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Reviews of I Will Fear No Evil (1970)

Review by fastfinge (2005-10-26) Contains spoilers. View anyway.


Yes, I do intend to get on with a review of this book. First, however, I feel the need to take a couple other people to task. I'll start with the statement by another reviewer: "worst. heinlein. ever." This is a misconception on the part of many. This isn't bad Heinlein, it's bad editors. At the time of writing, Robert Heinlein was quite sick. Thus, most of the work of proofing and editing his work, as well as most of the business and accounting, had to be handled by his wife. While I'm sure she was an excelent person, she wasn't the master, and had no idea how and when to cut. Also, now that Heinlein was a huge money maker, publishers were afraid to stand up and do the cutting themselves, especially after their many mistakes in the past.

The second thing I feel the need to say is: worst. summery. ever. Did the person writing the summery of this book read the end of the book? If they had, they would have realized that (SPOILER COMING) the main character *can't* buy everything with his money. he *dies*! In fact, through nearly the entire book, it is clearly shown how little money does, and how little it matters to the main character.

Last but not least, Heinlein did not somehow "become" a dirty old man. It just took until 1970 or so before his editors were willing to put up with all the sex. For proof, see _for us, the living_, the first (until now unpublished) book Heinlein ever wrote.

Right, now...about the book itself. Honestly? Unless you're already a huge Heinlein fan, don't bother. It has a point (sort of), but it's nearly drowned in the huge swath of writing. The plot is slow, the characters aren't as well done as they could be, and this is one of the worst Heinlein books. It should be included on the same blacklist as _to sail beyond the sunset_ and _for us, the living_.

Review by sTalking_Goat (2003-03-11)
Worst. Heinlein. Ever.

What the hell is 'I shall fear no Evil' about? No plot. Nice setup, but he basically takes it nowhere. Is this the man the brought us Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Someone should have noticed his senility and kept him away from the typewriter.

Review by rootbeer (2003-03-10)
In about 1970, Heinlein turned into a dirty old man. His stories are still highly enjoyable and are science fiction in their truest sense (they explore future society rather than exist as a simple fantasy in a future setting), but there's a sharp increase in the amount of sex and a rather sudden destruction of cultural taboos. Although I can see what he's getting at (the destruction of senseless puritanical thinking that's holding us back), I find it distracting and very much prefer his earlier works. I Will Fear No Evil does succede in its main idea, though, as an exploration of the cultural differences between men and women and how to see the world through the eyes of the opposite sex.




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