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.
“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)
Glory Road Review
Bronson Pinchot is absolutely amazing, changing his volume, tone, & speed to accurately portray the emotional content stated or implied by the author. I want to hear more read by him because it is read by him. His performance could make a bad story great.
As for the story, this is another Heinlein novel, describing his view of correct morality, justice, propriety, and politics that made him a controversial and star storyteller. I enjoyed the adventure and was drawn into the philosophical discussion. But, ultimately, the message is that there is nothing more than this life, so eat, drink, & be merry, or find your own passion and live for that, for that is all there is to this life, and all we should hope for is that science will advance enough to extend one's merriment for as long as one should desire to endure it, and social and political customs will change to allow for individual pursuit of hedonism without interference from others.
Glory Road is a fantasy-esque story with a tip of the hat to science fiction when it comes to "explaining" magic and the evolution of dragons. It's not really more than a hat-tip and it's all very hand-wavey with regard to details but it added a little more depth to the universe and I liked it.
The story follows a young man, honorably discharged from the army after being injured in the Vietnam War, as he tries to work out what to do next (in as cushy a manner as possible). There's a bit of a run-up as the setting is explained and the hero's background suitably elaborated upon and then the story leaps head-first into a full-on fantasy adventure. This carries on until about two-thirds of the way through when the next thing happens but I'm not going to mention what exactly because that's kind of the point of reading and I hate when people spoil things for me.
This all sounds pretty good but there were several things that basically ruined this book for me. The main issue is the male protagonists attitude regarding members of the opposite sex. There's nothing inherently wrong with having an extremely misogynistic character in a book, and a book published in 1963 perhaps needs to be read with that time-period in mind. By itself, this wouldn't necessarily be a show-stopper but the thing that made this so unforgivable and jarring was the initial setup of a very, very strong female protagonist who turns into a whimpering, fawning mess whenever Sir Protagonist so much as raises his eyebrows. It just made no sense. Added to that are several other vital plot-points that also just make no sense, and the fact that the book seems to be 2-parts fantasy/adventure as a setup for the following 1-part lecture/diatribe on the ills of the world according to the author.
I probably wouldn't recommend anyone read this, award-winning classic or not.
Mr Pinchot does a fabulous job of voicing the characters (although I admit to getting a little annoyed by the drawn out "sheeeeee" pronunciation whenever Rufo mentioned Star).
One other thing to note, although the Afterword by Samuel Delany is mentioned in the copyright, it is not included in this recording.
Free Love enthusiastics and people that prefer to 'get off' on things implied more then the graghic detail.
The soap boxed free love scenes.
Basically you have an adult wizard of oz type book on the surface. Wierd natural laws allowing for wierd solutions to wierd problems. And lots and lots of unerotic sex. Free love is ultimately the real moral of the book. And that anything that inhibits the desire for free love is wrong. This is not to say this is an erotic book, no, nor is this just the autrhor squeezing in his own beliefs or fantasies. I mean I had to stop around chapters 9 or 10 because the characters were literally monologung about the virtues of free love and how strange and immoral prudism is. And it was boring. And even before this so much time was spent describing the women, and the main character's struggle to not indulge that that I was getting exasperated with the boredom. There were some witty remarks to keep it entertaining, some worthwhile comic relief and even a few though not long or common, but a few entertaining action scenes. But ultimately the repeated pounding of the message of 'IF TWO OR THREE PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO EACH OTHER THEY SHOULD HAVE SEX! ITS STUPID AND WRONG FOR ANY CUSTOM THAT PREVENTS THIS! AND EVERYONE IS HAPPIER WHEN YOU ALLOW IT!' That it just became so boring I could no longer listen to it.
loved the book. the audio narration is better than what was in my head. the book was brought to life very well I think Bronson P. "gets" Heinlein and his sense of humor and seriousness in perfect balance.
Big heinlein fan here.
Glory Road is just bad.
How to sum it up... When Heinlein wrote this, fantasy was still a fairly new field. Its obvious that Heinlein had not read very much of it. I would guess that he had not read Tolkein or other writers that might have expanded how he thought about this genre. This book is linear. it feels like other fantasy books I have read during this period. Its not very creative. I enjoyed how it started, but once the main character hits 'fantasy', it becomes goofy and dumb.
I have read almost everything Heinlein wrote. This is one of the few books of his that I would rate poorly.
Darn fine adventure!
The Wedding of Star to Ah-Scar!
I laughed... a LOT!
I was a bit leery about this audio book because I had been disappointed upon reading the hard-cover edition; it left me flat. I think It just goes to show that something is GAINED in narration!
My all time Second favorite Heinlein tale. And Mr. Pinchot's reading was, for me, spot on. Was initially annoyed at Rufo's French accent, but by less than midway, I found it indispensable. A hearty well done to all involved.
I love Heinlein's works - starship troopers, stranger in a strange land, etc. This was a fun book, but not one of his finest. it might have deserved 4 starts except for my dissapointment
Report Inappropriate Content