GLORY ROAD Paperback – May 1 1993
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About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) is widely acknowledged to have been the single most important and influential author of science fiction in the twentieth century. He won science fiction's Hugo Award for Best Novel four times, and in addition, three of his novels were given Retrospective Hugos fifty years after publication. He won Science Fiction Writers of America's first Grand Master Award for his lifetime achievement.
Born in Butler, Missouri, Heinlein graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served as an officer in the navy for five years. He started writing to help pay off his mortgage, and his first story was published in Astounding Science-Fiction magazine in 1939. In 1947, he published a story in The Saturday Evening Post, making him the first science-fiction writer to break into the mainstream market. Long involved in politics, Heinlein was deeply affected by events such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Cold War, and his fiction tended to convey strong social and political messages. His many influential novels include Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and Time Enough for Love. At the time of his death in 1988, he was living in Carmel, California with his wife Virginia.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Ostensibly it's a sword-and-sorcery adventure/fantasy. But since it was written by Heinlein, it overturns and undoes quite a few of the usual fairy-tale cliches. The ending, for example, exemplifies Heinlein's own non-fairy-tale take on what really constitutes living 'happily ever after'.
The Hero is one Evelyn Cyril 'E.C.' (and eventually 'Oscar') Gordon, a veteran of a long and unpopular war in Vietnam. (Major prognostication success here: remember, Heinlein published this in _1962_. And the Heinlein who had devoted _Starship Troopers_ to exploring 'why men fight' manages to deal pretty sympathetically here with the corollary question of why some don't.) Gordon hooks up with a Heroine -- Star, Empress of the Twenty Universes, who needs some help recovering the Egg of the Phoenix.
Heinlein gets to show off his swordsmanship a bit (like David Lamb, 'The Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail', he was a champion swordsman at the naval academy). He also gets to have a little fun with a monster or two.
And -- it wouldn't be Heinlein without this part -- he takes the reader on a guided tour of some cultures whose mores differ from those of Middle America, by way of illustrating that (most) morals are _customs_ relative to time, place, and social milieu.
Well, it's a pretty enjoyable romp through a world of fantasy, and there's enough of Heinlein's signature on it to keep it interesting even for those of us who aren't into the dungeons-and-dragons stuff. But _Lord of the Rings_ it ain't, and this sort of thing is definitely not Heinlein's strength.
Readable, pleasant, diverting, and fun, and it's right on the money in its exploration of the _sense of adventure_. Nothing really groundbreaking, though, and it's interesting mainly because it's Heinlein.
The story is told in first-person narrative by Evelyn Cyril(E.C.)Gordon, a recently discharged American soldier. Since his discharge(which he considers to be an opportunity to see the rest of the world) E.C. has been bumming around Europe and enjoying a nice laid-back and easy lifestyle. Only one problem: money is starting to run low. One morning while drinking a café in Nice, he spots an ad in the classifieds for a job that he feels fits him to a tee. Once he goes to the interview, he realizes the job entails much more than he bargains for.
Basically, his mission is to travel to a distant planet, capture a lost egg that was stolen from the planet "central" and return it safely to its rightful owners. Along the way, E.C. and his two travel mates encounter swordsmen, Tyrannasauruses, giants, sea creatures and a wide range of other obstacles.
One thing I found took that took getting used to is Heinlein's writing style. I found it to be very short-phrased and all over the place. I came pretty close to putting the book down and dismissing it as experimental garbage after the first chapter but I'm glad I stuck it through. Heinlein also injects a huge amount of his philosophies on politics, capitalism, society that are often amusing if somewhat questionable. I got the impression reading this book and Starship Troopers that Heinlein veers waaaay, waaaay to the right.
This is a very wild and very unique adventure that Heinlein gives us. It reads fast and is always entertaining(except for the first chapter that is). Glory Road is definitely a road worth taking.
E.C. Gordon is hanging around Europe, having received both a medical discharge and facial scar from fighting in a “non-war” in Southeast Asia, when he encounters a stunning young woman on the beaches of France. Thinking he has won a sweepstakes he reluctantly rushes out of town, fearing that in doing so he has blown his one and only chance with the girl of his dreams. His winning ticket proves a forgery, and he decides to answer a personal ad asking “Are you a coward?” To his surprise, he encounters his lady from the beach and soon finds himself transported to another universe. Dubbed “Oscar” by “the princess” Star, he assumes the role of hero, aiding the mysterious woman on an extremely urgent quest that promises lots of adventure and even more danger. With Star’s assistant Rufo, the group journeys through the portals of several universes, killing dangerous beasts that get in their way, in a quest to claim the Egg of the Phoenix. Oscar settles in to his new role, and the adventure proves to be most interesting, especially when he finally learns what the whole thing is all about.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The adventure is high, the cause is good, and Heinlein even justifies the use of medieval weapons in this age. Read morePublished 20 months ago by vern shook
I generally like Heinlein's novels but this one was just plain terrible. First off, it's not fantasy but a satire of fantasy conventions, from ridiculously-dumb minotaurs to silly... Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2008 by Krypter
Of all the Heinlein novels I've read, which is, eh, all the Heinlein novels, I've only read two more than once: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Glory Road. Read morePublished on July 14 2004
Since everyone else has given a fairly accurate summary, I don't need to. But if you are reading my review, you should realize that Heinlein is writing a great book. Read morePublished on April 11 2004 by B
It surprises me that more people dont comment on how sexist this novel is. Star is the only female main character. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2003
As far as I know, this in Heinlein's only Sword & Sorcery novel.
I missed it in my 12-14 SF years. It's pretty good, although nothing great. Read more
I had only experienced Heinlein through "Stranger in a strange land" but I had high hopes of this fantasy as i enjoyed "Stranger" and am usually able to get... Read morePublished on July 24 2003 by trying to learn
I read this book simply because it was by Robert Heinlein, and based on many of the reviews here I was expecting a lighthearted adventure tale with some romance thrown in. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2002 by Rachel E. Watkins
Unlike most of Heinlein's work, this doesn't stand on itself. It requires that the reader have some idea of the body of work that is "science fiction" before some of the... Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2002 by Kevin Murphy