Citizen of the Galaxy MP3 CD – Dec 1 2004
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From the Publisher
Like many people, I go way, way back with Heinlein. My very favorite book (and one that stands out in my mind--and with much affection--to this day) is Tunnel in the Sky. I really, really wanted to go off to explore new worlds with a covered wagon and horses, like the hero does at the very end of the book. But one of the nice things about Robert Heinlein is that he's got something for everyone. One of my best friends has a different favorite: Podkayne of Mars. Go figure.
--Shelly Shapiro, Executive Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
An outstanding science fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein was a four-times Hugo award winner. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I usually list _Tunnel in the Sky_ as my favorite of Heinlein's young-adult novels of the 1950s, and I still think it belongs at the top of the list. But this one is very close.
As I'm sure you know already, it's the tale of a young fellow named Thorby, a slave on the planet Sargon who comes under the protection of one Baslim the Cripple. A sort of outer-space version of Kipling's _Kim_, the novel traces Thorby's life and development through several changes of venue -- and ends on Earth, where Thorby finds out who he really is and takes on some heavy, adult-sized responsibilities.
It's a very well handled coming-of-age novel, and it expresses Heinlein's own remarkable take on maturity very nearly as well as _Tunnel_ (in some ways arguably better). And like _Tunnel_, it devotes _just a little_ space, toward the end, to preaching against straw men. (Here, it's a couple of custard-headed pacifists whose sole literary function is to mouth inane slogans that Heinlein wants to show up as irresponsible nonsense. There was _loads_ of such stuff in _Starship Troopers_ but in this one it's kept to a minimum.)
It also shares part of its 'skeleton' with _Stranger in a Strange Land_ (on which Heinlein was also working at about the same time, still under its provisional title 'A Martian Named Smith'). Why, there's even a climactic courtroom battle, with Thorby represented by a crusty lawyer not terribly unlike Jubal Harshaw. (In general lawyers don't come off well in Heinlein's novels; in the final analysis the sharklike Garsch is no exception, although Harshaw fares somewhat better.Read more ›
Thorby next finds a home on the Free Trader ship Sisu, where he learns the skills of spaceship life and lives by the unusual customs of Free Trader families. There are interesting comparisons made between life as a slave and the obligations and structured roles of the Free Traders. Thorby soon transfers to a military ship of the Earth-based Hegemonic Empire. On the way to Earth, Thorby adjust to a new culture, learning the customs and constrains of military shipboard service. Investigations finally reveal Thorby’s true identity and family connections. He takes up the reigns of a new set of obligations on Earth. Ultimately he must make some decisions about what kind of life he wants to live.
This book is yet another book of successful Robert Heinlein “juvenile” science fiction. Written in an age of technology focus, this work points the way to a sociological emphasis more typical of late 60’s and early 70’s genre writing. Not only does Thorby encounter and compare several distinct cultures, but even has the help of an anthropologist at one point to guide his growth in perspective. Heinlein has written something far beyond the clichéd space opera typical of his time.
This is classic, old-school science fiction by one of the Grand Masters. Definitely worth reading.
Heinlein's extensive firsthand knowledge of military science and shipboard routine serves him in good stead once again in this fascinating juvenile. He is somewhat less entertaining when trying to discuss big business dealings in the second half of the novel, but there is still a sufficiently subversive element to keep us interested in Thorby's fate. And while Thorby grows up quite a bit during the course of the story, this is still a boys' book. Numerous girls get thrown in Thorby's path at various stages, but he remains wholly oblivious, focused as he is own his own problems. And as is typical of Heinlein, these young women are not just hapless victims - some of them exercise real power within their respective realms. So young women interested in social sci-fi may find this book entertaining as well.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An amazing read. One of Heinlein's great works that has been among my favorites since I was a very young boy.Published on Jan. 30 2014 by Chris Price
This was a very fast-moving, exciting book. It is well written, and it makes you think. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who likes science fiction.Published on May 10 2004
This book is my absolute favorite Heinlein novel. It's a great story, and there is not a single female character in it. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003 by tzefirah
Capsule Description: A young orphan with no memory of his past is sold as a slave, and becomes embroiled in more and more complex situations while travelling from world to world. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2003 by Ryk E. Spoor
RAH is grandmaster - no doubt for that. And Citizen of the Galaxy is one of his best (close circle - JOB, Number of the Beast, Strangeer in a Strange Land - hard to position... Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2003 by T. Ostric
The first RAH that I read was this book.
It introduced me to the Grand Masters style and I have enjoyed RAH ever since. This book remains one of my favourites. Read more
Thorby's beginings are shrouded in mystery, lost somewhere on the long road seared into him by many masters, and many lashes. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2003 by Rachel E. Watkins
Citizen of the Galaxy is probably Heinlein's most mature juvenile novel and is certainly one of his most inspirational. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2002 by Daniel Jolley
As Thorby goes from slave to son to stranger in, then member of a trading society, to enlisted man in a space navy, to galactic magnate, he finds that each position brings him... Read morePublished on July 2 2002 by Gary M. Greenbaum