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Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs.
The impact of Stranger in a Strange Land was considerable, leading many children of the 60's to set up households based on Michael's water-brother nests. Heinlein loved to pontificate through the mouths of his characters, so modern readers must be willing to overlook the occasional sour note ("Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's partly her fault."). That aside, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of the master's best entertainments, provocative as he always loved to be. Can you grok it? --Brooks Peck --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
In 1939 Heinlein published his first sf short story and became one of the most prolific and influential authors in the genre. Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) is an international best seller and a landmark in more ways than one: it opened the trade best sellers lists to sf writers, breaking down longstanding barriers that will never be seen again. At the same time Stranger became an emblem of the 1960s generation in its iconoclasm and free-love themes. Telling the story of an Earth baby raised by an existing, ancient Martian civilization, the novel often reads as if it were the "Playboy Philosophy" in dialog form. The man/ Martian comes to Earth and broadcasts his ideas by forming his own Church. Heinlein has been rightly criticized for presenting as facts his opinions, which state that organized religion is a sham, authority is generally stupid, young women are all the same, and the common individual is alternately an independent, Ayn Randian-producing genius and the dull-witted part of an ignorant and will-less mob. Yet the book is hard to put down; in its early pages it is a truly masterful sf story. Every library with a fiction collection should have it. Christopher Hurt reads with authority, nicely drawing the characters via barely perceptible changes in intonation, harshness, and pacing. Highly recommended.?Don Wismer, Office of the Secretary of State, Augusta, Me.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book is riddled with good philosophies, anecdotes, and what were likely at the time, novel ideas. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Road to Rock N' Roll
Heinlein does not get the credit he deserves. Do you know how many movies , authors have used the phrase Stranger in a Strange Land. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Darrell Ducharme
I lost this book do to water damage and was glad this I counld get it at Amazon. Thank you.Published 23 months ago by Robert McGraw
I suppose I find myself in a minority but this "monumental" book is a complete bore. I felt that way when I first read it back in the 70's and when I tried to reread it "uncut"... Read morePublished on March 1 2013 by Louis Vroomen
I found this book to be overrated. Perhaps it's how dated it is, but parts of it were so sexist and homophobic as to cloud out what might have been a passable book. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2011 by Brian MacDonald
The men are powerful and rich, the women are willing subordinates who happen to adore nudity. Orgies ensue. This story didn't even really need a man from Mars.Published on May 23 2009 by MC
This is the type of book where you can read it all night and day forgeting to eat. But once your done reading it you regret not reading slower and savering it. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2005 by Trent Ziffely
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein is the story of a human, Valentine Michale smith, who was born and on raised on mars, and now on earth must come to understand the... Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Jacob Gest
I just finished The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (pretty good overall), and went to SIASL because it had been recommended it to me before. Read morePublished on July 12 2004