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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction of and for the Golden Age
I once attended a panel discussion on what was the Golden Age of science fiction (the 50s being one of the periods offered). One of the panelist came up with the best answer; "The Golden Age of science fiction is 12." I know this to be true, for that is when I first encountered THE STAR BEAST.
I can't imagine a better book to introduce a young mind to...
Published on 30 Oct. 1998

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fords Make Tasty Meals
Lummox, The Star Beast, is the star of this book. A three-ton overgrown caterpillar who just loves to munch on the neighbor’s prize rose bushes, add a few pieces of tasty metal cars, and raise John Thomases. Of course, John Thomas doesn’t quite see things the same way as Lummox. When Lummox goes on a little trip through downtown, with the expectable result of...
Published on 3 Sept. 2003 by Patrick Shepherd


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction of and for the Golden Age, 30 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
I once attended a panel discussion on what was the Golden Age of science fiction (the 50s being one of the periods offered). One of the panelist came up with the best answer; "The Golden Age of science fiction is 12." I know this to be true, for that is when I first encountered THE STAR BEAST.
I can't imagine a better book to introduce a young mind to science fiction. The characters have real motives and feelings. The plot hold up. The images engage the imagination without bogging it down. The humor makes it a delight to read.
If you know a twelve year old who is ready to enter their Golden Age, give them this book. Neither of you will regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fords Make Tasty Meals, 3 Sept. 2003
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
Lummox, The Star Beast, is the star of this book. A three-ton overgrown caterpillar who just loves to munch on the neighbor’s prize rose bushes, add a few pieces of tasty metal cars, and raise John Thomases. Of course, John Thomas doesn’t quite see things the same way as Lummox. When Lummox goes on a little trip through downtown, with the expectable result of absolute mayhem, John Thomas finds himself in trouble with his mother and the law with only his girlfriend to help him.
How John’s problems are resolved is an exposition in a teenager’s maturation along with a very different (for Heinlein) portrayal of a truly competent and efficient government bureaucrat (for a completely opposed view of civil servants see his Friday or Stranger in a Strange Land). Along the way, Heinlein makes points about child rearing, the sometimes ridiculous workings of the law (along with some hilarious courtroom proceedings), prejudice, advertising/political campaigns, the shortcomings of making unfounded assumptions, self-blinded egotists, and the right of self-determination, all buried inside a fun and very good adventure story.
Heinlein never wrote ‘down’ to his readers, one of the aspects that make his so-called juveniles so enjoyable for readers of all ages. Some younger readers may have a little trouble with the vocabulary he uses, though the meanings of his words choices are almost always inferable from the context. My 12 year old, who is currently reading this, runs into an unknown word about every two pages. While this is slowing him down a little, it is not detracting from his enjoyment of the story (and whether he knows it or not, he is learning a considerable amount from this book).
Character development is a little sparse and the story line is comparatively simple. The conclusion has perhaps a bit of a dues-ex-machina feel to it, and perhaps a little bit too much of ‘happily-ever-after’. This is not the best of Heinlein’s young adult books, but is a very entertaining and enjoyable book, with a rather muted philosophical discourse that will fly under the radar of younger readers – but will help shape their outlook on life and the proper actions of a human.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adult book, cleverly disguised as a book for kids!, 24 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Star Beast" is the first science fiction book I read, when I was twelve years old...I even remember where I was sitting on a bench outside my building in New York while I was reading it. I recently bought it for my twelve-year old daughter, to "get her started," and on my way home from a business trip, I read it again myself. I am amazed to think I was able to read this book when I was a kid, and how much I must have missed. It is sophisticated, gently satirical, often very funny, and often wise; the usual warm characters and ear for speech that one expects from Heinlein, but with a no-nonsense intolerance for racial bigotry, and a feisty, competant teen-age girl who's got wit and courage. All told, to my considerable surprise, it's one of the better books I've read in the last few years! My highest recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One for only dedicated Heinlein fans, 11 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
The Star Beast is a short novel set on Earth in the future.
Lummox - a huge strange creature which has been on Earth for many generations becomes the centre of attention when he accidently tramples a large area of town. How much of a danger is he and where did he come from?
Sadly this is not a very good example of Heinlein's work, and so not for a first time reader in case you get the wrong impression! The book has not dated very well and the stoyline leaves something to be desired. However if you are looking for a distraction while sitting on the train then this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Star Beast is a charming, sensitive look at ourselves, 21 Nov. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
The Star Beast is a delightful look at the different perspectives vastly different psychologies can have while telling a very entertaining story. While appropriate for children (and, indeed written for them in the Fifties), The Star Beast is sure to cause a wry chuckle in any adult. I recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past, 1 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this many years and loved it, it's humourous and entertaining old school classic sci-fi from one of the great sci fi authors . I bought it for my son who has recently started to read books after refusing to do so at school. I'd started him off on The Moon is a Harsh Mistress which is my personal favourite and he fell in love with it and is currently reading through my book collection at a terrific rate. I bought this as it had fallen to pieces after being old and reread so many times.I don't give plots away, for films or books as it spoils the fun of opening it up and seeing what's inside. Enjoy
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too dated perhaps?, 16 Jun. 2013
By 
P. G. Russell (North Northumberland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
I have many years of Heinlein worship under my belt, but hadn't read this one. I bought it on the recommendation of my sister in law, and I did quite enjoy it I suppose. The trouble is that it doesn't live up to some of his others - Glory Road, The Door into Summer, and possibly the best time travel paradox story of all time - By His Bootstraps. So - if you are new to this Golden Age master, try one of the others, not The Star Beast.
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4.0 out of 5 stars it's cute, it's fun, you won't regret reading it, 11 Jun. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Beast (Mass Market Paperback)
if you think that this is a children's book, then you have most likely lost your sense to enjoy a story that is, well, cute. Following Lummox, a cuddly unearthly dinosaur like star beast with a kiddie's mind on his adventures through "strange" earth society - you won't regret that reading. Sort of like "Stranger in a Strange Land", but without the cynicism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read with no annoying science fiction jargon, 17 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Star Beast (Kindle Edition)
I love this story and originally read it years ago, but was pleased to get it now on Kindle. Although aimed at younger readers, the tale of stalwart young characters opposing 'sensible' but short-sighted officials to save an endearing 'beast' from another world is charming.
Somewhat science fictional, but with no annoying technical jargon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 14 July 2014
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This review is from: The Star Beast (Kindle Edition)
Imaginative story from Heinlein. The 'Star Beast' of the title starts as a pet, and ends up at the conclusion as something very different - spoiler if I say too much, but I love what the 'Star Beast' turns out to be, with a very satisfying ending. It's a fairly light-hearted story, despite assorted points of danger, but it would classed as 'juvenile' so nothing very bad happens. Nevertheless as a 'young at heart' oldster I love this story. And just who is, or are, beasts, anyway?
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The Star Beast
The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein (Mass Market Paperback - 14 May 2013)
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