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The Door into Summer [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 12 1986
Dan Davis was tricked by an unscrupulous business partner and a greedy fiancee into spending thirty years in suspended animation just when he was on the verge of a success beyond his wildest dreams. But when he awoke in the future, he discovered he had the means to travel back in time -- and get his revenge!

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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

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Heinlein's Very Best Jan. 12 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel at Its Best Sept. 22 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, charming SF tale Sept. 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I rank this among Heinlein's three absolutely magisterial novels (the other two being _Double Star_ and _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_). Such judgments are notoriously subjective and controversial. But I feel safe in saying that any SF reader will find something to enjoy in this marvelous story.
It's part SF, part fairy tale, and part just plain good storytelling. Engineer/inventor Daniel Boone Davis and his feline companion Petronius the Arbiter are two of Heinlein's best-realized characters; the plot here is well-conceived and evenly, swiftly paced.
In case you haven't read it, I won't spoil it for you. The setup is that Davis has just been rooked by his best friend and his fiancee, and he's out to do something about it. What happens then is the story itself, so I won't tell you; I'll just say that the time-travel aspect is worked out every bit as neatly as in "By His Bootstraps", and the tale is one of Heinlein's most humane ever. I've read it more times than I can count, and there's a bit near the end that _always_ gets me. (You'll know what I mean when you get there.)
Heinlein wrote this at the peak of his talent. If you haven't read it yet, don't miss it.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It was in my library's adult SF section, but its characters speak in the breezy style of his juvenile stories such as "Tunnel in the Sky" and "Starship Troopers". Anyway, it doesn't matter.
This was a good, fun story. But I was surprised that at least one reviewer below says it stands the test of time; I hope the reviewer doesn't mean that Heinlein accurately portrayed the future. Writing in 1946, his forecast for 1970 wasn't very accurate -- much less that for 2001: "grabbies" replacing movies, antigravity devices, and time travel, among other things. But not only is there no internet -- people actually place phone calls by speaking to an operator!
I'm not criticizing Heinlein for missing the mark in predicting a future 55 years ahead; who could do that with any degree of accuracy? I'm just saying that in reading this novel, one is reading about an imaginary second half of the 20th century that is very different from reality. But if you can step into that imaginary history, this is a good, enjoyable read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good easy read
Easy to follow book, your are kept
into the story at every pages. Lot's of
happenings. This is a highly recommended
book
Published 2 months ago by Alain_in_Ottawa
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd & Wonderful
I initially picked this book because of its time travel aspect but discovered it is rich with other devices. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeffrey Swystun
3.0 out of 5 stars Antiquated
If I'd read this book in the early 1970's, when I was a young teenager, I would have loved it. Cryogenics mixed with time travel... a feast for a young science fiction fan. Read more
Published on March 3 2012 by Samantha
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic!
"The Door into Summer" is Heinlein's best and one of my top favorites. I cannot remember how many times I have reread this book, even if not from page 1 till the end, but... Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by R.Parklane
5.0 out of 5 stars A great description of the role of patents in technology
Written in the mid-50's, Heinlein was projecting the future for both the 1970's setting and the 2001 setting for this story. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by Andrew W. Johns
5.0 out of 5 stars Have a pencil a paper handy
RAH wanted to see if we could follow him through this one!!! You'll be provoked into making sure it works. You'll have fun checking!!!!!
Published on April 12 2004 by Jim-bob Furlbottom
3.0 out of 5 stars Revenge for what they did to his cat!
Dan Davis is an engineer and inventor. He loves his cat. When his fiance and business partner force him out of his own company, he's okay with that. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by Craig MACKINNON
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandly Entertaining
Ideally, this book should be read right after Starship Troopers. I cannot imagine two more dissimilar books from the same author. Read more
Published on July 18 2003 by Raphael Collin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very Best Heinlein
This, like The Rolling Stones has a special effect on me. I don't understand why with this novel either. Read more
Published on July 4 2003 by James H. McDuffie
5.0 out of 5 stars An oldie but a goodie
This book was written a long time ago, but is still very good.
This is the story of an inventor who is cheated by his business partner and his gold-digging fiancee and forced... Read more
Published on May 11 2003
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