5.0 out of 5 stars Glory Road is definitely a road worth taking
Glory Road followed closely on the heels of Stranger in a Strange Land, but it is a much different book. Written in 1962, this is Heinlein’s only full-fledged fantasy novel, and that in itself makes it an interesting read. Heinlein was definitely writing for an adult audience by this point in his career, and he boasted that this novel had enough sex in it to cause...
Published on Jan 3 2003 by Daniel Jolley
3.0 out of 5 stars I didnt like it
The language of this book is way too old fashioned even for heinlien it just made the whole book sound ... annoying. Dont get me wrong i love heinlein but this is not one of his better ones, trust me ive read em all.
Published on Jun 24 2002 by yitzchok
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5.0 out of 5 stars Glory Road is definitely a road worth taking,
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)Glory Road followed closely on the heels of Stranger in a Strange Land, but it is a much different book. Written in 1962, this is Heinlein’s only full-fledged fantasy novel, and that in itself makes it an interesting read. Heinlein was definitely writing for an adult audience by this point in his career, and he boasted that this novel had enough sex in it to cause heart failure among those who had complained about Stranger. By today’s standards, the adult relationships included here are barely noticeable, implied certainly but never described at all.
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.
Somewhat to my surprise, the novel could almost be said to end two-thirds of the way through, but fortunately it does not (despite the request of at least one editor that it do so). The rest of the novel is much different but is no less satisfying. In these pages, Heinlein incorporates some of his normal philosophizing about life, society, politics, etc. More importantly, it is only here that the real story of what has gone on before is brought to light, and the depth added to the characters in these concluding chapters makes Glory Road much more satisfying than it would be had the story stopped at the end of the adventure itself. This is not the Heinlein most readers will expect, and some fans will doubtless count this novel among Heinlein’s least enjoyable works. I personally found it stimulating and great fun. Heinlein sort of shows us another side of his personality in this atypical offering, and with it he offers even more proof, unnecessary as it is, that he is an amazingly gifted writer.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Heinlein's best,
By A Customer
This review is from: GLORY ROAD (Paperback)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.
Yes, it contains a large dose of sexism, with jingoism thrown in for good measure, but it's tempered with a wry wit, and even a slight anti-Vietnam attitude. The hero, Oscar, or Evelyn Cyril, is war weary and disillusioned, and seeks a world that is something other than the disappointing lot that this one is.
Imaginative and moving through and through, this is one of Heinlein's best.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's good and all these other people are just idiots.,
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)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. It's not "swords & sorcery," it's not "just like Tolkien," it is its own story. How many action heroes have to read before they can go to sleep. How many grooms have to shave people lying down because they learned on corpses? Many of Heinlein's books have misogynist overtones, but he is writing from a less enlightened time. Not that you would know it from reading these reviews. He is still the greates science fiction writer, even if some people don't know enough about Heinlein to realize it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Happily ever after?,
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)This one's kind of an odd entry in the Heinlein catalogue, but it's less odd if we recall that he wrote some fantasy/horror stuff in the early 1940s.
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.
1.0 out of 5 stars Unentertaining and incredibly sexists,
By A Customer
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)It surprises me that more people dont comment on how sexist this novel is. Star is the only female main character. The narrator spends more time describing her phsyically then making any other comments about her. At least twice she says that she wants to 'model' clothes for him and she says that she packed her clothing thinking of him. At one point in the book the narrator wonders if another character maybe have tried to rape her, but he says that she was capable of avoiding rape and not to hurt the potential rapist's feelings. The other main chracter will only refer to her as She and in italics.
Aside from all the sexism the book is boring. How Oscar gets to the other world is never explained and it goes on and on with little adventures without explaining why he was choosen and what they're doing. The only reason I finished reading this was because it was required for a class and everyone in my class hated it too. I'm surprised its still in print.
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware of a male hero named Evelyn!,
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)Glory Road is quite different from what you might expect of a novel by Robert Heinlein. More of a fantasy adventure than science fiction, it seems to me that Heinlein was very much in a transitional phase while writing this book. Well, this experiment can be considered a great success and Glory Road is a fascinating adventure well worth your time.
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Sword & Sorcery,
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)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. Heinlein did predict the problems with Vietnam in this book, several years before the while mess started. And I had no idea that he knew so much about fencing (I didn't have a clue about the terms he used). There's a pretty intesting plot
twist at the end, which I won't give away. If you're a fan of
Heinlein, this of course is a must. And if you're a fan of
Sword and Sorcery, it's worth taking a look at, too.
2.0 out of 5 stars Saw it coming,
This review is from: Glory Road (Mass Market Paperback)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 into fantasy books. I cant get through it. I hear that "Stranger" had really slow parts but i wasnt really shaken by them. This books faults are more on the massive string of action cliches level. I am no experienced sci-fi reader so maybe this is above average but just isnt my type o novel. Probably good beach reading, it seems to be an adventure written like a laid back day of lying in mud. Take this with a grain of salt, maybe the book gears up from where I am, halfway through... I'll update if I can get back into it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Satisfying,
This review is from: Glory Road (School & Library Binding)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. I got more than I expected. Heinlein is a master of the human mind, and the inner strugles of his charachters are the real story in this book, the unusual settings simply give a better way to portray these inner struggles, and demonstrate better the differences in interaction between cultures. This is a book about love, finding yourself, then dealing with love and your true self without sacrificing either. It's about friends, culture, and social constraints.
Not to say the adventure in the story is weak, of course not! This is a fun adventure, starting light-hearted, but quickly becoming intense when Oscar, Star, and Rufo are on thier way.
This book also breaks the norm of finishing the book off quickly after the danger has been averted, the damsel no longer distressed. In real life you don't have 'happily ever after' endings, and this book filled a gap I almost always feel after reading a good book..."What happens now?"...for some reason, the typical ending just doesn't cut it for me. This book left on an unexpected, but good note. A different, and very good book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Heinlein's homage to John Carter et al,
This review is from: GLORY ROAD (Paperback)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 references and situations work as they're intended.
"Star" is the Empress of the Five Universes and she needs a job done. She is kind of Dejah Thoris of Barsoom, The Empress of Isher, Glenda, Barbarella, and Galadriel all rolled up into one. So she puts an ad in the International Herald Tribune for a hero, and she gets "Scar Gordon" who is, of course, a composite of John Carter of Mars in particular, and just about every heroic, competant male protaganist that SF has ever produced. Then there's the comic relief, Rufo, and the Grand Quest Against Impossible Odds, naturally to save Star from Horrible Things.
Heinlein was having a lot of fun, and your enjoyment will greatly depend on knowing the body of work that this was built on. God, but I loved it. Some won't.
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Glory Road by Heinlein (Mass Market Paperback - Jan 1 1996)
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