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Extended Audio Sample The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Audiobook, by Robert A. Heinlein Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (40,621 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert A. Heinlein Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455176267
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Revolution is brewing on twenty-first-century Luna, a moon-based penal colony where oppressed “Loonies” are being exploited by a harsh Authority that controls it from Earth. Against all odds, a ragtag collection of dissidents has banded together in revolt, including a young female radical, an elderly academic, a one-armed computer jock, and a nearly omnipotent supercomputer named Mike, whose sentience is known only to this inner circle and who is committed to the revolution for reasons of his own.

Drawing many historical parallels with the War of Independence, Heinlein’s fourth Hugo Award–winning novel is a gripping tale bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.

Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, winning the Hugo Award for best novel a record four times. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels and is widely considered his finest work.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "We proceed down the path marked by his ideas. He shows us where the future is."

    Tom Clancy

  • “Adrenalizing, mind-stretching, conviction-testing…unmatched by any contemporary!” 

    Theodore Sturgeon

  • “[Heinlein] gives you action and adventure, but as you read the novel, you’re forced to consider, in this new world, new ways of thinking about old problems.”

    SF Reviews

  • Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967
  • A 1966Nebula Award Nominee
  • One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century
  • Winner of the 1983Prometheus Hall of Fame Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Wallquist | 2/20/2014

    " This is one of my top 10 favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chad Yost | 2/16/2014

    " Awesome book with lots of libertarian overtones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivy | 2/15/2014

    " Definitely another great Heinlein story, although I don't think this one is my favorite as it is for many of the people I have talked to. In fact, this one has largely made me paranoid that all of my computers are secretly plotting against me. The mode of speech in this took me a little to get used to, but what I think I like most about this and other Heinlein works that I have read so far is that you get the sense of his love of science and the possibilities of the future. That love can be felt as an undercurrent to each of the books no matter the difference in plot and theme and I respond well when I can feel that the author is really passionate about his subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 2/12/2014

    " A great sci-fi novel, complete with quasi-futuristic technology and an exploration of norms different from our own. Heinlein does a great job building a convincing society on the moon and submerging the reader into a gripping plot. I enjoyed the examinations of government and family structure particularly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brent | 2/10/2014

    " I came across this after having read the excellent Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein. Essentially this book recreates very many aspects of the American Revolution, but this time it is a group of convicts living on the moon (Luna) who revolt against the Earth. Very well written and insightful. TANSTAAFL! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G. | 2/7/2014

    " Sort of a how-to book to overthrow a tyrannical government in science fictional form. It was hard to keep up my momentum on this book since I started reading it on the day we left for vacation. Too many things interrupting my pleasure reading! And I was hoping to read Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" but I couldn't find it in my book stacks. So I settled for this. It was good fun and helps to hear it in a Russian accent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C.J. Moseley | 1/5/2014

    " The tale of Manny, prisoner, computer engineer and father of a revolution. Somehow this Heinlein classic feels dated, mostly because of the size and descriptions of the computer, but assuming a restrictive authority would centralise all computing, it remains plausible and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Kelley | 1/1/2014

    " One of my favorite sci-fi novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kari | 11/26/2013

    " Maybe I would have enjoyed this more if I had not OD'd on Heinlein recently. I prefer some of his shorter works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grant Kisling | 11/8/2013

    " Interesting book about the politics of a revolution. The author also has amazing insights in 1966 about computers and their future roles. Definately a recommended read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 11/7/2013

    " Interesting concept but not enough to keep me going the whole way. Lemmed it half way :( "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Don Hill | 10/24/2013

    " As good as Sci-Fi gets. TANSTAAFL! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Blatcher | 10/13/2013

    " I "read" the audio book. This is my first Heinlein. Formulaic look at a revolution and although interesting was a bit slow and wordy at times. But not a bad book by any stretch. I'm really looking forward to Heinlein's other novels, I do enjoy his writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginger Campbell | 7/12/2013

    " I really enjoyed the Audible.com version of this classic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Wilson | 1/18/2013

    " I wasn't able to finish this book due mostly to boredom. It's very politically charged, so much so that it seems to be more of a political book with a sci fi skin. My interest in politics extends only as far as current affairs and political science is just something I find excrutiatingly dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Curt | 11/22/2012

    " Lovely, fun, engaging, and thought-provoking. The dialogue is superb. The motives and psychologies engaging. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan Coleman | 9/23/2012

    " Libertarian revolution with a (very) thin veneer of scifi over it. This book feels less like a story with characters and more like a political manifesto delivered with talking heads. It's not worth your time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 0rbytal | 8/18/2012

    " Excellent Sci-fi novel by Heinlein! It was weird starting out because you have to get used to the slightly different dialect, but there are such incredible futuristic parallels to the American Revolution in 1776. I highly recommend it... quite inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scythan | 11/22/2011

    " I like the computer, "Mike", and the entire book was entertaining and thought-provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russell | 10/24/2011

    " Excellent. Written 45 years ago? Are you sure? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 7/10/2011

    " I loved this book when I read it. I loved it even more realizing that the peculiar speech (lacking the article "the") of many characters who are of Russian origin came from Heinlein's accurate rendering of Russian's lack of "the". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nakkie Nellen | 6/10/2011

    " My second favourite of Heinlein. Mike is a great character and the ending is such a cynic, yet realistic worldview, especially when you read The cat who wlaks trough walls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 5/23/2011

    " Probably one of Heinlein's best efforts. He's not a gifted writer but has plenty of imagination. Read it long ago but it's one sci-fi book I remember. Date read is a guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brendan | 5/18/2011

    " How to organize a revolution, for engineers. Also, lots of good political and social theory to make you think, as always. Luna pigdin got old though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 5/3/2011

    " This was written in the late 60s about life/rebellion on the moon 2076. I was amazed how little technology has really changed. It was an interesting read that kept me going for the most part. It was a little slow to start. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 4/30/2011

    " Love it. Over the top but great "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 4/26/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book, even if at the beginning it has me wondering if it was supposed to be in a quasi-russian dialect, but im glad to say that you soon got used to it. Good pace throughout and a highly enjoyable read. highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 4/10/2011

    " For politics, or ecology, or philosophy, or just sci-fi adventure, worth the time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Boone | 3/24/2011

    " Cool story, interesting culture, and I agreed with most of the political philosophy. However, I just couldn't get past Manny's speech pattern. It drove me insane. Felt like I was getting dumber by the minute and I feared I might start talking like him, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tareto | 3/20/2011

    " probably my favorite of his so far. also read stranger in a strange land, and waiting on red planet and space cadet. father of modern sci-fi indeed "

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About the Author
Author Robert A. Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein (1907–1988) was born in Missouri. He served five years in the US Navy and then attended graduate classes in mathematics and physics at UCLA. After a variety of jobs, he began to write science fiction in 1939. He is a four-time winner of the Hugo Award and a recipient of three Retro Hugos, and in 1975 he was named the first recipient of the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. Several of his books were New York Times bestsellers, and his worldwide bestsellers have been translated into twenty-two languages. 

About the Narrator

Lloyd James (a.k.a. Sean Pratt) has been narrating since 1996 and has recorded over six hundred audiobooks. He is a seven-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His critically acclaimed performances include Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley Jr. and Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin, among others.