Stranger in A Strange Land

Stranger in A Strange Land

Book - 1991
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The complete, uncut version of Robert A. Heinlein's science fiction masterpiece, the brilliant novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a classic in a few short years.

Valentine Michael Smith is a man raised by Martians. Sent to Earth, he must learn what it is to be human. But his beliefs and his powers far exceed the limits of man, and his arrival leads to a transformation that will alter Earth's inhabitants forever...
Publisher: New York, NY : Ace Books, c1991.
ISBN: 9780441788385
0441788386
Characteristics: 525p.

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l
Lanajill
Oct 22, 2017

I have absolutely no appreciation for sci-fi or fantasy, but I absolutely love this book. I find it amazing that I could enjoy something this much , when normally I would find it "alien".

m
Maoisdead
Oct 07, 2017

You can't beat Heinlein for a good read. This novel is one of his very best.

t
TheeAvebury
Sep 29, 2017

An humbling lesson in humanity, democracy, religion, diplomacy, delivered in an exciting adventure told by a master. The planetary reference now dates somewhat, but replace Mars by a further planet, a moon of Saturn or anywhere else and it could have been published yesterday.

8
800kw0rm_31337
Aug 29, 2017

Reckon I grok it good... Definitely a classic, but wear your disbelief suspenders or something, as with all sci-fi. For maximum surrealism, find the uncensored, complete version, but only if you're into that kind of thing.

gave a new word, grok, to the world. sort of means, do you get it? as in, do you understand what I'm saying to you? this one was extremely popular with the 60s crowd. it spoke to them, and their issues, which they felt powerless about communicating to the older generation --which were in power. this gave a different perspective to that situation, not just assuming the one right way, and that it is known by simply everyone. move on from this one to I Will Fear No Evil, which is certainly a challenging read.

r
rtduvall
Mar 08, 2017

Very eye-opening. A perspective on human society from an outsider, particularly in regard to religion / religious-like groups and moral conditioning. Some may still find aspects of this book controversial (although less so today compared to when it was written), but it shines a bright Light on several aspects of human behavior that are outdated and ready to change for the better. One of my favorites.

n
NeverNeverLand87
Feb 23, 2017

Couldn't even finish. I don't understand why this is so popular. It's boring, sexist and promotes mass sex as 'religion'.

s
Stonesoul1
Jul 01, 2015

a short While ago, I also Read Brave new World, by Huxley. I was struck by key (if polar) similarities in these two books. In this book (spoiler) An individual from a society outside our own is transplanted into is and is struck with the differences with what he has known, and eventually leads a movemet that disparages traditional monogamous and individualistic values. IN Brave new World, we had an outsider transplanted into a society that had no plce for religious, monogamous and individualistic ideals, and was struck with the difference between what he was seeing and his own "savage" upbringing. Arguably, neither story ended too well for the Protagonist, though Michal in Stranger seems more at peace with his fate.

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ejbSF
Mar 30, 2015

Looking back over the decades, no book influenced my life more than 'Stranger'.

j
Jsmackenator
Mar 25, 2015

It's a classic. So I had to give it a shot, and I have to say the first three quarters of it were great, then I just lost interest and never finished it. I say you should always give the classics a shot. Frequently they are classics for a reason.

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Notices

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s
slfullwood
Apr 18, 2017

Other: The socially sensitive may find the last quarter of this book offensive.

s
slfullwood
Apr 18, 2017

Sexual Content: Sexual content is not explicitly described in detail, but it is a strong part of the theme for the last quarter of the book.

d
DirtyHarry55
Aug 08, 2012

Violence: The "Man From Mars" makes threats just disappear. There is a very violent sequence at the end of the book of biblical proportion. I do not want to give it away though...

d
DirtyHarry55
Aug 08, 2012

Sexual Content: Lots of it, but not describe in lewd detail. Sex is used to "become closer" with other people. It becomes kind of like the hippie "free love" view.

Age

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s
slfullwood
Apr 18, 2017

slfullwood thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

d
DirtyHarry55
Aug 08, 2012

DirtyHarry55 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

unbalancedbutfair Apr 11, 2012

unbalancedbutfair thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

Quotes

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Stonesoul1
Jun 08, 2015

"I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts... because it's the only thing that will make it stop hurting." -Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

l
LazyNeko
Apr 22, 2012

"...The Martians seem to know instinctively what we learned painfully from modern physics, that observer interacts with observed through the process of observation. 'Grok' means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed-- to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science-- and it means as little to us as color means to a blind man."

Summary

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d
DirtyHarry55
Aug 08, 2012

A human born on Mars while his parents were on an expedition there is found by a crew later sent to Mars and brought home. The story examines the learning that the "Man From Mars" does through his life experiences and his desire to what the true "higher truth" is. He becomes fascinated at the fact that there are so many different religions on earth. Due to the fact that he cannot find the one that is correct, he, in essence, creates his own church.

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