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Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A.…

Stranger in a Strange Land (original 1961; edition 1963)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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7,831100428 (3.94)304
Title:Stranger in a Strange Land
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Putnam Adult (1963), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 408 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Mars, religion

Work details

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (1961)

  1. 30
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (persky)
    persky: An earlier book with a lot of parallels to this one, particularly in terms of the "Mike" protagonists.
  2. 10
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    paradoxosalpha: Near-future SF centered on a Christian-type messiah from an unforeseen quarter. Both books combine satire with sentimentality, and neither caters to conventional piety.
  3. 00
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    The Book from the Sky by Robert Kelly (bertilak)
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First edition, signed by Heinlein, of his most famous work. More importantly, attached to the inside cover is a "Perpetual All-Purpose Greeting Card" designed by Heinlein, with several boxes checked for Merry Christmas, Happy 4th of July).
  SteveJohnson | Jun 5, 2016 |
A deep study on how a new religion is born, a fight between the old ideology with the new ideas, human greed as the main factor of a possible extinction of humankind. ( )
  dimi777 | Apr 24, 2016 |
An excellent science Science Fiction book. Heinlein at his best. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 22, 2016 |
Heinlein uses his "what if..." in order to cast lines about religion, atheism, and sexual mores. The first three sections of the book build up the world and its rules in an exciting way, but the final two sections dive into religion and morality in a way that seems today to be forced. ( )
  flexatone | Jan 3, 2016 |
Why is it every time I read a "classic" book, I end up regretting it. Yeah, it's got a lot of material, a lot of questions and issues to analyze, but in the end, the trip just isn't worth it. I've gotten more out of the shorter trips that used this one as inspiration. The book barely focuses on the main character, the man from Mars. It leaves out crucial pieces of backstory, like how he grew up on Mars with the actual frickin' Martians. No, no one seems to care that there's actual extraterrestrial life. We just care about the night nurse with Florence Nightingale syndrome and a journalist who's not good at his job.

At least not compared to Jubal Harshaw. Hoo, boy, they should have a novel about him. He's like a proto-Spider Jerusalem. Sharp talking, indulgent, and crushing any enemies with the law they hide behind. I loved watching him give idiots the business, hammering them down with clever legalese. And he takes a large part of the first half, so that I thought it was going to be a legal thriller, like Fuzzy Nation.

And like most reviewers said, the second half is a total tonal shift. No more Jubal Harshaw. No more trying to stay hidden. No more learning about two different cultures. It becomes satirical and touchy-feely. The first scene of the second half is that Valentine Michael Smith and his girl are trying to learn about human culture... by being in a carnival sideshow.

And this eventually leads to Smith gaining followers of his "god is everywhere, love everyone" Martian philosophy, which turns into a religion, and into a cult, and so on. No more legal thriller. There's a lot of "explanations" which are just the author giving strawman arguments with himself. In fact, there was a lot of that in Starship Troopers too -- essays disguised as fiction. Except this time it's not about cool militarism and civics, it's about free love. Damn hippies. ( )
  theWallflower | Sep 19, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyle, NeilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gällmo, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CarlCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, Domingo,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Once upon a time there was a Martian by the name of Valentine Michael Smith.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish this edited first publication of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) from the "original, uncut" version (1991). 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 0441790348, Mass Market 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 17:58:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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