Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Book I am Reading This Week

The back of the book proclaims it 'attacks all the religious explanations of faith... undermines the idea of sexual relations based on jealousy... pokes a bitter satirical finger at the materialists and politicians.'
Sounds fun.
The front says (on my version anyway) 'the most famous science fantasy novel of all time.'
True.
I like Heinlein, I do (I have to say that or the League of Science Fiction Fans will get me) and I particularly enjoyed The Puppet Masters and Starship Troopers. However, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress I didn't like quite so much. The book was very well written but I felt that story line and character were pushed aside in favour of Heinlein's views and I am not a fan of books that do this. If there is a message - and really, what book doesn't have one of some sort? - I prefer it to be subtly written into the plot rather than the novel being used as a soap box for the author. And yes, I like action in books. If I want to read about philosophy and politics I will read a non fiction book, magazine or newspaper.
With that in mind, I feel I am obliged to read this book because it is so famous. I find the language quite dated and while I'm sure it was ground breaking in the sixties, parts of it seem quaint by today's standards. However, I am being entertained (so far).

3 comments:

Shadowthorne said...

I am a fan of fantasy. Not so big with sci-fi though I do love good sci-fi movies.
He did 'StarShip Troopers'? The one that was filmed?

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of sci fi in the 50/60's was political- it usually makes for boring turgid didactic reading.
I wasn't awear that sexual relations were based on jaelously- obviously he debunked that theory so well, it vanished.
Still full marks on reading another boring book for the sake of research- one of the many hardships of the professional writer

Inkpot said...

Hi Shadowtorne. Yup, he wrote the book that the first Starship Troopers was based on.

Hi Anon. True, most were political but some were done better than others. For example - Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. I know it was all about communism but it is a brilliant, frightening story (although the movie adaptations are better than the original book). I didn't know that about sexual relations either, I guess we can thank him for changing that. :) Ah, research is hard but has to be done.