Sunday, May 12, 2013

eBook Review: The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag

Robert Heinlein, The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag

Product Details

  • File Size: 257 KB
  • Print Length: 130 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AL0EFW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews) 
  • Price: $4.75
1. Short review:  (Amazon rating: 3 out of 5 stars -- It's okay.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  Heinlein's name. The line level writing.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Walk in the park trying to be a scary roller coaster.

2.2. What I did not like: The nebulous conclusion. The ludicrous cover.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Serious RAH fans. Rod Serling's Night Gallery fans.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  No. No blood, no violence, no foul language; but the story does not resolve its issues in a way that is satisfying to children. I think of it as Little Red Riding Hood had that story ended with "What big teeth you have."

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? No, but on the basis of reading RAH's other works, I shall.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell (click here).

 2.7. Other:
     First, I am a big fan of RAH and his works. Big fan.
     I heard about The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag many years ago and searched for it without success. When I found it as an ebook on Amazon, I bought it immediately.
     The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag is a novella, not a novel (130 pages = 32,500 words). It is not science fiction; it is fantasy. Not even science fantasy like Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. If you ever read RAH's Magic, Inc., it is in that vein. RAH's version of fantasy. Dark and not promising.
     RAH published his beloved science fiction under his own name and pseudonyms. RAH published in second-tier markets under the pseudonym Lyle Monroe so as not to tarnish the brand of Robert A Heinlein. The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag is the only story he published under the pseudonym John Riverside. That he chose another one-off pseudonym for The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag should tell you something.
     RAH did the mechanics well even when the story was weak. The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag is a weak story with good mechanics.

2.8. Links: The Heinlein Society

2.9. Buy the book: The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag

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