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Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

by Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,956142600 (3.88)396
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 (7)
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» See also 396 mentions

English (134)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (142)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
It was required reading, along with George Osawa's "You are all Sanpaku" at Joe Sage's Macrobiotic Sound Current Ranch. A free-love, or open marriage commune in 1969. While I found the book interesting and in league with some of my own cherished ideals, my life at the time was far more of an adventure, distracting me from focusing much on the written page. Unfortunately, Joe was less of an altruistic loving Martian and more of a raging tyrant who spoiled our Eden. I've written about it in my book, "Spirit Quest 1969..." so check it out, more on that quest to follow.
While I'm more of a nonfiction fan, finding that true stories told from the heart are more exciting and revealing of our human situation, I'd recommend this sci-fi read to anyone. ( )
  RonSchulz | Jun 24, 2022 |
????
  brutalstirfry | May 6, 2022 |
Good lord this is a tedious book! 4/5ths of it is pontification, through dialogue between characters, of (mostly) religion, politics, and sex/women.
The "discussion" of religion talks of the similarities of the scriptures through society and how polarizing and harmful they are to the psyche of mankind.
The politics (the least discussed) focuses on the presumed rights on group has on another.
The sex topic, of which fully half of the book focuses, is misogynistic - wrapped in an almost soft-porn discussion of how important it is for women to be attractive and attentive to men. All men. At any time or place. Here is a quote, spoken by a female character (Jill-Part 3, xxiv): "Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's at least partly her own fault. That tenth time--well, all right. Give him your best heave-ho to the bottomless pit. But you aren't going to find it necessary." There are also may descriptions of how wonderful it is for a woman to display her nakedness before men because that is when she is at her fullest self worth. SMH I had forgotten how Heinlein depicts women.

The story itself is rather thin. Group sent to Mars to investigate and set up of colonization. Contact lost. Years later a 2nd group goes and discovers a human baby had been born and raised by Martians. Now a young man (early 20's?) is brought back to Earth. Government cover-up having to do with an huge wealth he has inherited from his parents; he is taken away from government custody by people who believe he has the right to be his own person. He learns very quickly due to psychic abilities curated through is life with Martians. Blah blah blah as he goes through "adventures" leaning about human life and society. Starts a "church" to spread learning of Mars among humans in order to bring true happiness and acceptance - this occurs mostly though orgies and the like. A lot of beautiful naked women being available to men.

Really disappointed in this book. What is strange is how I am sure I read it a couple of times in previous decades and I think I liked it. But what the heck. To each their own.

I do not recommend this book as a serious "science fiction" read. It is generally an almost-soft-porn depiction of how this author thinks life should be between men and the women who serve them. ( )
  PallanDavid | Apr 30, 2022 |
I remember next to zip about this except that it was very popular when I was a teenager - including w/ me - & that it introduced slang like "grok". I vaguely recall this being a sortof 'hippie' SF - maybe it was full of communes & orgies & suchlike. This is the last Heinlein I remember liking. I think he might've just deteriorated into writing more & more incest fantasies disguised as SF after this & losing alotof his SF edge. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
A classic any sci-fi fan should read. Super super story. ( )
  ejakub | Feb 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (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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Robert Cornog
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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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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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