Wednesday, May 11, 2011

REVIEW: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

I really enjoyed this book, although I never hit a spot where I was unable to put it down.  The pace was so steady and so…. Almost computerized and unemotional, while bringing in a new definition of Emotion that I was able to walk away and return right to the very end.
Amazing to me:  the writing style, the cutting off of the subject in sentences that was really hard to adjust to the first few times I picked it up, but then I caught myself skipping subjects in thinking and writing.  Genius.
Also the blend of different languages… it was like the Moon was the USA all new again with more of a blend of cultures and more use of all languages.  Some words are in my vocabulary forever, they are so perfect.  Like Dinkum for good.  I don’t know if that comes from Russian or something, but Dinkum Thinkum sounds low-slangy but was perfect as “correct” and I love Dinkum.  Ja Da for yes was also great.  TANSTAFL.  There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Lunch!  What a great concept to build on!!   Huhu!!  Big Deal… what a great word!!  I caught myself almost saying “No Huhu” to someone who would have had no idea what I meant!!
The Revolution was so complicated, it was great.  The fore-planning that went into it and all the steps were amazing.  I really enjoyed the level of complication in the book – REALLY.  I could have enjoyed more emotion as the steps progressed in real-time but the punch of tears or laughter was taken away by mini-summaries along the way.  The effect was a deeper connection with the computer, which made sense at the end.  Mike, the computer, was amazing, so complicated and so real with faults and great skills as a smart super-computer.  When Mannie explained regular life to Mike, he explained it to the reader without my ever knowing I was learning.  Beautiful.
The progression of all the characters was amazing.  How many people did I feel like I knew by the end?  And all of them different, complicated, multi-motivated ENTIRE characters:  Prof, Wyoh, Stu, and of course, Mike, Adam Selene and Mannie.  They called him Man for short and I immediately jumped to connecting him to the representative of mankind. 
The idea of Marriage was very interesting.  It was introduced so subtly along with the respect for Women in general that I swallowed the concept whole and was outraged when Mannie was locked up for it.  I didn’t consider the situation definable as polygamy at all, which is a salute to the writer.
So, the characters, the storyline, the revolution, the computer, the futuristic Earth and Moon and EVERYTHING was so believable.  The most amazing part is checking the copyright… 1966?!  Are you kidding me?!  This book is amazing today – NOW!  The language, especially, takes the book right out of time into a space of it’s own. 
I want to re-read this book someday.  I want to read with less interruptions and see if I arrive at the same conclusion.  I want to enjoy the characters again at the moment of the story knowing what’s at the end.  This book is not just a Winner, it’s a Monument in my reading history… for style, progression, concept-building, paradigm adjustment, etc, etc, etc.  Award-winning book for a reason.  (See?  No subject.  No huhu.)

My rating:  Worth the Time.

It's a classic for a reason!