Tim's Reviews > Methuselah's Children

Methuselah's Children by Robert A. Heinlein
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's review
Oct 18, 2010

really liked it

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 planet.They choose the latter,and half of the book entails their journey to find a home. I found some of the "how do we do this here interstellar drive" stuff somewhat boring and irrelevant to the main story, but the rest is pretty interesting, and I'd recommend it (No,I WON'T give the ending away!)

NOW! What is MORE interesting is that this book is only a part of a much larger oeuvre by Heinlen dubbed "future history," which documents not only the longevity mentioned here, but also a long downfall of society's morals. This collection, from the first story (1939) through "Methuselah's Children," is in a gargantuan tome titled "The Past through Tomorrow." I just read the first story in it, and I'm hooked! The time line for the stories is given in a chart towards the front of "Methuselah's Children," and goes from about 1940 through the 3000's. I actually wish I had discovered "The Past Through Tomorrow" first, would make my enjoyment deeper. Anyway, will give you a review of that one in a few months.

(oops, forgot this part) The preceding is concluded in his 1973 magnum opus, "Time Enough for Love" (interestingly, one that is in my "old S-F books" collection referred to ad nauseam. Chronicles the further adventures of Lazarus (living ) Long.Gonna dig that one out of the musty books after I finish "The Past Through Tomorrow." Cool.
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