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Publisher's Summary

It was a desperate time, when one's next meal and the comforts of home couldn't be taken for granted. Max Jones, a practical, hard-working young man, found his escape in his beloved astronomy books. But when reality comes crashing in and his troubled home life forces him out on the road, Max finds himself adrift in a downtrodden land - until an unexpected, ultimate adventure carries him away as a stowaway aboard an intergalactic spaceship.

But to where? And when? And how can he ever get back? With the ship's pilot dead and his charts and tables all destroyed, Max must call upon all of his untested knowledge and skills in order to survive.

©2003 The Robert A. & Victoria Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Old Fashioned upbeat

From the 40's to the 60's RH was the face of Science Fiction. At that time he wrote many future novels in which the main characters worked hard, studied hard and stayed true to their morals. These characters were able to accomplish their dreams using these. Rarely is luck the leading force. This is considered a juvenile novel, but in 1953 what was considered juvenile would not fall in that category today, I believe. This is one of my favorites of Heinlein. If you liked Have Space Suit--Will Travel or Rocket Ship Galileo, then you will like Starman Jones. My only complaint is that I feel RH cheated by giving this character a photo graphic memory.

57 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Pleasantly surprised

This one was a great read! It didn't follow the typical boy is an idiot, boy discovers he has amazing powers, boy winds up winning the girl, the fame and the world, bla, bla, bla... that so many scifi/fantasy stories do. For an older book, it seemed up to date enough to me to hold my interest. In fact, I found myself impressed that Heinlein wrote such a contemporary story so long ago. I enjoyed it very much and will look into more Heinlein books.

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A typical Heinlein Juvenile

As a fan of Heinlein's "Juveniles" I particularly enjoyed this book - it's one of my favorites.

It is one of his space ship stories (rather than being planet based). If you are a fellow fan, then you should enjoy this book too.

If you're not a big fan, then you need to know that it does have his usual level of meticulous and copious scientific and mathematic detail, which may annoy some. It also has one of his willful female characters whom I, as a woman, found mildly irritating.

The narrator is adequate. I didn't find that he either improved or detracted from the story. Those who are very sensitive to the narrator should definitely listen to the whole sample before deciding.

61 of 64 people found this review helpful

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Great YA, Classic, Coming of Age, Sci-Fi Adventure

This is my first Heinlein read and I now realize that I have been missing out. Some people were saying that this is a bad first book to start with Heinlein, but I have to disagree. This makes a great stand-alone novel and was a solid 5 star listen. The book seemed appropriate for adults and young adults.

Starman Jones is about a farmer boy born into a society where guilds control all the professions. Some guilds require lineage and have very expensive apprenticeships. All Jones has wanted to do since he was young was be an astrogator and go into space. Unfortunately for Jones, he is poor. When his uncle died without informing him whether had a recommendation to a guild he is unsure whether this goal may be obtainable. When circumstances place Jones in a position where he must run it seems obvious where his path must lead. With intelligence and an eidetic memory as guide he sets out to be more than just a poor farmers boy. In the process of his journey he meets a shady homeless man named Sam. When these two team up, the trouble starts, and they find themselves in an adventure across the galaxy.

This story was quite a ride. We get a look at a futuristic planet and society that encompasses the galaxy. There are multiple planets in this timeline where space travel is possible, but requires great mathematicians to course correct between worlds. You get some scientific jargon but it is completely fun and easy to follow. Plus, you are truly drawn through the whole mess of events with two opposite and engaging characters. I thought the ending was a little rushed and convenient when some characters were explained off in order to allow our main character a chance to be a hero. We get a short mention and brief exploration into different alien cultures, but there certainly was enough left open to write a sequel if this author had chosen. But really, I just wish this book were longer. If you are ready to suspend disbelief and enjoy a classic science fiction novel then give this book a try.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great story; great narrator

I agree with all the reviewers here who've said that this is a great story. But I would also like to add that Paul Michael Garcia's narration is one of the best I've ever heard from Audible. For me, the bar was set by Stefan Rudnicki with Ender's Game. Mr. Garcia with this book is a close second. He nailed it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Space Adventure...

Starman Jones! I loved this book when I was a young boy back in the 60's! I found this book in a public library as I needed to write a book report. I was not much of a reader then, but I was totally engrossed by this book at the time.

Until now, I did not remember that it was written by Robert A. Heinlein who is such a famous and prolific science fiction writer. Other books: "Have Space Suite, Will Travel", "Strangers in a Strange Land", "Starship Troopers"... and many, many more.

Having re-read it after 40+ years, I sill enjoyed it (with the understanding, that this book was written for teenagers).

For more information on "Heinlein juveniles" genre books that you may also like (and find at Audible). Do a Google search on "Heinlein juveniles".

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Top Notch

I originally read this book in High School. I bought it now because I remembered it being a good read. I have to admit I enjoyed it as much now as I did then.

For me this is an old favorite that I can now enjoy over and over when I have the spare time to listen.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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There were many times listening to this story that I could "feel" the influence of Heinlein on the Star Wars stories. Loved the characters ... marvelous addition t the genre.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A classic tale told well.

Would you consider the audio edition of Starman Jones to be better than the print version?

I consider the print and audio equally good.

Which character – as performed by Paul Michael Garcia – was your favorite?

Sam, ex marine, finagling, 'sidekick'.

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

Spoiler alert!

Yes, when Sam gave his life to save Max and Ellie.

Any additional comments?

The Heinlein Juveniles (minus Podkayne of Mars) are, for me, the very finest of YA writing and this particular story is certainly in the top five of these fine books. It as been a favorite of mine since I first read it in the late 50's early 60's. I reread it every few years and am very happy to have it well performed in audio.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Emanuel
  • Zion, IL, United States
  • 03-24-11


Perhaps I need to stick to the classics! This is an excellent example of being able to tell a story without the use of profanity. If there was any, I dont remember them. Mr Garcia was a very good narrator also. There was not alot of action like one might want but my attention was held and my profanity mental meter did not peg every other paragraph. Mr Heinlein and others like him should teach the others this ability. Good job!

24 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosie and Duncan
  • 07-23-09

Great Audiobook, we both love it!

Both myself and my husband really enjoyed this audiobook, its well read and a great story.

The only reason we didn't give this book 5 stars was because as much as its unabridged so it will be long we felt that sometimes the way it was narated made it feel a bit of a drag at points but it was however still very enjoyable. Also we feel this book is suitable not only for kids but others also so the bit added by Audible with "Audible Kids" mentioned was a little annoying.

As I said though, its a great book and the narator is good. We will definately listen to it again and have enjoyed it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 09-15-09

Starman Jones

Fantastic story. I read this book 25 years ago and had forgotten the plot , but enjoyed every minute.
Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer Michelle Adams
  • 12-29-17


a very enjoyable book good story line and held me riveted most of the way through.

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  • Mairi
  • 10-26-15

A Belter in the best Boys Own Annual Tradition

What made the experience of listening to Starman Jones the most enjoyable?

Whilst a bit dated in language and style this remains for me one of Heinleins' best works. Make no mistake this book is the precursor to all of the Star Wars, Lost in Space and Starship Troopers stories. It follows a young mans dream of running away from home to head into space. His story is full of exciting episodes with risk and danger, fun and trickery.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sam the main characters mentor and cheeky rouge who knows how to make anything happen.

Which character – as performed by Paul Michael Garcia – was your favourite?

Max the young man who is the main character was read with the right amount of headstrong naivety and genuine discovery to make him as real as you or I.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

If you like your adventure stories then this one will hit the sweet spot.