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Glory Road

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,628 Ratings  ·  376 Reviews
E.C. "Scar" Gordon, a Vietnam veteran, answers an ad promising adventure and meets a mysterious beauty who transports him to another world.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1970 by Berkley Medallion (first published January 1st 1963)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lyn
Mar 22, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piers Anthony should be glad that Glory Road was Robert A. Heinlein’s only fantasy work since it gives the fantasy writer a run for his money, especially the Xanth series. Actually, since Heinlein published Glory Road in 1964 and Anthony did not publish A Spell for Chameleon until 1977, the question may be: How much was Anthony influenced by Heinlein?

I grew up reading RAH and so reading him now feels a little like coming home. His frank libertarianism and anachronistic sexism, even his corny ba
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Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 17, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, action
So American service man gets wounded and badly scarred in a heroic act no one sees....he leaves the service intent on "bumming around" a while and meets, "HER". And "SHE" is frankly a WOMAN, she also turns out to be an/the Empress of the multiverse.

Good read, not typical Heinlein fare. I read it the first time in the late sixties and it's still on my shelf (well a new edition, but the same novel :-) ). I list this as one of my favorites.

Heinlein runs (in my opinion of course) a little hot and c
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Michael
When I picked up my copy of "Glory Road," I was met with a cover depicting a buxom woman in tights, a dwarf and a guy dressed like Robin Hood battling what appears to be a fire-breathing dinosaur and a blurb proclaiming this one of the "best SF novels of all-time." And I thought to myself--this is precisely why some people don't take science-fiction as a literary genre seriously. Covers like this that depict such absurd scenes really can put off the serious intellectuals who look down their nose ...more
Tfitoby
Jun 20, 2012 Tfitoby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
Fantasy from a Science Fiction Master

I really enjoy the work of Heinlein, especially his lead characters who always seem well drawn and quite realistic, they always have their own unique voice and in Glory Roads' Oscar he doesn't disappoint.

Beyond that however I really failed to connect with the book once it takes on the deliberate fantastical setting. I wondered at the concept of Science Fantasy as stated on the brilliant cover for this New English Library version (probably my favourite part of
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Mahlon
Jan 04, 2016 Mahlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mahlon by: Natalie
Shelves: read-2015
Wow, what a book, and this is coming from someone who has made a concerted effort to avoid both sci-fi and Fantasy over the years! The only negative thing I have to say about it is, I think it went on too long. I think it should have ended shortly after they found the egg, I didn't need 3-4 additional chapters on ahscar and Star's domestic problems. I realized early on that the tone and style of humor were very familiar, then I realized that Robert Asprin had ripped them off for his MYTH series! ...more
Emily
Jun 16, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glory Road is Heinlein’s homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs: a tale of an American solider seduced by a fair princess into taking on all manner of alien and fantastical foes. Included, of course, are many dissertations on what’s wrong with America, and Earth in general, not the least of which is-are taxes. Heinlein’s hero, like all Heinlein heroes is a fair decent guy who is brave, willing to learn, a staunch self-preservationist, and always threatening to beat his woman. The heroine this time is a ...more
Daniel
Jan 11, 2008 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on the recommendation of my Father, who talked it up pretty big. It's a pretty good adventure based upon an attractive - if common - premise: an anonymous man finds out he's the chosen one and receives an array of cool weapons and takes on a bunch of enemies and wins the girl. The last part of the book moves into a political setting, where Heinlein plants some of his pet-theories about gender relations and the State. I remember these parts the least.
Linda
Nov 12, 2007 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Many people miss the point of this book's ending. Heinlein didn't run out of steam - he wanted to explore the idea of what happens after the happy ending.
John
Nov 02, 2007 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review of Glory Road -- This is science fiction from one of the early masters of the genre. I picked it up once when I had a coupon from Borders largely on the recommendation of a blogger I liked, who cites it as his favorite book of all time and, in fact, has taken many elements of his on-line persona from the book.

Our hero (literally) is E.C. "Scar" Gordon (aka "Easy," aka "Oscar"), an American unwinding on the French Riviera after his tour of duty in Vietnam. He's taken to reading the persona
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Jay Daze
Jun 03, 2011 Jay Daze rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf, fantasy, hated
An incredibly tension free picnic in the woods with your creepy, nudist/free-love aunt and uncle (both in their sixties with lots of warts and liverspots).

In re-reading Heinlein, who was a favorite in my teens, I've enjoyed being provoked and entertained by a fellow who at his best was able to tell a good story while also holding forth on his pet hobby-horses. But Heinlein doing fantasy was extremely slack and seems to indulge his worst impulses to come to a dead stop and pontificate. There is n
...more
Jrubino
May 27, 2014 Jrubino rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Heinlein always knows how to start a story, and here he does his best to lay out the foundation with flair. It’s interesting and a good read … er … up until the actual plot starts.

Once our hero begins his quest, the entire plot and dialogue degrade into sexist tripe.

Oh, I know this is a product of its time. I grew up during the 60-70s. Still, even making that allowance, this boils down to nothing more than some random guy having to “save” the girl. And threaten her with a spanking when she actu
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Derk
Mar 16, 2008 Derk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"willing to travel, no family or emotional ties, indomitably courageous and handsome of face and figure. Permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger"

Doesn't every guy wish they had answered a classified like that?
Jeff Yoak
This novel bleeds into fantasy, unusual for Heinlein, even though he keeps star gates around for shuffling our hero off to other worlds. By my taste, once you're wielding a sword and taking on dragons, science fiction is a stretch. :-)

Though not one of Heinlein's great character novels, I still sympathized with the character. I can't say what's great about it. Its plot doesn't have the punch of the early novels. The characters aren't as strong as most of the later ones. But it is a page-turned,
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Sandy
Sep 25, 2013 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So what does an author do, after writing one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time and in the process picking up his third out of an eventual four Hugo awards? That was precisely the conundrum that future sci-fi Grand Master Robert Heinlein faced in 1962, after winning the award for "Stranger in a Strange Land," and he responded to the problem by switching gears a bit. His follow-up novel, "Glory Road," was not precisely Heinlein's first fantasy piece--his 1959 novella "The Unpl ...more
Kate
Jan 25, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
After I Will Fear No Evil I was hesitant to pick up another Heinlein book, but we have so many on our shelves. Heinlein spends too much time emphasizing Star’s inherent femininity, making her cloying and obnoxiously obsequious. However there’s never a point where she seems to need saving and she puts a great deal of energy into broadening her hero’s horizons, expanding his mind. The twist at the end is quite suitably pulled off and definitely worth sticking around for if only because it reveals ...more
Kelly Flanagan
Sep 08, 2013 Kelly Flanagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Yes! This is the book to read on a lazy weekend, or right after finishing something long and harrowing. this book is one of those amazing timeless pieces of literature that read right at any time. It crosses so many genres that I can only say Heinlein has crossed the fantasy of a quest with the sci-fi of multiverses and laser ray guns, added a few pinches of swords and daggers vs strange magical animals or/and aliens from other dimensions. If that doesn't intrigue you, our dear friend has spiced ...more
Simon
Aug 07, 2009 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Apparently, this is one of Heinlein's few attempts at fantasy. He does it quite well and it is notable for two things. Firstly, Heinlein cannot resist the need to rationalise the miraculous. Magic arises from a more advanced mathematics and science than our own. Secondly, we see this fantastic world through the eyes of a protagonist drawn from our contemporary world. He is a character we can all relate to and, through his eyes, relate to the fantastic events that transpire.

Most importantly thoug
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Frank
Jun 24, 2015 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
No Spoilers.
I have read quite a bit of Heinlein over the years, but never his fantasy.
I enjoyed this quick story, of our foreign hero, female lead, and supporting characters, as they make their way through this story. This is story is quite reminiscent of The Princess of Mars, and his own Farnham's Freehold (for world building) as our hero is transported to this strange world full of unusual customs, people, and trials.
I wonder why Heinlein never revisited this world to extend the story?
John Schwabacher
I like to reread books by favorite authors, and I read all of Heinlein's stuff when I was a teenager.
Most of them are hard to find now, so when I see them in a used bookstore I usually snap them up.
For the most part, this one is justly forgotten. I'd describe what it's about, but it doesn't really matter.
Oh, all right, why not: a soldier meets a gorgeous Amazon at a nude beach in France and follows her to an alternate universe where he fights dragons with swords. He acts like a typical Heinlein
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Jeff Miller
There were parts of this Fantasy novel that I really liked, but so much of it was rather revolting. This novel from his middle-years is reflective of many of this novels at this time and after. Full of moral relativism and free love. This is Fantasy as in his wish-fulfillment fantasy. Still I expect this from Heinlein, but this book rather annoyed me and I especially disliked the ending.

On the plus side Branson Pinchot's narration was top-quality. To bad it was wasted on this source material.
jenn
Sep 10, 2007 jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: andy!
great adventure, generally just a fun fantasy/sci-fi novel. the only real drawback (other than his seemingly bizarre obsession with spanking women) is that for the last 60 pages or so, it seems like heinlein just gave up. the adventure is over, and the hero spends the last pages whining about wanting to go on another adventure. boo to that. but, up until then, great fun and well worth your time.
Julie
Of course I had heard of Heinlein, but this was my first exposure to one of his books. It occasionally reads like bad adolescent fantasy, but I think there's something worth reading here. It's a somewhat silly book, and I kept picturing Heidi Klum as Star, which was distracting. It's also a very short read, so even if you consider it a waste of time, it doesn't waste that much.
Nathan
Oct 01, 2007 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves sci fi
If you are a fan of Heinlein, this is one of his most fun, and a great introduction to his writing style. It has that "never know whats coming" feel in a lot of parts, and one of the greatest twists in ANY book i have ever read.
Ron
Dec 16, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fun. Probably my second favorite Heinlein, nothing more than space opera-type adventure (despite the usual Heinlein preaching).
John Devlin
Good ole fashioned adventure for kids of any age.
Jason Snipes
Jan 18, 2013 Jason Snipes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of all time.
Ari
Jul 15, 2014 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of Heinlein as a child, and have been lugging them around ever since. I recently went on a re-reading kick, and started with Glory Road. The story is told vividly and well -- Heinlein is a master of pacing, and at conveying a mood while skipping rapidly forward in the story. He is less good with character -- he tends towards stock characters, and Glory Road has the usual set -- the spunky-yet-feminine heroine, the curmudgeonly old man, the talented male hero who knows how to wield a ...more
Alazzar
Jun 24, 2012 Alazzar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just recently discovered Heinlein with Starship Troopers . After reading Glory Road, I’m forced to once again ask myself why I didn’t get around to exploring Heinlein's works earlier.

He’s just so good.

I put a lot of emphasis on voice, and Heinlein’s is great. His prose just seems very . . . confident, I guess. Like, I never get the impression that he had to struggle while he was hunched over a typewriter. Everything just flowed out, and it was all good, because that’s the way Heinlein does th
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Kat  Hooper
Aug 08, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Robert A. Heinlein is best known for his science fiction, of course, but he did write some fantasy, too. Glory Road is a science fantasy story which was originally serialized in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1963 and published as a novel later that year. Glory Road was nominated for, but did not win, a Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Evelyn Cyril Gordon, known by his army buddies as “Scar,” has finally been sent home from Southeast Asia after too many tours of duty. After wandering
...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
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More about Robert A. Heinlein...

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“What did I want?
I wanted a Roc's egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword,. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get u feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a like wench for my droit du seigneur--I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles.
I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, "The game's afoot!" I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Lost Dauphin.
I wanted Prestor John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be--instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.”
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“I was not offended, my love. An insult is like a drink; it affects one only if accepted. And pride is too heavy baggage for my journey...” 33 likes
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