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The Door into Summer Mass Market Paperback – Oct 12 1986

71 customer reviews

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The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (Oct. 12 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345330129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345330123
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #468,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

After Heinlein passed away, Del Rey published a book called Grumbles from the Grave, and I had the great pleasure of working with Virginia Heinlein on gathering photos and other material to accompany the letters and text that made up the book. While at her house, I was introduced to a cat named Pixel.

It must not have been this particular feline that inspired the cat in A Door into Summer, but it certainly could have been, and I re-read the book as soon as I could.

If you haven't read Henlein, you haven't read science fiction, and if you haven't read this, you haven't read Heinlein. It's the quintessential time travel-paradox story. It's exciting, it's fun, and of course, there's the cat.
                                                --Alex Klapwald, Director of Production

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) was educated at the University of Missouri and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis. He served as a naval officer for five years but retired in 1934 due to ill health. He then studied physics at UCLA and worked in a number of jobs before beginning to publish science fiction in 1939. Among his many novels are Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book at a yard sale, because of Heinlein's reputation, and it sat, unread, in our beach cottage for a few years. A few days ago I finally picked it up. And devoured it in record time. For all his shortcomings, which I will get to, Heinlein knew how to tell a compelling story. You can't put the book down because you want to find out what happens next, and how it will all turn out. But once I found out what happens next, and how it all turns out, I was left with a feeling of having frittered away several unproductive hours of my life.

I am not a science fiction fan but occasionally read the "classic" authors to see if any of them paint a recognizable picture of the world which we now inhabit. Heinlein, ranked among the best of the breed, doesn't even come close. This book was written in the 1950s and is set in the years 1970 and 2000, i.e. Heinlein's future and our past and he got virtually everything wrong. He completely missed the Buckminster Fuller "do more with less" principle which gave birth to the transistor and its relentlessly shrinking progeny. In Heinlein's 21st Century the revolutionary labor saving device his protagonist has invented is based on the cathode ray tube. In his mythical future we've ridden rocket ships to other planets, use robots to do our housework and menial office tasks, wear plastic clothes, read glossy newspapers (whose pages turn by a mere touch) but still have to write a check to get cash from our bank account. The most imaginative change this 1950s genius could conjure up for the year 2000 was that of movies becoming "grabbies." (Heinlein doesn't bother to describe what a grabbie is, he merely notes the name change.)

The biggest miss, the one on which the plot is built, is cryogenics.
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By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 13 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I initially picked this book because of its time travel aspect but discovered it is rich with other devices. Heinlein wrote it in 1957 but positions the action mostly in 1970, 2000 and 2001. What is very curious is setting the action after a limited nuclear war establishing an interesting backdrop and references to that conflict. The lead character, Daniel Boone Davis, is delightfully caustic and full of fabulous observations about people and life, consider this one, "I have spent too much of my life opening doors for cats—I once calculated that, since the dawn of civilization, nine hundred and seventy-eight man-centuries have been used up that way. I could show you figures.”

In addition to time travel there is the invention of advanced robots and the use of suspended animated long sleeps. The author winds these science fiction favourites together into a story that includes corporate intrigue and a more than creepy romantic angle. The latter is cleverly dealt with through the wonders of time travel. At its heart this is a tale of revenge and indictment of people's greed and envy. The novel's catalyst was an observation made by Heinlein's wife when the family cat refused to leave their house, "he's looking for a door into summer."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When you hang on to a book through three decades, three trans-continental moves and various other tidal forces such as marriage and kids you either a) are very possesive about books (guilty) or b) you have a book worth hanging on to - one of those that is lovingly packed for a move well before the last-minute frenzy to shove everything into boxes and one that makes 'home' out of wherever those boxes are unpacked.
Heinlein wrote simply a ton of excellent science fiction and his place in the pantheon of that genre is so assured as to be fundamental. So when a lot of people, and check the number of reviews on this well-aged book, say it might be one of his best it's worth at a minimum a second look.
In this story you get not just time travel, cryogenic sleep, and robots, you get a quick tour through the meanings of friendship, love, deceit, the sweetness of affection and the bitterness of betrayal and if you don't have a good time along the way then there's really nothing I can think of to recommend for you with any likelihood of better luck. I'm sure there are lots of fine people who despise 'The Door Into Summer', I just don't know any of them.
My original copy has survived three decades in my possession; it's original cost was $1.50. Today's version costs a bit more but it'll have acid-free paper and probably better typeface and binding. The contents still outweigh the cost by a wide margin.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the time he was writing, Heinlein's books were so much better than all the others because he was so much smarter than most other writers. He thought things through first (which many others did too), but then he added an element that many other sf writers didn't (and some STILL don't): humanity.
Dan Davis, an inventor, narrates the story. He's a brilliant inventor and has come up with some pretty amazing gadgets, including Hired Girl, a robot who cleans, sweeps, vacuums, mops, and generally works all day long without supervision. Dan's problems begin mounting when he learns he's been betrayed by his partner. And to add insult to injury, Dan's fiancée is in on the betrayal as well. As if betrayal alone isn't enough, the two conspirators have Dan placed into a 30-year suspended animation. Dan wakes up 30 years later and is focused on one thing: revenge.
Now lots of authors could have taken the above premise and come up with an entertaining story. Heinlein did this and much more. He shows us that change (for individuals and for all humanity) is difficult, but not impossible. The future is full of challenges, but no matter how much technology changes, no matter how much language, currency, and trends change, man's basic instincts and attitudes remain constant.
Heinlein also tackles the implications of time travel better than anyone else from this period. (The book first appeared in 1957.) The problem of time travel is well thought out and logical. (Wish you could say that about every time travel story.) If you haven't read Heinlein, or if all you've read is 'Stranger in a Strange Land,' 'Starship Troopers,' or 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (all great books), treat yourself to a fun, intelligent read from one of the true masters.
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