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Red Planet Paperback – September 26, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
Book 3 of 12 in the Heinlein's Juveniles Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Review of book: "A fascinating story of Earth-humans on Mars . . . the most thrilling and tingling kind of science fiction story by an experienced hand." --Kirkus


Review of book: "Readers young and old will enjoy this fastpmoving adventure novel." --Chicago Tribune
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Like many people, I go way, way back with Heinlein. My very favorite book (and one that stands out in my mind--and with much affection--to this day) is Tunnel in the Sky. I really, really wanted to go off to explore new worlds with a covered wagon and horses, like the hero does at the very end of the book. But one of the nice things about Robert Heinlein is that he's got something for everyone. One of my best friends has a different favorite: Podkayne of Mars. Go figure.
                        --Shelly Shapiro, Executive Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; Reprint edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345493184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345493187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Red Planet is one of Heinlein's most enjoyable, best selling, and important juvenile novels. It's hard to think of it as juvenile fiction, though, because it is a fantastically fun read which introduces thought-provoking ideas on sociological and otherwise adult subjects. Of course, this was not always the case. Alice Dalgliesh, Heinlein's editor at Scriber's, objected to several themes and ideas in the original manuscript, much to Heinlein's justified consternation. He eventually gave in and removed several sections, including a couple of pages about the legal use of guns by the young boys in his Martian world and a section centering on the production of eggs by the fuzzy little bouncer Willis--she eliminated every mention of sex in the book, despite the fact that each such mention was beyond innocuous. Heinlein floated the idea of listing her as the co-author, wanting her to take some of the blame for a novel that he himself felt no pride for, fearing that Dalgliesh's hatchet job had produced a story that would harm his reputation. It actually became a fan favorite, and now we can read it complete and unedited, the way RAH originally intended it to be read.
Jim Marlowe is a youngster living on Mars, and he has a "pet"-friend named Willis. Willis is a "bouncer," a furry little guy of some intelligence whose most amazing quality is an innate capability to reproduce exactly anything he hears. Jim takes Willis with him when he and his friend Frank go off to school. The new headmaster makes life miserable for all the boys with his military discipline, and he has the audacity to take Willis away from Jim and lock him away in his office.
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2 Comments 93 of 95 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was in fourth grade, a few years ago(I'm 11, just out of sixth grade), one of my freinds told me I should read Starship Troopers. I loved it so much that I looked for as many other books as I could find. A few I didn't read, because they looked like romance. The others, including Red Planet, I read. Red Planet was my favorite. It was so good, I read it in two days.(Mind you I was in fourth grade)I loved the Willis so much, everything on the web(e-mail,web page, etc.) that is mine, is named after him. You'll love the book. The best I've ever read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a huge fan of the Heinlein juveniles from way back, namely about seventh grade on. But for some reason I cannot fathom I bought Red Planet but just didn't get around to reading it. Not until my late '20's, when a friend who was a recent convert to the series strongly recommended it, did I finally read Red Planet, and it confirmed a long-held belief: That an adult can get just as much entertainment from these books as a kid. It's fun to note the Heinlein stand-in character, Doc MacRae, who is basically a mouthpiece for the author's opinions, but an amusing one. And what a delight that the Martians are the same as the ones in Stranger In A Strange Land, water ceremonies and all, but without the claptrap of the later book. Another major delight of the novel is Willis, perhaps the first example in Heinlein's work of a boy's alien "pet" that would turn out to be much more (Heinlein would expand on this notion with The Star Beast). Finally, when my son demanded I read him Red Planet recently, and after being cautioned that it had no pictures he greatly enjoyed it, this became one of my all-time favorite Heinlein juveniles. By the way, this new edition has a couple of extra paragraphs at the end; the slight extra doesn't really affect the story though.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In all fairness to Kim Stanley Robinson's beyond excellent Mars trilogy and all the other fine writers who have tackled Mars in a realist fashion, there's that little Golden Age part of me that prefers romps like this one, where the story isn't as much as slave to science and fun rules the day. In Heinlein's day nobody really knew anything about Mars so a story like this where Mars is fairly run over with creatures (including the adorable ball of fur Willis) didn't cause anyone to bat an eye. And it shouldn't cause today's readers to put it aside either, its a fun and fast read that hits all the right notes and will entertain you throughout. Young adult Jim is going to school on Mars with his pet Willis when they discover something that might harm his fellow colonists back home, he and his friend Frank go through what seems like a million adventures, each one more fantastic than the last, before eventually saving the day. Yes, it's a book for the young adult in you, but Heinlein sticks plenty of stuff in here to appeal to us older folk. Granted he also loves to stick in his politics, there's plenty of "Guns make you a man" arguments running around (which I can stomach here moreso than the "letting the army kick the crap out of you makes you a man" argument in later novels) along with other issues like that but they don't get in the way of the book at all. The good guys are good the bad guys are bad and Heinlein's imagination is in full force, even the obligatory cutesy alien that winds up being far more than a cutesy alien is used to good effect here and while Jim indulges in that overly breezy dialogue we've come to know and love, none of the characters strike me as annoying (unlike the Star Beast where they all annoyed me), which is a good thing.Read more ›
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