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Stranger in a Strange Land af Robert A.…

Stranger in a Strange Land (original 1961; udgave 2005)

af Robert A. Heinlein

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9,559138600 (3.9)385
The epic saga of an earthling, born and educated on Mars, who arrives on our planet with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man.
Titel:Stranger in a Strange Land
Forfattere:Robert A. Heinlein
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Paperbacks (2005), Paperback, 672 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

Work Information

Stranger in a Strange Land af Robert A. Heinlein (1961)

  1. 30
    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress af Robert A. Heinlein (persky)
    persky: An earlier book with a lot of parallels to this one, particularly in terms of the "Mike" protagonists.
  2. 10
    Only Begotten Daughter af James Morrow (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Near-future SF centered on a Christian-type messiah from an unforeseen quarter. Both books combine satire with sentimentality, and neither caters to conventional piety.
  3. 00
    Spin af Robert Charles Wilson (hyper7)
  4. 00
    The Book from the Sky af Robert Kelly (bertilak)
  5. 00
    Steel Beach af John Varley (lesvrolyk)
1960s (10)
Read (293)
Read (24)

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Engelsk (130)  Fransk (2)  Spansk (2)  Italiensk (1)  Hebræisk (1)  Tysk (1)  Arabisk (1)  Alle sprog (138)
Viser 1-5 af 138 (næste | vis alle)
"..affect him, if possible with pity and terror . . . or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea."

I grok it but that doesn't mean i have to like it. So this started off as sci-fi, wanders into political satire, with that quick witty (somewhat sexist) dialogue of a Noir, before meandering towards a superhero story with utopian leanings.

I would never recommend this to anyone with an interest in sci-fi. Heinlein has the remarkable ability to take interesting sci-fi concepts and suck the fun out of them. His flying cars and aliens just arn't all that important to the story. Think of it like the 'Futurama' cartoon, science fiction is the aesthetic rather than the content, if you see what i mean. He paints in sci-fi but the picture becomes something else.

Anyway the writing here is pedestrian but not awful and the story is interesting but not exciting. My main physical complaint is that so many chapters involve people just sitting around talking. The conversations being fairly inane discussions of the human condition and taboos. The characters arn't too bad, you may notice some similarities between this and the film 'Charlie Wilson's War' :) .

However this is far more a case of personal taste than professional criticism. I didn't hate it, it did divert the 'tedium of some hours' but i may be removing the other two Heinlein books i had on my to-do list. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Does This Classic Hold Up?

Certain things age well with time, sometimes even improve, and that includes many novels. Others, not so much, especially when polemics wear the cloak of science fiction. In the case of Stranger in a Strange Land, the overall themes challenging the mores of the time (and this time, too), that of critiquing societal sexual strictures (advocating free love), religious hucksterism (supporting secularism), disparaging money (through its cavalier use), and the aspiration of humankind for reaching its full potential, even perfection (with troublingly harsh methods), still resonate with many. In other words, it’s as much countercultural now as when it appeared in 1961; after all, there continues to be plenty to rebel against. The not so much parts, among them the slangy and long speeches (Jubal, the great speechifier), the palpable sexism, and the eugenic approach to a better humanity, still will offend many readers. And the added words (around 60,000 by third wife Virginia Heinlein’s reckoning) in the Uncut Edition only magnify these obstacles to enjoying the novel’s many agreeable yearnings.

Regardless of its weaknesses, the novel struck a cord in an America leaving the conformist 50s and on the cusp of major social revolution as the country crept into Vietnam and the countercultural revolution of the latter 60s. It became a New York Times bestseller, the first science fiction genre novel to earn a place on that list. And it assumed a place as a sort of bible to the discontented. This is what holds up in the novel nearly sixty years out from first publication. It calls into question what many regard as the glue binding society, conformity as imposed by organized religion and by government, suggesting that there may be better ways to live. Heinlein didn't dictate that ideas expressed in the book were the better way, just that they were bold enough to break the mold into which we found, and yet find, ourselves cast. Consider it the opposite of Dr. Pangloss’ regular refrain, this is the best of all possible worlds, a channeling of Leibniz’s Theodicy in a phrase and brunt of Voltaire’s sarcasm.

Now, if you have never read the novel and elect to do so, you might find the shorter original more enjoyable, even though reports say Heinlein preferred the original manuscript version (but then what author doesn’t love the sound of his own words). If you read it years ago when you were younger and remember it fondly, you, too, might like the original. But, if you are a Heinlein fan, you’ll want to read Stranger in a Strange Land as he wrote it. ( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
DNF'd on September 14, 2021, 314 pages into my 438-page copy. My book club was the only reason I made it as far into this as I did, and our discussion left me with zero interest in reading the last 124 pages. The sexism was annoying but bearable, up until Mike became a "man" and ran off with Jill, who seemed to have morphed into a completely different person. Also, I had to laugh that this author who was clearly trying so hard to write a world that broke every taboo still somehow couldn't envision homosexuality as natural and acceptable.
  Familiar_Diversions | Oct 3, 2021 |
I seem to be hit-or-miss with Heinlein. I have read and enjoyed Starship Troopers and The Glory Road; however I couldn't finish Job: A Comedy of Justice and was not impressed with Stranger in a Strange Land (SISL) ... It is simply NOT good Science-Fiction (even if it is a fair piece of satire).

The book is divided into five (5) parts ...

Part One [His Maculate Origin] was a good Sci-Fi plot that I actually enjoyed ... the premise being that of a lost human boy raised by non-humans (in this case Martians) along the lines of Tarzan of the Apes and The Jungle Book (which is thought to have been his original inspiration for the story). Next to nothing is actually revealed about Valentine Michael (Mike) Smith's time with his adoptive people, but the story keeps humming along with a little political intrigue and mystery. Unfortunately the plot begins to sink after this until it practically disappears by the end. The koolest concept here has to be the 'Fair Witness' characters ... A very limited version of human machine proxies that could easily be the precursor to the better developed Mentats of the Dune saga.

Part Two [His Preposterous Heritage] introduces what is arguably the true main character in the story and Heinlein's alter ego, Jubal Harshaw, who proceeds to introduce 'Mike' to all the ills of human society. This wasn't all that bad a satire actually, even when Jubal waxes on the sermon a bit too much (it had the feel of watching re-runs of "Abbott and Costello', 'I Love Lucy' or 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.') Mike really takes a back seat here so that Jubal can pontificate at will, but the humor of it all was still mildly entertaining. Presumably Jubal's female secretaries provide the strong gender examples that Heinlein is noted for ... They are also incredibly shallow and boring (or as presented in one discussion thread ... They differ by a haircut). There is absolutely NO character development for anybody except Mike from here on out; and as far a Mikey is concerned, all of his character development happens all at once as he is 'wondrously converted from Tarzan/Mogli into the next Messiah of humanity. We also get two main plot items ... The term 'grok' which became a cult classic in the late 60's and the revelation that Mike has a super power to go with his naiveté that just about blows any plot discipline out of the water for the remainder of the story.

"Thou Art G-d" saith the Man from Mars ...

The rest is a complete Grokk.

Part Three [His Eccentric Education] was an attempt to develop Mike a little further so that he learns the 'art of the con' that is apparently required to make a go of any religion. Mike needs this, because he wants to harness such shams to 'trick' humans into accepting his rather dubious views on human society (which social change has now exposed as mildly sexist and homophobic).

Part Four [His Scandalous Career] Here is where Jubal comes back on stage in order whip the reader with guilt to make it easier to accept Heinlein's free love society. That is really all that you find here. We get such gems as: "I can at least see the beauty of Mike's attempt to devise an ideal human ethic and applaud his recognition that such a code must be founded on ideal sexual behavior ..." Really? Even if accepted as true, Heinlein completely FAILS to explore this concept other then to say that it is obviously good. To support his claim, he gives us a voyeuristic look into his 'Nest' (aka Harem) where such physical contact is open, natural and without jealousy BECAUSE everyone is an equally great looking sex god following the true path to happiness. The problem? We the reader get NO insight into how Mike's disciples change their thinking. They just do ... Possibly because they now see the inherent 'rightness' of the concept once it is properly explained to them (the only instance we get of that is between Jubal and Ben Caxton and that is left unresolved at the end of the encounter).

Part Five [His Happy Destiny] After such a stinging rebuke of Christianity (specifically) earlier in the story, it seems surprising the Heinlein would so blatantly force the 'Passion of Christ' upon his protagonist here; and with very little rationale other then some need to highlight one of his more hypocritical definitions of 'grok' that includes consuming the physical body of a person in order to truly know him. Add to this a complete moral bankrupcy where it is okay to cheat, steal and kill as needed and I do not see any appeal what so ever to Heinlein's proposed utopia. Sure ... I get the fact that the story is not supposed to be realistic (it is supposed to be satire) and that it was not intended to be a guide to a practical utopia, but that just doesn't save the later half of the story from being so preachy and simpleminded that it not only obscures the "important questions" about contemporary social mores (specifically sex and religion), it actually fails to entertain with its long-winded monologs defending the 'rightness' of the title character's views on the subjects. While Heinlein may not have intended to provide convenient answers to the questions he thought he was raising, that is in fact what he did, displaying a remarkable ignorance of basic human psychology that ultimately dooms his 'social commentary' to failure. ( )
1 stem Kris.Larson | Sep 13, 2021 |
It is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, the man from Mars who taught humankind grokking and water sharing. And love.
  Daniel464 | Aug 19, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 138 (næste | vis alle)
The great falling off in the quality of Heinlein's work came during the period that brought "Stranger in a Strange Land." Jubal Harshaw--who says things like "What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation"--is the first of a series of pompous libertarian windbags whose oral methane makes all of Heinlein's later tomes into rapidly emptying locker rooms.

Most of the material added to this new edition seems to consist of speeches by Jubal, and the rest of the new material includes nominally "shocking" sections that, aired in 1990, are glaringly sexist. For instance, lovable Jill volunteers the opinion that "Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's at least partly her own fault."
tilføjet af SnootyBaronet | RedigerLos Angeles Times, Rudy Rucker

» Tilføj andre forfattere (67 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bergner, Wulf H.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Boyle, NeilOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Dirda, MichaelIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Gällmo, GunnarOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Giancola, DonatoIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Heinlein, VirginiaRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Holitzka, KlausOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hundertmarck, RosemarieÜbersetzermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hurt, ChristopherFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lundgren, CarlOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Nottebohm, AndreasOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Pennington, BruceOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Santos, Domingo,Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Warhola, JamesOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Once upon a time there was a Martian by the name of Valentine Michael Smith.
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Please distinguish this edited first publication of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) from the "original, uncut" version (1991). This would be ISBN #s 0-399-13586-3, 0-450-54267-X and 0-441-78838-6 and Science Fiction Book Club editions of 1991 (#17697 and a leather bound edition). There is a 60,000 word difference between the two. Thank you.
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The epic saga of an earthling, born and educated on Mars, who arrives on our planet with superhuman powers and a total ignorance of the mores of man.

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