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Glory Road

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  11,557 ratings  ·  527 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 ab
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Orb Books (first published September 1st 1963)
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Helen That's a good question and an interesting idea. If so it would certainly be easier to see the book in a better light.

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  11,557 ratings  ·  527 reviews


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Lyn
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 barbs, make
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Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Re-reading my least favorite of Heinlein's works, because who knows? Maybe an older eye can shed some light upon this most shameful of tales rife with sexism, unabashed fantastical thinking (that works because this is a fantasy), or the fact that there *might* be a good reason why Heinlein only wrote one fantasy novel.

Results of my analysis are pretty much the same as when I was a kid. Odd, that. I mean, sure, there's the fighting of dragons and lots of really cool swordplay, geometr
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Adrian
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
September 2019
This was a September Group Read for the group Hoyts Huns, and as I voted for it in the poll, I felt obliged to re-read. That said this was an enjoyable read. I won't get bogged down in any of Heinlein's politics or his (later shall we say interesting (read weird) ) views on feminism and sexuality, suffice to say read at the level of an interesting story, this is , well, an interesting story. (Personally I have never bothered to read too deeply into any book, just enjoyed the
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Martin
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"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 pounds, fluent English, with some French, proficient in all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential, 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. You must apply in person, rue Da
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Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, action
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 litt
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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
Peter Tillman
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Glory Road has long been one of my two favorite Robert A. Heinlein novels. I cheerfully volunteered to review this [then] new (2004) edition. Well, there's always a risk in revisiting an old favorite, especially for a critical reading....

I did enjoy Samuel R. Delany's graceful and affectionate afterword:
"Young Galahad (aka EC Gordon) is pricking o'er the plain of life when, on the Ile du Levant, he runs into She Who Must Be Obeyed and her grandson, Alberich cum Sancho Panza, a
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Emily
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Maryam
It was for sure my least favorite Heinlein's book, also one of my least favorite SCi-Fi of all time.
Not recommended at all.
Toby
May 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
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
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Manny
If you've read Glory Road, you may be amused by this Quiz question.
Jay Daze
Jun 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy, hated
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
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Donna
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was not my cup of tea. It is science fiction, but this read more like "man's fantasy". I wanted to like the MC, but he liked himself enough for both of us. He had all the answers, the woman, the importance of being so special....ugh.....help me.

I picked this one up because a friend at work really liked this one, and he actually wrote a review, which he rarely does. So I thought, "Sure. I'll pick this one up." This wasn't what I was expecting.

This was getting so far-fetched
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Mahlon
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mahlon by: Natalie
Shelves: read-2015
Wow, what a book, and this is coming from someone who has made a concerted effort to avoid both sci-fi and Fantasy over the years! The only negative thing I have to say about it is, I think it went on too long. I think it should have ended shortly after they found the egg, I didn't need 3-4 additional chapters on ahscar and Star's domestic problems. I realized early on that the tone and style of humor were very familiar, then I realized that Robert Asprin had ripped them off for his MYTH series! ...more
Sandy
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
John
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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Kate
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jrubino
May 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 w
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Daniel
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Linda
Nov 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
John
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
198x grade B+
1991 grade A-
2011 grade A
2019 grade A-/B+

2011 Fun book.
Two copies, mass market size and oversize.

2019
It took a lot of life experience to figure it out, but this is just an adult SciFi coming of age story. The main character grows enough to understand himself and to realize how he has to live to be "happy." I don't know what he would have become without the other worlds and universes to do it in.

The story has an odd st
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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 p
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Sean Randall
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
This one seems to annoy heinlein fans who feel it encroaches on his more sci-fi works. I can see where they're coming from, but honestly, it's just a great romping read. Lying on the grass on a sunny afternoon with a cold drink and an hour or so to kill, in my case. Plot? what plot? it's your standard hero-on-an-adventure thing, with the beautiful woman thrown in for fun. somehow it's all tied together though, and made me want to carry on with it despite the sheer sillyness.
Derk
Mar 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"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?
Judy
Notice:
I am afraid you who follow me here are going to be reading about a larger number of old books this year. I have committed myself to a firmer push to get through the lists of My Big Fat Reading Project, to reading 4 a month from those lists rather than 2 a month as I did last year. Seriously, if you want to get the flavor of a year from your past, there is no better way than to read the literature. Of course, if you are not as ancient as I am, 1963 might have been a past life for yo
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Kelly Flanagan
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Joan
SEXIST! Needless to say I am not keeping my copy of this. EC gets hired by this incredibly gorgeous woman on the French Riviera for heroing and travels. She doesn't mention it is in other worlds, or how very dangerous it would be or what her real position is. Actually the other guy in the story is a lot more interesting than the female or the hero. But not enough to bother keeping!
Alazzar
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 things.
<
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Simon
Apr 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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 impor
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Jeff Miller
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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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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“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...” 40 likes
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