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I figli di Matusalemme (Future History or "Heinlein Timeline")

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  13,220 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Prodotti da un esperimento genetico, i "figli di Matusalemme" sono centenari e ultracentenari che nel 2125, dopo aver nascosto al resto del mondo la propria lunghissima vita, decidono di rivelarsi e di stabilire rapporti amichevoli con le persone "normali"; ma a chi è destinato statisticamente a non andare oltre l'ottantina, quei longevi non vanno giù. Per evitare arresti, ...more
Paperback, Piccola Biblioteca Oscar #611, 238 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Mondadori (first published 1941)
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Methuselah's Children is an early sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein. It originally appeared in three parts in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction, in the July, August, and September issues of 1941.

In 1958 it was published as a full-length novel, expanded somewhat by Heinlein. I don't know what was added or changed, but it can't have been that much, because it's still a very short novel, despite there being enough plot to fill a 1,000-page epic.

The story involves a group of "families" who en
This is an important book if you're in to the Heinlein universe. It is the first good introduction to Lazarus Long who is the central character in many of Heinlein's later books. Unlike his later books, this one is a short, fun read. The basic premise is an oppressed minority fleeing before the public & government can get their greedy hands on them. There are some interesting looks at aliens & human nature along the way.

This book has been included in a couple of his collections as it is
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.

Methuselah’s Children introduces us to Lazarus Long, a popular character in several of Robert A. Heinlein’s books. Lazarus, who wears a kilt (but there’s guns strapped to his thighs!) and can’t remember how old he is, is descended from one of several families who, long ago, were bred for their health and longevity. Lazarus and his extended clan live very long lives — so long that they must eventually fake their own deaths and take new identities so that others don’t g
Finally a "CLASSIC" that live up to the billing.
I had grown weary of the same old trite - "You HAVE to read"s - that just didnt live up to the billing.

Having read a lot of Larry Niven, and now starting on the Heinlein series', I think it is safe to guess Niven grew up on Heinlein, as I see some pretty serious similarities between Lazarus and Louis Wu, but since I have loved the Niven, it follows I loved the Heinlein.

I may have been aided in this by expecting to be let down after slogging thru th
Yet another of my collection of "S-F from long ago." This one is from the mid-50's, and tells the story of a clan (the Howard Families) who tend to live a LOOOOOONNNNNG time), and who garner a LOT of negative attention from those who DON'T live a long time. The main character, Lazarus Long, is the oldest of them all, having lived some 375 or so years. Well, these people are given a choice: Be tortured until they give up their secret(there is none, it's just in the genes) or go off onto another p ...more
Felix Dance
Yes, I do love Heinlein. I know, I know, super-right wing nutcase that he is. But this book seemed a bit of a mess – lurching between a hyper-intelligent and immortal sub-group of seemingly normal humans (almost all Heinlein’s books involve a secret group of super-men destined to become a new species of human, gradually finding each other and then scoffing together at the inferiority of the rest of humanity – it appeals to one’s sense of superiority, but is just soooo elitist), global persecutio ...more
Utopias in fiction are always supposed to fail. They’re either illusionary or they collapse on their own contradictions. Indeed the only successful utopia in fiction I can think of is the one Willy Wonka had going, and we have to face the unpalatable fact there that it was based on slave labour. No, the entire purpose of drama is conflict and so everyone living perfectly in a perfect world wouldn’t do much good. Just as Othello becomes a very dull play if the central character doesn’t exhibit an ...more
Nuno Magalhães
Neste livro, Robert A. Heinlein apresenta-nos uma reflexão fascinante sobre a longevidade humana. Partindo da hipótese que existiria uma "família" de seres humanos que possuem características genéticas que lhes permitem atingir idades invulgarmente avançadas, mantendo no entanto a frescura da juventude ao longo de vários séculos de existência, o autor constrói uma história que nos permite vislumbrar o futuro da raça humana, incluindo a sua expansão para outros mundos, o encontro com outras espéc ...more
Jeff Yoak
I just loved this book silly. It's early Heinlein packed with adventure and excitement. Two of my favorite characters, Lazarus and Libby are front and foremost in this story, and it provides a lot of color and background for the Howard families. I read this story after others that are chronologically prior in the Future History, and it works either way. This would be a great starter book for new Heinlein exploration.

2015: I finally got around to reading this one with the kids. It really hooked t
Red Siegfried
Heinlein details the exodus from Earth of the Howard Families, long-lived individuals who suddenly find themselves persecuted for not revealing their non-existent secret of longevity. Lazarus Long gets a lot of action here as the Howard Families hijack the the starship New Frontiers and look for a place to live out there ... they find that the galaxy is going to be a more challenging and ultimately, more rewarding place to live for this new breed of human. Much more will be revealed in Heinlein' ...more
55. METHUSELAH’S CHILDREN. (1958). Robert A. Heinlein. ***.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s I was a rabid reader of science fiction. I think part of the reason was that we were on the cusp a huge number of discoveries in the world of science that was addressed by SciFi writers. Heinlein, as I remember, was among the best of the lot, along with Asimov. They were able to introduce concepts soon to be stirred up by scientists into their plots and make them sound plausible. Going back today, however, poi
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I must admit there is something reassuring going back to an old favourite. Robert Heinlein was one of the authors I branched out in to in my early days of reading (let alone reading science fiction). Some years ago I had the lucky pleasure of working just outside London and spent every available weekend scouring the city looking for new titles (before the days of internet and Amazon). I spent most of my time hunting down the rare and obscure books from Heinlein's bibliography.
Periodically I go b
Alex Sarll
Reading old science fiction generally involves a certain disconnect - you've got people hopping back and forth to the Moon, yet still behaving in many ways like your grandparents' generation. Even beyond that, though, this one has problems. The premise: among normal humanity there live, semi-secretly, the Howard Families, who through selective breeding have massively expanded their lifespan, and spend those long lives at an age of their choosing. When the short-lived majority find out, they reac ...more
Gerald Kinro
After freedom in America is won again during the Revolt of 2100, there is a group of humans who live extraordinary long lives while maintaining their youthful experiences. They have achieved this through selective mating and financial help from a foundation started by their ancestor, Howard. In 2125, the world discovers the group’s existence, and they are persecuted, all the world wanting their secrets of youth. Under extreme duress of jealousy arrest, torture, and murder, the group flees earth ...more
Lucas Beechinor
1. It’s good, clean, science fiction fun.

In stories like Methuselah’s Children, a reader can read into the book as much as he/she wants to and still walk away from the story feeling good about the whole experience. The book will challenge readers in its ability to make them think critically about a society’s will to accept change, and accept differences. It takes a stab at political authority under mob rule, but it also shows how differences can be reconciled without hella (yes, I said hella) bl

Heinlein returns to writing for adults here with the expansion of a story originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in 1941.

The Howard Families are descended from a man who got rich during the California Gold Rush and left his money to be used for research into the prolongation of life. This goal was realized by his trustees providing financial encouragement to the grandchildren of long-lived persons to marry and have children. By the 22nd century, descendants have a life expectancy of
Lazarus Long is a character not easily forgotten. I read this quite a few years ago, and I loved it so much I never forgot parts of it. Heinlein is among my favorite sci-fi writers, along with Asimov and Bradbury and Clarke and Dick....the list just goes on too long.

Take the premise that it might be possible to breed a strain of humans that would live for a very long time. Heinlein was wise enough to know that natural selection does not play any role in such a choice because most species breed e
*** Attenzione: di seguito anticipazioni sulla trama (SPOILER) ***

Questo libro mi è piaciuto a tratti.

Parla di questo gruppo di umani che ha una longevità a dir poco strabiliante grazie alla scoperta di alcuni soggetti con un dna particolare che accoppandosi hanno reso la vita dell'uomo mooolto più lunga, sui 200 anni e forse più. Sono nascosti tra la popolazione, hanno false idenità e ogni tot anni cambiano posto nome, cambiano vita.

Ad un certo punto decideno di venire allo scoperto pensando ch
-Los bellacos encantadores no dejan de ser bellacos, por muy encantadores que sean-.

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. La muerte prematura del magnate Howard provocó hace más de dos siglos la creación de la Fundación que lleva su nombre, que a partir de los fondos y deseos del potentado investigó en el aumento de la esperanza de vida. En la actualidad, los aproximadamente 100.000 descendientes de ese proyecto, y que han ocultado su longevidad al resto de la humanidad durante mucho tiemp
W. Lawrence
Going way back here, Methuselah's Children is a short novel by the dean of scifi and introduces one of the coolest cats in science fiction: Lazarus Long. The Howard family becomes infamous for "hiding" the secret of longevity, and thus begins their trek.

Worth a read.
Dmitry Verkhoturov
Потрясающая книга, если вы — двенадцатилетний мальчик, в ином случае читатель замечает непобедимого главного героя с подружкой под боком, и сюжет, который перекраивается вместе с миром книги для того, чтобы главному герою было удобнее совершать подвиги — основы написания боевиков от дедушки Хайнлайна для совсем начинающих.
Три килта из пяти за счастливое детство, лучше не читайте.
There are many things I like about Heinlein, and it's the promise of potentially really liking an entire book he puts out that keeps me attempting them.

Unfortunately, like many of his other books, this one ran into many of my "Heinlein peeves". The two main ones are (1) his obsession with having clean solutions to problems (in terms of plot), and (2) his obsession with having a handful of capable/competent characters, and basically the rest of the human race is a bunch of whiny sheep. These two
S.D. Morgan
Sadly this was my first Heinlein book, and it should've been my tenth, or ten years ago at least. I was very impressed with his writing. There was some stilted dialog, and some confusing aspects to the plot and character development, but the overall package is just profound.

I found the philosophical considerations subtle and important. Evolution equipped us with a strong will to survive. Our big brains helped us figure out ways to make survival assured (for most of us), and continue to develop
Methuselah's Children are The Families, people who have uncommonly long life spans, some of them many times that of a normal human. For centuries they have kept their secret, but in what they believe to be an enlightened future, some of them decide to reveal themselves to society. The outcome is anger, prejudice, and mob panic, and Methuselah's Children are force to flee from earth. Led by their eldest member, Lazarus Long, and aided by a sympathetic and (uncharacteristically) self-sacrificing p ...more
Max Lybbert
This book is a better-than-average story for any science fiction author other than Heinlein. For Heinlein, it's average. Still, I enjoyed it.

I read Time Enough for Love before this book. The Lazarus Long from Time Enough For Love is much more developed than the Lazarus Long from Methuselah's Children. But this Lazarus is still brash and still interested in his own survival (but willing to help others when it suits him).

Heinlein spent a lot of time discussing a need for lack of inertia when accel
Thomas Fackler
What would you do if you found out that there are approximately 100,000 humans whose natural life span is at least three times that of yours?

What would you think about those humans if you also found out that they were the outcome of intentional contractual marriages intended to breed longevity?

In Methuselah's Chidren the answer to the first is to find and imprison them in order to wring their secret from them and the answer to the second is to disbelieve that longevity can be bred for. Fortunate
Leisa Corbett
This is the first of three books in which the character, Lazarus Long appears. Lazarus is over four hundred years old but has the body and appearance of a man in his 30s. The adventures of Lazarus allow Heinlein to comments on science, politics, social hypocrisy, sex, manners and women. It's lots of fun.
When I was much younger I liked Heinlein, though he was never my favorite. Today he just seems like a hack. The major problem with this book are the one-dimensional characters who are simply wish-fulfillment figures, like the super-brained math and science genius who invents and builds a new space drive in a matter of months, never mind the logic of scientific development or the limits of human knowledge, just because someone else suggests he should do it. At least Heinlein keeps the book moving ...more
Heinlein, great ideas and straight-up terrible writing; this one's no different. sorry, can't review more, not worth it, read Stranger in a Strange Land or Number of the Beast instead.
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What's The Name o...: Solved - Longer life through selective breeding [s] 4 71 Jun 11, 2013 11:57AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" (4 books)
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • The Green Hills of Earth
  • The Past Through Tomorrow (Future History, #1-21)
Stranger in a Strange Land Starship Troopers The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Time Enough for Love The Puppet Masters

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