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The Door into Summer Hardcover – January 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Science Fiction Book Club; SFBC edition (2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0739431293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739431290
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There have been many science fiction novels written about time travel, but The Door Into Summer is my pick for the greatest among them. It comes remarkably close to conveying the very theory of the subject in layman's terms. I'm not saying Heinlein's arguments are correct, but they darn near make sense. The experiment with the two coins and with the two guinea pigs (just one, actually) is fascinating, and Heinlein's introduction of several paradoxes in the protagonist's actual temporal dislocation lends his science even more believability. Time travel doesn't even enter into the pages of the first half of the novel (not directly, at least), but the whole story is totally engrossing from the very start. Dan is an engineer and a darn good one. His inventions have been designed with the view of easing the housework of women everywhere: Hired Girl cleans floor; Window Willie washes windows, and Flexible Frank, his newest creation, will be able to do just about anything around the house, from changing a diaper to washing dishes. Life seemed to be treating Dan pretty well. Then his fiance and business partner swindle him out of their business, and he decides to take the Long Sleep (cryogenic suspended animation) for thirty years so that he can come back to chastise an ex-fiance who will be thirty years older than he will be. Of course, he won't do it without his best friend Pete, his feisty, ginger ale-loving tomcat and true friend. He sends his remaining shares in the company he created to his partner's young daughter Ricky, his only other friend in the world, trying to make sure that those don't fall into the wrong hands as well. His only mistake is in confronting his traitorous friends one last time.Read more ›
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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on September 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I rank this among Heinlein's three absolutely magisterial novels (the other two being _Double Star_ and _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_). Such judgments are notoriously subjective and controversial. But I feel safe in saying that any SF reader will find something to enjoy in this marvelous story.
It's part SF, part fairy tale, and part just plain good storytelling. Engineer/inventor Daniel Boone Davis and his feline companion Petronius the Arbiter are two of Heinlein's best-realized characters; the plot here is well-conceived and evenly, swiftly paced.
In case you haven't read it, I won't spoil it for you. The setup is that Davis has just been rooked by his best friend and his fiancee, and he's out to do something about it. What happens then is the story itself, so I won't tell you; I'll just say that the time-travel aspect is worked out every bit as neatly as in "By His Bootstraps", and the tale is one of Heinlein's most humane ever. I've read it more times than I can count, and there's a bit near the end that _always_ gets me. (You'll know what I mean when you get there.)
Heinlein wrote this at the peak of his talent. If you haven't read it yet, don't miss it.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A. Wolverton VINE VOICE on September 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the time he was writing, Heinlein's books were so much better than all the others because he was so much smarter than most other writers. He thought things through first (which many others did too), but then he added an element that many other sf writers didn't (and some STILL don't): humanity.
Dan Davis, an inventor, narrates the story. He's a brilliant inventor and has come up with some pretty amazing gadgets, including Hired Girl, a robot who cleans, sweeps, vacuums, mops, and generally works all day long without supervision. Dan's problems begin mounting when he learns he's been betrayed by his partner. And to add insult to injury, Dan's fiancée is in on the betrayal as well. As if betrayal alone isn't enough, the two conspirators have Dan placed into a 30-year suspended animation. Dan wakes up 30 years later and is focused on one thing: revenge.
Now lots of authors could have taken the above premise and come up with an entertaining story. Heinlein did this and much more. He shows us that change (for individuals and for all humanity) is difficult, but not impossible. The future is full of challenges, but no matter how much technology changes, no matter how much language, currency, and trends change, man's basic instincts and attitudes remain constant.
Heinlein also tackles the implications of time travel better than anyone else from this period. (The book first appeared in 1957.) The problem of time travel is well thought out and logical. (Wish you could say that about every time travel story.) If you haven't read Heinlein, or if all you've read is `Stranger in a Strange Land,' `Starship Troopers,' or `The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (all great books), treat yourself to a fun, intelligent read from one of the true masters.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this more than 30 years ago while in Vietnam. It was, at least temporarily, MY OWN 'Door into Summer' and I can't recall how many times I read it during that year as a means of mentally escaping that Southeast Asian toilet. The story is wonderfully written, the characters well defined and the plot never dulls. I've often felt that a movie, exactly like the book, would be a great success. Unfortunately, this'll never happen. If a movie doesn't have exploding bodies and thousands of guns, tanks and aliens to kill, Hollywood won't think it bankable and never make it. Why??!! A good love story can make a successful movie...we've all seen some excellent examples, i.e. Pretty Woman, etc. Today's digital techonology would make the "future" envisioned by Heinlein exciting and, the movie makers can always fall back on a great story. As for this book? Buy it, read it, treasure it. I promise you'll love it and give it to your kids and (as in my case) grandkids.
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