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The Star Beast
 
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Robert A. Heinlein
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The Star Beast (Heinlein Juveniles #8)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  5,655 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
"This Heinlein is superb..."
"THE STAR BEAST is a tale about a horrendous beast from another star-system smuggled back to Earth of 200 years hence as a baby, now grown bigger than an earthly elephant, and so tough that bullets bounce off it, and it licks down poisons with relish, but which is nevertheless just about thew most appealling and lovable creature of the kind ever
...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published June 12th 1987 by Ace (first published August 1st 1954)
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Robert Ives The family pet has become very large and is perceived by the community to be dangerous. However, there is much more to the family "pet" than meets the…moreThe family pet has become very large and is perceived by the community to be dangerous. However, there is much more to the family "pet" than meets the eye.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Andrew
Jan 30, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These are my comments and I can do what I want - throwing that out there considering that I have given this book 5 full stars - and for no other reason that this was one of the first books I read when I was let loose in the towns library.

Okay so childish petulance aside I loved this book the first time round I read it - especially the final scenes and it was just as much fun reading it this time too.

I know that a lot has been said about Robert Heinlein and opinions vary on him (which is not sur
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Megan Baxter
This is distinctly a Heinlein juvenile, and it's not one of the best. It's not terrible - Heinlein is almost always readable and interesting, whether or not the story is great, or the politics worrisome. But it's not great, and certainly not as good as some of his other juvenile novels. His take on female characters is particularly weak in this one.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision he
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Monica
Jul 27, 2016 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
La bestia estelar, SIGUE EL CURSO (aunque ésta es anterior a las aventuras de la Lolita marciana) DE OTRA DE LAS NOVELAS PARA EL PUBLICO MÁS JOVEN DEL MAESTRO: "Hija de Marte"; un GRAN EJERCICIO NARRATIVO DE AVENTURAS JUVENILES, CARGADO DE DENUNCIA SOCIAL Y POLÍTICA, EMPERO, ADEMÁS DE VALIOSAS LECCIONES PARA LOS MÁS JÓVENES..Y QUIZÁ PARA LOS ADULTOS (SI SE DIGNAN A HACER CASO DE ELLAS). UNA OBRA PRECURSORA DEL ACLAMADO FILM " E.T, el Extraterrestre" en buena medida, con las principales ENSEÑANZA ...more
Joseph
Mar 14, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heinlein. What more need be said, really?

A side note, if you will, on the subject of women in Heinlein's universe. Someone noted in a review a quote from the male lead ""very nearly as good a head on her as a man, and pretty to boot". This quote, out of the context of the novel, is quite damning...but how the male lead describes the woman, and how the woman is portrayed by Heinlien are two completely different things. This woman who is "nearly as good a head as a man" runs circles around EVERY m
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Kimmie
May 11, 2013 Kimmie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-owned-books, 2013
Star Best landed on my bookshelf after I picked it up at a used book store for less than a dollar. I simply couldn't resist the slightly adorable, eight-legged, dinosaur-creature-thing on the cover. I regret how long it took me to actually start reading this as its highly engaging and enjoyable. I work in the legal field, so Heinlein's use of accurate legal terminology was a pleasure for me to read. I fell in love with Lummox from the first page. His (or her) personality reminded me of Lennie fr ...more
Desinka
Jul 28, 2014 Desinka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this so many times, I can't believe I haven't marked it as "read"! An all time favourite that doesn't lose its charm for me.
Noel
Jan 19, 2009 Noel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, 1998
i read this ages ago but the main thing i took away from it was that heinlein can be a sexist douche.
Susan
Note: Even though this is Book 8 in the series, it works perfectly fine as a stand alone novel.

John Thomas Stuart has a very large pet, Lummox. He’s a gentle beast with eight legs, a very thick hide, and a taste for roses and steel. Lummox has been in the Stuart family for generations but has recently outgrown their small town. No pen can hold Lummox and while John can reason with him to some extent, there is no physical means by which to make Lummox obey. Town authorities are ready to go to ext
...more
Josh
May 18, 2008 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This has the distiguished honor of the being the first REAL book I read. I remember I was in grade school (fourth grade? I don't remember) and did a book report over it and everything. At the time, I loved it...but re-reading it as an adult, I realize that it's not one of Heinlein's best. It's not even one of his best "young male" novels, but it's still a great way to pass an evening or two.

The run-down (non-spoilered): John Thomas has a giant, talking pet alien, named Lummox, who is always get
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Olethros
-A pesar de que se puedan encontrar cosas en el fondo, pura evasión.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Lummox es “un animalito muy tímido” para su dueño, el adolescente John Thomas Stuart XI, pero para casi todos los demás es una bestia enorme a medio camino entre un rinoceronte y un triceratops de ocho patas, apetito insaciable y voz de niñita cuya última travesura termina llamando la atención del Departamento de Asuntos Espaciales de la Federación, que manda un delegado a la localidad
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Jeff Yoak
This is an extremely pleasant juvenile from Heinlein. Though I like it a lot, I found that it was increasingly poor as a re-read, that is, until this time.

This time, I decided to try it with my kids. I had always imagine Red Planet would be the intro to Heinlein for the kids, but we stumbled into this one, and they absolutely fell in love with Lummux. It took a month of car trips with the whole family, but they finally got through it, and loved it.

2014: A touch over a year after going through th
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Jim
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1paper
I read Panshin's review of Heinlein's work, Heinlein in Dimension A Critical Analysis, & got a craving to re-read this old favorite along the way. I'm glad I did. It's one of the Scribner YA novels he wrote & very well done. Well worth the re-read. The story is simple & interesting. Of more interest were the many dropped hints about politics, society & various future gadgets. While it's not a future I find real, it's interesting & fun. Lummy, short for Lummox, AKA The Star Be ...more
Tim
Jan 13, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic Heinlein juvenile, one of the few with a strong female character. The full-cast audio version is extremely well done.

It's not a traditional YA novel. There's a diplomatic crisis and a courtroom drama in the novel. There's not really any action, but there's a lot of excellent character interaction, especially the YA leads, Betty and John Thomas with "The Star Beast" named Lummox.

Many of the characters aren't as fleshed out as they could be (e.g., John Thomas's mother), but I love the
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Jared Gulian
I read this in high school, many moons ago, and just re-read it last week. It still totally captivated me. I loved the way the story changes your perceptions and assumptions about the 'Lummox' beast as the story progresses. And the relationship between boy and beast is charming.
Valerie
Jul 10, 2008 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ian, Aaron, Karanina
Recommended to Valerie by: Mom
I recently reread this so Ian and I could discuss it. I'm not sure if he's finished it. But I remembered how much I love Heinlein.
Kate
Feb 16, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the timeless stories Heinlein wrote for teenagers in the fifties. My fiance, dad and I all have a soft spot for the Heinlein stories in this vein.
Philip
Good clean fun.
Mark
Jun 19, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here’s my latest reread of Heinlein’s works, as I go through the Virginia Edition series.

And by 1954, we’re now well into the Heinlein juveniles. Some would say here’s where Heinlein was settling into a purple patch, with many of his best-loved and long-lived novels appearing.

Following on from Starman Jones, The Star Beast (title reduced to Star Beast here in the UK) is pretty much what we expect from Heinlein at this stage of his writing career. Whilst clearly writing to the template for Boy Sc
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Neil
thots while reading:
Holy cow, but the start of the second chapter is super-negative! Had forgotten that was the case. At the same time, it is almost hilariously funny how morbid it is. Heinlein introduces different scenarios that do not necessarily have anything to do with this story, and in each scenario everybody dies [or is going to die]. It's too funny.

So the judge is a Muslim, eh?

I like how the kids fly around with mini-copter-backpacks. Kinda cool.

Still funny how they have two-way communic
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David Cozens
Oct 24, 2016 David Cozens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A high school senior discovers that his extraterrestrial pet is more than it appears to be, after it runs loose in a small town causing havoc.
Tina
Oct 24, 2016 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great kids book. loved it.
Susan
Aug 08, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Star Beast by Robert Heinlein Note: Even though this is Book 8 in the series, it works perfectly fine as a stand alone novel.
John Thomas Stuart has a very large pet, Lummox. He’s a gentle beast with eight legs, a very thick hide, and a taste for roses and steel. Lummox has been in the Stuart family for generations but has recently outgrown their small town. No pen can hold Lummox and while John can reason with him to some extent, there is no physical means by which to make Lummox obey. Town
...more
Robert Scott
For some reason, this old YA tale really grabbed my attention enough that I stayed up all night finishing it. Boy (John Thomas Stuart XI) has pet, only pet is a huge, 8 legged e-t. And as it turns out, a VIP to his own kind and considers the boy as her pet. Involved are mother, girlfriend (Betty), a bigoted chief of police, several property owners, the Federation department of External Affairs and a very advanced civilization far from earth.
Doug Turnbull
Aug 03, 2012 Doug Turnbull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Star Beast was copyrighted in 1954 by Robert A. Heinlein and published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in that same year. This is the first of the juveniles to have no interior illustrations, but the cover art and title page were done by Clifford Geary. This is the eighth of the juveniles and as it was with all of the previous books, the plot and characters are unique. Set in the 22nd century, the book has two distinct story lines, lines that eventually intersect, and the point of view changes am ...more
Nick D
An OK book. A young boy owns a large, simple extra-terrestrial called Lummox that lives up to the name. Lummox accidentally causes damage all over town, leading to a massive public outcry in which people demand his execution. Little do people realize that Lummox's race has been searching for him throughout the galaxy for centuries and is just now knocking on the door to pick him up. And if he's not delivered to them, they'e threatened to destroy Earth. So there's that. Most of the book focuses o ...more
Simon
May 01, 2010 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This book has been sat on my to read shelf for a while now. I picked it up last year sometime completely by chance. Nobody I know had cited it as one one of Heinlein's better novels and I had no particular expectations about it. Consequently, it never seemed to reach the top of my to read pile but then I heard that it's scheduled for inclusion in the SF Masterworks series. Time to think again about this book. It is not often that this series puts a foot wrong and the only other Heinlein book in ...more
David
Jun 30, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In the last few months I've reread a few books and authors that I enjoyed when I was young. Early Heinlein was not on my 'best of' lists then, but I did like a few of those works. I went in more for his later works. The early works were always an fun, quick read that in the end was satisfying.
The Star Beast is not one of the novels that I read back and Heinlein delivered, true to form that same solid, well crafted story that doesn't leave a bad aftertaste.
And now a few random thoughts:
A black Af
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Nick
Oct 12, 2013 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Star Beast is one of Heinlein’s older novels, and not one of his better known ones in this day and age. The latter point, in my view, is a crying shame. While it is slow at points, Star Beast is a truly amazing piece of work, and one which deserves to be read by all who are interested in SF.

The plot of the book is centred on Lummox, an enormous dinosaur-like creature who has lived as a pet for well over a hundred years. After Lummox creates a scene in public, it is decided to put to death li
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Aries
Feb 22, 2015 Aries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-queue

" Readers will hail the book... the humor is delightful! " — Andre Norton

"This is a novel that won't go bad on you. Many of science fiction's triumphs, even from as little as ten years ago, are unreadable today; they were shoddily put together, not meant for re-use. But Heinlein is durable. I've read this story twice, so far - once in the Fantasy and Science Fiction serialized version, once in hard covers - and expect to read it again, sooner or later, for pleasure. I don't know any higher prai

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Julia
Mar 11, 2012 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Over one hundred years before the action in this book, John Thomas Stuart XI's ancestor brought back a friendly cute alien creature from an interstellar voyage. Lummox has grown tremendously, but he still lives with the Stuart family and is currently taken care of by John Thomas. But now the neighbors are afraid Lummox, whom they see as a monster. Can John Thomas save his friend/pet?

Lummox has also come to the attention of government bureaucrats. The neighborhood story becomes interspersed with
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 0345275802 2 23 Oct 27, 2011 12:44AM  
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205
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
...more
More about Robert A. Heinlein...

Other Books in the Series

Heinlein Juveniles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Rocket Ship Galileo
  • Space Cadet
  • Red Planet
  • Farmer in the Sky
  • Between Planets
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Starman Jones
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • Time for the Stars
  • Citizen of the Galaxy

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