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Publisher's Summary

Every stand-in dreamed of the starring role - but what actor would risk his life for the chance?

One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe is, as usual, in a bar, drinking away his troubles while watching his career circle the drain. Then a space pilot buys him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knows, he’s shanghaied to Mars. Smythe suddenly finds himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who has been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians is at stake, and failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. 

Smythe knows nothing of the issues concerning free interplanetary trade and equal rights for aliens and cares even less, but the handsome compensation is impossible to refuse. He soon realizes, however, that he faces a lifetime masquerade if the real politician never shows up.

©1956, 1984 by Robert A. Heinlein. © 2003 by the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2020 by Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Double Star

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Hugo Award Well Deserved. A+

A must read/listen for Heinlein fans, young and old. The reading by Bronson Pinchot made the story even more believable. He is one of the very best in the business.

Don’t let the formulaic revision of “Man In The Iron Mask” hold you back from this story. You will cheer for our band of political brothers as they survive a series of hazards through initiative, talent and showmanship.

6 people found this helpful

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amazing narration

I've read this book before, but the narrator brings this book so amazingly... He might just be the best narrator I've heard so far.

2 people found this helpful

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The dean of the golden age at his peak!

A tale of an actor-politician the the role of his life. (I would have so loved to have attended the meeting when RAH met Ronald Reagan.)

1 person found this helpful

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I only had one issue with this version

Bronson Pinchot does Heinlein wonderfully. Even a row of asterisks doesn't challenge him, he reads them like any other sentence. He gets the emotion of this book precisely, all the way to the very last line.

What he CAN'T do, is perform a believable female voice! It nags at me, because of he could just train himself to speak in an even approximate female voice, it'd be light years beyond what he does now. All he seems to have is a whispery, simpering thing that doesn't sound at all like a woman. My best guess is that it probably sounds like a drag queen on a bad day.

But that is my ONLY issue, and it only cost him one star. The rest of the performance was masterful and grand. If you aren't as picky as I, you will very probably forgive him that single foible and give him that star back in profusion.

It's an excellent production. Buy it.

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Terrible, terrible narrator

This is an old favorite, I confess. So I do have preconceptions about the characters. The book itself has some problematic aspects. I anticipated enjoying this ... but the reader is _intolerable_.

It is possible that Pinchot is attempting a satire. If so, I have completely missed the joke. His characterizations are thin, trite, and contradicted by the plain text.

Dak Broadbent _always_ sounds sarcastic. Smythe not only sounds supercilious (which could be a defensible choice) but _stupid_. Pinchot has him putting the emphasis on terms that Smythe would have found commonplace, making Smythe sound ridiculous. The accent Pinchot uses for Bonaforte is not home-spun, but a drawl with no particular provenance. The deal-breaker, though, was Penny, whom Pinchot has chosen to voice like a cheap and incompetent phone sex worker.

So I'm out of here. I will not finish. I will take down my ancient paperback and read the rest.

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Perfectly Performed

I would struggle to imagine a more perfect performance of this work possible. It was astounding.

Bravo.

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wow

wow, incredible, autstanding. Great complete and round main character. way more than cience fiction

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Si-Fi without all the Sci-Fi

This book was a good change from the sciency Sci-Fi I have been getting into lately. It deals with outer space but the focus a political nature.

The protagonist has a personal connection to the reader. Though I am not a classically trained actor I did really feel like I was looking though his eyes. The snobbish high brow nature of him just makes this book from okay to awesome. When I try to think of it the closet person I relate him to is Kelsey Grammer. Also this world seems to be a bit gritty and kind of a 40s gangster kind of thing. I feel like his guards should be holding Thompson's and smoking hand rolled cigarettes.

For the narrator this will be the first time I have heard Bronson Pinchot and he did a fantastic job at putting you behind the protagonist seat. Delivery and inflections are spot on.

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Very good read

My love affair with Robert Heinlein goes back to the 1980's My favorite would be , The Moon is a harsh mistress. I know he had many great works but that story was just fun to read. Re-education myself after years was a double pleasure

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A true gem

Probably some of the best voice acting I have ever enjoyed in an audiobook but on top of that, a really good story that I very much enjoyed it.