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Job: Comedy of Justice
 
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Robert A. Heinlein
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Job: Comedy of Justice

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  12,912 ratings  ·  351 reviews
After he firewalked in Polynesia, the world wasn't the same for Alexander Hergensheimer, now called Alec Graham. As natural accidents occurred without cease, Alex knew Armageddon and the Day of Judgment were near. Somehow he had to bring his beloved heathen, Margrethe, to a state of grace, and, while he was at it, save the rest of the world ....
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published May 27th 1987 by Random House Value Publishing (first published July 1st 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Zachary
Heinlein's take on the biblical story of Job is a little less biblically based and a lot more fantastically oriented. That said, it is quite an interesting story, with a double share of twists and turns, and throughout it all you're rather unsure exactly where Heinlein is going.

The more religious minded might be rather offended at Heinlein's theological inversion of good and bad. I think this would be a tragedy, because the wide range of religions interwoven here it seems quite obvious this is n
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Patty
I really tried to like this book, but I just didn't get it. The characters were flat and the scenarios they found themselves in seemed so episodic and inconsequential that, by about halfway through the book, I grew bored and apathetic. It was recommended to me by someone whose taste I admire, but the book wasn't for me.
Timo
The key to understanding this book lies in the subtitle, "A Comedy of Justice." It exactly mirrors the subtitle of James Branch Cabell's breakthrough best seller, "Jurgen." And the plot is similar. Dig deeper, and you will discover that Cabell was Heinlein's favorite author, and that all of Heinlein's later works, from "Stranger in a Strange Land" onward, were attempts to mimic Cabell"s 18-volume "Biography of the Life of Manuel," of which "Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice" was not the best, merely t ...more
Jam
To start, it is the year 1994, and in Alexander Hergensheimer's world, there are no airplanes, television, computers or traffic lights. Their only form of aeronautic transportation comes in the form of dirigibles. The world is incredibly moralistic, with abortion now termed a capital offense. A "federal law making the manufacture, sale, possession, importation, transportation, and/or use of any contraceptive drug or device a felony carrying a mandatory prison sentence of not less than a year and ...more
Melody
I'd forgotten how thoroughly unlikeable the protagonist of this book is. Ick. I also had a hard time understanding what caused him to fall in love with Marga, and even more, WTF did Marga see in him?

It's an interesting meditation on religious fundamentalism, but ultimately it strikes me as a little too facile. It was written near the end of Heinlein's career and it feels a little as if it were done by rote. There are several recycled bits from earlier works, including the obligatory reference to
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Eliza Hirsch
This book is like distilled Heinlein. Women who are generally intelligent sex objects and the men who love them, slightly awkward but nonetheless charming dialogue, and a healthy smattering of really thought provoking lines.

Not a spoiler: "On reflection I realized that I was in exactly the same predicament as every other human being alive. We don't know who we are, or where we came from, or why we are here. My dilemma was merely fresher, not different.
"One thing (possibly the only thing) I lear
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fromcouchtomoon
Leave it to Heinlein to make blasphemy lame.
Curtis Butturff
I really don't read a lot of fiction but I first read this book as a young man when I was reading all of Heinlein's work. As I recall this was around the time the man died so that probably will date me a bit for some of you.

In his later books he seemed to be sticking with more of a formula than in the early books and this book seemed to kick off his alternate universe and history section. I think it was also probably one of his best works overall but I'll get into that.

It follows the adventures
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Emily
A modern-day (well, set in 1994, written in 1984) retelling of the story of Job from the Biblical Old Testament, with quite the sci-fi twist. Alexander Hergensheimer is a pious church fundraiser who is experiencing something very weird. He participated in a native fire walking during a cruise ship vacation and regains consciousness in a world not his own. It looks very much like Earth, but everything is different: culture, values, technology, even his name! He falls for his stewardess and therea ...more
Laura
Usually classified as sci-fi due to the frequent moves from one alternate world to another. But is a terribly sharp satire on the fundamentalist religionists. Main character Alec is a preacher/fundraiser for a fundamentalist church called the Churches United for Decency (C.U.D.). Along the way his moral standards are tried mightily by earths where scanty clothing is the norm, not to mention the fact that his alter ego is carrying on an affair with his lovely female steward. Any money he accumula ...more
Michele Brenton
Nov 18, 2011 Michele Brenton rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: open minded people with a sense of wonder and imagination.
Yet another of my perennial favourites. I regularly pick this one up and re-read it.
Each time I find something new to enjoy.
One of the things I'm enjoying this time is the character of Margarethe as I have got to know some people of her nationality and now the dialogue involving her has suddenly become more amusing.

This is a work that leads to a great deal of pondering on the part of the reader as Heinlein's main character Alex Hergensheimer is a philosopher extraordinaire and a Christian minist
...more
Amanda
In someways I think my journey to this book will always outlast the book itself.

When I was seventeen I told my boss I would read this book, that had been so influential to his young catholic school life. It was one of only two gallon sized bags worth of objects prized from my worst car wreck in my early twenties. It has been the lasting joke of a decade. Whether I had finally read it.

And this late winter, in the year I will turn 29, he sent me a second copy. It is pristine, and not as tender w
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Doug
Apr 27, 2008 Doug rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: information seekers
A comedy of justice, true in every sense of the word. Job is the riveting tale of dimensional travel and exciting circumstance to test the limit of your imagination and perception of our world. Knowing that the book is set in a non-standard universe from the very beginning helps in clearing up your thoughts for the thought provoking look at a human’s spirituality. The book itself is beautifully written, every page being exciting as well as moving the plot along.

Job could be considered one of the
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Jenn Brink
This is not the first time I've read this book, not even the second. Each time I read it, I get something else out of it. I hadn't read it in years, so I picked it up for another round.

This time, I found myself looking it as both author and reader. Once again, I was reminded at how slow the beginning was. As an author, I can see areas that could have been cut to make a smoother introduction. The book continues on with a few more extraneous areas, familiar concepts, and surprise twists, until th
...more
L S
This may be one of my favorite Heinlein novels. It gets five stars on its own from me but also gets the requisite sentimental rating bonus. I read Job at a commune in Virginia called Seven Oaks, where my older half-sister's mother was a librarian. I had taken a bus cross-country, was listening to a tape of Queen's Innuendo on repeat, and was reading Dune at the time. I was fifteen years old and traveling alone for the first time; it's a week or so that is particularly vivid for me.

At any rate, J
...more
Olethros
-Con la excusa de las realidades paralelas, crítica de muchas cosas.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción (con mucho de Narrativa Fantástica).

Lo que nos cuenta. Durante una excursión en crucero por la Polinesia, Alexander Hergensheimer, predicador protestante ordenado en los Hermanos del Apocalipsis de la Iglesia Cristiana de la Única Verdad, se desmaya mientras atraviesa con los pies descalzos una zona de fuego tal y como hacen los indígenas locales. Cuando se recupera, descubrirá que ahora se llama Alec Gr
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Neil
This book is apparently an attempt by Heinlein to write a satire. He apparently modeled the gist of it after the Book of Job in the Bible [where God and Satan make a ‘wager’ of sorts about whether or not Job would curse God if everything was taken away from him]. It strongly reminded me of ‘the mark of the beast,’ except that this book was much ‘cleaner’ than ‘the mark.’ I can see how this would fit into his ‘world as myth’ motif that he enjoyed so much later in life. This was one of the last bo ...more
Sam
After consuming several Spider Robinson books, I felt it was necessary to explore some of Heinlein's work finally. I decided upon Job: a comedy of Justice because it was recommended by a friend. I loved it. I can totaly see where Spider Robinson has been influenced greatly by this writer.

I will be going into some more of his work soon.
David
Sorry, Heinlein. Haven't you already said all this in Stranger In A Strange Land? Although you've included many profound issues to ponder, you've yet again delivered them through your highly opinionated surrogates who to my jaded and cynical 21st century mind are in many ways hopelessly out of touch with reality.
By throwing most of Western theology in to the story and then giving it an unevenly sophisticated treatment I find it hard to give much credence to your arguments. The idea that Heaven
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Richard Kelly
Jun 08, 2015 Richard Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non-traditional Christians who know the Bible
I don't know why it took me so long to give Robert Heinlein a try, but he was an amazing writer. This book is almost as much a masterpiece as was Stranger in a Strange Land, but it is not nearly as appealing to as many people.

As a pure work of literary merit this book is put together as well as anything else in the English language. I did not find myself feeling that he repeated painful sentence structures. I did not notice words being used that were far above the level of others around them. I
...more
Gridcube
So. This book.

It was probably one of the greatest adventures i've read on a long long while. Following Alexander "Graham" "alec" Gergermester through all the tribulations, dimentional jumping and pure anarchy of reality he was placed, how he learns to become more than a simple follower of the "word of god" how he tries to save everyone he meets to His grace, even lucifer himself, though he didnt knew at the moment, how he is faced with reality, how he learns to respect his "wife", the women who
...more
jD
This one was a surprise. I really enjoyed the biblical aspects and the main character's journey. It's similar to the concept in Ground Hog Day except every time this character goes to sleep, his reality changes. He soon realizes what is going on and comes up with strategies to hang onto what little money and clothing he can grab. It doesn't work thus he becomes like Job. He loses everything but somehow he keeps his faith. He meets a woman he comes to love but he's married so that's a problem. He ...more
Jude Malta
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leroy Seat
This is the first book by Heinlein that I have read, and it will probably be the only one of his that I read.

Even though I found the book quite interesting and containing a surprising lot of theology as well as a Bible verse at the top of each chapter, still I am not inclined to recommend it to others.

I guess my positive thoughts about the book turned negative with the Rapture and all that happened after that.

Still, I don't regret having read this book, and others with religious / theological b
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Kevin Catarino
This book is awful. I never liked Heinlein, but I found this on Junk Day and decided to give it a try. My god, does it suck. The prose is around a third-grade level and the plot couldn't be any less interesting. The thing that totally ruined it for me was that, if he's supposed to be Job, why is he given the girl of his dreams to accompany him on his interdimensional jaunts? And if washing dishes in Mexico is your idea of Hell, you are an extremely sheltered human being. I didn't even finish thi ...more
Mars
One of those books you want to like, but can't...

The beginning is promising - a guy takes on an obviously suicidal bet, and ends up in another world (this happens by page 10 or so, so hardly counts as a spoiler)

And then... masculine imaginings galore. man leaves behind wife who doesn't like sex and meets a sexpot who's in love with him (although she was clearly in love with a person with a wildly different personality, judging by the accouterments, which doesn't bother the protagonist one bit),
...more
Brent Vincent
Well, this book was a bit odd. I love the idea of the book. It's an interesting story following one Alex Hergensheimer as he is sent from world to world against his will. He is convinced it is a sign of the end times, but others are not so sure. What the book does well is discuss ideas on religion, society, government, and so on. It has some interesting points to make and makes them in a humorous way. However, what it doesn't do right is really make anything of its characters. Most of the time t ...more
Nick
Here's another book I feel like I might be missing the boat on. I tried, but this book is just a little too slow-moving for me. It starts out with a interesting premise - the hero, on a Caribbean cruise, is egged on to walk on hot coals, and he takes a snootful of smoke and passes out at the end. When he wakes up, he's in another dimension; Although he is himself, everything else has changed, from his name to the political and societal context of western civilization.

The problem is that then not
...more
Ryan
The storyline of the book revolves around a basic premise: what if God messed with your life constantly, would you be able to stay sane?
Heinlein takes the idea of a man beset by God-created problems and takes it into the realm of alternate realities. The main character is forced to deal with the idea of reality and ultimate truth in a journey that starts somewhere in the early 1900s, and ends with Judgment Day, a visit to Heaven and Hell, and a destination at the end of the book somewhere in bet
...more
Jeff Yoak
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Job, Eh? 12 104 Sep 21, 2012 08:08PM  
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Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
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More about Robert A. Heinlein...
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“God created men to test the souls of women.” 89 likes
“My only regret involved the sad knowledge that I could not handle the amount of alcohol I would have enjoyed. “Easy is the descent into Hell.” 8 likes
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