Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

74%

10 Critic Reviews

Heinlein’s work ranks among finest efforts from this era, and stands out as a thought-provoking, exciting book even today, a half century after it was written.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Stranger in a Strange Land is the epic saga of an earthling, Valentine Michael Smith, born and educated on Mars, who arrives on our planet with ''psi'' powers -- telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, teleportation, pyrolysis, and the ability to take control of the minds of others -- and complete innocence regarding the mores of man.

After his tutelage under a surrogate-father figure, Valentine begins his transformation into a kind of messiah. His exceptional abilities lead Valentine to become many things to many people: freak, scam artist, media commodity, searcher, free-love pioneer, neon evangelist, and martyr.

Heinlein won his second Hugo Award for this novel, sometimes called his ''divine comedy'' and often called his masterpiece. This Blackstone audiobook is the ''as published'' version, read from an Ace paperback published in 1987. It is not the uncut, uncensored version that Heinlein originally wrote but which wasn't published until 1991.
 

About Robert A. Heinlein

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Robert Anson Heinlein was born in Missouri in 1907, and was raised there. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929, but was forced by illness to retire from the Navy in 1934. He settled in California and over the next five years held a variety of jobs while doing post-graduate work in mathematics and physics at the University of California. In 1939 he sold his first science fiction story to Astounding magazine and soon devoted himself to the genre.He was a four-time winner of the Hugo Award for his novels Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Starship Troopers (1959), Double Star (1956), and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966). His Future History series, incorporating both short stories and novels, was first mapped out in 1941. The series charts the social, political, and technological changes shaping human society from the present through several centuries into the future.Robert A. Heinlein's books were among the first works of science fiction to reach bestseller status in both hardcover and paperback. he continued to work into his eighties, and his work never ceased to amaze, to entertain, and to generate controversy. By the time hed died, in 1988, it was evident that he was one of the formative talents of science fiction: a writer whose unique vision, unflagging energy, and persistence, over the course of five decades, made a great impact on the American mind.
 
Published January 1, 1973 by Berkley Publishing. 400 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Stranger in a Strange Land
All: 10 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Now, 30 years after its original publication and two years after the author's death, we have a longer edition--by 50,000 words--based on the original manuscript...Of interest to Heinlein completists and scholars, but, in cutting this version by those 50,000 words to produce the 1961 edition, the author made a good book into a great one.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jun 18 2009

Heinlein’s work ranks among finest efforts from this era, and stands out as a thought-provoking, exciting book even today, a half century after it was written.

Read Full Review of Stranger in a Strange Land | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Bruce Kratofil on Jun 29 2005

Even if you don’t want to use the book to give a grade to our civilization, it’s still a highly worthwhile read. In fact, a whole lot of Heinlein books have been added to my “must read” list.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Bruce Kratofil on Jun 29 2005

It is a fascinating book on many different levels. There are clear parallels to Kipling’s The Jungle Book, of a human raised by non-humans...Even if you don’t want to use the book to give a grade to our civilization, it’s still a highly worthwhile read. In fact, a whole lot of Heinlein books have been added to my “must read” list.

Read Full Review of Stranger in a Strange Land | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Tor

Below average
Reviewed by Jo Walton on Dec 10 2010

My problem with this book is that everybody is revoltingly smug. It’s not just Jubal, it’s all of them...It’s perfectly possible that I’d be prepared to forgive everything else if the characters weren’t so smug and if there was a plot arising from their actions...I do not like this book and cannot commend it to your attention.

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BookIdeas.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Douglas Malcolm on May 28 2015

This superb tale begins with Michael being brought back to Earth by a much later Mars mission, and chronicles his time on Earth...Throughout the book, we are introduced to several great Heinlein characters... I consider this book a must-read, and my top recommendation if you haven't. Enjoy.

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Hollywood Jesus

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Sommer on Feb 25 2009

By the time I reached the middle of Stranger in a Strange Land, it was clear that this was some of his best writing, and that I was not reading one of his “juvenile” novels that I had enjoyed as a youth. The concepts were much deeper, and the subject matter much more adult

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas King on May 28 2015

Clearly a product of its time, the novel does not hold up as well on the speculative fiction front. On the psychological front, the novel can and does retain an impactful message...Stranger is a dynamic story that one should be read, if for no other reason than to challenge the social and cultural norms one is indoctrinated with from an early age.

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SF Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Antony Jones. on Apr 05 2010

Brilliantly executed and stuffed with controversial ideas, Stranger in a Strange Land is a ground breaking piece of science fiction which makes you closely examine your own assumptions and beliefs, and look with new eyes at the world around you, a must for any serious science fiction reader.

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Blurb Hack

Good
Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi on Jan 17 2010

Touted as the greatest science fiction novel ever written and winner of the hugo award; this book is required reading for all science fiction enthusiast...Stranger In A Strange Land is epic, powerful and ultimately hopeful, challenging us with an open-minded, innocent and powerful messiah figure...

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Reader Rating for Stranger in a Strange Land
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Stephen Taylor 23 Oct 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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