Time Enough For Love

by Robert A. Heinlein
Reviewed date: 2004 Feb 14
Rating: 2
589 pages
cover art

I confess, I nearly did not finish this book. It is painful and dull to read. Time Enough For Love is the fractured ramblings of Lazarus Long, an arrogant old man cursed with immortality. Heinlein subjects the reader to hundreds of pages of Lazarus telling us inane stories of his wilder days, and long speeches about how smart he is, and how dumb people are, and how he's learned everything and is incredibly wise because he's lived for so long. Give me a break. The characters are unbelievable, which is to say, not at all human. They all act like little robots that Heinlein programmed to spew propaganda at us. I for one think a book should tell a good story, not be filled with second-rate philosophy and illogical sociopolitical discourse.

The book has more shortcomings: First, it is too long. Second, it is too pointless--by which I mean there is no plot to speak of. Finally, Heinlein spends most of the book talking about sex. And he makes it boring. I can forgive a lot, but I can't forgive him for droning on through hundreds of pages, turning sex into something so mindnumbingly dull that it made me take a vow of celibacy.

The book gets brownie points for having some interesting episodes about Lazarus's life, so it scores a two instead of a zero or a one. Heinlein writes some great stories, but this is not one of them. I heard a rumor that Time Enough For Love was published unedited, and I believe it.

I found a decent review (scroll down the page to find the review) of Time Enough For Love on Amazon.com. This is a customer's review, by Matthew Vanhouten.

In short, it is a LENGTHY and long winded treatise against illogical social mores with pacing that matches an encyclopedia. The only redeeming portion is the last 100 pages where Lazarus Long travels back in time to make love to his mother. The narrative here is the only point where [Heinlein] abandons his pulpit to actually tell a story and proves that he is in fact a talented and worthy writer.

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