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THE STAR BEAST by Robert A. Heinlein
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THE STAR BEAST (original 1954; edition 1977)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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1,576224,633 (3.59)53
Member:Yfandes
Title:THE STAR BEAST
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Del Rey (1977), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein (1954)

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» See also 53 mentions

English (21)  Dutch (1)  All (22)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Uneven and disappointing, for while there were interesting interactions, the inconsistency of his message with respect to non-terrestrial beings was irritating, and his social flaws more so. Yes, product of the times...heard it.

I read one review that said this book had Heinlein's first strong female character. Maybe, but when that character has "very nearly as good a head on her as a man, and pretty to boot"? Much work to do as a progressive human, Mr. Heinlein.

Asimov wasn't a fraction of the sexist that Heinlein was. Nor as preachy. The first third of the book read like "look what I know about trial procedures."

As I read through Heinlein in mostly publication order, I am still waiting to see what set him apart as the first grandmaster, let alone one of the Big Three. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
This audio boook is the story of Lumex. A pet of the 23rd century. A large dionsaur like creature that has been in John Thomas's family for generations.

Like the other books in the Scribes Juvenile series it is a stand alone story of one ~18 year old "boy" in Heinlein's universe, each book going forward a generation from previous (starting in 1950). Like the other "FullCast Audio" recordings, this is "cinematically" beautiful.

John Thomas is supposed to go off to college, But he can't take Lumex with him. His mom will go at any lenghth to try to get rid of him. Lumex goes for a walk on his own and practically destroys the town. The city government wants to put him down. Bu "The boy with the famous name" will do anything to stop it, even if it means running away, maybe to join a circus.

Low and behold Lumex may not be what we have thought he was for generations. His alien subjects come to save their beloved heroshia, and try to start world war 5 over it.

Recommended. ( )
  fulner | May 22, 2017 |
Note: Even though this is Book 8 in the series, it works perfectly fine as a stand alone novel.

John Thomas Stuart has a very large pet, Lummox. He’s a gentle beast with eight legs, a very thick hide, and a taste for roses and steel. Lummox has been in the Stuart family for generations but has recently outgrown their small town. No pen can hold Lummox and while John can reason with him to some extent, there is no physical means by which to make Lummox obey. Town authorities are ready to go to extremes, but no one is ready for the extremes that both John and Lummox will go to in order to remain together.

This was a fun coming of age book. Some parts of it might be considered quaint nowadays while others are still somewhat progressive for mainstream SF literature. I was sucked into the story once Lummox was described – the multiple legs and a sentry eyestalk for while he slept. Plus, Lummox talks! Yep. He sounds much like a little 5 year old girl and he’s not just parroting human speech back at you. Lummox can answer questions and make promises and tell you what he needs or wants. On the other hand, things have definitely changed a bit since the 1950s when this was first published. I was a little surprised at how often someone threatened to beat Lummox. Some of the threats were quite specific and graphic. So don’t look to this book as a good example of how to discipline a family pet. Or livestock.

Early on, John and Lummox end up in court because of the damage to city and personal property Lummox did. John’s friend Betty Sorenson acts as his attorney in a bit of courtroom drama. While I found this bit a little boring, being a bit overdone, I did find it very interesting that Betty was able to act so independently even though she was a minor. Later in the book, the theme of teens divorcing their parents came up. Considering the over all 1950s wholesome nature of this book, I applauded breaking of the mold in this matter as it made things more interesting.

Besides Betty, John’s mom, a female secretary, and perhaps Lummox (whose species really has 6 genders so I should probably ask Lummox what gender pronoun he prefers), there were no other female characters in a decent sized cast of male characters. Still, for a 1950s SF novel, Betty had a pretty important role in the book and she wasn’t your stereotypical teen female love interest. Indeed, John seems to be maturing a little slower and often calls her companionable names like ‘Slugger’ and ‘Smarty’. John’s mom also helps shape the plot, though I would say her role is more stereotypical – she’s a bit overbearing and loud about it.

Lummox is the real star of this story. He, who later in the story is referred to as a she, comes from an advanced race called the Hroshii. They are long lived and consider humans to be barely in their infancy as a species. However, they want their long-lost baby back as there is an arranged marriage among their kind to see to. The Hroshii could easily withstand any weapon the planet Earth could throw at them and just as easily wipe out the entire planet. So in steps our other hero, Mr. Kiku.

Mr. Kiku has a pretty high status in the Earth’s government, but not so high that he has to bow to popular whims. Indeed, he handles things very smoothly, always 3 or 4 moves ahead in his thinking than most of those around him. Also, he’s black. Now SF literature in general has come a ways, but sadly most heroes in SF are still white. So, another round of applause for Heinlein for shaking things up again.

This book started off rather humdrum, cookie cutter SF adventure story and turned into a surprise-riddled coming of age tale that had me chuckling, gasping, chewing on a knuckle, and nodding my head in agreement. The story had a happy ending that took all of Mr. Kiku’s wits to negotiate. I’m very glad that I gave this book a chance and I expect I will be reading more Heinlein in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the publisher (via Audiobook Jukebox) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Paul Michael Garcia did a really good job with this book. He had the perfect voice for young John, who is on the cusp of manhood. I also loved his little girl voice for Lummox. Once I learned Lummox’s true intelligence, it gave me a giggle. I also loved his steady Mr. Kiku, the raging Mrs. Stuart, and the ambitious Betty. All around, a great performance. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Aug 8, 2016 |
A young man inherits an alien 'pet' from his father and grandfather before him, but this pet is big and near indestructible. Lots of trouble ensues. This was written in 1954 and the technology gap between now and then is huge. No PC's, no cell phones (there's just 1 reference to a 'body phone'), no internet - but on the other hand, everyone flies around on personal helicopters/flying suits! ( )
  Karlstar | Mar 13, 2015 |
One could call The Star Beast a run of the mill story about a boy and his pet. Think Lassie and you have the classic relationship I'm referring to. If you don't delve into the details John Thomas Stuart XI is an average teen with a typical attachment to the family pet. However, give the story a science fiction spin and all bets are off. Instead of an obedient and almost too intelligent collie this pet defies logic. Lummox or Lummy, as John calls him, is a 100 year old extraterrestrial (was once his grandfather's pet), has eight legs, a sentry eye that stays awake when the beast sleeps, has a high pitched girly voice and he triples in size when he eats metal. And he's always hungry. The trouble starts when Lummy goes wandering in the night and ends up eating some roses and destroying public property. John and Lummy are put on trial and Lummy is sentenced to death...only the authorities aren't exactly sure how to kill him. Throw in a wannabe lawyer girlfriend and another planet that is convinced Lummy belongs to them and you have a story that appeals to kids and adults alike. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 18, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Parker, JanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petagno, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, SteeleCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lummox was bored and hungry.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345350596, Mass Market Paperback)

Lummox had been the Stuart family pet for years. Though far from cuddly and rather large, it had always been obedient and docile. Except, that is, for the time it had eaten the secondhand Buick . . .
But now, all of a sudden and without explanation, Lummox had begun chomping down on a variety of things -- not least, a very mean dog and a cage of virtually indestructible steel. Incredible!
John Thomas and Lummox were soon in awfully hot water, and they didn't know how to get out. And neither one really understood just how bad things were -- or how bad the situation could get -- until some space voyagers appeared and turned a far-from-ordinary family problem into an extraordinary confrontation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A young boy believes he and his ancestors have been raising an extra-terrestrial pet for several generations, when actually the beast has been raising them. When the beast must be returned to his native planet, he insists on taking his human "pet" with him.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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