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Job: A Comedy of Justice
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Job: A Comedy of Justice

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  15,904 ratings  ·  471 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 Judgement 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 ....
Paperback, First Paperback Edition, 439 pages
Published October 12th 1985 by Del Rey (first published August 12th 1984)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,904 ratings  ·  471 reviews


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BlackOxford
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gone Where the Woodbine Twineth

Quantum theory has some strange implications, one of which is the existence of parallel universes.* If physical reality does bifurcate at every quantum event, creating an infinite number of alternative realities, what happens to consciousness? Does it split as well, implying that twin minds exist in parallel but isolated states? Or does consciousness continue on a single trajectory, thus maintaining the presumed uniqueness of the individual personality? Could consc
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SheriC (PM)
I tried, I really did. But I just can’t anymore. This story was not wholly without merit, but for the most part it is boring, boring, boring. At least the main female character has agency, but it still reads like a 14 year old boy’s fantasy of the ideal “independent” woman, with the antagonist being a shrill, angry, disrespectful harpy. I thought the story would pick up when he finally got to heaven and hell, but nope. DNF at 89%.

Audiobook, borrowed via Overdrive from my public library. Stilted
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Peter Tillman
This was my last favorite Heinlein novel, for many rereads. I've pretty much stopped rereading RAH -- but I might give this one another reread sometime. Enough years have passed, and it's a clever & unusual setup. Heinlein's homage to James Branch Cabell, one of his influences and favorite writers.

If you've never read it, you should. The opening pages are a classic of sinking the hook early and keeping you reading. Heinlein was amazingly good at that.
fromcouchtomoon
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Leave it to Heinlein to make blasphemy lame.
Zachary
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
...more
Patty
May 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
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.
Jam
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Timothy
Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Eliza Hirsch
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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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Gridcube
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, male
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
Michele Brenton
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Melody
Sep 10, 2007 rated it liked it
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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Jenn Brink
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Kevin Catarino
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Mohammed Al-Garawi
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A satirical examination of religion in general, and Christianity in specific, through the eyes of a Christian political activist who gets pulled out and thrown into different realities and parallel universes.

Absolutely witty and hilarious.

Makes you ponder and laugh out loud at the same time.

Note: this book was recommended by the video games spiritual father and legend Nolan Bushnell. I met him in a conference and we hit it off. Meeting him again in a month or so and can't wait to discuss the boo
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Curtis Seven
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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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Laura
Dec 15, 2011 added it
Shelves: sci-fi, satire
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
Emily
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sara Gabai
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
wow! almost finished , 25 pages to go. how did I never hear if this book before?
Alan Chen
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun
This book has the triplet distinction of being my first Heinlein book, a book that in which I read extraordinarily fast, and of being one of the funnest books I've read in a long time.

I first came to this book, attracted to the premise of a modern retelling of the Book of Job, and curious as to what an author could do. Heinlein decided not to pursue a completely serious adaptation of the book and instead choose to merely adopt the basic premise - what would happen if the world constantly shifted
...more
Jude Malta
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Kelly
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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Amanda
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Olethros
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it
-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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Doug
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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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L S
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sam
May 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Jeff Yoak
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Martin Doych
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Доста не-Хайнлайновски сюжет...
В началната част има повечко от нужното размишления на главния герой, а той дори не е симпатичен (поне в първата половина на книгата)...
Все пак, хардкор-религиозността му води и до подобни забавни описания на възгледите му:
"Аз съм привърженик на научния метод. Какъвто и проблем да се разисква, верният отговор винаги е един: погледнете в Библията."
Средната част на романа става повторяема и скучновата, но последната третина оправя положението, заедно с еволюирането н
...more
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6,824 followers
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
“God created men to test the souls of women.” 97 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.” 10 likes
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