The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein Audio Book narrated by Lloyd James

Book Title: 

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Book Author: 

Robert A. Heinlein

My Rating: 

Average: 5 (1 vote)

I've read the book many times, but this is the first time I have listened to it. This review doesn't really cover the book itself, but rather the audio performance and how it made the book different for me.

I listened to this book for free, courtesy of Amazon Prime and their Channels Page in the Audible app for Android.

From the beginning, I was blown away by the narration. Lloyd James did a wonderful job of making each character sound different. Still, this book is written in the first person, so the voice we hear most often is that of Manuel Garcia O'Kelly Davis. The biggest surprise for me was having Manuel speak with a sort of Russian accent. A lesser surprise was having several minor characters also take in accents that may or may not match their ethnic heritage. Some of that grated, but then, there were an awful lot of minor characters, so there had to be some way to make their voices distinct.

I will say that listening to such a well-known and well-loved book is a completely different experience than reading it. Some things that I glossed over while reading stood out very clearly in the narration. One of those was how wrong some of Heinlein's ideas were. He's kind of well known for accurate predictions, but this book.. well one that struck me was that the transfer of programs between disconnected computers in 2076 is accomplished by printing them out at the originating computer, and having a human being type them into the receiving computer. What? No floppy drives? No USB sticks?

So very different than reading the book, but a fun experience. I will certainly look for other audio books narrated by Lloyd James. And Manny's voice in my head will forever be sort of Russian sounding whenever I re-read this old favorite book.