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Stranger in a Strange Land | [Robert A. Heinlein]

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, an earthling born and educated on Mars, who arrives on Earth with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man. Smith is destined to become a freak, a media commodity, a scam artist, a searcher, and finally, a messiah.
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Publisher's Summary

Valentine Michael Smith, an earthling born and educated on Mars, arrives on Earth with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man. On his new planet, Smith is destined to become a freak, a media commodity, a scam artist, a searcher, a sexual pioneer, a neon evangelist, a martyr, and, finally, a messiah. Stranger in a Strange Land is the most famous science fiction novel ever written. It became the bible of the "love generation" and transcended the genre to achieve the status of a modern classic.

©1961 by Robert A. Heinlein; (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, 1962

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3328 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Erich Auckland Park, South Africa 09-14-12
    Erich Auckland Park, South Africa 09-14-12

    Speaker, Leader, innovation consultant, kilt-wearer, South African.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A classic, vintage Heinlein"

    Heinlein was interested in alternative ways of setting up societies.

    In this book, a human arrives on earth from Mars, where he had been living since infancy.

    As he learns our ways, he questions why things should be organised the way they are.

    He is lucky to find a tough but kindly mentor who shows him the ropes and who helps him navigate the legal system and society in general.

    This is the book that gave us the word "grok", which I find myself wanting to use again, like some ageing hippie of my mother's generation.

    If you're interested in polyamory, human relationships or spirituality, you'll find this a really interesting read on many levels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Campbelltown, Australia 07-30-12
    Lisa Campbelltown, Australia 07-30-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Different and thought provoking"
    Any additional comments?

    I've mostly listened the authors juvenile fiction, and decided to listen to this seeing as it is considered one of his best, perhaps the best. The story was different and thought provoking, and definitely different from the juveniles. I have to say I prefer the lighthearted, adventure stories of the juveniles, however this book still had some of the adventure, but in a more 'adult' context. I'm still trying to fully 'grock'* the book, and will no doubt be listening again.
    * a concept introduced in the book along the lines of understanding, but in a more deeper and complete way. Well worth the listen even if only to find out what grocking is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 07-27-12
    Scott 07-27-12

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Not what I remember of Heinlein's work"
    Would you try another book from Robert A. Heinlein and/or Christopher Hurt?

    Maybe. I read one or two of his books as a teen or early twenties. At the time, I had a good experience with his writing. Now, I think I'm a little too old fashion for his depiction of nudity within the group or the cult like atmosphere that was portrayed in this book. Though the characters admitted that it was not a religion that they were spreading, it was sold as such to people outside the group; also Mike Smith's death at the end was too similar to christ's crucifixion for me. I expect that the similarities were intentional and meant to be thought provoking, but it just made me uneasy. I would want to know more about the book before I purchased another of his audiobooks.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The next Hunger Games book.


    What about Christopher Hurt’s performance did you like?

    He was a very good story teller.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not saying this was a bad book; just not something that I enjoyed. It was mostly the second half of the book that I had issues with. Michael Smith's cult like organization, his "thou art god" greetings between inner circle members and his "crucifixion" at the end is what bothered me about the book. I expect that the author intended this to be thought provoking, but it was just a little too disturbing for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. D. Pinto Southern Illinois, USA 07-22-12
    M. D. Pinto Southern Illinois, USA 07-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Timeless message but dated attitudes"
    If you could sum up Stranger in a Strange Land in three words, what would they be?

    Iconic, critical, timeless


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The book that charged the 60's with the energy of change.


    Any additional comments?

    Heinlein has oft been criticized for pontificating, and he does, but he does it so well. Stranger has been a favorite of mine since the 60's when I first read it. It was my introduction to Heinlein as well as my entry into modern science fiction. In the years since, I have read all of Heinlein's work and indulged in the imaginations of of thousands of other "what if" writers. Yet, in all of those millions of words I've read, none have affected me in the way Heinlein's Stranger did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHELDON 07-10-12
    SHELDON 07-10-12
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    "Dated and Inconsistent"

    I liked the first half of the book best - the idea of a man, raised on another planet and brought back home to a strange world he can not understand is an interesting one. But it the author's attitudes toward women in particular (one female character claims that nine times out of ten a woman is responsible for her own rape) are jarring. One can only deal with so much dialogue about "her pert fanny amd ample bosom". It's a bit much.

    I enjoyed watching Jubal mentor Mike and ultimately outwit the government. But when Mike and Jill leave to go off on their own, and Mike becomes "magic" (making people and clothing disappear, dressing Jill via telekinesis, etc.), it all got a bit too dopey for me. Also, the constant pillow talk between Mike and Jill becomes annoying. Who talks like this? It's voyeuristic for the reader.

    I know this is considered a classic - and perhaps seen through the eyes of someone in the 60's it was. But by today's standards it's a bit silly. Unintentionally so.

    The performance is great - no complaints there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Schlette Monterey, CA 07-09-12
    J. Schlette Monterey, CA 07-09-12
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    "Well done"
    If you could sum up Stranger in a Strange Land in three words, what would they be?

    Well performed classic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Man from Mars, of course.


    What does Christopher Hurt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I get headaches from reading sometimes, so it's just a nice break. The voice acting is noticeably better than for non-Audible books.


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

    Michael Valentine's death. I read the original edited version a long time ago, so nothing was really all that surprising. The unabridged version was seamless and just went into more depth than the original.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwyn 07-01-12
    Darwyn 07-01-12
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    "A true masterpiece of sci-fi"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Not only entertaining but a message that all of us need to understand


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the man from mars of course


    Any additional comments?

    A true classic for a book from over 50 years ago looking into the future I found little to distract me from the plot. That is to say I found it easy to suspend disbelieving and join the lovable protagonists in their metamorphosis.
    "Thou are God..."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 06-22-12
    Kathi 06-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A classic SciFi well done"
    Where does Stranger in a Strange Land rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best I heard, I had trouble putting it down.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Stranger in a Strange Land?

    When the lawyer/doctor gives into the young girl.


    What about Christopher Hurt’s performance did you like?

    He was excellent. I'm going to look for other works by Christopher.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John D 05-29-12
    John D 05-29-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A classic"

    I can't say enough about this book. Some say that it is life changing, and I have to agree. Heinlein opens our eyes to new possibilities all through this book. Must read!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User Winnipeg, MB, Canada 05-21-12
    A User Winnipeg, MB, Canada 05-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow, still great after all these years"
    Where does Stranger in a Strange Land rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my all-time faves - probably number 5


    What did you like best about this story?

    The book was written 50 years ago - half a century but still resonates with timely and pervasive themes. It's as if he had a view to the future. Heinlein thought we were rife with consumerism and in desperate need of guidance in the 50's, how he'd roll today.


    What about Christopher Hurt’s performance did you like?

    Christopher Hurt's performance was entertaining, his falsetto when changing the speaker's gender reminds me of storytelling remembered from my childhood.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Because is was a re-read, I had no huge reaction, but I found it intriguing that the society Heinlein is mocking in 1961 is much the same one we are living in today, despite huge 'advances' in technology and social conscience.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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