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Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

by Robert A. Heinlein, Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,329132602 (3.91)377
The epic saga of an earthling, born and educated on Mars, who arrives on our planet with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man.
  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
    Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (hyper7)
  4. 00
    The Book from the Sky by Robert Kelly (bertilak)
  5. 00
    Steel Beach by John Varley (lesvrolyk)
1960s (12)
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» See also 377 mentions

English (125)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Arabic (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
A Martian Named Smith. I'm very glad I obtained the "uncut" edition of this book, although when I did finish reading it, I found I was missing reading the book immensely. Hopefully Heinlein's other books will be as good. Futuristic, with brilliant discussions between characters. Apollonian and Dionysian (Nietzsche), Lobund Laboratory, and Armattoe are just a few of the references that spurred my interest. The news articles which appeared at the start of some chapters became more appealing as the book advanced, like reading the gossip columns to learn about a society's culture. Heinlein's explanation of the asteroid belt tickles me. The innocence of Mike ("I am only an egg"), his introduction to human life, his rise to leadership, and sacrifice all made the story wonderful. I grok Mr Smith has discorporated, but sorry the story had to end. ( )
  AChild | Jun 8, 2021 |
Having loved Starship Troopers (the movie), this one was always only my list to read. The story, thought of by Heinleins Wife, is simple -- take The Jungle Book, but make the man from Mars. The story went in unexpected places -- to politics, metaphysics, sex and commune lifestyles. I see why this one was such a big hit in the 60s. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
I don't even know where to start this review. The sexism? The bigotry? The tiresome, droning sermons given by the characters?

I've heard others claim that Heinlein was simply a man of his time, and we should take this into consideration when a Muslim character is endearingly nicknamed Stinky, or when Jill says the oft-quoted, "Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's partly her fault." But, I've read plenty of other SF works from the same time period, and Heinlein is an anomaly.

Even if you could ignore the sexism and the bigotry, the rest of the book is simply uninteresting. The future of his world is just the 1950s with flying cars and Mars missions, where reporters are either winchells or lipmanns (a reference that was probably outdated by the time of the 1968 reissue). Male characters (because "these women did not chatter, did not intrude into sober talk of men, but were quick with food and drink") frequently orate during regular conversation, espousing their ideas about things only tangentially related to the conversation.

I really do not understand how this book has survived as a "classic" of science fiction. ( )
1 vote evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
I read this book in high school for recreational reading and greatly enjoyed it then. I hope to read it again. However, I think The Moon is a Harsh Mistress maybe better. But my favourite book by Heinlein is his collection of short stories The Past Through Tomorrow. ( )
  Neil_Luvs_Books | Mar 20, 2021 |
I am all that I grok. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (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 (67 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heinlein, Robert A.main authorall 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
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, Domingo,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Robert Cornog
Fredric Brown
Philip José Farmer
First words
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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The epic saga of an earthling, born and educated on Mars, who arrives on our planet with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man.

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