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Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A.…

Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

by Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,605115552 (3.92)337
Recently added bymerrells, FlatFeat, smegma, patlun, jfwsem, VMUser, corban.johnson, private library
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  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)

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» See also 337 mentions

English (108)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (115)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Read the originally released version. It is much better. This version is too long. This version shows the value of a good editor. Had this been the released version, it never would be the loved book it became. ( )
  fsiver | Jun 25, 2018 |
Underwhelmed with the caliber of writing for a book on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. I initially tolerated the misogyny of the male characters (with exception of the "Stranger," named Valentine Michael Smith, who was an 'innocent") and hoped I could find some redeeming quality to the novel. The author clearly has issues with women and uses the characters to express his offensive views. "Nine out of 10 women who are raped are partially to blame" Seriously?!?!

With that line, I ended my misery with the novel. Save yourself the disappointment and skip this one. ( )
  nlgeorge | Jun 24, 2018 |
I couldn't finish this novel. It started out with promise and degraded into an intoleratable mess. From what I've read of others' reviews, it doesn't get better at the end. The only benefit to having read as far as I did was that I now understand what "grok" means (and kinda wish it was a more acceptable part of our vocabulary). ( )
  aspirit | May 7, 2018 |
Science Fiction (Donna's book Carlton)
  Egaro | Nov 2, 2017 |
It was a re-read, I read it first about 100 years ago, in high school. And back then, boy I thought it was fantastic. Loved it. One of the best Science Fiction novels I had read by that time. I’m sure I raved about it and recommended it to anyone who would listen. That was long ago.

This time, I was really disappointed - I was eager for a second reading. I loved the beginning story line: An expedition to Mars leads to a Human baby being raised by Martians, then the hero, Valentine Michael Smith, is back on Earth where his powers are used to create a new, freaky Martian-based religion. Government intrigue, chases, excitement, lampooning religion!!! Until Smith meets Jubal Harshaw, and that’s when I started to have problems with the book.

Probably the biggest slap in my face was the comment that a main character, Jill, made: “9 times out of 10 if a girl gets raped it’s her fault.”


And the homophobic remarks about “grokking a wrongness” in “poor inbetweeners” of gay men. I know it was written in 1961, but these examples are just too hard for me to overlook. I’m no damned “inbetweener.” And after reading these comments, about 70% into the book, I was just going through the motions, just wanting to get finished and done. It absolutely soured the whole book. I had a few more of Heinlein’s books on my reading list, but I’ve taken them off.

Here is a particularly good critique of the novel, by writer Jo Walton. I’m in agreement with her.
Smug messiah

Sad, but after this recent reading, I can’t give it more than 2 stars, only for the overall story, which began to fizzle around the halfway mark. I am disappointed and disillusioned. ( )
  RonTyler | Aug 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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 (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyle, NeilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gällmo, GunnarTranslatorsecondary 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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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)

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.

» see all 7 descriptions

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