In a distant galaxy of colonized planets, the atrocity of slavery is alive and well. Young Thorby was just another bedraggled orphan boy sold at auction, but his new owner, Baslim, is not the disabled beggar he appears to be. Adopting Thorby as his son, Baslim fights relentlessly as an abolitionist spy. When the authorities close in on Baslim, Thorby must find his own way in a hostile galaxy. Joining with the Free Traders, a league of merchant princes, Thorby must find the courage to live by his wits and fight his way up from society's lowest rung. But Thorby's destiny will be forever changed when he discovers the truth about his own identity.
Citizen of the Galaxy is a suspenseful tale of adventure, coming of age, and interstellar conflict by science fiction's Grand Master.
©2003 The Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I'm a long time fan of speculative fiction, having started with Isaac Asimov and Andre Norton. I do read other things, of course.
It's a story I've read several times since childhood. This was a new way to 'read' it, and it felt a little like having Robert Heinlein tell me his story.
I've been a fan (weak term, actually) of Robert Heinlein for decades. I discovered the readings of Grover Gardner several years ago, & he's tops on my readers list. Put 'em together, what a treat!
I feel somewhat guilty about not giving RAH 5 stars across the board, but truthfully, CotG isn't my favorite Heinlein book. It's just not up there with Stranger in a Strange Land or Time Enough for Love, or even some of the "boys" books (but it's definitely better than some of his last clunkers, like "Friday" which I felt sorta stunk...forgive me, RAH).
Anyway, this is the story of Thorby's sequential life disruptions --from child slave bought by the kindly (& mysterious) "Pop" Baslam the Beggar, to part of the Sisu Trader family, to the brief stint in the galactic military to his final (surprise) return to his "real" identity. Heinlein uses Thorby & his adventures to discourse (at times somewhat excessively) on one of his favorite themes, freedom & its inverse, the loathsome slavery. It's because of the sometimes pedantic tone that I give this 4 stars instead of 5, because the book bogs down a bit occasionally.
But I thought after rereading it for the first time in decades, that it's held up well; Heinlein's visions of star travel seem as likely & vivd now as they did then, & big business & people are every bit as sleazy now as portrayed then...with a few good folks here & there, still trying to fight the good fight. Like a lot of Heinlein, it contains grains of hope toward humanity without ever (ever!) being overly optimistic.
Rich characters and interesting situations --Heinlein gives free rein to his anthropological ideas in this one-- make this a diverting read/listen. And of course, Grover Gardner does it right!
I liked how the main character was thrown in to different environments and had to adapt using what he had learned from what he was taught and his experiences.
This started out as one of e best books Ive listened to in a while and then just ended without tying up any of the loose ends. There is no second book and the author past away in 1988.
This is my first. I have to admit I didn't care for his voice at first and then I got used to it and found I like listening to him.
A slave to trade
I'm very disappointed on how it ended especially since it started out so brilliantly.
Perhaps not RAH's best but but very worth reading. Slavery, without reference to race (completely different concept) is central. Written in the late 50's??? Incredible. Shifting frames of reference from the point of view of an adolescent male are instructive. Females who (truly) wish to understand male psychology might give this a read. Females who wish to denigrate males will no doubt pass, as usual.
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