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Double Star
 
 

Double Star [Kindle Edition]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe was - as usual - in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.
Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake - failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe's own life was on the line - for if he wasn't assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) was educated at the University of Missouri and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis. He served as a naval officer for five years but retired in 1934 due to ill health. He then studied physics at UCLA before beginning to publish sf with ¿Lifeline¿ for Astounding Science Fiction in 1939. Among his many novels are The Door into Summer, Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 339 KB
  • Print Length: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway (12 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EORABAO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #162,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Price, To Play the Boards? 3 Dec 2002
Format:Paperback
The year is 1956. Eisenhower is in the White House, following a long line of military men to reach that post. And this slim book appears, presenting the wild idea of an actor, perhaps not even a very good actor, who manages to reach the position of head of state. Obviously an idea like this could only appear within the realm of science fiction! What a difference in perspective an additional twenty five years will make, as once more science fiction becomes fact.
The route Lorenzo Smythe takes to reach this post is, however, just a little different from that of the real-world actor. The Great Lorenzo, as he styles himself, is conceited, arrogant, out of work, and down to his last half-Imperial when he is offered the job of doubling for a well-known political figure. The job is so obviously beneath his dignity that he is ready to turn down the offer when the Martians take a hand, and Lorenzo finds himself involved in murder, kidnapping, and slicing both humans and Martians into small pieces to flush down the disposal.
Forced by these circumstances to take the job, Lorenzo is even more disturbed when he finds out the identity of the person he is supposed to double for, none other that the leader of the opposition party, Joseph Bonforte, whose politics, what little he knows of them, he despises. But his own inflated idea of his abilities allows him to steady down and start studying for the role, a role he will play for much longer than he could ever anticipate.
This book is a character study, carefully and artfully detailing how Lorenzo changes under the influence of having to pretend to be someone he is not, aided by the immediate staff of the man he impersonates.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starring Novel 24 Feb 2009
By Dave_42
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many of Heinlein's early novels are aimed at a younger audience, and those which aren't tend to be more light-hearted. "Double Star" falls into the latter category, with an unlikely premise and an unusual character as the narrator and hero of the story. Although, it is also difficult to call this an early novel considering he had 12 published prior to this one, and that is not counting his first novel which wasn't published until after his death.

For me, this is one of his best early novels. He stays within the boundaries of the story, and doesn't rely on a "big surprise" to try to lengthen the plot. The hero is Lorenzo Smythe, an actor who has a rather high opinion of himself. He is engaged by Dak Broadback for a performance, but not a typical performance. Instead he is hired to be John Joseph Bonforte, the former Supreme Minister and leader of the opposition. Lorenzo will need to fool people who have known Bonforte for years, as well as many others, and worse yet he will need to be surrounded by Martians, whom he can't stand the sight or smell of.

The story is cleverly put together, obstacles arise as the result of politics and situations, but they are certainly believable within the context of the story being told. This had been a problem with his earlier novels, at least it was a problem for me. The story is a bit predictable, as Lorenzo is forced to continue the role longer and longer as new situations arise, but that didn't bother me as it was very enjoyable to read. This isn't going to rank as Heinlein's best, but it is a cut above most of his earlier novels. It is a enjoyable light read, and certainly a viable Hugo award winner from 1956. It has also been remembered on some fan polls ranking 44th on the 1987 Locus All-Time Poll for SF novels, and tied for 41st on the 1998 Locus All-Time Poll for SF novels from before 1990.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time favorite 12 Mar 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was one of the first books I read when I discovered sf at the age of 13. I recently re-read it, expecting something that would entertain a wide-eyed teenager, and found something else entirely. A beautiful, funny, poignant and dramatic tale, full of passion and pathos.

Despite numerous trips around the solar-system and a planet full of martians, it never loses credibility, much thanks to the lead character. Lorenzo Smythe is unforgettable.

What's left to say, except for: READ IT!
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