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To Sail Beyond The Sunset Hardcover – July 7, 1987


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (July 7, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399132678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399132674
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If the subtitle, "Being the Memoirs of a Somewhat Irregular Lady," evokes Fanny Hill, it's no accident. For although there's a science fiction story here, involving time travel, alternate history and super-longevity, the true subject of the book is sex. As the heroine, Maureen Johnson Long, says after one of many incestuous encounters: "What the world needs is more loving, sweaty and friendly and unashamed." One way or another this idea is endlessly repeated, out of the mouths of any number of the absurd characters populating this novel. The heroine, born in 1882, engages in what Heinlein imagines to be clever, iconoclastic conversation with her father before the turn of the 20th century, and later with husbands, friends and offspring; they are all so smug and self-righteous it sets the teeth on edge. While spewing out homilies on the proper conduct of life, they are generally engaging in activities more appropriate to a tale involving the Jukes or the Kallikaks. Heinlein seems to be on a mission, but he has made his message unpalatable. And far from being admirable, his characters are virtually moronsthey are totally closed, the world can teach them nothing. Not surprising: they're all inbred. Publication date is Heinlein's 80th birthday.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderfully refreshing view! Women around that time period are so often portrayed as prim and proper, completely dependant on their husbands for everything. Maureen is tough, practical, and intellegent. As for the writing, once again Heinlein's tone is lush and sensual (as is Maureen!) with a sense of adventure and Heinlein's ever- present political commentary. He is called the grand master of sci-fi for an excellent reason! Another success- his best ever!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hampy on May 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This has long been one of my Favourite novels ever by RAH. Not only does it tie up all the loose ends with his previous Lazarus Long Novels, but it gives an insight into his ideas on life, love and relationships. "Mama Maureen" gives us many words to live by and I can only hope that I would be as strong as she is in similar situations. Heinlein gives such "historical" detail to his novels that you can almost believe that this is what should have actually happened - even when his history goes off in odd directions. This is a novel I go back and read over and over again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bre on April 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite of all the Heinlein novels I have read. Far from being a story of debauchery and helpless characters, it is both a wonderful scifi novel and an exploration in open-mindedness. The sexual attitudes represented here are refreshing in their non-conformity, and yet completely logically reasoned out. Maureen is a wonderfully real character with flaws and aspirations to delight any reader. Our favorite scifi kitty Pixel also makes an appearence.

This is one of those books that I will read over and over again, and it will hold a place amongst my favorite scifi novels for a long time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite Heinlein book of all time! Maureen's practicality and stand-for-nothing attitude are wonderfully refreshing to read in an era of vaporish heroines. At the same time, she has a remarkable blend of old-fashioned values and a tendency to thumb her nose at "Mrs. Grundy". Also, after reading "Time Enough for Love" and "Number of the Beast" it was fascinating to get another perspective on some of the same events. Maureen is a woman afer my own heart, and I will not tire of reading this book, nor can I wait until my daughter is old enough to read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trakehner on September 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Time Enough For Love" is one of my favourite Heinlein books. After reading this abomination...well, the ending story of Lazarus Long (Woodrow Wilson Smith) and his relationship with his mother "Maureen" and his family is ruined. The books protagonist Maureen Smith in "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" is a full blown skank. Her husband wants to sleep with his young daughter...Maureen says, "That's wonderful". Huh? what just happened here? Maureen sleeps with the ice man...heck, she seems to sleep with anyone who can benefit her even minimally.

I gave up after half a book. A very disappointing skewing of characters I liked and no longer do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Ross on September 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Poorly written. I mean really, really bad. It is evident to me he couldn't carry a coherent train of thought, just rambled onto the page, and very occasionally inserted a touch of sci-fi to keep his long term readers happy. Mostly an ode to the world as he would have liked it to have been, filled with endless sex and incest. I really like Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of my all time favorites, but he is so far off his game here, it is quite painful to read. I really don't understand the 5 star ratings for this one, I would give it zero stars if that was an option.
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