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Glory Road Audiobook

Glory Road

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Publisher's Summary

E. C. “Scar” Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia, but he hadn’t given up his habit of scanning the personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him: "Are you a coward? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 pounds, fluent English with some French, proficient with all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential, willing to travel, no family or emotional ties, indomitably courageous and handsome of face and figure. Permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger. You must apply in person, 17 rue Dante, Nice, 2me étage, apt. D."

How could you not answer an ad like that, especially when it seemed to describe you perfectly? Well, except maybe for the “handsome” part, but that was in the eye of the beholder anyway. So he went to that apartment and was greeted by the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. She seemed to have many names but agreed he could call her Star. A pretty appropriate name, as it turned out, for the empress of twenty universes. And she sends him on the adventure of a lifetime.

Robert A. Heinlein’s one true fantasy novel, Glory Road is as much fun today as when he wrote it after Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein proves himself as adept with sword and sorcery as with rockets and slide rules, and the result is exciting, satirical, fast-paced, funny, and tremendously readable - a favorite of all who have read it. Glory Road is a masterpiece of escapist entertainment with a typically Heinleinian sting in its tail.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was the dominant science fiction writer of the modern era, a writer whose influence on the field was immense. He won science fiction’s Hugo Award for best novel four times.

©1963 Robert A. Heinlein; renewed 1991 by Virginia Heinlein; 2003 by the Robert A. & Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust; Afterword 1979, 1984 by Samuel R. Delany (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A triumph.”(Chicago Tribune)

Glory Road maintains a delicacy, a bravura, and a joy that not only are notable, but clearly consign it to his heptology of major SF novels.” (Samuel R. Delany, American author and literary critic)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (912 )
5 star
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3.9 (834 )
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4.3 (825 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 10-18-13
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2016

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

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    "Heinlein definitely should stick to Sci-fi"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I preface this with the fact that I am a huge Heinlein fan. This book is a turd. The concept is really cool and interesting but poorly executed at best. This book would have needed a complete re-write to be acceptable. As the author is dead that isn't going to happen. I have to say this is one of the few books by the author I do not like.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert A. Heinlein again?

    Of course..


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    All of them. I don't like his TV and movie work but Bronson Pinchot is a genius at narrarating audiobooks.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Glory Road?

    Really this story is more like a draft than a completed work. I'd keep the main concept and the first few chapters and scrap the rest.


    Any additional comments?

    Heinlein is one of the most prolific authors of all time the fact that this is one of the few stinkers he ever wrote is a testament to how talented the guy was. You can't hit a home run all the time but most anything else he wrote is excellent.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ES 06-07-15
    ES 06-07-15 Member Since 2017
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    "It's interesting"

    Well told story.

    Sex, thoughts on sex, wish for sex, fear of sex. Wanted more on thoughts of heroes and more glory roads!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-03-17
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    "One Voice does it work"

    this is one of my favorite books by Robert Heinlein. while the voice actor was okay I think the story requires multiple voices. it took me awhile before I wasn't distracted buy the voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Bunce 02-25-17
    A. Bunce 02-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A quality listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but this is a complicated answer. Judging and reviewing "Glory Road" today is an interesting, and somewhat difficult, task. Written in 1964, the height of Heinlein's literary success, it becomes apparent very quickly that this story, and its characters, are from a different time, when gender roles were viewed differently, but also when politics and foreign military action were viewed and received differently. Just consider the themes: E.C is drafted and serves in a "foreign military policing action", as the west reacts to the "red scare" that former French colonial territory Indochina, afterwards known as Vietnam, would transition fully into a communist state and shift the balance of the post-WWII, cold war era world. Believe it or not, I considered most of this when I set out to read this book - and unlike some people, whom were insulted or offended by the overtly sexist bits, or Heinlein's more conservative views towards government and the military, I found them fascinating, as if not only looking back onto this masterfully crafted story, but also the time period and sociopolitical undercurrents that shaped it.

    I didn't find E.C "Scar" as likable as most of Heinlein's protagonists, and yet, he wasn't entirely unlikable either. His confidence-sometimes bordering on arrogant demeanor made him less relatable for me. But then again, I must also make concessions. This is a young man taken from his home, shipped overseas, and thrust into a conflict people couldn't understand, or support. When considering this, his attitude starts making more sense. A person who looses control of their destiny, or more realistically, their short-term future (draftees) might come back and seek to not only retain some semblance of control over their lives, but also struggle reintegrating into a culture that they are either ill equipped for, or were never allowed to acclimate to before joining military service. This is a concept broached by many authors - and it is something that young men struggle with this very day.

    Scar's relationships with Star and Rufo are interesting, and definitely drive the plot, especially when you mix in later twists. Scar's attitude towards women is a mix, as at times he comes off as a misogynist, threatening Star with spankings (not only the hand variety, but with her own sword), but also with how they interact. At other times, Scar slides towards the other end of the spectrum, noting his distaste for the idea of young Vietnamese women (or little sisters as he refers to them) who offer themselves to men at a price. This theme is confronted again while the trio is questing, as Scar is offered a small group of female bed mates by a local lord, as hospitality. Heinlein briefly confronts these issues of sexuality, even confronting legalized prostitution - noting that our earth is the only one in an expansive system of inhabited planets to engage in the barbaric tradition. For the most part, Scar functions as the "A" typical man, exerting control, and thus dominance, on the others in his party. The interesting question that continued to pop into my head is this: Is E.C this way, because that was the male gender role of the time - the strong, dominant, head-of-the-household type that makes women sub servant, or, is this the post military, combat veteran reestablishing himself in a world void of strict military discipline, rank, and chain of command? Was he trying to retake control of his life? Or was this ingrained or learned misogyny.

    Story wise, Heinlein mixes equal parts fantasy and science fiction, which work very well together. The plot moves at a crisp pace - and I love that he didn't end the story at the cliched moment "quest complete/item retrieved, hero and heroine return to kingdom and live happily ever after." Yes, some people will fault the ending as weak, but I found it intriguing. It speaks to Scar's character, the relationships he builds with Star and Rufo along the way, as well as a natural, intrinsic wanderlust suffered by people whose lives have been altered by war or dramatic change. The Glory Road, much like the soldier's path tears down much, if not all, of what a person's knows or expects. It changes their views, their ideals, but mostly, what they will come to expect and demand out of the world, and the people around them. You don't simply live through something like that and expect to go unchanged - no, you will be a different person. I believe that is one of the central themes Heinlein was trying to confront in this book. How the conflict of the road for glory changes us, and thus, how and where we fit into society afterwards.

    In the end, I found Glory Road a fun, engaging read well-worth my time


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    Pinchot's performance is very good, and his accent work is top notch. Although, I found his voice for Star to be more than a bit distracting. Her husky, almost perpetual whisper, with a slight French accent doesn't carry the sensuality I believe Pinchot is trying to convey, instead, it sounds more like a man trying to sound alluring and feminine. I can forgive this as the other characters are fabulously done, especially Rufo.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Unfortunately, no.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arcticreader 01-21-17
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    "Fun in parts, but dated, unfortunately."

    The last few chapters were the best. I only got.that far because of fond memories from reading most of Heinlein's novels as.a young woman. The problem is mainly the dialogue and power between the two main characters. Even if it looks like fantasy, it is an SF-fantasy hybrid. Most modern women, and lots of men will object to the portreyal of the women in the story
    The reader/actor increased the problem, but it was well and lively done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert White 01-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent Listen"

    Bronson Pinchot delivers an excellent performance of this Heinlein classic. This novel bridges the gap between science fiction and fantasy, while exploring many topics such as morality and self identity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elhosots 12-29-16
    Elhosots 12-29-16
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    "Speaker is creative and good -but differences in audio volume are difficult"

    Of the three main characters, the 'star' dialog is at too low of a volume level. It is hard to find a comfortable volume level given the audio dynamic range for the dialog of these three main characters

    Otherwise, the audio characterizations are good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Heinlein's Only Fantasy"

    Robert Heinlein has always been my favorite SF writer, from his early "simple" stories to his later novels. This stemmed mainly from his "future history" concept linking all his works. I also just really liked how he wrote. Discovering this book, his one "unlinked" work, and a fantasy to boot, was quite the surprise. And an utter delight, especially finding even here some of his trademark commentary on the mores of society.

    Bronson Pinchot gives a spirited performance, using distinctly different voices for the characters. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Akela 09-05-16
    Akela 09-05-16 Member Since 2014

    smiling wolf

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    "narration is all wrong for Heinlein"
    Would you listen to Glory Road again? Why?

    Definitely not - I love the book, I'd better re-read it again. It is fortunate that I already knew the book, otherwise I would have dropped it. Bronson Pinchot is a very good narrator - just not for female voices and not for Heinlein.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them as it is a very well told story that maintains an ideal balance of characters, plot, humor and sheer joy of life.


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    Actually I did not particularly like it. His Oscar is very good. But others... Why use a funny accent for Rufo? - after the hero learned the languages, there is no reason to assume that Rufo talks with some ridiculous kind of accent (and those irritating hissing "sheeeeee"s are horrible). The gorgeous proud, smart and funny empress comes across more often than not as a simpering sniveling little maiden in distress - nothing could be farther from Heinlein's heroine.Heinlein himself practically never used funny accents or dialects - his heroes usually speak clear concise English and his humor is dry.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I love the duel with Cyrano de Bergerac in the Dark Tower.


    Any additional comments?

    I do hope not to hear a narrator to imitate crying in a book again ))) LOL that was so over the top I nearly switched it off for good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 08-14-16
    Michael 08-14-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Teenager's wet dream except the last part"

    Disappointed. Tons of sex with by default willing women and brilliant tactical solutions out of the hero's hat. No conflict, no struggle, except the very end.
    Good narrator, bullshit of a text, disgrace to Heinlein's name.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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