Evan Filby's Reviews > Double Star

Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
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Sep 14, 12

bookshelves: science-fiction

Being a “geezer” who was reading science fiction long before it was socially acceptable, taught in college classes, etc, I am always fascinated by how people react to Robert Heinlein’s work, and what features they chose to comment on. The reactions to “Double Star” do not disappoint. Since so many have outlined the overall plot -- and enough of the outcome to be “spoilers”-- I won’t go there. Unlike in many of his books, R.A. does not explore a lot of really “big ideas” in this rather short novel. But he does just fine with some old standbys: a straightforward condemnation of racism (with Martians as his foil), “dirty” politicians (as opposed to “politics is a dirty game”), image versus substance, and a few others. Depending upon your particular point of view, the protagonist grows from a self-centered, small-time failure into successful advocate of a cause “greater than himself” … or he sacrifices his true self for the perks of power and fame. (You pick’em.)

One point perhaps no known to some here: The back-room political scenes benefit from the fact that Heinlein worked for several years as a campaign operative, and himself ran (unsuccessfully) for state office in California.
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Margaret Fieland I love Double Star, which contains one of my favorite first lines. I, too, qualify as a geezer; I picked out the then-new Farmer in the Sky for my tenth birthday. I loved reading about the political intrigue.

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