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The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein

The Door into Summer (1957)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Another old favorite picked up as a downloadable audio book from the library. It was quite enjoyable in this medium & the reader was very good. Originally published in 1957, it is set in 'the future' years 1970 & 2000. The idea of traveling into the future via 'cold sleep' was a pretty popular until sometime in the 70's, but cutting edge at this time, I think. Haven't heard about it in humans for years.

The hero, Dan, is an engineer & inventor. His genius isn't in break through technology, but in putting together mostly off-the-shelf parts to create really useful laborsaving devices. Steve Jobs type genius, timing, & design. Heinlein's discussion of this tech timing over the course of the book is very practical & interesting. It's amazing how much supporting technology there has to be for every major breakthrough.

Engineering is the art of the practical and depends more on the total state of the art than it does on the individual engineer. When railroading time comes you can railroad-but not before. Look at poor Professor Langley, breaking his heart on a flying machine that should have flown-he had put the necessary genius in it-but he was just a few years too early to enjoy the benefit of collateral art he needed and did not have. Or take the great Leonardo daVinci, so far out of his time that his most brilliant concepts were utterly unbuildable.

It was Heinlein's genius to take this a step further into the prosaic & make it sound so easy & obvious.

Amazingly little real thought had been given to housework, even though it is at least 50 per cent of all work in the world. The women's magazines talked about "labor saving in the home" and "functional kitchens," but it was just prattle; their pretty pictures showed living-working arrangements essentially no better than those in Shakespeare's day; the horse-to-jet-plane revolution had not reached the home.

Of course, Heinlein got a lot wrong about the future, but that wasn't too bad. Most obviously, we still don't have most of the devices that he describes. I loved his idea of Thorsen Memory tubes & macro programming, even though both are silly & simplistic. He had helicopter buses & completely missed the idea of the Internet - overall communications or electronic databases - yet he had transmutation of elements. Not a bad reason, if incorrect, for getting off the gold standard & he had the timing pretty close.

The overall story was a pretty good one of love & betrayal. With the time travel tossed in, it got quite twisty - although I was a little disappointed the he seemed to try to obscure it a bit too much especially in the last conversation. That was too much as the character is supposed to be fairly intelligent.

And that brings me to the creep factor that really brings the book down for me - Dan's relationship with Ricky. What do you call a guy who promises to marry a 10 year old when she grows up & then does it without even knowing her as an adult? Seriously, he did & the scene was so poorly done, too. Ricky talks like the little girl she is yet Dan treats her like the full grown woman she will be. It was seriously icky.

So it was a 4 star story with 1 star removed due to this one creepy factor. It's well worth reading or listening too, though. Glad I did again after all these years. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
A great read, and the first I have managed to stay engrossed in all they way through for a while. There a couple of weaker parts, but overall Heinlein, as ever, is a delight. ( )
  lizlupton | Aug 11, 2014 |
Heinlein at his best. First-person narrative, as is most of his material. Also includes Pete the Cat. ( )
  Dale_White | Jul 28, 2014 |
Known as one of Heinlein's classics, this adventure is fun and compulsively readable, full of humor and great characters. It is hilariously dated, as the character jumps forward from 1970 to 2000, and Heinlein's vision of 2000 isn't any more accurate than you'd expect, but this is still my favorite of the time-travel novels I've wandered through. Heinlein's plots and characters are perfectly balanced, and the narrative is fast-moving without losing any of the character depth that comes with a great story. While the ending of one sub-plot made me cringe a bit, it didn't come near ruining the novel, and I'd recommend this on to any readers curious about Heinlein's work or just looking for a fast-paced good story.

Recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jun 13, 2014 |
It’s 1970 and inventor Daniel Boone Davis is in trouble. He’s been hornswoggled by his best friend and business partner Miles and their company’s bookkeeper Belle, whom D.B. is engaged to. He winds up in suspended animation, “cold sleep,” until 2000. When he is awakened, he has nothing and no idea how to find Ricky, Miles’s stepdaughter who called D.B. “Uncle Danny” and whom our hero is inordinately fond of.

A friend loaned me her copy of this sci-fi/fantasy novel after I told her I liked reading about time travel. The only book of Heinlein’s that I’d read before was Stranger in a Strange Land – and that was decades ago.

The Door into Summer, written in 1956, is interesting on a lot of levels. First, it’s a sweet story with a fairly simple plot, a revenge tale par excellence. It’s interesting to delve into the author’s speculation about what the world would be like in 1970 and 2000. For example, in 2000, there are robots galore to accomplish the mundane tasks of life. But there are no personal computers and no Internet, so D.B. is forced to search for Ricky the old fashioned way, through paper records.

Heinlein’s writing is very straightforward, and The Door into Summer is a short and quick read. That is in stark contrast to my favorite sci-fi author, Connie Willis, whose meaty tomes can be used as door-stops. According to Wikipedia, The Door into Summer is one of the best sci-fi novels of all times. With my limited reading in the sci-fi genre, I’m no judge of that. But I really enjoyed The Door into Summer and its great characters. ( )
  NewsieQ | May 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmes, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunter, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, BarclayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szafran, GeneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One winter shortly before the Six Weeks War my, tomcat, Petronius the Arbiter, and I lived in an old farmhouse in Connecticut.
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Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345330129, Mass Market Paperback)

Dan Davis was tricked by an unscrupulous business partner and a greedy fiancee into spending thirty years in suspended animation just when he was on the verge of a success beyond his wildest dreams. But when he awoke in the future, he discovered he had the means to travel back in time -- and get his revenge!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:40 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Success is in reach when electronics engineer Dan Davis invents a household robot that could do almost anything. His greedy partner and fiance trick him into a long sleep--suspended animation for thirty years. But he discovers he has the ability to travel back in time and seek revenge after the is awoken in a different world in A.D. 2000.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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