Stranger in a Strange Land
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Top Customer Reviews
The reviewers who say this book is too long are right. The reviewers who say it's badly written are right. The reviewers who say it is sexist are... missing the point. Yes, one of the protagonists, who seems to be Heinlein's alter ego, is astonishingly misogynist.
But that's part of why this novel is interesting. It's a visceral satire on the values and mores of Middle America of its day - and, given that Middle America changes only slowly, it still reads true of Middle America today. Sarah Palin might burn it - and has good reason to fear it.
It's a book stuffed with ideas, many of which are very funny; and it's a book with, despite its surface misogyny, a very interesting exploration of gender relations and gender politics which still bears reading. Overall, I strongly recommend that - if you've any interest in a literature of ideas, in the tradition of satire in English letters - you read this book. It's the very best dreadful book you will ever read.
The plot line is fairly simple: A child born to the first Martian expedition, Valentine Michael Smith ("Mike"), is raised by the Martians and brought back to Earth as a young man, where he receives a rather eccentric education into the ways of man by those who befriend him. Once he feels that he understands humanity, Mike undertakes to educate humans in the philosophy of "Thou art God" in such a way that the truth of that statement is a provable tautology. As such, he becomes a self-proclaimed messiah, with the usual fate of messiahs that upset everyone's idea of what is 'right'.Read more ›
The plot is deceptively simple. The first manned mission to Mars never made it home to Earth. The second mission, twenty years later, found Valentine Michael Smith, an infant born on Mars and the only surviving member of the ill-fated first mission. Having been raised by Martians, Smith is literally a stranger in a strange land when he is brought back to earth with "miraculous" abilities and a Martian philosophy of life. The Federation government basically hides him away from prying eyes, partly in fear of the legal and political dangers posed by his unique status.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heinlein's Martian culture and the vision of Earth through those alien eyes is the antecedent for much of science fiction since. Read morePublished 1 month ago by wilderfulford
Very cleverly written with insightful remarks. A must read at least once in a lifetime.Published 1 month ago by celeste
I was listening to the end of this book while I was riding my bike. I was stopped at some traffic lights and a guy with a dog passed me by and the dog kept looking back at me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. R. E. Evans-lacey
Well I think that was the most effort I have ever put in to finish a book in my life! I remember at school we seemed to read such boring, long winded wordy books that would work... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lel
Very interesting read being so familiar with cut version. Worth reading and in the end a better book.Published 3 months ago by amacp