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4.0 out of 5 stars458
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on November 29, 2001
I can't believe I managed to finish reading this tripe. Basically as others have said, the first half was an intriguing idea. The second half however shows what a simplistic world view Heinlein had.
The Plot: Basically martian man begins a Scientology/Branch Davidians cuasi-socialist-cult where everybody melts into one entity and becomes happy by freeing their mind and having sex, lots of sex. Who gives a (blip) anyway. All this is explained in long-winded conversations where one idiot makes a comment only to be refuted by an all wise sage, and the sage is never wrong.
Boring, boring, boring as hell. If Heinlein had any sense of irony he would have seen that martian man's cult was utter stupidity and would have made fun of it in the last half.
Don't buy this book, get something that matters.
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on July 9, 2001
Without a doubt, Heinlein was the greatest science-fiction writer of all time. Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Green Hills of Earth -- all brilliant classics.
Stranger in a Strange Land is the most boring SF novel I've ever read, though. In this book, NOTHING HAPPENED (sex excepted). Starship Troopers begins with the line, "I always get the skakes before a drop," and doesn't stop moving until the last page. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is an enthralling, exciting war story, too.
In Stranger, people sat around and talked. Sometimes they had sex. A few people got killed by magic.
NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK. Read the above mentioned Heinleins; not this one.
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on April 15, 2004
I haven't read this in about 10 years, since my father gave me an unabridged edition, and loved the nuances I didn't really pick up on as a teenager. It's a good tale, with Jubal probably the most well-rounded character of the huge cast. I love his ramblings on religion, especially when he declares that he figures he'll get to the end and figure out that Mumbo Jumbo of the Congo was the correct deity after all. Mild male chauvanism just fits the nature of the tale (and the time period it was written).
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on October 22, 2003
...and the novel equivalent of "Barbarella"...
This book is like all those obscure psychedelic albums from the same time period. I'm sure at the time, and with the right complimentary, uh, influences, one would consider them masterpieces. Today, though, they're just embarassments to the excesses of a phase that has somehow inflated itself into the Annals of Great Cultural Movements.
This is Heinlein as his solipsistic worst. Read "Dune" instead.
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on December 5, 2005
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. Its also one of the few books you can read time and time agian. Youre going to have to read it more than once to get every thing because theres such a great deal of intelectual and emotional information packed into it.
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on March 4, 2016
Great item
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on July 27, 2003
this book has an interesting storyline to it but i felt myself drifting throughout it. the writing sense did not capture me as a book should.
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on July 12, 2004
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.
Besides the good anti-gov't lines (mostly quips), there's not much to recommend the book. I'm glad I read it to say I read it, but I'm not ever going to read it again. Why?
1. Jubal. Supposed to come across as a wise, lovable old coot, but I found him annoying and I don't ever want to meet such a pompous person. He ruled every situation, and I don't think he deserved to. I can't stomach him again.
2. Free love. Against human nature. People will, in general, get jealous and get hurt.
3. Polylogism - the Martians have superior logic. Um, there can't be different logics. See Wittgenstein.
4. Anti-religion but all religions lead to the truth? I certainly don't buy that. The scenes in heaven...wow, I don't know what to say.
5. Characters overall. I didn't like any of them. I didn't care about any of them, and I hated how snappy the dialogue was. People don't talk like that ALL the time. I guess most of Heinlein's dialogue is like that, but it was a major flaw in this book.
I'm a woman but I didn't mind the sexist stuff. It wasn't all that bad. "Terrifyingly homophobic"? I thought it was rather pro-homosexual, as much as it could be, as Mike talked a bit about how wonderful the bipolarity of man and woman was. Homosexual sex doesn't really fit into that view.
My least favorite Heinlein book. Read Moon or Starship Troopers and skip this book if you can.
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