Zwerftocht tussen de sterren
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Zwerftocht tussen de sterren (Heinlein Juveniles #11)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  7,435 ratings  ·  265 reviews
Citizen of the Galaxy takes place far in the future, when the human race has spread out to colonize other planets. In a slave market in the capital of Jubbul and of the Nine Worlds, an auctioneer announces, "Lot ninety-seven. A boy." Slavery is commonplace in Jubbul, and the sight of a ragged, starving boy, Thorby, on the auction block is not unusual. What does puzzle byst...more
270 pages
Published 1973 by Meulenhoff (first published 1957)
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Katharine
Some of my all-time favorite sci-fi novels were written by Robert Heinlein. Some of the worst, stupidest, most incoherent, hipper-than-thou sci-fi novels were also written by Robert Heinlein. So every time I check out a Heinlein from the library, it is with great trepidation.

I am happy to say that Citizen of the Galaxy is one of the first category – a good Heinlein. It is creative, likeable, possibly even inspiring. The hero, Thorby, is one of his better characters. A lot of things happen to hi...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Highly regarded as one of the best of Heinlein’s juvies, Citizen of the Galaxy is indeed, for the most part, worthy of the praise that has been heaped upon it. I do have one qualm with this novel; it seems to lack a nemesis, or antagonist. There is quite a bit that happens – but to what end? There are no “bad guys” so it’s a bit bland at times. The slavers, and slavery, are the closest the novel ever comes to real conflict, but that is handled in such a peripheral fashion that there is never any...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. My second favorite Heinlein novel after The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Good writing, excellent characters and an interesting plot. Recommended!!
Ann
I've read a LOT of Heinlein, and this book doesn't read as much like a "typical" Heinlein book as others I've read. The main character is very serious --yes, he was a slave, but usually Heinlein books involve a certain witty dialogue that this character lacked.

That said, it was still an amazing book. We meet Thorby as he's being unloaded from a slave ship, and follow him through his life from there on. He's adopted by a begger/slave trade fighter in disguise, Baslim, who he calls Pop. From there...more
Francis
It just took me fifty years to finish this book.

Yes, it's true, I started this when I was about nine or ten. I had checked it out from the library and I was immediately immersed in the story of the young slave bought by a crippled beggar. But, the life of a ten year old got in the way. And, I had to play baseball, and I had to learn commerce, which I did by trading, marbles, baseball cards, stamps and comics and learned the painful but necessary lessons of childhood like never trade a puree for...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 1999.

At one stage of his career, Heinlein wrote a series of novels aimed at what is now termed the "young adult" market; Citizen of the Galaxy is one of the best of these. This is partly because it has something of a message yet is still entertaining escapism.

The moral is hardly a revolutionary one; it has been pretty generally accepted throughout the twentieth century. It can be summed up as "slavery is evil", and though mainly concerned with slave...more
Mike
Citizen of the Galaxy is a throw back to the days when a complete story could be told in 250 pages or less. A nice 3 Star diversion to a simpler time in SciFi, when "atomics" were all the rage and everyone had them, strictly for defense you know. Heinlein tells a tale of a young lad, sold as a slave to an old beggar--who is not what he seems. The boy grows and has adventures as he goes on a mission for the old beggar that will journey through several different cultures. Heinlein paints 3 differe...more
Dan
Jul 11, 2007 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of science fiction
The story of a slave boy who becomes free and grows up, making his way through the Galaxy.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable science fiction book.

There isn't much character development, which is a little lame, because it is a story of a young man growing up.

However, the Heinlein's galaxy provides an interesting allegory for many human institutions such as government, free trade, education, and slavery.

The anti-slavery argument presented in this novel is more than just a condemnation of slavery as "r...more
Olethros
-El encanto del neoliberalismo, entre el adoctrinamiento y la sugerencia.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Thorby es un muchacho vendido como esclavo en el mercado de la Plaza de la Libertad frente al Capitolio de los Nueve Mundos. Su comprador, el mendigo lisiado Baslim que en realidad es un espía, decide cuidar y formar a Thorby para que crezca camino de ser algo más que un esclavo, lo que le llevará a vivir toda una epopeya.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http:...more
Tim
Apr 06, 2012 Tim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adult sci-fi fans
This book starts out with a beggar buying a young slave boy for very little money and might set certain expectations in one's mind, but the beggar isn't all he seems to be and it's one of the best things that could happen to the boy.

This is one of Heinlein's better juvenile novels. It really breaks down into three distinct parts. The first two are excellent, but the third (and final) part comes across as rushed and kind of thrown together. It's a problem with many of his novels, but most (includ...more
Brad Wheeler
I have to say, I'm envious of how simple and unadorned Heinlein's writing is. His writing is not flowery or poetic or stylish, it just kind of "is." And yet, his stories move alone briskly and are full of believable characters and places. Frankly, I'd give a lot to be able to write as effortlessly as Heinlein seemed to.

So, the book itself. I liked it. The story takes place over three distinct settings in three distinct--and yet entirely human and believable--cultures. The main character, Thorby,...more
Suzanne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
Heinlein here has moved outward from Earth, to a full intergalactic dispersal of Earth's inhabitants among multiple political groupings - from an Earth 'hegemony' to a slave trading Empire. The story follows Thorby, captured by slavers at a very young age, mistreated continually until bought by a beggar with complex secrets, who raises him to be a pillar of honesty and intellectual endeavour.

The strongest section of the book is the beginning, where we are thrown deeply into Thorby's situation. T...more
Larou
I have always had somewhat ambivalent feelings about Robert A. Heinlein – well, maybe not always: If I’m not mistaken I encountered him first when I was still a child, in German translation, and most likely abridged; those weren’t even paperbacks but the brochure format that was and I think still is popular in Germany for all kinds of pulp literature and which I used to devour by the dozens back in the day, and through all genres – Science Fiction, Romance, Crime, Western… I read them all.[retur...more
Ori
I have a friend who contends that this is the greatest sci-fi book for young adults ever published. While I certainly agree that this is a fine book for that (and all) ages, particularly as it may be a useful teaching tool for certain history, social studies, and civics classes, I still think "Ender's Game" takes the cake.

The characters are well thought out and the plot is solid. I think there could be more galaxy gallivanting, maybe a few more episodes for young Thorby, but at the same time the...more
Kat  Hooper
4.5 stars

Robert A. Heinlein’s best books are those he wrote for kids, and Citizen of the Galaxy is one of the best of those. Originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in 1957, this is an anthropological adventure story with strong libertarian and anti-slavery themes.

We first meet Thorby, a young belligerent orphaned slave boy, as he has just landed on an unfamiliar planet and is on the auction block. Nobody wants him — he’s too feisty — but he is eventually sold for a pittance to Basli...more
Fantasy Literature
Robert A. Heinlein’s best books are those he wrote for kids, and Citizen of the Galaxy is one of the best of those. Originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in 1957, this is an anthropological adventure story with strong libertarian and anti-slavery themes.

We first meet Thorby, a young belligerent orphaned slave boy, as he has just landed on an unfamiliar planet and is on the auction block. Nobody wants him — he’s too feisty — but he is eventually sold for a pittance to Baslim, a man...more
Daniel Fox
This is the first of Heinlein's books I've come across. An intriguing set up, but with far to little focus applied to the last 7 chapters. I felt as though I had an in depth experience with the first portion of the book, and suddenly was reading the sparknotes for the later half of the novel. The book was a jarring mass of implied plot lines and then unaddressed instances. At the end of the book the only conclusions I came away with were strictly based on my own guesses and speculation at how th...more
Ouranosaurus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morris
Subjects covered: slavery, economics, business, the military and their relationship to the above, politics, romance, calculus and orbital mechanics, and some wierd but interesting theories of education.

Note: At the time of writing, most people did not feel that slavery was an issue in their world; but it was. Just as it was in the book's world. Just as it is in ours.

I read this as I read several great science fiction books: because our math class in 7th grade met in the room that was also the Jr...more
Rebecca
Citizen of the Galaxy is one of my very favorite books of all time. It gets a reread at least once a year. Thorby starts out this book as a slave being auctioned. He is bought by the beggar, Baslim the Cripple. As the book progresses, we along with Thorby, realize that Baslim is not what he seems. This book explores what it means to be human, the inhumanity of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit. It's very well written, entertaining, with wonderful characters and worlds. While I have...more
Nooilforpacifists
The best of the Heinlein "juveniles".
Ghoule
Mon appréciation du roman Citoyen de la Galaxie d'Heinlein est partagée : d'un côté, sa description des pratiques et des univers sociaux de trois sociétés distinctes - les mondes esclavagistes, les libres marchands et l'empire terrien - est fabuleuse. Alors que les détails abondent, on sent qu'il existe une véritable cohérence dans chacun des univers et à travers les liens qu'ils entretiennent.

On sent ici que plusieurs films, jeux de rôles et séries télévisées lui doivent beaucoup, ce récit aya...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grady McCallie
Heinlein is one of my least favorite science fiction authors, largely because of the way he portrays female characters in some of his later works, and also because his stories display a weird enthusiasm for hierarchy and for hero-worship of male role models. But, I liked this book more than others. Here, protagonist Thorby is sold as a child slave; the story traces his experiences as he grows up and moves through a series of distinct cultures.

Some positives: the different cultures are interesti...more
Ruth
Citizen of the Galaxy was the first scifi I ever read. In elementary school I simply read everything available but in middle school the contents of the school library changed. Suddenly there were baby romances for girls and westerns and war novels for boys. The sexism didn't especially bother me -- eading books from the other side of the line was the least of things I got teased about -- none of the stories were particularly good. I could guess what was going to happen long before the end. Borin...more
Jon Cantrell
After a few of Heinlein's more eccentric romps into unusual sexual relationships, random time travel and fiction and "reality" crossing streams, it's nice to be back to some more run of the mill sci fi. This book is to me, what Heinlein does best, set up future cultures and explore new possibilities for how things can function. He starts in a slaver culture with different social castes, moves into a very family centric culture where family is everything and ends in an evolution of your current "...more
Grey
I'm reading the version published in the 80's. This version has perfect cover art. It shows the main characters how they're described in the book. It shows their surroundings how they're described in the book. Perfect. The thumbnail shown on the goodreads app is an example of shitty cover art.

Yeah, I judge books by their covers. What of it? Wanna fight about it?

Unfortunately for me, the cover art is better than the book itself in this case. Heinlein originally wrote this in '57, and boy is it...more
Matteo Pellegrini

La capitale dei Nove Mondi è il centro dell'universo abitato e soprattutto la sede del principale mercato di schiavi. Qui Thorby, poco più che un ragazzo, segue la sorte degli altri uomini in vendita e viene comprato dal mendicante Baslim. Comincia così la sua formidabile avventura attraverso i mondi della galassia e, parallelamente, attraverso successivi stadi di liberazione. Perchè, al centro dell'Egemonia, lo attende la più sorprendente delle rivelazioni. E proprio a lui viene affidato un m

...more
Jesse Toldness
Do you like setting?

Seriously, there is only one question you need to ask before you pick up Citizen of the Galaxy. Do you like Setting? While certainly there's a plot and there's definitely characters, they serve to guide you through the settings that Heinlein lays out, and Heinlein starts out with such lush descriptions that you never get the impression that he is trying to hide it. That being said, these are good, solid worlds, as seen from the ground-up by people working and making a living...more
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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
More about Robert A. Heinlein...
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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“- I'm so busy doing what I must do that I don't have time for what I ought to do... and I never get a chance to do what I want to do!
- Son, that's universal. The way to keep that recipe from killing you is occasionally to do what you want to do anyhow.”
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