Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Star Beast” as Want to Read:
The Star Beast
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Star Beast (Heinlein Juveniles #8)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,462 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Lummox had been the Stuart family pet for years. Though far from cuddly and rather large, it had always been obedient and docile. Except, that is, for the time it had eaten the secondhand Buick . . .
But now, all of a sudden and without explanation, Lummox had begun chomping down on a variety of things not least, a very mean dog and a cage of virtually indestructible steel
Mass Market Paperback, 253 pages
Published December 12th 1977 by Del Rey Books (first published January 1st 1954)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Star Beast, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Jul 27, 2016 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
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
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.
-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
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.
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
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
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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

"The Star Beast" is a Robert A. Heinlein SciFi Classic and it's pretty good which is probably why it is a classic.

The story: John Thomas is a young man has an alien as a pet that has been in his family for generations... and it talks. Yet, it cannot help but eat everything, including the roses in the neighbor's yard which causes a law suit, and dangerous aliens claiming that Earth has kidnapped one of their fellows.

Any problems with the story? Well... this story is a little too cute at times wh
Angela Kendrick
Jun 10, 2014 Angela Kendrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Sherrill Watson
Jan 06, 2014 Sherrill Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[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
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.
Nov 04, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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.
May 04, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 in the series of SF novels written by author Heinlein on an annual basis for the YA audience. In The Star Beast (1954), Lummox joins Willis (Red Planet, 1949) and flatcats (The Rolling Stones, 1952) as extraordinarily entertaining extraterrestrial beings featured in RAH's YA novels.

SciFi YA - John Thomas Stuart XI has an extra-terrestrial pet named Lummox brought to earth 120 years earlier by his great-grandfather. The pet has grown to the size of a stegosaurus and after causing some accident
Aug 09, 2008 Polly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this one too. I love the "twist" in this one.
Good clean fun.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 0345275802 2 23 Oct 27, 2011 12:44AM  
  • Mission to Moulokin (Icerigger, #2)
  • David Starr, Space Ranger (Lucky Starr, #1)
  • The People: No Different Flesh (The People)
  • Trader to the Stars
  • Time and Again
  • Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D
  • The Fuzzy Papers (Fuzzy Sapiens, #1-2)
  • Cycle of Fire
  • Stardance
  • The Green Brain
  • Neutron Star (Known Space)
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

Share This Book

“The commonest weakness of our race is our ability to rationalize our most selfish purposes.” 29 likes
More quotes…