|Submitted by Colin McMillin|
(May 11, 2000)
Stranger in a Strange Land is a book that lies somewhere between "good" and "very good" on a scale of "crappy" to "excellent." The story is about a mission to Mars, during which time, two of the members of the crew have a son. All of the people are killed during the mission, except for that son, who is then raised on Mars in the way of the Martians. Several years later, another mission to Mars discovers that he had survived, so they bring him back to Earth. His name is Valentine Michael Smith.
He tries to learn as much as he can about being human, as the humans he is around try to grasp the amazing things his upbringing on Mars have allowed him to do.
Skip about two hundred pages.
VMS starts a religious cult proclaiming that "You are God...and I am God...and all that groks is God." If you are at all curious about how he reached that conclusion or what "grok" means, read the book. I am not about to try to explain it. Don't worry, I haven't given the ending away.
This book is very thought-provoking, and, if you enjoy new perspectives and reading challenging opinions, you will love this book. It is very slow in some parts, and there is no action of any kind. About 98% of the book is dialogue, so there's really no room for it. This is not a book for the TV generations, and definitely not for the MTV generations. There's too much linear thought involved. But if you're into thinking, this book can still read quickly. It contains one of the best quotes about modern art I have ever heard (and totally agree with): "What modern artists do is pseudo-intellectual masturbation."
This book is full of that kind of gems.
By the way, as one final push for this book, Stranger has a ton of sex in it.
Hmm...might appeal to you more than you originally thought...mightn't it?