Results 31 to 33 of 33
March 11th, 2011, 03:54 AM #31
Give me a shorter Heinlein next time..
March 17th, 2011, 10:44 PM #32
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
I've actually owned this book for about two years now. I bought it immediately after finishing Contact by Carl Sagan, because that book just really made me want to dig deeper into the alien/sci-fi world, and I found that Stranger In A Strange Land had so many great reviews. I bought the expanded edition that restored the text Heinlein originally cut out. I tried reading it almost as soon as I received it but the book was just so obviously dated. The slang, the way the characters spoke... it was all kind of a turn off to me. Too 60s, I thought.
Anyway, I only recently, as in about a week ago decided to give it another shot. After getting past the part I originally gave up on (MINOR SPOILER: Jill was at Caxton's place and Ben was trying to convince her to let him in to see Mike), the book began to grow on me. I'm at about page 307 (They're at the Fosterite service), so I'm more than halfway through it now. I gotta say, I really shouldn't have stopped reading it 2 years ago. It's great. I love reading Michael's interactions with whomever he's interacting at the time. Juball is a 'bad ass' sometimes. Jill was a nice character but later seems to be just another of Juball's errand girls.
Great book so far and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress seems to be pretty interesting. I MAY give it a go after finishing SIATL.
June 8th, 2011, 12:58 AM #33
The book actually felt much more 50s than 60s to me in a lot of ways. It arrived on the cusp of the sexual revolution and the hippie movement did not arrive until the second half of the decade. Much of the technology is still analog, for example.
As far as characters go, Mike's attempts to understand (or grok, if you prefer) Earth culture were interesting and very funny. Jubal was likable but kind of a Mary Sue. I wish the story had focused more on Ben Caxton, since he made a good foil to the aforementioned two.
Oh, and even in the original edition, the book is either too damned long or doesn't move fast enough. It got kind of boring at times when there were just chapters of one character or another railing against religious fundamentalists or sexual mores.
Good point though: if Smith had just been an 'outsider' from say, an unexplored area of the Amazon rainforest, would it matter?
But should there have been more focus on technology/space travel? I think so; I would have liked to hear more about what Mars was like and what the mission did there.
So the consensus on this book seems to be: well-written with many good ideas, but rather dated (understandable, it's half a century old) and overly long and preachy.
Last edited by Chekhov; June 8th, 2011 at 01:06 AM.