Nicholas Pell's Reviews > Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
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Mar 15, 11

Read in August, 2005

Ahh, Heinlein. This really is his greatest work. Even the close second, Time Enough for Love just doesn't so gorgeously encapsulate the hopes of right-wing hippies. It's ok, it was the postwar boom.

An excellent satire in the best tradition of the early British novel, this book challenged a generation to be non-judgmental, not out of Zen, but because you're as much of an asshole as the next guy. You only seem normal because you weren't raised on Mars, like Valentine Michael Smith. Undo yourself by reading and re-reading this book.

Jubal Harshaw is also a far better Heinlein stand in than is Lazarus Long, though I understand the appeal of his cult. Harshaw is far more the everyman than the Superman, a one man Greek chorus too disinterested to tell of gloom and doom. Rather than a libertarian folk hero, Harshaw is a patient educator of the parochial and innocent.

Did I mention that it's written damn well? Get the unabridged version or kiss your nerd card goodbye.
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