ve ever heard. Those not familiar with Heinlein might find his morals a little depraved, especially the more sexually straight-laced, although science fiction often contains stories of societies whose taboos are not our own, and would be scandalized by ours. The only complaint I have about the book is how annoying that is that certain parts are (omitted), then return to the story in the middle of the sentence. It’s not smooth, and although the omissions are mostly for brevity’s sake, I felt like I missed something important. I wish I had access to the complete memoirs of Lazarus Long, but unfortunately they won’t be available for a couple thousand years, and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to live that long.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This is one of his pivotal books. Until the 60s, he was quite constrained by what he could write by contracts (e.g., Scribner Juveniles) & editors. After his big hit with Stranger in a Strange Land & several others, his popularity grew & the reins slipped off. In 1970, he had a close brush with death, was desperate to publish what he wanted without restraint, & did so. The result was I Will Fear No Evil, his descent into wordiness & weird sex. This book followed a few years later. The Number of This is one of his pivotal books. Until the 60s, he was quite constrained by what he could write by contracts (e.g., Scribner Juveniles) & editors. After his big hit with Stranger in a Strange Land & several others, his popularity grew & the reins slipped off. In 1970, he had a close brush with death, was desperate to publish what he wanted without restraint, & did so. The result was I Will Fear No Evil, his descent into wordiness & weird sex. This book followed a few years later. The Number of the Beast used this one to take the idea of multiple universes further which then allowed him to tie all his characters & stories together. Yuck. Lazarus Long, the main character of this book, is a great character in a lot of ways. I first recall reading about him in Methuselah's Children. He's one of the early Howard family members & a sport who manages to survive long enough to become pretty much immortal. Now he's 3000 years old & tired of life, but the families don't want to let him go due to his wealth of knowledge & experience. Interesting & horrifying on different levels which Heinlein uses as the vehicle to explore a lot of subjects in this brick of a book. Lazarus frequently lapses into recollections that are novellas. Interludes explore a variety of other subjects such as what love is, how people & attitudes have changed, & sometimes just a few pages of saucy sayings. (I think the sayings are also published as The Notebooks of Lazarus Long, same things, just a way to grab more money.) A lot of it is interesting, but be prepared to skim other parts. He gets very wordy as Lazarus (Heinlein) expounds on certain ideas. Unfortunately, he descends into exploring sex, not a topic that he handles well. The free love isn't bad, but he did it better & more thoroughly in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Transgender & homosexuality issues were OK in their time, but now they're common place & his handling was rather clumsy. The worst was the age of consent & promotion of incest. These are social attitudes that are certainly valid to explore, but he manages to turn me off completely. Heinlein doesn't seem to understand kids at all. Unsurprising since he never had any. There's a huge disconnect between their intelligence & emotional maturity which he completely ignores. Age of consent varies a lot depending on the culture, in part because of how the society educates & shapes expectations. I wonder if he didn't harbor a streak of pedophilia. I read The Door Into Summer not long ago & the romance creeped me out even though Dan at least waited until Ricki grew up. Still, there are a lot of older men bopping young girls in his books. In Farnham's Freehold, Hugh is bopping his daughter's friend Barbara. After 1970, practically every book is full of it. Younger men (men, not boys) having sex with older women isn't uncommon in his books, but that's consenting adults, IMO. The girls are often barely at or below what I'd consider mature enough levels. As for incest, he's just weird. I don't understand his fascination at all. As a mental exercise & exploring such a forbidden topic, his friend Theodore Sturgeon (who belonged to the same nudist colony) did a much better job in the short story "If All Men Were Brothers Would You Let Your Sister Marry One?" Heinlein is just crass about it, but then what passed for his sex scenes were always awful. Maybe I'm just being provincial, but I can't think of anything that turns me on less than the thought of having sex with my daughter or mother. There's some scientific thought that this is actually hardwired into us. http://www.scientificamerican.com/art... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest_... Anyway, if you're a fan of Heinlein, read this book, but do it as text so you can skim at times. It has a lot of great stuff, but a lot of dreck, too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I love Lazarus Long. That is all. I think RAH transcends mere sexuality (or he's a horny old goat, one) and winds a tale in his 'future history' series that is unlike anything else I've ever read. IOW, I don't think he could have quite told the tale without sorta 'getting rid' of standard morals about sex and love. This IS one of my favorites of the series, but I've got to re-read it to remember why I was left with such strong sentiment about this particular book. It, along with Number of the Beas I love Lazarus Long. That is all. I think RAH transcends mere sexuality (or he's a horny old goat, one) and winds a tale in his 'future history' series that is unlike anything else I've ever read. IOW, I don't think he could have quite told the tale without sorta 'getting rid' of standard morals about sex and love. This IS one of my favorites of the series, but I've got to re-read it to remember why I was left with such strong sentiment about this particular book. It, along with Number of the Beast, has gag-worthy sex scenes if that sort of thing bothers you, but I think the sex scenes were really meant to put away the sex and create a new reality. I generally wasn't interested in the um, scientific improbabilities? ...or the morals, of the strange sex scenes. I found I could get through them by trying to find metaphor [where, okay, MAYBE he meant to write soft porn and I was looking past it too much, heh.] If anything bothered me about this super-human incestuous bunch of long lifers, it was that I was concerned that they were too cocky, maybe too TOO removed from humanity, that if one of them were raped or hurt during one of their myriad adventures, the typical fare of a silly kiss and/or strange sex or medicine wouldn't quite patch them up. If one killed themselves, they probably all would. IOW, they started to seem cult-like with no leader. (Which I'd imagine was NEVER RAH's intention.) I love Lazarus Long, cranky old coot who needed to be put in his place and that place, at least in part, is (in part) in my consciousness. Which put these books on my Favorites List.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    The calculation of literary kink: 2 stars for coming up with an interesting premise (2000 year old man reminiscing about life and his times among the stars) MINUS 1.5 stars for ignoring said premise and instead focusing on taunting every sexual more known to current cultural standards, culminating in time-travel visits to meet Mom and thus begin what I can only describe as pornographic Back To The Future fan-fiction. Plus half-a-star to have the willpower/stubberness/tone-deafness to continue on The calculation of literary kink: 2 stars for coming up with an interesting premise (2000 year old man reminiscing about life and his times among the stars) MINUS 1.5 stars for ignoring said premise and instead focusing on taunting every sexual more known to current cultural standards, culminating in time-travel visits to meet Mom and thus begin what I can only describe as pornographic Back To The Future fan-fiction. Plus half-a-star to have the willpower/stubberness/tone-deafness to continue on despite the oracles and naysayers that must have (justifiably) populated the road to publication. Philosophical query: if you had sex with an opposing gender clone of yourself, have you committed incest?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raja99

    This is (probably) a great book, but it does have one significant barrier for the reader. I don't consider bringing it up to be a spoiler, since it's an idea and not a plot point, but if you hate even minor spoilage, you should stop reading NOW. Time Enough for Love consists of a framing story, set in (our) far future, about the oldest man in the universe, and his reminiscences. The final section merges the two. It's less a solid, streamlined novel than a fixup. Which is fine with me; fixups are This is (probably) a great book, but it does have one significant barrier for the reader. I don't consider bringing it up to be a spoiler, since it's an idea and not a plot point, but if you hate even minor spoilage, you should stop reading NOW. Time Enough for Love consists of a framing story, set in (our) far future, about the oldest man in the universe, and his reminiscences. The final section merges the two. It's less a solid, streamlined novel than a fixup. Which is fine with me; fixups are my favorite strategy for long-form fiction. The reminiscences (and the last section) are extremely readable, and I (mostly) found them hard to put down. The parts of the book that aren't centered on the main character are often tedious, cringeworthy, or both. (For instance, the leadup to the last section took me many days to get through; by contrast, the last section, which was perhaps 3x as long, was hard for me to put down.) The most famous of the reminiscences is the centerpiece, titled "The Tale of the Adopted Daughter"; it's often referred to among Heinlein fans as "The Dora Story", and Virginia Heinlein wrote that when Robert died, she turned to it for consolation. The main character would be horrifically unlikeable in real life but, due to Heinlein's considerable skills, comes off as a charming, eccentric old coot rather than one of the hectoring lecturers who inhabit far too many of Heinlein's novels. (Of course, your mileage may vary.) One of the things I like is that he is clearly an unreliable narrator; he claims that some of the stories aren't about him, but about one of his friends, and the stories are larded with inconsistencies with each other and with the real world. (Or "our timeline", anyway.) Why do I say this is "probably" a great book, and what is the significant barrier? This is a book about incest. Heinlein leads up to it gradually, and in a gingerly fashion, but it becomes more and more central to the story. (If there is a form of heterosexual incest that isn't featured here, I missed it.) I borrowed a copy of this book from a friend who's a bigger Heinlein fan than I am, and he warned me that it was a book he hadn't been able to finish (and he didn't want me complaining later that I hadn't warned him ;-). If it hadn't been for that warning, I might not have been able to finish the book (motivated slightly, perhaps, by my desire to finish a Heinlein book that he hadn't ;-). I therefore extend the same warning to anyone reading this. (Finished 2010-09-15 0:08:59.6 +/- 0.01s, approximately.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ivis Davis

    Robert Heinlein was a brilliant author and an observer of the strength and frailties of man. He develops all of his stories around the relationships of the characters, and allow them to reveal the story and all its diversities in a natural flow and rhythm. Were he a musician, he would be a maestro. Lazarus Long is old and tired, and has come home to one of his favorite planets to die quietly among strangers. After 2400 years of life, and out lived many families, he has run out of reasons to li Robert Heinlein was a brilliant author and an observer of the strength and frailties of man. He develops all of his stories around the relationships of the characters, and allow them to reveal the story and all its diversities in a natural flow and rhythm. Were he a musician, he would be a maestro. Lazarus Long is old and tired, and has come home to one of his favorite planets to die quietly among strangers. After 2400 years of life, and out lived many families, he has run out of reasons to live. He leaves his private interstellar yacht at the spaceport and goes about his final preparations as he feels the chill of death wrapping around his frail bones. He buys old rags for clothing, and retires to a flop house where he pays in advance and lays down to die among the sounds and odors of mankind. When he awakens, not to the expected darkness of death, but to find himself in a hospital having undergone advanced geriatric regeneration, he is furious enough to kill. "Why?" he demands, "am I in this damn jail?" The answer to that question, by the head of the planetary government, outrages him even more. "Lazarus, we need your wisdom." In the midst of a dozen people who utterly love him, Lazarus Long is slowly restored to love of life and living and finds a challenge and a reason to live. During this process, the 'wise' old man gives his memories of his long life, and proves the value of teaching the young, though he is loathe to do so. Young people don't know what they don't know. Old people realize that the young often don't want the hard-won gems of wisdom they possess. When the two come together in affectionate relationships, the exchange of wisdom for enthusiasm brings a delightful life to all concerned. If you read this story, you'll meet a crusty old codger, wise, worn and petulant. I promise you will discover the humor of the aged, rich with the experiences of life, with a little self deprecation thrown in. You'll also read a story of stories, written first person, and perhaps the most excellent and diverse novel I have ever read. I highly recommend this novel to people of mature years, as they'll need the wisdom to sort out the gems from the rubbish, and to ignore a growing sexuality prone to depravity and incest. Mr. Heinlein, like a great many authors, fell to the trap of the intellectual. He believed his own press. His insights, while diverse and hilarious, were tainted with his sexuality, which I feel deprived this and many of his later novels of the dignity they deserved. So I took away a star many people thinks he deserves.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Not his best (in my openion). Tying up the Long's story. In his later years Heinlein got more comfortable with putting his thoughts into his books. I find him (and some may disagree with this or find it odd) very close to Ayn Rand in some ways. Not his best (in my openion). Tying up the Long's story. In his later years Heinlein got more comfortable with putting his thoughts into his books. I find him (and some may disagree with this or find it odd) very close to Ayn Rand in some ways.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Yoak

    Heinlein's rambling stories collected under auspices of memoirs of Lazarus Long remains one of my favorite bits of literary comfort food. Except for once, all "readings" were listenings to the narration by Lloyd James who does an amazing job personifying these characters. He adds tremendously to the book. In 2015, I tried this with the kids. It took a very long time in small bites, and their reaction was luke warm, but overall, not a bad experiment. Heinlein's rambling stories collected under auspices of memoirs of Lazarus Long remains one of my favorite bits of literary comfort food. Except for once, all "readings" were listenings to the narration by Lloyd James who does an amazing job personifying these characters. He adds tremendously to the book. In 2015, I tried this with the kids. It took a very long time in small bites, and their reaction was luke warm, but overall, not a bad experiment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    L S

    All right, another rating biased by the age at which I read this book. I read Time Enough for Love in what was then the Soviet Union over the course of a white night. I'm not kidding. At any rate, Time Enough for Love is a decent enough story and entertaining. Par for the course with Heinlein, though, is negotiating his complicated relationship to gender and his often overblown moralising. This is not to say that these issues are wholly negative; Heinlein's relationship to gender and morality is All right, another rating biased by the age at which I read this book. I read Time Enough for Love in what was then the Soviet Union over the course of a white night. I'm not kidding. At any rate, Time Enough for Love is a decent enough story and entertaining. Par for the course with Heinlein, though, is negotiating his complicated relationship to gender and his often overblown moralising. This is not to say that these issues are wholly negative; Heinlein's relationship to gender and morality is more or less a caricatured libertarianism but, like libertarianism, is often theoretically interesting. I still enjoy the book on rereading but it may be difficult for a first time adult reader. As I've mentioned in other reviews, the use of early 20th century Americana always draws me in; there's something mesmerizing about the exaggerated wholesomeness of the time contrasted with its twisted provincialism, although I can't put a finger on what exactly that something is.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Smokey

    Presented primarily as the musings, ramblings, and experiences of one Woodrow Wilson Smith, aka. Lazarus Long, et. al., this book has enough proverbs, pithy sayings, thou-shalt-nots, and who-begat-whom's to qualify as a potential "Hedonists' Bible." Unlike some of Heinlein's other works, the gratuitous sex is kept to something of a minimum (not ignored!), and he instead focuses on the attitudes and platitudes that have allegedly kept his main charater alive for 2500+ years in an exciting and dan Presented primarily as the musings, ramblings, and experiences of one Woodrow Wilson Smith, aka. Lazarus Long, et. al., this book has enough proverbs, pithy sayings, thou-shalt-nots, and who-begat-whom's to qualify as a potential "Hedonists' Bible." Unlike some of Heinlein's other works, the gratuitous sex is kept to something of a minimum (not ignored!), and he instead focuses on the attitudes and platitudes that have allegedly kept his main charater alive for 2500+ years in an exciting and dangerous universe. Why "allegedly?" Because the "historians" who claim authorship of the volume (themselves characters in the story) sincerely doubt that Senior Long is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Still, they admit, it's a pretty good yarn, and so leave in even the "obvious" lies so that the reader may come "to better understand" the oldest man who ever lived. I read this book years ago, but just recently re-read it to refresh my memory, and had a blast doing it. This book is a must-read, not only for science-fiction fans, but also for anyone interested in philosophy, space/time, the nature of life, and the meaning of love. Of course, the unabashedly humanist ideals laid out tend to grate harshly against most other religions and philosophies, but the book is an excellent exercise in rational thought for the mature reader. (Sorry, youngsters - you just don't have a chance here.) So leave your moral distaste at the door (you can always pick it back up later), put on your thinking cap, and enjoy one of the best tall tales ever told. It'll be well worth your while.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    A Review -----The Players----- Terence Ash – publisher and editor Robert Ash – younger brother, sub editor Chartwell - Office assistant and explorer of the darker corners of staples Edgar – warehouseman and dogsbody Heinry Lein - writer TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE Heinry Lein - Hello I wonder if you would be so kind as to look at this. Robert Ash - What is it? Heinry Lein - A manuscript. Robert Ash - A manuscript? Heinry Lein - You Know Ink on paper ....Words. Robert Ash - Oh! Mmmmm. What is it about? Heinry Lein - W A Review -----The Players----- Terence Ash – publisher and editor Robert Ash – younger brother, sub editor Chartwell - Office assistant and explorer of the darker corners of staples Edgar – warehouseman and dogsbody Heinry Lein - writer TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE Heinry Lein - Hello I wonder if you would be so kind as to look at this. Robert Ash - What is it? Heinry Lein - A manuscript. Robert Ash - A manuscript? Heinry Lein - You Know Ink on paper ....Words. Robert Ash - Oh! Mmmmm. What is it about? Heinry Lein - Well, this man he does things and....and travels to places and talks to people Robert Ash - Really! Sounds exciting. Heinry Lein - It is, it is. Robert Ash - Terence what do you make of this Terence Ash - Ahhh. My goodness it’s a selection of words on paper. There’s was, the. Good grief theirs even r, f, t and d and well letters bludgeoned and smeared everywhere. Phone rings. Chartwell - Hello, chartwell here sir. I’m afraid there has been an accident and thirty manuscripts have been knocked over and they seem to have mixed together. At least four thousand pages sir. Terence Ash - Never mind just shuffle them together and release them as alternate fiction and then we will sort them out later. Chartwell - Very good sir. Terence Ash - Now tell me more. Heinry Lein - Well he travels back in time and you know “does it with his mother.” Terence Ash - Does it? Heinry Lein - The thing.... The beast with two backs. Terence Ash - You mean to say, he turns the hands back on the clock and does rude things with his mummy. Heinry Lein - Weeelllll, yes and no. Rings chartwell. Terence Ash - Chartwell get in here and have a look at this. Chartwell - I say. Terence Ash - What do make of it? Chartwell - It is a WH Smith number 48 staple in the corner, Very nice. Robert Ash - AND the rest of it? Chartwell - Ink and paper. Makes words sir. Terence Ash - Thank you Chartwell, get Edgar for me on the way back. Robert Ash - Aaaahh Edgar do come in. Edgar - Yus sIR. Terence Ash - Tell me your honest opinion on this if you will. Edgar - Yes sIR. Mmmnmnmnmnmm fnm.mnmnm. Terence Ash - Well Edgar? Edgar - Issa steaming puddle of horse piss sIR. Terence Ash - T.R. Ash would be honoured to publish this delightful book. Edgar walks down the hall. Edgar - They’ll print any old shite these these dayze mumble, mnrnrmn. Robert Ash - Chartwell shuffle some of those pages together, about two hundred. Just enough to fatten this up. Chartwell - Yes sir. Dear lord Terence and Robert Ash might return.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Felix Dance

    I'd been looking out for this one ever since I saw it new in the KL super-bookshop several months back. A few days ago I got it in exchange for AK from the American girl in my Kathmandu hotel. Unfortunately, as I read the first few pages I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. Lazarus Long, the main character from Methuselah's Children, is, inexplicably, 2000 years old and living on a distant planet. The leader of this planet has foolishly asked the rambling old man to tell him random and stupid I'd been looking out for this one ever since I saw it new in the KL super-bookshop several months back. A few days ago I got it in exchange for AK from the American girl in my Kathmandu hotel. Unfortunately, as I read the first few pages I realised I’d made a terrible mistake. Lazarus Long, the main character from Methuselah's Children, is, inexplicably, 2000 years old and living on a distant planet. The leader of this planet has foolishly asked the rambling old man to tell him random and stupid stories from his past, giving the lecherous bore an excuse to waffle on ad nauseum for the next, literally, 600 pages - way way way too long. And what a fruitcake this dude is! He seems to spend most of his life adopting baby girls and then sleeping with them once they reach puberty. Written in 1973, the book is full of the "Shut up woman or I'll paddle your fanny" seventies sentiment, as well as being a vehicle for Heinlein's obsession with nudity and cats. Its only saving graces are his amusingly outrageous aphorisms and a readable last 100 pages - where he goes back in time to WWI... and sleeps with his own mother (there is a LOT of incest in this book). At least it counteracted the signs on many of the Nepali buses I see here: 'No time for love'.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I wanted a paperback to read on the plane recently, and this one was right on top of a stack of books, so I reread it. I've reread a few Heinlein books recently, and I realize as I have with so many other books that I read when I was young, (believe it or not, I think I might have been 10 the first time I read this, I was certainly no more than 12) how much they shaped my sense of myself. For instance, every Heinlein book has pages and pages devoted to math, and not glossed over math, real math. I wanted a paperback to read on the plane recently, and this one was right on top of a stack of books, so I reread it. I've reread a few Heinlein books recently, and I realize as I have with so many other books that I read when I was young, (believe it or not, I think I might have been 10 the first time I read this, I was certainly no more than 12) how much they shaped my sense of myself. For instance, every Heinlein book has pages and pages devoted to math, and not glossed over math, real math. It always seemed natural to me to use math to solve problems. I also realize that my attitude towards accepting people into my family circle comes in large part from Heinlein and to some extent Bradley, who I also read at an early age. Rereading these books as an adult is odd, because I see the foundations for many attitudes that I never consciously considered. I will need to scare up a copy of I Will Fear No Evil next, I can't find mine. Note: Although, I must say parts of this book are downright silly, parts of it are very good.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Steven Wilson

    My favorite book of all time. So many stories, so much wisdom, and a cast of characters I love spending time with. I can't give it an objective review. I'm just too much in love with it. This is the story of the lives of Lazarus Long, oldest member of the human race. He's been alive for thousands of years, and saw humanity go from the idyll of pre-World War I to the conquest of space and beyond. He's practiced nearly every profession, sired hundreds of children, and now he's bored with life and My favorite book of all time. So many stories, so much wisdom, and a cast of characters I love spending time with. I can't give it an objective review. I'm just too much in love with it. This is the story of the lives of Lazarus Long, oldest member of the human race. He's been alive for thousands of years, and saw humanity go from the idyll of pre-World War I to the conquest of space and beyond. He's practiced nearly every profession, sired hundreds of children, and now he's bored with life and looking for something interesting to do.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Joseph Mikels

    Time enough for Love book review This book was very deep, very long, and greatly offensive to anyone with any morals what so ever. That being said I believe Robert's goal was to get the reader to free their mind of social taboos incest. I found the book interesting only because I find Robert interesting forces me to wonder how he lived his privet life. Was he a free thinker on paper only or a real life social degenerate. Either way I wish I'd been this authors friend something tells me he would h Time enough for Love book review This book was very deep, very long, and greatly offensive to anyone with any morals what so ever. That being said I believe Robert's goal was to get the reader to free their mind of social taboos incest. I found the book interesting only because I find Robert interesting forces me to wonder how he lived his privet life. Was he a free thinker on paper only or a real life social degenerate. Either way I wish I'd been this authors friend something tells me he would had been fun to chill with.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    Yuck!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chad Bearden

    Any complaints about Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love" that are centered around the absurdity and perversity of a two thousand year old man having sex with every single woman he ever meets, most of whom are descended from him or raised from childhood by him or gave birth to him (!!), are completely valid complaints. As much as I enjoyed this read, Heinlein's obsession with knocking down every possible sexual barrier got a little hard to swallow after a while and kept me from rating this a five-s Any complaints about Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love" that are centered around the absurdity and perversity of a two thousand year old man having sex with every single woman he ever meets, most of whom are descended from him or raised from childhood by him or gave birth to him (!!), are completely valid complaints. As much as I enjoyed this read, Heinlein's obsession with knocking down every possible sexual barrier got a little hard to swallow after a while and kept me from rating this a five-star novel. That I still gave it four stars testifies to how engaging Heinlein's signature character, Lazarus Long, is. Since his introduction (which I read in the "The Past Through Tomorrow" collection), I've always been captivated by the long-lived, sage, straight-talking know-it-all (even when Heinlein called him Jubal Harshaw), and he makes a great protagonist for the various tales collected in this pseudo-novel. 'Pseudo' because even though there is a clear through-line for Long and the extended family he builds for himself over the couse of this work, Lazarus spends the bulk of the novel telling stories about other periods in his two-millineum long life, set on various planets, which allows him to play around with different genres. Kind of like how the writers of the old Star Trek series could have Enterprise stumble onto a Gangster planet if they had a notion to tell a gangster story. The two standout stories for me involved a Western-style story about life as a pioneer on a barely settled planet, and his time-travel story, where Lazarus travels back to the early 20th century to meet his family. Both of these stories hooked me as they had a distinctly historical feel to them, and I guess I was just in that kind of mood. The portions of the book that take place in a more recognizable future are also quite enjoyable, reading like everything else Heinlein writes. Revolutionary characters pushing against whatever society they find themselves a part of, making a case for living life to its fullest and giving into all of your basest desires, because you only live once, and if you're not hurting anyone, then why the hell not? That Heinlein uses Lazarus and the Howard families (a two thousand year old man and a family genetically bread for long life) to make a case for the brevity of life and living every moment to its fullest just makes it all the more interesting. For those that say this work is mysogenistic, I guess I can almost see where you're coming from, but in all fairness, all of the characters in this novel are pervy and sex-obsessed. Heinlein seems to want very badly to paint sex as something that people shouldn't obsess about, and should be talked about and dealt with and undertaken as freely as you wish. This goes for both the men and the women. It just so happens that the primary character is a most alpha of alpha-males. This, combined with the fact that he crams so many sexually based situations upon his characters kind of leads one to the opposite conclusion: that Heinlein himself is obsessed with sex. Which he probably is. In spite of this, the novel is still an epic, sweeping, romantic read that collects a number of captivating ideas into one volume. A self-admittedly flawed, but still fascinating protagonist, and Heinlein's artistry with language make this a very satisfying read for fans of his particular brand of sprawling sci-fi.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    "Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it." I know that a lot of people love Heinlein and I have enjoyed a number of his novels too. This one, however, suffered from the need of editing--it was much too long and repetitious, especially if you have already read Stranger in a Strange Land or Friday. These books "Time Enough for Love follows Lazarus Long through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Heinlein's longest and most ambitious work, it is the story of a man so in love with Life that he refused to stop living it." I know that a lot of people love Heinlein and I have enjoyed a number of his novels too. This one, however, suffered from the need of editing--it was much too long and repetitious, especially if you have already read Stranger in a Strange Land or Friday. These books make me wonder what kind of person RAH was and what it would have been like for his wife to live with him. He is a great proponent of being self-reliant--but the farther we get from the horse and plough, the more reliant we become on others to build our devices, be they mobile phones, computers or spaceships. We live in a society where we have to rely on others--I don't know how to make cloth or even how to turn cloth into clothes. Someone else does my farming, gardening and butchering and it will be that way until the replicators show up (and even then I'll be reliant on the replicator repairman!) RAH also seems to have some odd ideas about what women want (here's a clue, we don't necessarily want umpteen babies!). It seems like Lazarus Long always has some woman hanging onto his leg, begging to be impregnated. That got really old for me after the first time, let alone after the 20th time! Research has proven that when women get educated and have access to birth control, birth rates go down. We prefer to have fewer children and to invest more in those children, rather than produce dozens, and I'm sure women of the future, no matter how long they live, will continue to feel that way. Basically, I was irritated with the women characters for the duration of the book--they are not like any women that I know. In the end, I think they say much more about Heinlein that they do about humanity or our future.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Javier

    A number of fellow poly-folk and friends whom I respect highly had mentioned this book when discussing their awakening to their polyamourous natures, and so I decided to pick it up a while back. I'm normally a fairly fast reader, but this took me months to slog thru (with lots of breaks for other books). Heinlein's writing is difficult for me to read because I feel it's a bit convoluted and sometimes poorly executed, but he is a great storyteller, and while I can't say that I agree with all the A number of fellow poly-folk and friends whom I respect highly had mentioned this book when discussing their awakening to their polyamourous natures, and so I decided to pick it up a while back. I'm normally a fairly fast reader, but this took me months to slog thru (with lots of breaks for other books). Heinlein's writing is difficult for me to read because I feel it's a bit convoluted and sometimes poorly executed, but he is a great storyteller, and while I can't say that I agree with all the values espoused in his novels, I do think that in the long run, I understand why this book has been so influential on so many of the people I love and respect, and I enjoyed being given that insight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Saski

    Before everyone rants on me, yes, I know there are many problems with this book. but I read it long before recognized or understood (as in understood on a gut level) about things like sexism, incest, etc, and this book hit home with me. I haven't read it in decades and now I am almost afraid to. I want to keep the feeling in my heart that I have when I just think about Lazarus Long, and other characters, of course. My memory sings five stars to me and that's where it stays. Before everyone rants on me, yes, I know there are many problems with this book. but I read it long before recognized or understood (as in understood on a gut level) about things like sexism, incest, etc, and this book hit home with me. I haven't read it in decades and now I am almost afraid to. I want to keep the feeling in my heart that I have when I just think about Lazarus Long, and other characters, of course. My memory sings five stars to me and that's where it stays.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This was the only Heinlein book we were banned from reading when we were kids because it made such a convincing argument for sex outside of marriage or any other social construct. This is also one of the best love stories of all time. Go Dora!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't make up my mind on this one. Lets see if writing a review helps. One of his themes is that any type of sex is ok, as long as no one is harmed by the action, which excuses a lot that many would find unacceptable such as statutory rape or incest, or when the story was published, homosexuality. His premise seems to be if they want it, they are old enough to enjoy it safely. I'm not necessarily so convinced of that. Kids may want it and think of nothing else. That doesn't mean they have the I can't make up my mind on this one. Lets see if writing a review helps. One of his themes is that any type of sex is ok, as long as no one is harmed by the action, which excuses a lot that many would find unacceptable such as statutory rape or incest, or when the story was published, homosexuality. His premise seems to be if they want it, they are old enough to enjoy it safely. I'm not necessarily so convinced of that. Kids may want it and think of nothing else. That doesn't mean they have the maturity to deal with sex. I agree that the reason for the taboo of incest is the problem of genetic nightmares resulting from the action and the way he wants to do it, does remove the problem. In his world, geneticists know enough to read the genetic code and be able to see if there are any bad results from the combination of the two codes. He spent a long time, many pages, explaining how two siblings could be completely unrelated genetically. It went over my head and I'm not able to judge whether his discussion has been overtaken by current technology or not. But I suspect he was trying to have his cake and eat it too in this section. History shows that incest does not have to be psychologically harmful. Take a look at the Egyptian Pharaohs. The majority of marriages were siblings. More likely half siblings but not necessarily. That civilization lasted much much longer than our current American civilization. However, I think in our culture, we are pretty far from being able to deal with incest, and I would not recommend it today. Interestingly enough, until the last part of the book, there really was not all that much sex. Once the family escaped to colonize a new planet, it did become pretty much a bacchanalia. He does a lot to prove his theme that sex can be a positive wonderful thing. A part that many forget is that Heinlein accepts the consequences of love and insists that the adults in a family all have a responsibility to take care of all the kids no mater what happens to some of the other adults and whether or not the kids were produced by other adults in this family. I can agree with this premise. There were a number of plot holes. Another problem were the enormous amount of space wasted on Lazarus's notebooks which are aphorisms galore. Many I don't agree with and none were fascinating reading. One of my objections was how did his family find Lazarus in time when he was dying in France in WWI at the end of the story. I find it objectionable that in the next several books in this series, people are rescued in a similar way: at the last moment, mostly because the family wants to do it rather than any reason involving a principle such as saving someone whose research is needed to keep civilization going. This ties in with one of my fundamental problems with Heinlein's philosophy: Heinlein's characters are allowed to do things other people can't do, fundamentally because they are not nearly as smart as Heinlein's characters. Intelligence is fine but does not guarantee ethical behavior. A genius can be a monster just as a stupid person can be a monster. Heinlein never admits that this is perfectly possible. I suppose I'll keep this book for now since I can't seem to make up my mind definitely whether to keep or toss.

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