For Us, The Living : A Comedy of Customs
For Us, the Living by Robert A. Heinlein
Heinlein is one of my favorite authors. He has been for years. I would read and re-read his books no matter where I was and always found something to love, whether it was Pixel the cat or the doors that dialate or Friday killing a man in the first paragraph of her book.
So, when I saw For Us, the Living available years after his death, I knew I had to buy it. Perhaps Virginia Heinlein had found an old manuscript or maybe this was an unpublished work from his early years. Whatever, I had to have it.
If you are a true Heinlein fan, you will recognize many of the subjects that he would cover later in his books and stories like “The Roads Must Roll”, Time Enough for Love, and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and so on. What’s interesting to me is that this book was written before any of them, and before his “juveniles” and other stories. He wasn’t making up the ideas he had about money and society, in fact his ideas and discussion about economy and socialism are based on Social Credit, an economic theory.
It’s clear why this book was banned from being published, as it’s very rough. In many spots, Heinlein sounds more like he’s preaching than he sounds like he’s telling a story. But even with that it becomes clear that he’s got a lot to tell in this story. And the fact that many of his later stories seem to come from this book is not surprising, as there’s a lot here.
If you’re a Heinlein fan, you should read this book.