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Extended Audio Sample The Number of the Beast Audiobook, by Robert A. Heinlein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,766 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert A. Heinlein Narrator: Bernadette Dunne, Emily Durante, Malcolm Hillgartner, Sean Runnette, Paul Michael Garcia, Tom Weiner, various narrators Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781470806347
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The wickedest, most wonderful science fiction story ever created in our—or any—time

Anything can begin at a party in California—and everything does in this bold masterwork by a grand master of science fiction.

When four supremely sensual and unspeakably cerebral humans—two male, two female—find themselves under attack from aliens who want their awesome quantum breakthrough, they take to the skies—and zoom into the cosmos on a rocket roller-coaster ride of adventure, danger, ecstasy, and peril.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A story] about two men and two women in a time-machine safari through this and other universes. But describing The Number of the Beast thus is like saying Moby-Dick is about a one-legged guy trying to catch a fish.”

    National Review

  • “[Has a] charming finale.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allyson | 2/20/2014

    " My best friend (at the time) gave me this book in tenth grade and said, "Here, read this." It was the first Heinlein novel I read; I had never heard of the author before. It was a great story and I was hooked from the first words, although I remember being a bit confused toward the end when some of Heinlein's characters from other books appeared. Since two of the main characters were named for characters in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars novels, reading this book led me to investigate those as well. This led to me writing a comparative study of science fiction through the twentieth century in eleventh grade English! Ahhh....good times. I recently unpacked the very book my friend gave me over twenty years ago and I'm looking forward to reading it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ned | 2/11/2014

    " This one's tricky! It may bite you on the ass ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peteralee1 | 1/30/2014

    " Interesting notions about the nature of reality and the possibilities that exist. Standard Heinlein weirdness applies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shawn | 1/15/2014

    " Disjointed, slow plot. Tries to tie all his books together, but feels forced. Fun Heinlein wordplay, but overall not an enjoyable read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Charles Spitzig | 12/29/2013

    " One of the worst books I've ever read. The plot was BAD. It had Heinlein's "oh, so risque" view of sex. Maybe in the 50's, his view of sex was risque. It was just monotonous to read about. This and one other of his books kind of killed me of any desire to ever read Heinlein again. A couple of his other books had previously given him my "read anything he writes" status. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Beck | 12/17/2013

    " Self indulgent, both on Heinlein's part and mine. You've got to be a fan to love every part of this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 brandon | 11/12/2013

    " One of the few books I have actually given up on. This book is one tedious argument about who the fuck is gonna drive the spaceship. Ugh. FAIL. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pangs | 11/3/2013

    " A lot of words to produce such fluff. The SF aspect of the story is merely the backdrop for a rather unimaginative road trip by a group of sexually liberated folk. Readers probably found this groundbreaking stuff had Heinlein written it in the late 1950s. For my sensibilities, it falls between the cracks. The story does not strike true as either a grand comedic romp or a hard space biopic. The novel is the worst of both. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 11/3/2013

    " Love the way Heinlein brings physical love into his novels without actually describing the act of making love. This is the second time of reading this, it's one of my keepers "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 10/23/2013

    " One of my favorite audiobooks. I love the way this was written, each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the four main characters. Another great Heinlein work but then aren't they all? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roman | 8/30/2013

    " Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein (1986) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anthony Sako | 8/22/2013

    " It had so much potential, and some parts were really great. But I have come to hate 3/4 of the main cast and the exploration was so.... Dry. I'll give it a 3/5 for the few good parts it had.... Oh well "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Peter | 8/17/2013

    " Ugh. Ludicrous, masturbatory, and not at all fun. Classic late Heinlein. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ruth | 8/14/2013

    " couldn't stand this book, so much gratuitous sex (and way too much of that is incestuous) and horribly cheesy too "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gina | 8/6/2013

    " Like so many others have said, this book is tiring and obnoxious. I've read a few Heinlein books, mostly because my father is a huge fan, and I really enjoyed Stranger in a Strange Land, but this one is just plain unfortunate. Just don't bother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess | 7/5/2013

    " What if all the worlds written about in books existed in other dimensions...including Oz? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jared Cook | 6/12/2013

    " I'm finished with this, FINALLY. Took some time, as whenever I turned around there was math EVERYWHERE. Was quite awesome though, regardless. Had Jubal Hershaw in it, and one of the greatest characters I've come across thus far, Mr. Lazarus Long! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yostgrade7 | 3/13/2013

    " My all time favorite science fiction book. I have reread it at least 5 times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chuck | 3/10/2013

    " Plodding. Zzzzzzzzz. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doug | 2/27/2013

    " Truly one of his worst. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brady Dale | 12/30/2012

    " Kind of a fun book, in that it explores a bunch of fictional worlds, but it's deep in the period where Heinlein was just phoning it in. Lotta fanciful ideas. Lotta sex. Not a ton of substance anymore. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steph | 12/18/2012

    " Ok, I didn't finish this; it had something to do with the preoccupation with perky nipples. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aleisha Brumbley | 10/12/2012

    " I love this book. An intense read of sexy mathematical creative genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 8/18/2012

    " This was my first Heinlein book - and it hooked me on the Grandmaster and SciFi forever... Multiple universes, almost infinite possibilities? Rejuve, time travel, links to all my favorite classic stories? Whew! I need to re-read this... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert Ekblaw | 7/15/2012

    " Like THE CAT WHO WALKED THROUGH WALLS, Heinlein's attempt to combine characters from other stories. He also drew in literary favorites. His means was intriguing, but a bit far-fetched. Pace of story was good, but ending was disappointing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Matthew Carlin | 7/13/2012

    " Heinlein was senile :-( "

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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 Narrators

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.

Emily Durante’s recent performance credits on the East Coast include commercial and industrial voice work and a multitude of audiobook narrations. She has also directed audiobooks, including the Earphones Award–winning performance of Heaven’s Keep narrated by Buck Schirner. Emily resides in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two young boys.

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr. He has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is the winner of eight Earphones Awards and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.