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Grumbles from the Grave

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  1,926 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
First Edition, 1990. Hardcover with nice dust jacket. Light wear to the jacket. Robert A. Heinlein, Author. Edited by Virginia Heinlein. Originally sold for $19.95. Cream endpages. Spine is tight and straight. Pages are clean and free of markings or tears. Black paper boards with black cloth trim that leads to the spine, gilt lettering on the spine. A Del Rey Book, ...more
Hardcover, Del Rey, 281 pages
Published November 18th 1989 by Ballantine Books
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Aug 05, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
A man wearing a plaid sports jacket and mismatched polyester, elastic waist slacks walks out onto the stage. He looks smug and self confident, from his 70s era mustache to his back brace to his white patent leather casual dress shoes. His is the self-assurance of the gaudy male seed bearer. He knows his lusty effect on women.

He looks a great deal like a young Dan Akroyd.

“Good evening, folks. I’ll be presenting the review for Robert A. Heinlein’s posthumously published collection of letters to an
Jul 15, 2016 Denis rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardcover
I simply loved this book, and have re-read it several times. It has a apt title as it consists mostly of letter exchanges between he and his agent or publishers, which are mostly complaints over one thing or another. You really get an incite as to what sort of man Heinlein really was like no biography ever could. He comes off as one of his own characters: incredibly intelligent, opinionated and always right. Regardless of how he felt about that one thing or another, and even whether he was ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Avi rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at the life and personality of RAH that confirms that he's actually as big an asshole as you'd think from his fiction writing.
Jan 29, 2015 Aries rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografie
E' estremamente fastidioso quando un libro ha tutte le potenzialità per piacerti molto ma, in qualche modo, il gusto della lettura viene rovinato da fattori più o meno esterni.
E' il caso di brontolio dalla tomba, autobiografia postuma di Robert A. Heinlein che raccoglie lettere, appunti e bozze di buona parte della sua vita di autore.
Partiamo dall'essenza del volume.
Il libro è un complemento perfetto per chiunque, come me, ami Heinlein, la sua capacità di analizzare la realtà e il mondo e, sopra
Oct 12, 2012 Roberta rated it it was ok
I don't search out author biographies but happened to pick this one up at a library sale. Heinlein has been my favorite author forever but this book was a big disappointment. It was edited by his wife after he was dead so I must assume that she is the one who messed it up. It is like he left a box of letters (mostly to his agent) that he was saving for his memoirs, his wife tripped and scattered them all over the place and then published them in the order that she picked them up off the floor.

Jun 07, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it
Reading books like these are almost like being a peeping tom... sometimes you get insights into their thinking process and sometimes you see things you wish you hadn't because it alters your perception of the writer.

I always figured Heinlein to be somewhat curmudgeony and this book confirms that. It shows that he was confident of his work almost to the point of arrogance and that Ginny probably tempered that quite a bit.

But RAH surrounded himself with competent people. He also never promised any
Mary JL
Feb 16, 2009 Mary JL rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans also sf fans
This book I enjoyed because I find Heinlein a fascinating individual. Whether you AGREE with Heinlein or not--I often do not--he does offer thught provoking ideas.

Also, never having written a book, I found it interesting to see the process as it were from concept to publication. The discussions and problems with various publishers was also interesting.

A must for any Heinlein fan, but I would also recommend it to any curious about the process of dealing with publishers, agents, etc.
Aug 08, 2012 Nicolle rated it it was ok

Meh. Just use wiki.
May 18, 2012 Darth rated it really liked it
Shelves: heinlein
By no means is this an exhaustive undertaking, in fact in many places it is disappointingly spare. It frankly seems a lot like Virginia had a specific picture she was intending to paint, and only included letters that worked to that end.

Still if you are a fan, this is an interesting collection, and has a few belly laugh moments - for example, while writing his agent about a person at Playboy who is trying to get him to write something for them with only an agreement over the phone, he says:

Max Lybbert
Aug 27, 2015 Max Lybbert rated it really liked it
This is not a collection of short stories published posthumously, as I thought when I bought it. It is, instead, a collection of letters and excerpts from letters written by Heinlein or sent to Heinlein (or, in a few cases, by and to his wife). This allows for a peek into the world behind the scenes: Heinlein's complaints to his agent about difficult publishers; his early working relationship and friendship with John Campbell, that fell apart during World War II; his efforts to handle fan mail, ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
This book contains numerous letters by Heinlein, or at least substantial excerpts from his letters. What struck me as very interesting, however, is the letters it did not include. Nine out of every ten letters seemed to be from Heinlein to his agent or editor. There were very few letters to him (by said agents or editors), and very few letters by his third wife Virginia. All letters were in some way on the subject of writing, with brief forays into the subjects of cats, housebuilding, travel, ...more
Jul 26, 2007 Andres rated it really liked it
This book contains correspondence between Heinlein and his literary agent, mostly, plus a few assorted letters to and from other people. Also has photographs of Heinlein during several periods of his life, along with his wife, Ginny, and the tribe of cats they kept.

It provides valuable insight into RAH's way of thinking, his life in general, and the things that troubled and worried him. I can sympathize with one of his recurring concerns, that the USA is in a tailspin due to the increasing ignor
May 27, 2016 Ed rated it liked it
804.91 Correspondence - a posthumous 1989 autobiography of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein collated by his wife Virginia Heinlein from his notes and writings. Grumbles from the Grave provides insight into Heinlein's writing process (and the editorial/publishing process with which he was often at odds). In addition, it also contains evidence of his philosophy as applied to his life and personal opinions. Beginning with a short biography of Robert by Virginia, the bulk of the book ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I am not normally one for biographies.. But this collection of letters between RAH and his Agent(mostly) with anecdotes from his wife as she edited this collection together - while not his biography - was very interesting reading.
It gave some great insights into the man and the legend behind some of the greatest classic scifi and speculative fiction. To get in with his thoughts and feelings re publishers (he really lays in at one point) - about his fans and his feelings on the war as it happene
Steven Belanger
Jul 09, 2010 Steven Belanger rated it really liked it
Some dated (and kinda sexist) stuff, but a great little book for aspiring writers in terms of dealing with editors, agents, contracts--and, most importantly, writing. Not a How-To, like On Writing or Bird by Bird, nor a memoir, but a collection of letters between Heinlen and others, published by his widow. Best piece of advice: produce copy, produce copy, produce copy.
Jun 24, 2013 Cees rated it it was ok
Mostly a collection of Heinlein's letters to his publishers, and a biography.

The pay, time spent on a book, his houses, and various tidbits were interesting, but the amount he complained about the volume of fan mail put me off. Being mostly one-sided, perhaps a chronological order would have been better than by subject.
May 20, 2013 Lostaccount rated it really liked it
Gave this a high rating because it was intriguing to read his letters, but I don't think publishing them has done his reputation any good. After reading them, especially his correspondence with Campbell, Heinlein comes off sounding like a bit of an A-hole. This book changed my view of him.
Jeff Yoak
This collection of Heinlein's letters and commentary provides a lot of insight into him as a person. Though Heinlein is the sort of author you feel that you get to know through his books, this look at business and personal dealings shows a deeper picture, probably interesting to serious fans.
Sep 03, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a devoted Heinlein fan, invaluable insights, such as why "Glory Road" seems to trail on past the adventure stage and why "I Will Fear No Evil" doesn't quite live up to itself.

Almost anyone else would be bored out of their minds.
Jun 17, 2010 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
I have never come to understand and feel sorry for my author friends than I have after reading this book. The chapters about dealing with fans and interruptions are fascinating.

Fans will also appreciate Mr. Heinlein's views on the writing profession, as well as what he thought of his stories.
Jan 02, 2016 Troy rated it it was amazing
Not a story but a series of lengthy letters that gives you a perspective of this great man. Wonderful to read the notes and letters from history.
Feb 28, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: laura
Letters showing what the dean of science fiction really thought, edited by the fabulous Ginny - what could be better?
Sep 07, 2008 Terri rated it really liked it
A biting and entertaining look at Heinlein's life as a writer and of the publishing industry. Recommended for fans of his work and for those who want to become writers.
Jun 22, 2012 Mark rated it liked it
If you're a Heinlein fan and are interested in the behind the scenes life of a writer you will like reading all of the correspondence that goes on.
Apr 08, 2015 Batya7 rated it liked it
Interesting for the Heinlein fan. Hear the Master's voice in his correspondence. It is as strong as those of his characters.
The lawyers must still be sitting on Heinlein's portfolio. Much less than I had hoped for from this book.
Jeff rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2012
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Apr 10, 2008
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Mar 07, 2008
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Becky Dillon rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2013
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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
More about Robert A. Heinlein...

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“There are only five things really worth drawing; four of them are pretty girls and the fifth is cats.” 1 likes
“Winslow says I don't understand plotting and probably I don't - I have been congratulated many times on the skill shown in my plotting when I knew damn well that the story in question had not been plotted in advance at all. My notion of a story is an interesting situation in which a human being has to cope with a problem, does so, and thereby changes his personality, character, or evaluations in some measure because the coping has forced him to revise his thinking. How h copes with it I can't plot because that depends on his character, and I don't know his what his character is until i get acquainted with him. When I can "hear the character talk" then I'm all right - he works out his own salvation.” 1 likes
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