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Tramp Royale

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  704 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Here is a remarkable first-hand account of Robert A. Heinlein's travels around the world, from the bawdy sex shows of New Orleans, to the Panama Canal, the African veldt and beyond. A four-time winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, Heinlein put science fiction on the national bestseller lists and was the first author to be named a Grand Master by the science Fiction Wri ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Ace Trade (first published April 1st 1992)
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Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any Heinlein fan and most Sf fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: a librarian
Published by Virginia Heinlein from Robert Heinlein's notes, this is as close to an autobiography as Robert Heinlein ever wrote.

It is a non fiction account of a round the world trip that the Heinleins took in 1953-1954. As a travelogue it is dated---but I did not read it for the travel advice. I read it for the slice of life view of Heinlein at that point in his life.

Heinlein wrote about strange alient worlds in his fiction. Well, Singapore in 1954 was just as alien to my experience. Being Heinl
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book at a used book store on a recent trip to the shore. I had never heard of it before I picked it up. Published posthumously by Heinlein's wife, it tells the saga of their year-long trip around the southern hemisphere. Do not think this is a dry travelogue. Heinlein brought the warmth, wit and wisdom of his best fiction to the task. It is a great balance of description and social commentary.

It is somewhat dated, price-wise, being written in the 1950s, but don't let that stop you.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover, special
This is not only a wonderful (yet severely outdated) travel book, but a wonderful stylized version of both of the Heinlein's characters. R.A.H. tells a good story and this is that. A good story. It is a love story as much as it is a telling of a 'round the world jaunt. It was as good as "The Cat Who Walked Through Walls". The social commentary at the end about the overpopulation and such was a little disturbing to me but understandable considering it's time (1953)and Robert Heinlein's perspectiv ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could.

Although Heinlein was primarily an author of fiction, I found his telling of a 1950s around-the-world trip to be well-written and engaging. Certainly too dated to be of use to current travelers, but interesting in the view of some (then) less-visited locations and modes of travel. It'd be interesting if he could manage an updated volume to compare then vs. now, but I'm guessing his long-ago death will prevent that.

So, worth the read for a look into the past of
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a 1950's around-the-world travelogue. But(!) not a straightforward one because Robert A. Heinlein's wit and wisdom shines through gloriously on each of page!

It was great fun seeing the world through his and Ticky's eyes (Ticky is his wife, Virginia, the explosive little redhead.). If you like Heinlein and/or you like reading about the world's peoples and cultures, get this book. You will love it.
Ken Richards
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
A fascinating insight into travel around the world in the 1950s. For my part, the author's views on the contrasting environments of Jakarta (stench and sewerage were foremost in RAH's perceptions!), Australia (wherein the keen Libertarian spent most of his sojourn dealing with the Taxman!)and New Zealand (which our world traveller found MOST unsatisfactory) were fascinating.
Ellen Evanoff
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is probably an odd choice for a Heinlein book, but I really enjoyed it.
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
804.91 The quest for unpublished material by the late Heinlein has now turned up this engaging account of a round-the-world trip made in 1953-54. It offers a working portrait of Heinlein's marriage, witty commentary on a great many places and things (and somewhat curmudgeonly remarks on others--the book will not be a best-seller in New Zealand or Indonesia), a nostalgic view of a world in which ships actually sailed to destinations instead of on cruises, and much sheer entertainment. The book ha ...more
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly, this has become one of my favorite RAH books. It may be the most warmly humorous of all his books, and as has been stated elsewhere, certainly the closest he came to writing an autobiography. Kind of a shame it took 40 years for it to see publication, but an unexpected delight when it did.
Now as a travelogue, it's currently 63 years out of date, but as a historical record, it never shall be.
Hopefully, a good number of the places mentioned have improved their conditions for tourist
Carol Wakefield
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Heinlein wrote many popular science fiction novels. At some point, checking the bank balance he realized he and his wife could take a trip around the world. This was in the early 50s and planning a trip of this extent from a Colorado town, pre computer, pre Internet was an adventure in itself. Eventually they are off and find themselves to be very enthusiastic and positive travelers. They mostly love the journey until they bog down in new Zealand. The book is a delight as are the heinleins.
Susan Rainwater
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm never quite clear on why readers complain that a 50-year-old book is "dated." I suppose the same reader would complain about Mark Twain or John Lloyd Stephens books of their travels?

Dated or not, Tramp Royale is a very interesting description of the Heinleins' trip around the world. The ocean crossings were made on freighters, something I didn't even realize you could do. Heinlein describes hotel frustrations in New Zealand that foreshadow Bill Bryson's experiences in England 10 years later.
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2009-10-season
A masterpiece of travel literature from an unexpected source: the Grand-Master of Science Fiction Robert A. Heinlein. Unpublished during his lifetime, this covers a round-the world-journey taken by Heinlein and his wife in the 1950's. Worth reading not only for the descriptions of circumstances long past but for the social and political commentary that underscores the philosophies espoused in all of his novels.
Eric Oppen
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book would be of interest to any serious Heinlein fan, since it shows where he got the germs of many things that went into his stories. As a travelogue, it is inevitably dated, but fun reading. Heinlein's wife, to whom he always refers with her nickname, "Ticky," is a vivid character in her own right, and a longtime reader of Heinlein such as I can see echoes of many characters that turned up in his work in her actions and behavior.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Even though this is NOT a science fiction novel, this is still a pretty good read. 'Tramp Royal' is Heinlein's telling of his adventures with his wife Virginia on a 1950's world cruise.
I will warn you about one thing. This book does have a dated feel and it should, considering that it was both written during the 1950's and the events in it occurred during the 1950's.
robert spencer
Karl Kindt
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1999
This inspired me to travel around the world some day.
Sanya Weathers
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
Strictly for fans of Heinlein with a love of travelogues.

Hey, that's me!
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
A dated travelogue by Heinlein and his wife. Interesting historical read, but not good for much else.
Buzz Ryan
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Outstanding travelog of an around the world adventure undertaken by one of the most prolific authors ever and his extroverted wife! I loved it!
John DeBlanc
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Ann Zdunczyk
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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
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