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Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

by Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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10,738152618 (3.87)415
Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:Robert Heinlein's Hugo Award-winning all-time masterpiece, the brilliant novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a science fiction classic.
Raised by Martians on Mars, Valentine Michael Smith is a human who has never seen another member of his species. Sent to Earth, he is a stranger who must learn what it is to be a man. But his own beliefs and his powers far exceed the limits of humankind, and as he teaches them about grokking and water-sharing, he also inspires a transformation that will alter Earth??s inhabitants forever… (more)
  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
    Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow (paradoxosalpha)
    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
    Steel Beach by John Varley (lesvrolyk)
  4. 00
    The Book from the Sky by Robert Kelly (bertilak)
  5. 00
    Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (hyper7)
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» See also 415 mentions

English (144)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Arabic (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
A disappointment. I understand why it caused a stir upon publication, but I don't think it aged well.

Heilein's intent was by turns obvious and opaque. Maybe his quasi-religious/metaphysical themes seemed more original to readers of his day, but even allowing for that - all the other stuff - the paternalistic chauvinism borderline misogyny, the laser focus on sex (he get points for expressing both homophobia AND homoeroticism in one book, though,) the ideas about gender, the Americentrism,) not to mention the dated ideas about science, space, and the future - is distracting from his Big Message.

Even so, my biggest complaint is that the book was simply dull.

Perhaps I just do not grok it fully.


Big Spring, Texas
Libby Ebook - Nashville Library
June ( )
  Kim.Sasso | Aug 27, 2023 |
One of the classic sf novels, this impressed me when I read it long ago and is on my list to reread. ( )
  jwhenderson | Mar 23, 2023 |
Strong, sensitive story about a 'stranger' who comes to earth and finds how to live here.
I later learned that many fans of Heinlein did not like this novel, which helped me understand why I couldn't really get into any of the other books of his that I tried to read. ( )
  mykl-s | Feb 25, 2023 |
The original version rocks, but don't waste your time on the unabridged version...it proves that the job of the editor is often monumental and under-appreciated.
  BonBonVivant | Jan 18, 2023 |
Good sci-fi; as good as Dune, most PKD, Neuromancer, Asimov. Maybe a little stiffer than all those names besides Asimov but not to an annoying extent. Worth reading.

AB ( )
  jammymammu | Jan 6, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
The great falling off in the quality of Heinlein's work came during the period that brought "Stranger in a Strange Land." Jubal Harshaw--who says things like "What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation"--is the first of a series of pompous libertarian windbags whose oral methane makes all of Heinlein's later tomes into rapidly emptying locker rooms.

Most of the material added to this new edition seems to consist of speeches by Jubal, and the rest of the new material includes nominally "shocking" sections that, aired in 1990, are glaringly sexist. For instance, lovable Jill volunteers the opinion that "Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's at least partly her own fault."
added by SnootyBaronet | editLos Angeles Times, Rudy Rucker
 

» Add other authors (66 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergner, Wulf H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyle, NeilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dirda, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gällmo, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heinlein, VirginiaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holitzka, KlausCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hundertmarck, RosemarieÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CarlCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nottebohm, AndreasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, Domingo,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TimCover artistsecondary 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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Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:Robert Heinlein's Hugo Award-winning all-time masterpiece, the brilliant novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a science fiction classic.
Raised by Martians on Mars, Valentine Michael Smith is a human who has never seen another member of his species. Sent to Earth, he is a stranger who must learn what it is to be a man. But his own beliefs and his powers far exceed the limits of humankind, and as he teaches them about grokking and water-sharing, he also inspires a transformation that will alter Earth??s inhabitants forever

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