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I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein

I Will Fear No Evil (original 1970; edition 1987)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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3,344393,669 (3.38)44
Title:I Will Fear No Evil
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Ace (1987), Edition: First Thus, Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

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I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein (1970)


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English (36)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Re-read this after a gap of many many years. It's really interesting how different the book is to me from the last time around.

This time I was very struck by Heinlein's politics and economics, rather than the very front and centre gender and sexuality plot. The perceived ethics, morals and responsibility of all the characters in an almost anarchic society were quite different than those you might expect.

I do think the authour tried pretty blatantly to provoke strong reactions in his readers, and it still does today, even though times have changed around it. What you think of this book might reflect more on yourself than you realize.

Not my favourite Heinlein, but still worth reading, and re-reading. ( )
  furicle | Aug 5, 2023 |
Okay, before I start, know that I was in high school when this book was written in 1970 and have read a lot of SF, and Heinlein. This is one of his I hadn't read so decided to give it a shot. Whew, I wish that I hadn't!
The plot: a 90 year old male (head of a large corporation), is dying and has his brain implanted into the body of his dead female secretary (it takes place in about 2015). So you think that maybe the plot has the female run this large corporation in an era where it was (and is) almost unheard of? A nice feminist view? Nope! The main character, who before was this strong and tyrannical male, turns into this sex-starved super-fem! Just because his brain is now in a female body! It is probably what a misogynist truly believes would happen. It is sensitive in the way that Hugh Hefner was sensitive about women. The character (once named Johann, now is Joan) also becomes sex-obsessed with his old friend and lawyer, his bodyguards, judges, doctors, nurses, etc., all who know about the transplant. Weird, just weird.
And, to make it stranger, the secretary's personality is still in the body as well (huh?!). Much of the book are these back and forth conversations between the two people in the body, mostly about sex, that just gets very annoying and distracting.
It is very creepy at times, including obsession with a 13 year old female child by the old lawyer/friend (now husband) of Joan. And it gets even more far-fetched and weirder...
I would avoid this one. I only gave it two stars because it was Heinlein, one of the "big three" in science fiction.
I read and liked "Stranger in a Strange Land" back in the 70s, but I don't think I will re-read it, I may be disillusioned... ( )
  CRChapin | Jul 8, 2023 |
Absolute crap.

Shallow characters. Shallow dialogue.

It's as if this was written by a teenage boy. ( )
  SandyRedding | Jul 4, 2023 |
Feb. 21, 2015: As promised, I have had some more thoughts about this book.

In general, people seem to choose one of two ways to handle Robert Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil: detest it in all its casually (and sometimes not so casually) misogynistic odiousness, or love it like an uncouth grandfather who “grew up in a different time.” As is often a case, I don’t think either extreme is quite right.

Full review at CurtisWeyant.com.


Feb. 14, 2015: This story will take awhile to process. There were some...interesting...things in it, but they are muddled by the incessant idleness (in a sense) of the characters. I'm not sure Heinlein needed as many pages as he took to get the result he did.

That said, I did like the ending. In a strange way, it has a similar feel as [b:A Canticle for Leibowitz|23999630|A Canticle For Leibowitz|Walter M. Miller Jr|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1423766327s/23999630.jpg|43599907], even though the implications of “A baby cried, a world began” are exactly opposite of "The shark...was very hungry that season." I feel like there's something I'm missing in the progression of the story that would be explain it better.

I think I shall have more to say about this – just not today. ( )
1 vote octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
I haven't read this book in quite a few years. I remember liking this book a lot more when I was younger. ( )
  jenbooks | Oct 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ein Heyne-Buch (06/3358)
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to Rex and Kathleen
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The room was old-fashioned, 1980 baroque, but it was wide, long, high, and luxurious.
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Wenn die Frauen nicht als Ware angesehen werden wollen, sagte er immer, dann sollen sie sich auch nicht als Ware herausstellen.
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Johann Sebastian Bach Smith was immensely rich and very old. His mind was keen, but his body was worn out. So surgeons transplanted his brain into a new body. The operation was a great success - but the patient was no longer Johann Sebastian Bach Smith. He was now fused with the very vocal personality of his gorgeous secretary, Eunice - with mind-blowing results!
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