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
Speaker, Leader, innovation consultant, kilt-wearer, South African.
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.
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.
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.
The next Hunger Games book.
He was a very good story teller.
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.
Iconic, critical, timeless
The book that charged the 60's with the energy of change.
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.
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.
Well performed classic.
The Man from Mars, of course.
I get headaches from reading sometimes, so it's just a nice break. The voice acting is noticeably better than for non-Audible books.
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.
Not only entertaining but a message that all of us need to understand
the man from mars of course
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..."
One of the best I heard, I had trouble putting it down.
When the lawyer/doctor gives into the young girl.
He was excellent. I'm going to look for other works by Christopher.
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!!!
One of my all-time faves - probably number 5
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.
Christopher Hurt's performance was entertaining, his falsetto when changing the speaker's gender reminds me of storytelling remembered from my childhood.
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.
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