The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

Title: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Author: Robert Heinlein
Genre: Science fiction

Rating: did not finish


I felt like something science fiction. I always liked the title of this book. I thought I would give it ago.

Despite getting my interest from the get-go with an intelligent computer, the book is slow and wasn’t terribly exciting, even in the midst of a riot. But okay, I’m patient. However, the sexism in this book is painful.  It wasn’t actually enough to stop me from reading it until about 60 pages in when the only real woman character in the book says that the protagonist insulted her by not raping her–or at the very least, making aggressive sexual advances on her when she had already made clear several times that she did not want to have sex with him. When the guy demurs, Heinlein has her say, “Michelle would understand,” referring to the computer with AI. Sooo…

Sigh. :\ I hopped online to check out other reviews of the book. It has an amazing 4.17 star rating on Goodreads, but many of my friends on the site gave it 2 stars or below. I’m not saying that all books with high ratings on Goodreads are necessarily bad, but I am saying that often I am suspicious of books with ratings over 4–especially if they’re 4.1+ and “classics” in any genre–because it seems like people who might have read a book and enjoyed it as a child just think, “oh yeah, warm fuzzies for that one–5 stars.”

Luckily there are some great reviews of this book out there. I’ll leave you with my two favorites, after the reading of which I was assured that the book would not get any better, would in fact get worse, and decided to DNF it:

  • “Joint Review: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein” at The Book Smugglers
  • “The Moon Is a Harsh Mansplainer (1966) by Robert A. Heinlein” at From Couch to Moon

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