Will Thomas's Reviews > Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
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May 27, 12

bookshelves: robert-a-heinlein
Read in May, 2012

This is the most recent time I've read this remarkable. When The Professor (my nickname for Heinlein) died, his widow found his original manuscript, read it side-by-side with the published version, and decided his orignal was better. This reading has been the original uncut version. Amazing.

Heinlein said he never wrote this to say "This is the answer," but to ask, "Could it be?" Maybe. He makes some amazing points about politics, religion (ALL religions), human relations, and on and on. He was a wonderful and wise man. I wish he hadn't died. I'm seriously considering put him on my "Should Never Have Been Allowed to Die" list with Leonard Bernstein, Victor Borge, and Jim Henson.

His Starship Troopers is wonderful polemics, interesting sociological/pedagogical/military/political/psychological discussion, and some of his very worst story-telling.

Stranger is marvelous story-telling as well. It creates characters we love, and that, in my opinion, is the height of great story-telling. I appreciate the story, even if it isn't ingenious (this is) if I care about the characters. I love Jubal Harshaw. I love Valentine Michael Smith.

And I love this book. Do I buy its theology and human inter-relations theories? No. Neither do I reject them out of hand.

Heinlein makes me think. He also makes me laugh and makes me cry and makes me care.

Read this, and read everything Heinlein writes, with an open mind. Be prepared to reconsider things. But be prepared to feel attacked and the need to defend.

He was one of the premiere masters of science fiction. The world is less because he died.
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