Stranger in a Strange Land

528 pages

Published Sept. 30, 1991 by Ace.

ISBN:
978-0-441-78838-5
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4 stars (233 reviews)

Valentine Michael Smith is a human being raised on Mars, newly returned to Earth. Among his people for the first time, he struggles to understand the social mores and prejudices of human nature that are so alien to him, while teaching them his own fundamental beliefs in grokking, watersharing, and love.

1 edition

Review of 'Stranger in a Strange Land' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

okay
it is pure commercial writing born back in the 60s, I wouldn't expect anything of quality here.
extremely disappointing, this novel is anything but futuristic.
if you replace a couple of things in that 'work of art' you might get as well a story written by J.H.Chase or Simenon.
Simenon, I guess, yeah, Chase wasn't that boring in describing one's mortal routine (but he had plenty of sexy secretaries Heinlein was fantasizing about... consider it a mix of both staged in the near future).

I think I have stopped somewhere in the middle, I couldn't make it.
Better go for Neuromancer or Mona Lisa Overdrive by Gibson, I am telling ya

Review of 'Stranger in a Strange Land' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Originally published at Forest Azuaron.

Stranger in a Strange Land, in two parts. 1: The Obligatory What Does the Government Do. 2: The Philosophy of Sexual Politics according to Robert Heinlein.

Part 1 is quite good, and you can see how it will later become the foundation for many "lone special person baffles government officials" stories for decades to come--though I do wonder how much Stranger was influenced by The Day the Earth Stood Still, which came out a decade earlier.

Unfortunately, it feels a little rushed. Like, Heinlein really wanted to write Part 2, but knew he couldn't get away with it without addressing Part 1.

Part 2, well, let's just say you may not want to talk sexual philosophy with the same book that brings us such wonderful quotes as, "9 times out of 10, when a woman is raped, it's her fault," and, "This isn't โ€ฆ

Review of 'Stranger in a Strange Land' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is not the first time I read this book. The first time is many years ago and when I read it back then I didn'tย grokย the entire depth of it. This is an amazing read from start to finish, partly seeing our world through the eyes of someone from another planet, partly seeing how we the people are wrapped into things. The explanations of Jubal, who's a wonderful character in the book, excel in clarity for me. Definitely worth the re-read.

Review of 'Stranger in a Strange Land' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

The first 1/2 to 2/3 about seeing our culture through an alien lens were great--like watching classic Japanese films to see where Star Wars came from. The power struggle was good also. Heinlein was very aware that an ability to transport objects would be absolutely, fundamentally disruptive. It would not be the shiny elevator/plot device it has routinely become in typical sci-fi.

Once the book gets into squishy floors and free luuuuv it lost me. The final showdown felt a bit like Jesus Christ Superstar in the original tie-dye.

Unarguably a classic. Glad to have read it even tho I didn't love it.

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