Robert A. Heinlein - Job: A Comedy of Justice

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And you thought you had it rough...

Mar 1, 2001 (Updated May 22, 2001)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Heinlein at his most thoughtful.

Cons:If you can't handle pokes at religion, don't read this book

The Bottom Line: A witty, funny, irreverent view of religious fundamentalism, with plenty of humor and humanity.

Pity poor Alec, he's on a cruise with a beautiful woman -- the lively and lovely Margarethe -- without a care in the world. His faith is solid. He's got everything, a wife, money, a good job as a religious leader. There's just one small problem -- God is out to get him.


And things aren't quite as they seem for Alex; the biggest problem being that the woman he loves with all of his heart, Margarethe, isn't his wife. And everyone seems to think that he's not Alexander Hergenshiemer, fundamentalist Christian, but Alec, a slightly shady man with a few too many friends.

It's a wild, wild ride, as the world shifts from dimension to dimension and Alec and Marga are the only ones who know it, as people and places change, even the countries, and the growing paranoia that Alex feels becomes worse, and the world spins along to the Judgement Day. And when Alex gets his just reward, he finds out that his beloved Marga isn't there...

Along the way, they meet a truck driver, a waitress, and the Devil, aka Jerry, the top selling caddy dealer in the lil' state of Texas. All in all, it's a vivid retelling of the story of Job, from the bible, with a touch of Jonah as well, brought up to the here-and-now.

I roared all the way through this book, as Heinlein's sly wit and way with language and character drew me in, made me laugh, and made me think as well. I did not want to see this book to end.

There's little subtle touches here as well, especially in the depictions of Heaven and Hell. I rather like the vision of St. Peter as an overworked bureaucrat, with a fondness for Cokes, and a truly sympathetic character.

And then there's Hell, which isn't quite as it seems, wherein the suffering isn't quite what we'd think it would be, except when the air conditioning breaks down and the wind blows the wrong way off of the Pit of Fire. Heinlein's perchant for weaving in humor, smart commentary and visual gags that will have you rolling in your seat.

WARNING: if satirical humor about religion, especially Christianity, offends you, please don't read this book! Many will be offended by some of the attitudes, which while not directly slamming Christianity, does take a hard look at religious extremism and bigotry.

Mr. Heinlein, you are sorely missed!

Recommend this product? Yes

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