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Showing 1-10 of 41 reviews(2 star, Verified Purchases). See all 1,464 reviews
on December 19, 2012
I loved this book when I first read it as a teenager, and again as a young adult. I have read it now for the 3rd time and I had to push myself to finish. It is true what other reviewers have said about the sexism, I don't know why this did not bother me so much in my youth, but now it is just embarrassing.
I thought the philosophy was so deep before, now it just seems silly.
Spoiler alert: Mike finally learns how to laugh when he discovers that the essence of humor is pain this is an important step in his personal development and I think it's wrong. I can think of many instances where I have been doubled over and in tears with laughing at jokes or stories that include no pain or humiliation. Another theme in Stranger is "how does one define 'man'?" Here it's like Heinlein is trying to be profound, but really he just dodges the question. Maybe I should not have read it a 3rd time. My list of favorite books is one shorter now.
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on October 28, 2014
I so wanted to like this book but alas it is highly overrated. The writing is not at all artful, the characters are flimsy, the plot lines meander and seem inconsequential when all is said and done. Yeah, I get it that there is some good social commentary but this sci-fi is so bogged down in the era in which it was written that it does not age well. I honestly was not the least bit invested in any of the characters by the time I finished the book.
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on May 17, 2015
OK Story, but I could not stand the sexist writing. I understand this is an old book and the writing reflects that, but sometimes it is too much!!!
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on November 11, 2014
I read this many years ago in the 1960s and adored it, now, unfortunately, I couldn't get through it it was so bad!
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on September 2, 2016
This book came highly recommended by a sci-fi writer friend. First third of book is quite interesting. I do appreciate an author who employs frequent semicolons. Heinlein may have surpassed Phil Dick in this regard. Regrettably, Heinlein spends the remaining chapters building a boring analogy between the Man from Mars and the Christ, and a lesser allegory to Eve and the snake from Genesis. The story in totality doesn't work.
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on May 18, 2015
Out dated. Was so much better when I first read it in college.
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on August 4, 2014
Does not live up to the great billing this novel receives from many critics and fans. Totally mediocre.
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on February 3, 2013
I would not have finished this if it had not been one of our book club selections. Most of the club members liked it. I did not. It did lead to some very good discussion questions though.
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on October 31, 2000
Wow this book really dragged on. I found it really tedious, and almost didn't bother finishing it. I've read a lot of SciFi and his seems to fall in the pulp area. I read and enjoyed starship troopers and figured I'd give this one a try as it is supposed to be a 'classic'. I was really disappointed.
The characters all just mill around this central god like figure with very little direction, feel for the rest of the world, or reader interest. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Do a search on a different author, there is lots of better books out there.
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on February 5, 2010
"Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert A. Heinlein

A mission to Mars has been launched and is being carried out by some of our planet's most gifted minds. Contact was lost with the crew shortly after a last message was received stating that they would land on the planet the following day. 25 years later encouraged by photos of Mars' surface the human race returned to the red planet. Their initial thoughts were that there were no survivors however they determine that the planet is inhabited by alien life and that there was indeed one survivor...

For a book that is so highly regarded and that has so much hype surrounding it I must say I was very disappointed. As you view the cover and read the synopsis you would think you were reading the story of a Martian raised human trying to deal with cultural shock of a new planet which is Earth. This isn't untrue however Smith (the Martian) is actually a background character for the vast majority of the time. Most of the pages are consumed by Jubal Hershaw, a rich, Doctor, Lawyer, all around genius, know it all and play boy. 2/3's of the book are taken up with Jubal's diatribes and philosophical waxing all while our stranger dawdles in the back ground and it makes for a very tedious read.

The Good: There are some unique ideas here and Heinlein found an interesting way to create tension for the main character and make him the center of huge controversy without his even knowing or understanding.

The Bad: The dialogue in Stranger has not aged well and makes for a very dated feeling read. The actual main character Jubal is a pompous know it all and I couldn't like him or enjoy his part no matter how hard I tried and the book revolves around him for the most part. The free love principal was another item I just couldn't get with and it did not endear the characters to me at all or make me find this tedious read more entertaining.

Overall: Stranger in a Strange Land was an extremely tedious read and I couldn't in good conscious recommend it to anyone I like.
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