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Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs.
The impact of Stranger in a Strange Land was considerable, leading many children of the 60's to set up households based on Michael's water-brother nests. Heinlein loved to pontificate through the mouths of his characters, so modern readers must be willing to overlook the occasional sour note ("Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's partly her fault."). That aside, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of the master's best entertainments, provocative as he always loved to be. Can you grok it? --Brooks Peck --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
In 1939 Heinlein published his first sf short story and became one of the most prolific and influential authors in the genre. Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) is an international best seller and a landmark in more ways than one: it opened the trade best sellers lists to sf writers, breaking down longstanding barriers that will never be seen again. At the same time Stranger became an emblem of the 1960s generation in its iconoclasm and free-love themes. Telling the story of an Earth baby raised by an existing, ancient Martian civilization, the novel often reads as if it were the "Playboy Philosophy" in dialog form. The man/ Martian comes to Earth and broadcasts his ideas by forming his own Church. Heinlein has been rightly criticized for presenting as facts his opinions, which state that organized religion is a sham, authority is generally stupid, young women are all the same, and the common individual is alternately an independent, Ayn Randian-producing genius and the dull-witted part of an ignorant and will-less mob. Yet the book is hard to put down; in its early pages it is a truly masterful sf story. Every library with a fiction collection should have it. Christopher Hurt reads with authority, nicely drawing the characters via barely perceptible changes in intonation, harshness, and pacing. Highly recommended.?Don Wismer, Office of the Secretary of State, Augusta, Me.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I believe everyone should read this novel at some point in their lifetime! It is Spectacular!Published 2 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I loved this book as a young teen and wish I had not started reading it again. I was a little put off by the way Heinlein handles his female characters (constantly refers to them... Read morePublished 5 days ago by tammy
I fully grokked this novel from start to finish. It was good to read it a second time and it's obvious that Heinlein is still way ahead of the curve in terms of social evolution.Published 5 days ago by Peter 'NetDoc' Murray
I have read this book at least 10 times and enjoy each time, the characters are well defined. I seem to find something to think about each time I read the book and would highly... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Sharron Williams
I have read and re-read this book more times than I care to admit. Every time I feel disheartened about the direction of society, I pull this out for another read. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Lua
Robert A. Heinlein, the first Grand Master of Science Fiction hardly needs my review. This is a classic, as anyone remotely familiar with sci fi knows.Published 15 days ago by Stacy A. Clark