The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein
Synopsis from GoodReads:
The rollicking adventures of the Stone Family on a tour of the Solar System. It all statred when the twins, Castor and Pollux Stone, decided that life on the Lunar colony was too dull and decided to buy their own spaceship and go into business for themselves. Their father thought that was a fine, idea, except that he and Grandma Hazel bought the spaceship and the whole Stone Family were on their way out into the far reaches of the Solar System, with stops on Mars(where the twins got a lesson in the interplanetary economics of bicycles and the adorable little critters called flatcats who, it turned out, bred like rabbits; or perhaps, Tribbles….), out to the asteroids, where Mrs. Stone, an M.D., was needed to treat a dangerous outbreak of disease, even further out, to Titan and beyond.
Unforgettable Heinlein characters on an unforgettable adventure.
I’m going to say this for the record: I’m not a fan of Heinlein. I knew that going in, but this was my sci-fi book club’s book of the month, so even though I couldn’t make the meeting, I read the book.
And, you know what, it was okay. Not great, but not bad. There were some genuinely funny moments, especially at the beginning, although I found myself laughing less as the novel went on. It was still a quick read throughout, but I was reading to finish it and because Heinlein’s pacing encouraged me to keep reading, not because I was laughing and enjoying the read.
Now, this novel was published in 1952, so I’m aware that it’s ‘old’ sci-fi. In point of fact, it reads a lot like someone added SPACE and futuristic tech to The Oregon Trail (not the video game – that’s too depressing/deadly for comparison to The Rolling Stones). There’s nothing wrong with that, but it left me, at least, feeling not too impressed. Add to that family dynamics mostly right out of the ’50’s and I was left without any particularly engaging character.
These feelings might also be because I’m a bit outside of the target audience – this is definitely a YA novel, and clearly aimed more at males than females on top of that. Still, I’m glad my book club chose it because otherwise I wouldn’t have read it, and that’s what a book club’s for, in part.
2.5 out of 5 stars. Not poorly written, just not for me.