If This Goes On by Robert A. Heinlein – Dystopian Books Review

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Review, Synopsis, and Summary of Science Fiction If This Goes On by Robert A. Heinlein.

If This Goes On became published by an American novel writer, Robert A. Heinlein. The publisher took it for a serial script for the very first time in 1940 and expanded in 1953. The novel focuses on the future of Christianity and if they will give it applied psychology, mass communications and hysterical populace. This novel is a part of Robert A. Heinlein’s, “Future History” series.

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Author:  Robert A. Heinlein

Genre:  Science Fiction

Page:  396

Good reads rating:  3.92 of 5

My Rating:  7.8 of 10

Published:  1940

Publisher:  Astounding Science Fiction

Language:  English

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Review and Summary of the If This Goes On by Robert A. Heinlein

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

The novel If This Goes On received several rewards for portraying the character of the society. It won the famous Retro-Hugo Award for the Best Novella of 1940. The 1940 version of this book became the author’s first novel, but when they discovered his other writing, For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs in 2003, it confirmed the possible existence of another.

The story of this novel set in a future American society received the name Theocratic society. A lot of Christian Prophets ruled this population. The first prophet was Nehemiah Scudder, and he had an interesting past. He became a backwoods preacher in his first life, then changed into a president before he became a dictator. John Lyle was a junior army officer and stationed at the prophet’s capital, Jerusalem.

At some point, the army officer fell in love with the virgin sister of a prophet and questioned himself whether he believed in this society. He came to know that she experienced sexual abuse by prophets every night. John and his roommate Zeb tried to free John’s beloved Judith. But they caught them as spies and became prisoners. When they were being tortured in the cell, Judith flew away from the country.

After someday they both came out from the cell and returned to their normal life. John discovered that Gabriella who was the beloved of Zeb was not his fiancé. So he started dating her. Some days later John received a letter from Judith. It was to inform him she found a Mexican man, and they were about to get married. After reading the letter, John felt relaxed and married Gabriella. After some time, the revolt throughout the country started. As John was the officer on the side of those prophets, he started the war with all his courage.

But, after realising that he was taking the responsibility to save the guilty ones, he opposed it. He told his senior and took charge of the whole team. He fought with all his energies. Afterwards, he took his army team to the quarters where the prophets used to assault the virgin sisters. When he and his army visited the place, they saw that the virgins killed the prophet. That was the end of the story.

Final Say on The Science Fiction Novel If This Goes On

Revolution is always the best topic for science fiction. Robert A. Heinlein knew all the aspects of Christian society for thirty years. So, he could explain the theme and background easily. He clearly pointed out the start of the revolt against society. Thus, the modern revolution story made sense in this theme. I rate this book, 7.8 out of 10. Would I re-read the novel? Yes. Am I glad I read it? Yes.

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.