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Glory Road Paperback – March 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (March 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765312220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765312228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''A triumph.'' --Chicago Tribune

Praise for Robert A. Heinlein:

''[Heinlein is] not only America's premier writer of speculative fiction but the greatest writer of such fiction in the world. He remains today as a sort of trademark for all that is finest in American imaginative fiction.'' --Stephen King --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) is widely acknowledged to have been the single most important and influential author of science fiction in the twentieth century. He won science fiction’s Hugo Award for Best Novel four times, and in addition, three of his novels were given Retrospective Hugos fifty years after publication. He won Science Fiction Writers of America’s first Grand Master Award for his lifetime achievement.
 
Born in Butler, Missouri, Heinlein graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served as an officer in the navy for five years. He started writing to help pay off his mortgage, and his first story was published in Astounding Science-Fiction magazine in 1939. In 1947, he published a story in The Saturday Evening Post, making him the first science-fiction writer to break into the mainstream market. Long involved in politics, Heinlein was deeply affected by events such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Cold War, and his fiction tended to convey strong social and political messages. His many influential novels include Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and Time Enough for Love. At the time of his death in 1988, he was living in Carmel, California with his wife Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

It also has some great character development and plot twists.
Amazon Customer
More of a fantasy adventure than science fiction, it seems to me that Heinlein was very much in a transitional phase while writing this book.
Matthew King
This was the first book I read as a kid that I still reread almost yearly.
Mark Rippetoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Glory Road followed closely on the heels of Stranger in a Strange Land, but it is a much different book. Written in 1962, this is Heinlein's only full-fledged fantasy novel, and that in itself makes it an interesting read. Heinlein was definitely writing for an adult audience by this point in his career, and he boasted that this novel had enough sex in it to cause heart failure among those who had complained about Stranger. By today's standards, the adult relationships included here are barely noticeable, implied certainly but never described at all.
E.C. Gordon is hanging around Europe, having received both a medical discharge and facial scar from fighting in a "non-war" in Southeast Asia, when he encounters a stunning young woman on the beaches of France. Thinking he has won a sweepstakes he reluctantly rushes out of town, fearing that in doing so he has blown his one and only chance with the girl of his dreams. His winning ticket proves a forgery, and he decides to answer a personal ad asking "Are you a coward?" To his surprise, he encounters his lady from the beach and soon finds himself transported to another universe. Dubbed "Oscar" by "the princess" Star, he assumes the role of hero, aiding the mysterious woman on an extremely urgent quest that promises lots of adventure and even more danger. With Star's assistant Rufo, the group journeys through the portals of several universes, killing dangerous beasts that get in their way, in a quest to claim the Egg of the Phoenix. Oscar settles in to his new role, and the adventure proves to be most interesting, especially when he finally learns what the whole thing is all about.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Brian K. Miller on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Glory Road is, in my never humble opinion, one of the finest books ever written. It has long been my own personal favorite and the older I get the more I find to love. However, you cannot judge a great author merely on the surface of his text. The power of Glory Road, like many great works before it, lies in the undercurrents running silently between the lines.

This book was originally written in the midst of the Vietnam War. America was in constant social turmoil with "youth power" attempting to overthrow the "wisdom" of the elderly. Russia had signed SALT 1, then turned around and deployed hundreds of SS-22 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Our world was a bloody mess. Although it is hard to believe now, in many ways things were far worse at the time this book was written.

The first time I read Glory Road, it was a swash-buckling high adventure with a surprising, almost depressing ending. Now I pick it up and begin turning the pages to find insightful social commentary, scathing criticism of both those in power and their critics, and an ironic chuckle at the total foolishness of the human animal.

Star, for example, is every man's dream woman. Blonde, buxom, and unreachable. When she finally falls, she reverts to a half-witted emotional dependent leaning on her hero's strong arm.

Then twenty pages later she turns out to be a galatic empress commanding more worlds that most people ever dream of.

The convoluted nature of her character is completely intentional. At first Star embodies all the traits of a fictional heroine in a genre that has a powerful inclination to objectify women.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on June 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heinlein did not write very many fantasy works, but when he did, the result was usually a rather different and fun romp. Glory Road is probably his best work in this genre, and it makes most other sword-and-sorcery stories pale in comparison.
Oscar, our hero, is a Vietnam veteran idling away his time on the Isle du Levant, a small island off the coast of France known for its lack of haute couture (or clothing of any style), when his eye is caught by the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, sleekly muscled and with regal bearing. When she offers him a job with `great adventure and great risk' he blindly accepts, little realizing just what an incredible jaunt he has let himself in for. A journey that will travel through some of the 20 universes that Star is Empress of, on a quest to retrieve the stolen Great Egg. Along the way you will be treated to a sword/bow and arrow fight with a very real set of dragons (with a rather amusing fight strategy), a hand to hand fight with a very dirty (and smelly) giant, pentagrams and spells for magical flight. All of the incidents along this trip are treated with a fair dollop of humor and satire (and at least a partial parody of other sword & sorcery epics such as Conan the Barbarian), while at the same time Heinlein manages to present some pseudo-scientific explanations for the `magical' incidents, something he did in just about all of his fantasy works, so that it is somewhat problematic to call this a `fantasy'.
The climatic sword battle with the `Eater of Souls' is very different from the standard hack-and-slash portrayal of sword fights in all too many movies and novels.
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