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Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A.…

Stranger in a Strange Land (original 1991; edition 1991)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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6,975115517 (3.82)185
Title:Stranger in a Strange Land
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Ace Trade (1991), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Stranger in a Strange Land (Uncut Edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (1991)

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    emf1123: If you're in your late teens, reading both of these books back to back (stranger in a strange land, zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance) is a good quality mindfuck. I doubt that either have the same influence as one ages, though.

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» See also 185 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
This was a great book, but I stopped reading him as I got older because it finally dawned on me how sexist Heinlein was. This is a must read and changed the path of Science fiction. Concepts like Grokking are fundamental if you want to fit in at a science fiction convention. ( )
  aliciadana | Jun 16, 2017 |
A must read for any fan of sci fi and a book that may very well change and fine some areas of your life with its views on humanity and our behaviour towards others and ourselves. Still as important a book as it was when it was originally released. ( )
  MerkabaZA | Jun 12, 2017 |
Ever read a book that you just couldn't finish fast enough? This was one of those. If I wasn't stubbornly making my way through Heinlein this year, I would have dropped this where I left off 30 years ago...a few chapters into it. I'm being generous with a two-star "It's okay." Uneven, the enjoyable parts are few and far between. Others have commented on Heinlein's endless preaching and lecturing. I recall someone's comment on Samuel Taylor Coleridge being so fond of his own voice he would talk for hours (eyes closed, apparently) and never notice that people left the room. Heinlein must have been very fond of his own voice. I don't know if the original, shorter edition was better - I have no intention of ever reading it to find out- but this edition was overly long by as least as much as it was longer than Heinlein's first edits.

I know that context is everything, and Heinlein was a product of his times, despite being a science fiction writer. Still, he had a female character state:
"Nine times out often, if a girl gets raped, it's at least partly her own fault."

Unforgiveable. Appalling. And probably responsible for having some perpetuation of that heinous false rationalization. I almost stopped reading it. I almost wish I did because the rest of the book was a hodgepodge of nonsense, preaching, occasionally funny story, pompous commentary and social satire.

I read one comment that Heinlein's later works "got weird." Deep breath. Stubborn resolve. (And time for a break before Podkayne of Mars - the only Heinlein book I ever finished before this year.) ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Stranger in a Strange Land is one of those must-read-if-you-want-to-be-considered-a-lover-of-science-fiction kinda books.

I enjoy a lot of Heinlein’s novels, including his juvenile novels of the 50’s such as Starship Troopers and Space Cadet, as well as his more modern Friday and Methuselah’s Children.

But ‘Stranger’ didn’t hit out of the park.

‘Stranger starts out pretty well, with a ship full of explorers landing on Mars and certain crew members were messing around and there was Valentine Michael Smith. His parents died and he was raised by the local Martians (in some ways reminds me of ‘Tarzan’ origins, but I digress.).

Mike finds his way to Earth and is looked at as an odd addition to the media-crazy government and people out for power – both the religious and the political kind.

Douglas and his wife (who pulls the strings) were great characters. He the most powerful man on Earth and she, manipulating him, create all kinds of trouble for Mike and a rogue reporter called Ben Caxton. And finally Jill, a nurse who happens to run into the ‘Man from Mars’, not knowing that he is not supposed to see women yet.

Heinlein’s characters do tend to be opinionated as I slog through several sarcastic chapters of what his thoughts are on politics, religion and certain mavericks that buck the trend, such as Jubal Hershaw, local curmudgeon.

And the book would not have been half bad if Heinlein didn’t just drop all these great characters once Mike came on the scene and came into his own.

The last half became a long argument about Mike’s new socialist mentality, his use of making people go away and his new religion, of which we have a familiar ending.

We learn words like the Nest, how to Grok and new uses of telepathy and mind over matter. We also learn the true intent of the Old Ones of Mars.

But Robert, why did you leave so many plot holes? What about Douglas? What happened to his wife? The police state government completely backs off, now what?

Bottom Line:

Good book from a historical perspective, and the book is important in how it influenced Heinlein and future dystopia stories, but frankly it was not that great.

The Kindle edition had a few misspellings here and there, but nothing to worry about.

( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
Wow, I just can't do that level of preachy. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heinlein, VirginiaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Once upon a time when the world was young there was a Martian named Smith.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please distinguish this "original, uncut" version of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (1991) from its edited first publication (1961). This would be ISBN #s 0-399-13586-3, 0-450-54267-X and 0-441-78838-6 and Science Fiction Book Club editions of 1991 (#17697 and a leather bound edition). There is a 60,000 word difference between the two. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441788386, Paperback)

Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs.

The impact of Stranger in a Strange Land was considerable, leading many children of the 60's to set up households based on Michael's water-brother nests. Heinlein loved to pontificate through the mouths of his characters, so modern readers must be willing to overlook the occasional sour note ("Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's partly her fault."). That aside, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of the master's best entertainments, provocative as he always loved to be. Can you grok it? --Brooks Peck

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:20 -0400)

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A young man from Mars comes to Earth & must learn our strange ways. Annotation. One of the greatest science fiction novels ever published, Stranger in a Strange Land's original manuscript had 50,000 words cut. Now they have been reinstated for this special 30th anniversary trade edition. A Mars-born earthling arrives on this planet for the first time as an adult, and the sensation he creates teaches Earth some unforgettable lessons. "A brilliant mind-bender".--Kurt Vonnegut… (more)

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