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Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
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Double Star (edition 1986)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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2,197482,953 (3.71)105
Member:batou
Title:Double Star
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Del Rey (1986), Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein

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    Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: Both books play with identity.
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English (46)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
As far as I was aware, this was one of the less objectionable novels in Heinlein’s oeuvre, and I’ve seen much praise for it which was careful to make that point. And yet I have to wonder if those people had actually bothered reading it recently. I can understand a thirteen-year-old lapping it up, and nostalgia putting even more of a shine on the book many decades later… but there’s no way Double Star stands up to scrutiny for anyone with a modicum of intelligence, taste or sensitivity. What else to think of a novel that contains the line “a woman will forgive any action, up to and including assault with violence, but is easily insulted by language”? And there is only one female named character in the entire book. And she’s the hero’s personal assistant. The world-building is also piss-poor, something at which Heinlein is normally quite good. It’s not just the idea of a Solar System-wide empire ruled by a member of the House of Orange, or Mars, Venus and Jupiter having native intelligent life, or the really clunky technology (much of which is behind the state of the art for 1955)… Everything just feels weirdly anachronistic and old-fashioned, even for sf of the 1950s – no, especially for sf of the 1950s. Then there’s the lectures on free trade, all of which are patent bollocks. (Free trade does not generate wealth, it concentrates wealth. In the hands of those who already possess wealth. History has been telling us this for centuries.) An actor is asked to impersonate an important politican who has been kidnapped, but is desperately needed at a ceremony which will result in a treaty with the Martians. The actor does so, the politician is rescued but proves too ill to return to his job, and so the impersonation continues… As far as I know, Double Star was never published as a juvenile, but it’s hard to believe it was aimed at an adult audience. ( )
  iansales | Apr 6, 2016 |
An interesting read, a little too heavy on the libertarianism for me. ( )
  kale.dyer | Feb 14, 2016 |
In Double Star, actor Lorenzo Smythe is a down and out actor who is tabbed to take on the role of pretending to be a key politician who is in the middle of a plot involving potential interplanetary war with Mars. After the politician has been kidnapped and injured, Lorenzo is embroiled in a series of conspiracies that lead him to interplanetary adventure.

This was a fun novel to read. For one thing, the pace was very quick and the author did not draw it out by adding fluff and filler. Lorenzo starts off as a real pretentious and prissy sort, but evolves during the course of the novel. He starts off hating Martians—mostly because of their scent—but eventually comes to accept them. He also goes from somebody who is ambivalent about politics and is only interested in his acting career, to someone who begins to live his role and ad libs his speeches and implement his own ideas. The shortcomings of the novel is that despite all of the multitude of ways that things could have gone wrong, things come too easily and situations resolve themselves with little difficulty. As a result, the tension is not nearly as strong as it could have been. I thought there was an opportunity loss where more humor could have been injected, or where the protagonist would have more problematic issues to solve. All told, this was an enjoyable novel that I would recommend.

Carl Alves – author of Reconquest: Mother Earth ( )
  Carl_Alves | Jan 12, 2016 |
Well this is a fun little book. Our hero, Lorenzo, is needed on Mars. Lorenzo is an actor, and they need him to impersonate their missing leader. And what starts out as 'just a job' for Lorenzo turns into so much more.

I really loved how well the character develops and changes throughout this book, and given how small the book is, that is quite an achievement.

One of Heinlein's better ones. ( )
  weesam | Jan 4, 2016 |
I couldn't finish this ( )
  EnsignRamsey | Oct 15, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, LloydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AnthonyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szafran, GeneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owned the place, he's a spaceman.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345330137, Mass Market Paperback)

One minute, down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was -- as usual -- in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.

Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake -- failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe's own life was on the line -- for if he wasn't assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An actor is coerced into impersonating a kidnapped politician. When the politician dies, his staff persuades the actor to continue and to carry out the politician's ambitions.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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