This is one of Heinlein's better books. It's still filled with lots of details but moves faster than most of his books.
From the 40's to the 60's RH was the face of Science Fiction. At that time he wrote many future novels in which the main characters worked hard, studied hard and stayed true to their morals. These characters were able to accomplish their dreams using these. Rarely is luck the leading force. This is considered a juvenile novel, but in 1953 what was considered juvenile would not fall in that category today, I believe. This is one of my favorites of Heinlein. If you liked Have Space Suit--Will Travel or Rocket Ship Galileo, then you will like Starman Jones. My only complaint is that I feel RH cheated by giving this character a photo graphic memory.
I read a lot of Heinlein's juveniles when I was younger, but I missed this one and it was on sale from Audible, so it was nice to enjoy one of his earlier works, before he started getting old and wanky. Everything from Friday on was pretty much Heinlein getting his freak on, but his earlier novels are still sci-fi classics for good reason.
Starman Jones is your basic boys' adventure story: Max is a kid from Earth who runs away from home when his stepmother marries an abusive bum. He meets an amiable drifter who turns out to be a not-so-good Samaritan, but he meets the man again when they're both trying to find a way off-planet, and the two of them lie their away aboard a spaceship. From there, Max's talent for math and his inherent good nature and sense of decency lead him from one position to another aboard ship, and when the ship gets lost, taking a bad "jump" to an unknown star system, Max of course is the one who saves the day.
Obviously, this book was written for teenagers, but it stands up as pretty good adult SF even today, though it is a bit dated (it was written in 1951). The gender roles are pretty old-fashioned, and while Heinlein's FTL drives and beam weapons are standard sci-fi, you may chuckle when Max breaks out his slide rule to perform astrogation. Still, I think it compares favorably to any genre fiction written for kids today, and Heinlein did a much better job than most writers of bridging the gap between YA and adult fiction. I might not start with Starman Jones if you haven't read any of Heinlein's juveniles before -- it's pretty good, but it's not his best -- but if you're already a Heinlein fan, this will definitely be an enjoyable listen.
For a 50 year old book it was enjoyable. The characters were very 1950's but hat made it all the better.
Heinlein is a great story teller. This book is very entertaining and it keeps a steady pace.
My biggest problem with this book was the main character, smart but very naive, had me just about talking to myself trying to persuade him out of certain courses of action. It all works out for the best through some improbable but interesting plot twists. The female characters in this book are somewhat disgraceful but then it was written in the 50's.
Read this book as a kid and had to listen to it again. I didn't remember how the story went at all and enjoyed it. Even had to sit in my driveway to listen to in on my Garmin Nuvi 5000.
Sadly, this title would not work on my Zen. So I had to deepsix it. It's one of my favorite books from childhood, the triumph of using ones abilities to overcome circumstances of birth to achieve ones highest goals. One of my favorite Heinlein's for Young Adult -- I read it when I was ten!