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Job: Comedy of Justice Mass Market Paperback – Oct 12 1985


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reissue edition (Oct. 12 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345316509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345316509
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 9 x 18.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #247,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zafri M. on Oct. 19 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A for "Job: A comedy of justice" by Robert Heinlein

A bit weird, but his rich characters and their plight makes for a humour-filled ride. I enjoyed it as the funny novel that it is, but I think "Starship Troopers", "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", and "Stranger in a Strange Land" still stand as better examples of his work. This is a fun romp, with some interesting philosophical implications, but it is not his greatest work.
Still highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 14 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The writings of Robert Heinlein's later years are a good bit different from the science fiction classics he produced in his prime. Job: A Comedy of Justice, published in 1984, is basically religious satire clothed in the guise of fantasy. And, while it's not as odd as, say, Number of the Beast, it ultimately goes in a weird direction that pushes the envelope and then some. Job is probably one of Heinlein's most readable novels, though. While it's ostensibly about religion, it plays as more of a divine comedy than a moralistic, intellectual assault on Christian beliefs.

Job is a modern retelling of the story of Job. The Biblical Job, of course, was the subject of a wager between God and Satan. Satan would throw everything he had at Job, and God bet that his servant's faithfulness would remain intact - as it did, despite Job losing all of his family and wealth while suffering terrible physical torments. Our modern Job is Alex Hergensheimer, a fundamentalist preacher turned fund-raiser from a most devout, sexually repressed version of America. On vacation in the Polynesians, he stupidly wagers that he can walk across a bed of hot coals. Now, fire-walking is generally a pretty dangerous business, but in Alex's case, walking on the hot coals is the easy part. The hard part comes when he emerges from the ordeal - and finds himself in a world that is not his own. It looks like his world, but he finds himself boarding a different ship and living the life of another man - someone named Alec Graham. He decides to play things by ear and try to solve the mystery when he returns to the States. The only good thing about his extraordinary situation is the companionship he finds with a stewardess named Margrethe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "jradoff" on March 25 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book as a teenager. Perhaps this was the best time I could have opened the cover to Job, a time when I was questioning many of the things I had been taught. My mind was pliant clay where ideas were constantly clashing. I was a youth who suspected that society was rife with hypocrisy and lies.
Why do we believe what we do? Why are certain parables regarded as examples of morality? Have we been conditioned to believe that great evils were in fact just and moral? What the heck is morality anyway?
These are a few of the questions that Job will challenge you with. It is a book that left an indelible impression on me, and caused me to reject many of the things I had been force-fed as a child.
If you are looking for Heinlein's typical science-fiction, you won't find it here. Instead you'll find a story spun from Heinlein's ascerbic wit that navigates the human system of beliefs and values, and does so with greater incisiveness than he's done in any other title.
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By Karen on Dec 19 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this to be a satisfying take on the common conceptions of good and evil, God and Lucifer and things we chose to believe about religion, love and faith.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This late-period Heinlein work is one of my personal favorites of his, although I don't think it's one of his absolutely top-drawer novels. Heinlein kept experimenting right up to the very end; this is his last novel but two, and the final two were just as daringly experimental.
This one is essentially a retelling of the story of Job, with Alexander Hergensheimer as the put-upon protagonist. The outcome, too, parallels the story of Job, but I can't tell you how without giving away the ending. Let's just say that Heinlein borrows from, and builds on, some of his own nearly-forgotten early fantasy/horror works, particularly 'They' and 'The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag'.
It's also a grand homage to two of Heinlein's literary forebears -- James Branch Cabell (_Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice_) and Samuel Langhorne Clemens ('Mark Twain'; 'Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven'). You don't _have_ to know this in order to appreciate the story, but it helps.
You probably already know the plot. On a bet, Hergensheimer undertakes a firewalk and comes out the other side in a different world, one in which people keep calling him 'Alec Graham'. Level One plot: Who is Graham and how did Hergensheimer come to take his place? And what's up with this world-changing business?
Hergensheimer is also a minister in a conservative Protestant sect, and he's married. But in his new world, he's got Graham's girlfriend: a stunning Danish beauty named Margrethe, with whom he commits all sorts of 'sins' and for whose soul he is deeply concerned (she worships Odin). Level Two plot: How does Hergensheimer handle all the moral quandaries, and how does he grow and change in the process?
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