Glory Road
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Glory Road

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  7,644 ratings  ·  274 reviews
E. C. "Scar" Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia , but he hadn't given up his habit of scanning the Personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him:

"ARE YOU A COWARD? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 poun
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Orb Books (first published January 1st 1963)
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
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...more
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
Lyn
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...more
Daniel
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.
John
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...more
Tfitoby
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...more
Jay Daze
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
Kate
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
Derk
"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?
Linda
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.
Emily
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
Sandy
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
Simon
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...more
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...more
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 3 of 5 stars
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
Jason Snipes
One of my favorite books of all time.
Jrubino
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...more
Kelly Flanagan
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
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,...more
Alazzar
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 thi...more
Dan Cowden
Unlike nearly all other Heinlein stories, this is a true fantasy. Like nearly all Heinlein, there's also a good deal of philosophy in this book, and this is what I find most interesting about the story.

The putative plot of the book is that a young, multi-talented ex-soldier is bumming around Europe trying to figure out what to do with his life when he answers an add in the paper for a hero. This leads him into a fairly typical quest (the point of which he's never entirely certain about), complet...more
Rachel
(written 12/02)

This book started out strange and got stranger. My Dad loves it, says it's Heinlein's fantasy work. The story is interesting enough, leaving you reading to the end before things are explained. But I can't get over Heinlein's male-centric style where females are just there to please men, they know their place. Even though Star is the Empress of the Universes, she treats Oscar like he's a step above her. He's a worthless hero with a scarface, Star! You could have any guy you want! I...more
Kathleen Marineau
Glory Road was a loan from a Boyfriend. It was my first exposure to Science Fiction and is still the most memorable. It is a hero-heroine quest involving parallel worlds, one of which has the original yellow brick road, the only safe path through a swampy forest. I was hooked. Within ten years I had read all of Heinlein's books and most of his peers.

This was the first adult book I read to my children. They both continue to appreciate well written Science Fiction and are avid readers of multiple...more
John Hanson
I'm just under a hundred pages in, and I don't see myself investing any more time in it.

It started off well. It felt like a 1960's intellectual novel. It felt like a cross between Catch-22 and The Graduate. I think if it continued into the idyllic fantasy lifestyle, nurtured the relationship with the goddess, thrown in some sensible obstacles and tension, and somehow in the end satisfied all young males urges, then this might have been a classic, cutting edge literary work. I liked the first pe...more
Darth
I listened to this on my ride back to Utah from ND and I could not have enjoyed it more.
This was more in the lines of epic fantasy in one volume than the sci-fi you may have come to think, when you think RAH. But it does not suffer as a result.
I thought the story was fun and kept moving - maybe the ending went on a bit, I "got it" long before it was hammered home, I can see how some might not have, so RAH let it go on a bit to be sure that most did.
Still this is WELL worth the read. I would even...more
Ана Хелс
Дали това беше правилния начин да се запозная с Хайнлайн? Може би не, тъй като далеч не съм очарована, нито пък стимулирана да прочета още нещо хайнлайнско, въпреки всенародния хайп и факта, че тази книга бе част от първото ми референтно издание за стоте най-добри фентъзи книги на всички времена, които е задължително един искрен фен да изчете. Е, не ми се получи влюбването, макар че историята е доста добра и е точно от тези , които ми допадат – нормален човек бива изпратен в изцяло фентъзиен сет...more
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The first sci-fi book you ever read? 19 48 Jun 18, 2013 02:28PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 0-425-03783-5 2 23 Oct 27, 2011 12:43AM  
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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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“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...” 27 likes
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