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
The first part of this book is great. But about the time that the orgies start, it gets preachy and repetitive and annoying. The sex isn’t described in detail – the actual details are mostly about someone’s clothes instantly vanishing (many, many, many, many times, long after this trick gets old), and about how it’s a bringing closer to share yourself with your water brothers – but the book really goes downhill once Mike is initiated and takes off with Jill. There was a plot before then, a good one, but the rest of the book is slogans. Waiting is. It’s a goodness. Do you grok? Thou art God. You grok, Jubal, you always have. Waiting is. I grok, but not in fullness. Thou art God. Jill is God. I am God. Sex is a goodness. It’s a closeness. Thou art God. Do you grok? I grok. Share water, brother.
The best character was Jubal, but even his narrow-minded preaching got old and tedious. It was not a goodness, do you grok? But then, waiting is.
How could this book full of cheap gimmicks have become a classic? I suppose because it’s all very 1960s, obsessed with group sex/free love/orgies as the one great goodness in the world, do you grok? But of course you could never enjoy group sex with someone unless you first shared water. It’s a goodness. Thou art God. Waiting is.
This was an absolute pleasure to listen to this and may be one of (if the the) best books I have ever participated in.
Sorry, but this book is past it's time. It's science fiction at it's core, but most of the book is a rambling essay on sociology and the value of religion. Some of the 1960's views of the future are interesting, but only a few seem prophetic and not all that interesting.
I always knew that Heinlein wrote stranger stuff as he got older and this book proves it. Well written and enjoyable however.
If you like sci-Fi with a bit of sixties hippie free love then this is the book for you.
Not be quite so condecencing and demeaning towards women.
Yes, he did a good job.
There are many great science fiction books that were written during the same time period where the male author refrained from being so demeaning towards women. At some point
during the book Heinlein's character said 9/10 rape victims deserved it. This book seemed to take forever to get to the point, and it seemed to take forever to finish.
I just started to listen to Sci Fi and this was the best so far. I read this book when I was a kid many years ago. I must not have got it then. After listening again in my mid fifties I understand it now. And I must say that it effected me in someway I can't explain. I guess that is what Great Writing is supposed to do.
This is a wonderful piece of classic speculative fiction, which I enjoyed without reserve. The antiquated (definitely not politically correct!) language and reading perfectly evoked mid century life in North America for me. I remember when most men really spoke just like the reader does, particularly when voicing the character of Jubal, mysogynistic as he would sound if he was speaking today.Remarkably, despite that, it still is fresh and pertinent to our lives today. And this work has aged beautifully, a mark of true excellence!
I love the exploration of God and religion and particularly the views expressed through the characters on love and sexuality, the destructive nature of jealousy, and of course the rich symbology and metaphor used throughout. On top of all of this, it was delightful to simply listen and enjoy a superb performance of a fabulous, still avant garde, work of literature.
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