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Publisher's Summary

After the fall of the American Ayatollahs as foretold in Stranger in a Strange Land and chronicled in Revolt in 2100, the United States of America at last fulfills the promise inherent in its first Revolution: for the first time in human history there is a nation with Liberty and Justice for All. No one may seize or harm the person or property of another, or invade his privacy, or force him to do his bidding. Americans are fiercely proud of their re-won liberties and the blood it cost them; nothing could make them forswear those truths they hold self-evident. Nothing except the promise of immortality…

©1958 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Methuselah's Children

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  • Anne
  • 16-02-2013

A delight to revisit a science fiction classic

I first read Methuselah's Children as a young woman and, although I was already hooked on Robert Heinlein, I fell in love with the characters of the Howard Families. I especially loved the amazing and swashbuckling free spirit, Lazarus Long (Woodrow Wilson Smith.) The story is sheer fun, although the message about the value of life and the importance of knowing it will end and facing that without fear, along with other thought-provoking themes elevated it above just "fluff."

The original story was serialized in a Science Fiction magazine in 1941 (very common in those days.) It was expanded into a novel and published in 1958. It is part of what Heinlein called his "Future History" series. For me, having been alive - albeit very young - in 1958, the anachronisms seem both shocking and hilarious. As wise and "forward thinking" as Heinlein was for his time, there was much he didn't foresee. Two aspects most stand out as products of the time. The first is the ubiquitous smoking everyone was doing, which was hilarious. The second was the role of women, which was less hilarious. Admittedly, they weren't pictured quite as fully second-class citizens as they really were in the first half of the 20th century, but the firm hold of power that the men hold in this story is a stark reminder of what life was like then.

Nevertheless, if you bring your imagination and remember when this was written, you'll enjoy it.

Now I shall begin "Time Enough for Love," the sequel to "Methuselah's Children," and my absolute favorite Heinlein novel (well... along with "Stranger in a Strange Land," my other absolute favorite Heinlein.)

14 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-11-2012

Another brilliant work by RAH

Methuselah's Children is a great example of the brilliance of RAH. I am a fan of all his work, beginning with "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and ending with the latest on I've read, "Farhnam's Freehold". RAH is a master of social commentary wrapped in amazing narrative and interesting characters. He did have an "ahead of his time" view on societal norms and taboos, specially sex, so be forewarned that no subject is taboo in his writings.

Methuselah's Children is the first on the series. Read, "Time enough for love" for the next installment. For the complete story line, you should read:

Methuselah's Children
Time Enough for Love
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Unrelated story line that is returned to later.
Stranger in a Strange Land. Unrelated but needed later.
The Number of the Beast. There are rumors that this one was not written by RAH but by his wife. Style is very different although story and characters are brought together from "time enough for love" , "Moon is a harsh mistress" and "Stranger in a strange land".
To Sail Beyond the Sunset. The final chapter of the series

22 people found this helpful

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  • Diane
  • 17-09-2012

Enjoyed this one

I had read another of Heinlein's books about the same characters (Time Enough for Love) where he was writing about Lazerus Long as he looked back on a v-e-r-y long life. So when I found this one I had to have it. It was a delight as I listened to the beginning of the history of the Howard Family and their fight to survive against their short-lived kin and incidentally became the first people to voyage to the stars. There was some overlap in the two storylines but the details were more fleshed out in Children.
If I had this book in paperback it would probably be in a definitely worn condition because I would want to read it again and again.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Aden
  • 05-03-2013

Classic Audiobook That Will Live A Very Long Time

Thoroughly enjoyable and well worth having in my library. Some events in the storyline have flavors of, "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel," and "Time For The Stars."

The performance was great--MacLeod Andrews does an excellent job. I've listened to this title several times in the last week and will keep in rotation with Time Enough For Love. I really enjoy having more back-story on Lazarus Long and the Howard foundation.

Again, this is sci-fi that does what sci-fi does best--hold a mirror to our current world. A great work by Heinlein!



3 people found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 21-08-2012

The Beginning

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Always,,,,, If you have an open mind, not afraid of other opinions, and willing to listen to a story,,,,This could be for you,
If you are familiar with Heinlein and his future history stories, This novel is one of the bedrock stories---an introduction to Lazarus Long and the Howard families, who have the problem of living longer than regular humans. This is due to their parents and grandparents participating in an experiment which encouraged longer-lived people to marry and have children together by the simple inducement of being paid for each child produced.......Surprise!! It worked.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria LM Hughes
  • 21-11-2015

Lazuras Long

Although Heinlein did not write "sequels" per se, he did create great characters who appear again and again throughout his works. Lazuras is my favorite. Don't miss him in Time Enough for Love!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dale
  • 03-09-2012

Classic RAH

Where does Methuselah's Children rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I bought this to add to my Robert A. Heinlein stash of audiobooks. This is the first unabridged recording I have come across, at least that was worth listening to. There was one done as a book for the blind years and years ago, but the woman reading was *horrible*. Is this a good book? Yes, absolutely. Is it a *great* book, no, but I didn't feel cheated listening to it. Much of the "eh" factor was the somewhat 2-dimensional characters, but knowing who Lazarus Long would become in later books helped. The only downside to the audio version is I THINK -- and this may be my faulty memory -- that there was a brief little intro in the printed version describing the beginnings of the Howard Familiies that isn't on the audiobook. I don't have a printed copy to check, so I may easily be wrong.If you're a Heinlein fan, by all means get this. If this is your first Heinlein book, I would recommend Have Space Suit Will Travel or The Rolling Stones above Methuselah's Children as a first read. If you're a fan of Lazarus Long, read Time Enough For Love.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Sadly, the most interesting part of the book was the depiction of how easily society in general -- so-called "normal people" -- can turn from being your friendly neighbors into a mindless mob when they don't get something they want, even if that something doesn't exist!

What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

Mr. Andrews' performance was adequate if not inspired. I've heard better readers but I've certainly heard worse. I'd want to hear more examples of his work before I write him off completely.

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  • clifford
  • 11-12-2015

I've read 20 Heinlein's better than this

This isn't the worst Heinlein book. But its close.

I like some of the Lazarus Long books. Some of them are misses. This is a miss. The alien encounters feel like stale Star Trek episodes. Silly. The writing is typical stale Heinlein.

When Heinlein is good, its because of the ideas. The ideas are here. Just not explored with passion.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 17-07-2020

Unfocused, Arbitrary, and Not Very Entertaining

I've really enjoyed several Heinlein novel but this was not one. The character development was poor, the alien species hand wavey, and the ending a total nothing. I'd pass on this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • craigr1971
  • 03-09-2019

Really Dated Book

I love the SciFi classics. This is not one of them. The book begins with the longest, most boring info-dump (a Well-You-Know-Bob) I have ever read or heard. It is simply un-get-byable. Sorry, had to make up that word.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kev Partner
  • 25-06-2014

My first Heinlein - I'm hooked!

As a big Arthur C Clarke and, in particular, Asimov, fan, encountering my first Heinlein novel is like discovering a whole new motherlode of my favourite type of science-fiction. Although a little dated in places (people smoke, for example), I was astonished, on finishing the book, to see that it was first published in 1941 so, when the moon landings are mentioned they are in the characters' past but the writer's future.

The plot itself is a little pedestrian - a series of events rather than the build up of tension more typical of modern writing. Perhaps this was because it was originally serialised. Having said that, it raised lots of interesting issues and was full of ideas. It's also not afraid to include "real" science and maths that the reader/listener is unlikely to understand. I like that.

The narration was fine - not a great range of voices though. And the Australian accent in the first part of the book is absolutely hilarious.

Overall, a great introduction to Heinlein - I'm just gutted that the next book in the "Lazarus Long" sequence ("Time Enough for Love") isn't on Audible. I guess I'll have to actually read it then,,,

4 people found this helpful

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  • DuneDrifter
  • 16-10-2015

keeps you guessing

Loved it. I found it difficult to put down. The same great stories I've come to know and love from Robert Heinlein. Macleod Andrews always does a fantastic job with his superb narration skills. I'll be looking for more titles he has narrated. Space travel, fountain of youth, faster than the speed of light, we aren't the brightest creatures in the universe. Saying anymore would spoil it. I'd rate it a 10 out of 10.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Hidden
  • 27-05-2015

Great story! Well portrayed.

Really great unabridged version. Brilliantly read! Loved this author for years and thoroughly enjoyed this version.

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  • LC
  • 19-10-2020

Great - classic Heinlein

I enjoyed this one, and was good to have some more Lazarus Long. A fairly short book though, but reasonably fast paced.

I found it entertaining, as usual with Heinlein, and also reasonably thought provoking too, which makes it interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fergus Lister
  • 28-04-2020

engaging and thought provoking

surprisingly realistic for a sci fi book about immortality, well worth the read, would definitely recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • CL
  • 22-02-2021

Thought provoking - quality

As good as stranger in a strange land. Wonderful imagination. Remarkable that sci fi from decades ago is still relevant

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