“The Number of the Beast” Is a Tough Read

a lot of folks have problems with Heinlein’s later works. they have their reasons and i’m not going to waste time debating the issue – you like what you like, and for the most part, i like All his stuff…
but there is that “for the most part”. “The Number of the Beast” strikes me as more self-indulgent than anything Stephen King’s ever done, and that’s saying a lot. while he might, as some critics have said, have been trying for a pastiche of pulp, and might well have succeeded, i don’t give a fuck. it moves like molasses most of the time and even when it doesn’t, i get the feeling no one was there, in an editorial capacity, to say “Bob, cut this shit and tighten it up or we won’t publish it.”
imho, someone should have been.
it brings to mind a paraphrase of Elmore Leonard’s maxim “Cut out the boring parts.” while all of it may have amused/entertained Heinlein greatly, it bores the ever-living shit out of me, and serves as an object lesson.
just because i enjoy something when i’m writing it doesn’t mean my audience will. the wider audience might not be quite as interested in whatever i’m droning on and on about as i am, just like i don’t give a shit about all the mathematics and such of “TNotB”. glad you knew it, Bob, i don’t and don’t care to and thank you SO much for putting it in your book.
i had forgotten it generally takes me about fifteen times as long to read “TNotB” as it does any other Heinlein novel… my bad. but i haven’t read it in about twenty years, so i’m due again. i should just finish it and let it sit till sometime in my late ’70’s. i simply have to grind on, remembering there are parts i really enjoy, and the rest of the book is the price i pay to get to them.
okay, enough whining for now.

listening to: the second hand on the clock above my desk
mood: gettin’ a mite sleepy

One thought on ““The Number of the Beast” Is a Tough Read

  1. Yeah, the math is a bit of a slog, but interesting to me nonetheless. Loved the rest of the book, and have lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. Maybe I’ll read it again after I finish Alison Weir’s The Wars of The Roses.
    I admit that I tend to be a fairly uncritical reader (except for typos and grammatical errors – oh, and spellling!); as long as I’m entertained, and don’t have to work too horribly hard for it, I’m a happy camper.

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