I’ve been meaning to write on a Heinlein book for a while, and I’m still delaying on my favorite one, but I think it is time for my favorite author to get some attention. Yes, I’ll admit it: I’m a Heinlein junkie. This is not, however, the book that I would recommend reading for your first Heinlein (Cat Who Walks Through Walls would be better for that). If you’ve read some Heinlein already, though, this is a good book to continue with.
Title: Time Enough for Love
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Pages: 589 (paperback)
Premise: Lazarus Long has lived a very crazy and very long life, and one of his ancestors (yes, he’s that old) asks him to record his autobiography, and this is it.
Setting: Everywhere from the rural US in the early 20th century to space age adventures among the stars. It is also an alternate timeline, so some of their history isn’t the same as ours.
- Really really awesome characters (I love you Dora!)
- Crazy plots, I have no idea how the man thought of these things
- Heinlein has his own fairly unique ideas about time travel and really demonstrates that, and the purpose behind the Howard Foundation in this book
- This book is a great family reunion of Heinlein characters, so if you’ve read any other of his books, they’ll probably show up or be referenced in this book
- It is one of those books that as I page through it to remember what the write I just want to read it all over again
- The start is a bit slow, but hang in there!
- I don’t know what kind of complex Heinlein had, but wow there is a lot of incest in his books (all generally in very not abusive contexts though)
- On that note, there is just a lot of sex in general, so be warned
- Because it is an autobiography as it is being written, all of the subplots end up making the book feel a bit jumpy
Summary: This is not an easy airplane read, but it really is a satisfying book if you like Heinlein. There is a lot of sex, incest and weird reinterpretations of marriage, but all of this is generally accompanied by so much love and honor between the characters. There are parts of this book that made me cry, and parts that made me tremendously happy. If you are okay with some fairly liberal views on a lot of societal norms, then this is really an excellent book.