- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Signet Books; First Edition edition (October 1957)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000LMLHZY
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,024,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Double Star Paperback – October, 1957
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Top Customer Reviews
The route Lorenzo Smythe takes to reach this post is, however, just a little different from that of the real-world actor. The Great Lorenzo, as he styles himself, is conceited, arrogant, out of work, and down to his last half-Imperial when he is offered the job of doubling for a well-known political figure. The job is so obviously beneath his dignity that he is ready to turn down the offer when the Martians take a hand, and Lorenzo finds himself involved in murder, kidnapping, and slicing both humans and Martians into small pieces to flush down the disposal.
Forced by these circumstances to take the job, Lorenzo is even more disturbed when he finds out the identity of the person he is supposed to double for, none other that the leader of the opposition party, Joseph Bonforte, whose politics, what little he knows of them, he despises. But his own inflated idea of his abilities allows him to steady down and start studying for the role, a role he will play for much longer than he could ever anticipate.
This book is a character study, carefully and artfully detailing how Lorenzo changes under the influence of having to pretend to be someone he is not, aided by the immediate staff of the man he impersonates.Read more ›
Heinlein generally doesn't have a lot of good things to say about politicians, but John Joseph Bonforte (another critical character) is his exception that proves the rule. He's honest, capable, caring - in short a saint among politicians.
Another reviewer complained of too much politics, but that's rather silly in my opinion. The book is about the world of politics in the future, so it has to talk about it. But there is very little of Heinlein's trademark libertarian philosophizing. The book moves so fast, there isn't time for it.
This is Heinlein's only short work to win a Hugo award, and I consider it quite worthy of the honor. It's not one of Heinlein's series of juvenile novels, but it can be read by teens as well as adults. Get it - it beats 99% of the science fiction ever written, and practically 100% of the stuff being put out these days.
Enough people have given the summary of the book, but Heinlein wrote beyond the surface. The story is of an actor who truly discovers a greatness within himself that he at first only pretended to own. It's a story of humanity- in the politics the actor must represent- that humanity must not be doomed to repeat the same mistakes of seeing itself superior to other races, but instead try to learn to live in harmony. Like any good story it takes believeable characters and puts them in seemingly real situations in fantasy worlds, and tells us how we could only hope to act were we in such a predicament.
I'm lucky enough to own a first edition in great shape. I happened across it at a yard sale and had to pick it up. To me it was a "new" Heinlein novel as I hadn't heard of it. It's a light read, and although short, it's deep and fun. The plot loosely reminded me of a certain movie about an actor who impersonates the president... Of course this book was written LONG before that, and is much better. Read this book because it was written by Heinlein. Love it because it was well written.
There are problems of course. The Martians aren't that fleshed out. The shift from jerk to statesman seems way too abrupt. Some may find the main character grating. But Heinlein's strength rest in that his storytelling doesn't allow you to dwell too much on his weaknesses.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've enjoyed every Heinlein novel I've ever read, including this one. However, is it quite a way down my list of Heinlein, and I don't consider it a "favorite Heinlein" ... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Brent Butler
Few can weave a tale like Heinlein and his themes remain as relevant as ever. I thought I had read all of his writing and was delighted to find one I had missed - as always, he... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Annie Roberts
A science fiction story that is well written and typical of Robert A. Heinlein.
His material is dated based on today's knowledge but was current when this was originally... Read more
TOWARDS THE FUTURE OF MAN AND WOMAN. AS IT WAS THEN AND AS IT IS NOW. WITHOUT INNER PEACE AND LOVE FOR YOURSELF YOU MUST BE ABLE TO PASS IT ON TO OTHER BEINGS TO HAVE COMPLETE... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Gloria
The worst Heinlein I've ever read was better than 90% of what's available today.
This is not the worst Heinlein I've read.