For Us, the Living
- A Comedy of Customs
- Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
- Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 17-01-2011
- Language: English
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
When he wakes, the girl in green is a woman dressed in furs, and the sun-drenched shore has been replaced by snowcapped mountains. The woman, Diana, rescues Perry from the bitter cold and takes him to her home to rest and recuperate. Later they debate the cause of the accident, for Diana is unfamiliar with the concept of a tire blowout and Perry cannot comprehend snowfall in mid-July. Then Diana shares with him a vital piece of information: the date is now January 7, the year 2086.
When his shock subsides, Perry begins an exhaustive study of global evolution over the past 150 years. He learns, among other things, that a United Europe was formed; the military draft was completely reconceived; banks became publicly owned and operated; and in the year 2003, two helicopters destroyed Manhattan in a galvanizing act of war.
But education brings with it inescapable truths—the economic and legal systems, the government, and even the dynamic between men and women remain alien to Perry, the customs of the new day continually testing his mental and emotional resolve. Yet it is precisely his knowledge of a bygone era that will serve Perry best, as the man from 1939 seems destined to lead his newfound peers even further into the future than they could have imagined.
A classic example of the future history that Robert Heinlein popularized during his career, For Us, the Living marks both the beginning and the end of an extraordinary arc comprising the political, social, and literary crusading that is his legacy.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Randall on 07-07-2011
The only Heinlein I didn't enjoy
This is the only of the Heinlein books that I have listened to that I didn't enjoy. About a third of the way through the story, there is a 30 minute diatribe, in which we hear Heinlein's views on the failure of capatalism in the western world. We also get to hear some of his views on morals. I think this added nothing to this book. Then the book gets back to the storyline for a couple hours , but then Heinlein feels the need to further bore us with another 30 - 40 minutes of the exact same stuff. Then at the end of the book we are offered more pap under " authors notes" repeating some of the same junk. I finish every book I start, but when it came to these "authors notes" I turned it off
12 of 18 people found this review helpful
By K. Lange on 31-01-2012
No Story Here.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
An actual plot would be nice. There didn't seem to be a story here, just a sequence of events.
Would you recommend For Us, the Living to your friends? Why or why not?
What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
7 of 11 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Christopher on 09-02-2011
Fascinating and a riveting listen!!
This book appears to be one not published in the author's lifetime but I am very glad to have the opportunity to listen to it, it is thought provoking and fits in with many things in his other novels.
There's no point in repeating the story, in many ways the plot is secondary. A man appears to die yet lands in the future, it it heaven? Perhaps. Its not really explained how, nor does it matter particularly how he got there.
It gives the author the opportunity to express views of politics, economics and relationships. His recurring theme of being able to love more than one person is vivid and comes across naturally in this setting. It is interesting to examine a world from the view of a stranger but one who has sufficient intellect to appreciate it, that there is continuity in it and can contribute to it from his own knowledge and abilities rather than being obsolete.
Although we are a long way from the 2080s it is disturbing how little the present society has advanced in terms of human relationships, general wisdom, etc. We do not seem on course to meet the vision in this book of greater freedom and an environment run more in line with people's needs.
I found most fascinating the description of economic theory based on equivalent production and purchasing power. There are some tremendously long conversations between characters here, probably making it less saleable as a title at time of production but actually much more interesting.
Finally, Heinlein describes women very well. He shows grace, manners and the feelings they create in others and does not need to describe how they look in detail to show their beauty.
Much more to this than just a Sci-fi story, highly recommended. Perhaps an antidote to George Orwell in some regards. Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Tony Lane on 19-02-2018
I enjoyed reading this book very much
it made rethink our economy and how we live our lives. Science Fiction definitely but could we live like that for real