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

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  4,671 ratings  ·  125 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
Paperback, 253 pages
Published June 12th 1987 by Ace (first published January 1st 1954)
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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
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
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.
-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
i read this ages ago but the main thing i took away from it was that heinlein can be a sexist douche.
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
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
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
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
Angela Kendrick
Star beast
I like surprises. I like them so much that I often do not read the cover information on a book that has been recommended to me. All I knew about this book was that it was a Young Adult Sci fi that came highly recommended.
I read the first page and decided that I loved Lummox. You probably will too, but I won't spoil it by saying why. Recognizing this was written for the teen audience, I can see the appeal of certain characters that annoy me only slightly as an adult. If I had first rea
Sherrill Watson
[AKA Star Lummox]
What a treat, to read a novel by a PROFESSIONAL writer! NOW I know why Heinlein is so touted, even though some points are dated, since it was written in 1954. There are no computers, internet, cell phones, etc.

"Lummox" is a great, big eight-legged something like a triceratops -- see the book cover. John Thomas Stewart the Eleventh and Betty Sorenson are barely high school graduates. The other main characters are Henry Kiku in charge of everything extra-terrestrial, intersteller
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.
Back in my first round of college in the 1960s, my roommate loaned me this book and insisted I keep it when I reluctantly tried to return it to her. It was my first encounter with Robert Heinlein's writing. I fell in love with Lummox and wanted one of my own. Somewhere along the way during one of our many moves the little book disappeared. It took me years to find another copy, which has been passed along through each of my children's hands, and now my grandson is reading the book. It is not Pul ...more
Jul 10, 2008 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Love this one too. I love the "twist" in this one.
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
Doug Turnbull
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
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
I generally enjoy Heinlein juveniles a fair amount; this one, however, I found rather disappointing. I suppose what I was looking forward to was a nice space adventure with maybe a few aliens. No one here ever leaves the planet, and the aliens that there are -- other than Lummox -- pretty much spend the entire book having bureaucratic wrangling with Earth over Lummox's legal status, which was not exactly the excitement I had been hoping for, and it didn't help that I didn't find the legal issues ...more
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
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
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
Charles Harrison
When you consider the possibilities of interstellar travel and contact with exotic sentient races it is easy to imagine excitement and adventure. This book is largely concerned with bureaucracy. In between brief spats of adventure there are legal wrangles and questions of national, international and interplantet authority. There are also a few touches of genius with the viewpoints of alien races who are cunning and as stubborn as humans but think in a different way. Probably my favorite of the H ...more
Pendant des années, Lummox a fait office d'animal de compagnie pour la famille Stuart. Bien que loin d'être gracieux et malgré sa taille, disons... honorable, il s'est toujours montré aussi docile qu'obéissant. Sauf, il est vrai, le jour où il a malencontreusement mangé leur Buick d'occasion.
Mais soudain, et de manière parfaitement inattendue, cette sympathique créature extraterrestre a commencé à dévorer tout ce qui passait à portée de ses huit pattes - et à grossir en proportion, au point de c
Scott Ransom
So one of my friends made me read this book after I stated that I hated Heinlein. Which I do. But that is based primarily on his later works where his semi-crazy (although not off the charts nuts like some other sci-fi authors) politics gets in the way. But just as my friend said, this book isn't like that (note that she is also making me read "Have Spacesuit Will Travel", so that is coming soon). It is a simple (although not _too_ simple, there are some things going on in the background that I ...more
Robyn Blaber
Well, I'm not a fan of juvenile (teen) fiction but I had a copy of this and read it anyway and found that parts of it were quite enjoyable. The normally dry subject of diplomacy gets a very enjoyable and even at times hilarious treatment. I wonder how many wars in our human history could have been averted had they the use of Heinlein's apparent mastery of diplomatic protocol.
The Star Beast is one of Heinlein's better books from the happier days when he wrote good science fiction for young adults. The highlight of this book for me was not John Thomas, Betty, or even Lummox, but Henry Kiku and his shrewd manipulations at the Department of Spatial Affairs. The problem with reading a children's book for the first time when an adult is that you don't have the happy remembrances of how you loved the story as a child - you are left to try to connect with characters who wer ...more
Onya Schroeder
Really so much better than I expected. I really did not enjoy Stranger in a Strange Land. Elements I enjoyed but the experience of reading it, not so much. This book started out, I thought, as a children's story. It soon became more than that and I am now completely envious of the main protagonist, John Stuart Thomas XI. I recommend it and will read it again.
Jim Razinha
Uneven and disappointing, for while there were interesting interactions, the inconsistency of his message with respect to non-terrestrial beings was irritating, and his social flaws more so. Yes, product of the times...heard it.

I read one review that said this book had Heinlein's first strong female character. Maybe, but when that character has "very nearly as good a head on her as a man, and pretty to boot"? Much work to do as a progressive human, Mr. Heinlein.

Asimov wasn't a fraction of the s
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 0345275802 2 22 Oct 27, 2011 12:44AM  
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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 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
Stranger in a Strange Land Starship Troopers The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Time Enough for Love (The World As Myth) The Puppet Masters

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