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The Door into Summer

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  20,382 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews
Dan Davis was tricked by an unscrupulous business partner and a greedy fiancee into spending thirty years in suspended animation just when he was on the verge of a success beyond his wildest dreams. But when he awoke in the future, he discovered he had the means to travel back in time -- and get his revenge!
Paperback, 291 pages
Published October 12th 1986 by Del Rey (first published June 1st 1957)
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Zachary When the book was written most writers made their living selling to magazines that published fiction. Paperback editions were sold at newstands and…moreWhen the book was written most writers made their living selling to magazines that published fiction. Paperback editions were sold at newstands and drug stores and so on. Writers in those days had a financial incentive to keep their work short because that's what worked best for the magazines and store spinner racks. Times changed and book stores came along. The price of paperbacks begin to rise and consumers preferred longer books to get more for their money. So publishers began to reformat popular old titles by increasing font size, adding additional material like forwards etc, and messing with the margins. The text itself remained the same, but consumers were more likely to buy it if it had 300 pages rather than 120. (less)

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4.01  · 
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 ·  20,382 ratings  ·  1,031 reviews


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Mike (the Paladin)
I'm a little surprised I don't seem to have posted a review of this one before. I read this book "way back when". I probably read it first when I was in high school or just after. That would probably be the 1960s. I went through a period when I discovered Heinlein and ran through everything I could get my hands on by him. Some I didn't care for, some I liked and some I loved.

Many people place this in his so called "teen reads" but there is some question about that due to some of the subject matt
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Lyn
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable SF story from a Grandmaster.

The novel's protagonist, Daniel B. Davis, was a precursor to Hugh Farnham and even Lazarus Long somewhat, though Long was introduced earlier in 1941's Methusaleh's Children. Actually, Davis (and others) are thinly disguised Heinlein: fiercely individualist, libertarian, technically savvy, hard working yet innovative, resourceful, wise cracking, and with a horn dog libido that would make a porn star blush.

I wonder if Door Into Summer used some of the same
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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
I liked it, but it was suggested to me I shouldn't give four stars to every single book I enjoy, so here it goes for Heinlein. I really had no issues with "The Door Into Summer", and Heinlein is still one of my favorite SF masters after this.

I enjoy books that feature engineers as protagonists, and here we have one proto-geek singlehandedly inventing robotics in the 50's and failing rather spectacularly in the human relations department. Later on, there's some time travel thrown in and some cryo
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Adrian
Well after many thousands of ratings this book is averaging 4 stars so my rating will make no difference at all.
I first read this back in the late 70s, and like most of Heinlein's early and middle work I really enjoyed it then and again now.
The storyline and characterisations are good and there is none of the (in my opinion) vague sexism and verbal meanderings of his later books (look how many pages his later novels have, yawn).

Ok I've just re-read my review and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the
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Manuel Antão
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1992, 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Talking a Lot About Cats: "A Door Into Summer" by Robert A. Heinlein



(Original Review, 1980-07-28)



Probably the biggest role for a cat outside of Norton is in Heinlein's A DOOR INTO SUMMER --- the hero talks more to his cat than he does to the woman he ends up marrying.

[KK: That doesn't surprise me; Heinlein seems to hate all human females over the age of 12.
Lance Greenfield
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-travel
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to [almost] end. The reason for the "almost" will become apparent.

The story of time travel by various means was excellent. When reading this story, you should remember that it was written in the 1950s. Some of Heinlein's predictions are amazing, and some are way off the mark. It's amazing to follow his line of thinking though.

You can see an outline of the plot in the description. It is fairly predictable, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the
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S.C. Jensen
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didn't read this book with the intention of writing a review, so you'll excuse me if I don't go into great detail. Let me just summarize "the feel" of the book...

It is not very often that I read a book that makes me smile the entire time I'm reading it; this is one of them. From the hilarious anachronisms of the 1950's Futurist to the brilliant side-kick cat, Pete. (Cat lovers will appreciate this book on a completely different level than other readers). I was laughing out loud at least once e
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Manny
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Somewhat unusually for Heinlein, this is a cute, fun book which doesn't try to ladle a bunch of right-wing ideology down your throat, or O.D. you on dubious sex. There's some time travel, a sympathetic main character, a Bad Girl, and a cat who steals the show every time he appears on stage. He even gets the title: the reference is to his endearing habit, during winter months, of making the hero open each door in the house in turn, just in case one of them happens to lead into summer...
Ivana Books Are Magic
Are you a cat person? If yes, you’re definitely in for a treat. Pete is an amazingly written cat character if there ever was one. Yes, cat lovers will surely appreciate this one. Cat owners will understand that cats like Pete are as rare as true love and only come once in a life time, if we’re lucky, hence they will understand what makes Pete so special to Dan, his owner. However, even if you happen to hate cats, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the ingenious way Pete is described. That’s just plain g ...more
Steve
Mar 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Time travel type: Travel to the past via machine and travel to the future via cryogenics.
Likes: Pete, the cat ... and robots.
Dislikes: All the characters except the cat ... and robots.
Points of Particular Boredom: Business talk and the hero's pompous over-confidence in himself.
Plot summary: Why bother?
Jim
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1audio
Another old favorite picked up as a downloadable audio book from the library. It was quite enjoyable in this medium & the reader was very good. Originally published in 1957, it is set in 'the future' years 1970 & 2000. The idea of traveling into the future via 'cold sleep' was a pretty popular until sometime in the 70's, but cutting edge at this time, I think. Haven't heard about it in humans for years.

The hero, Dan, is an engineer & inventor. His genius isn't in break through techno
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Stuart
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Door Into Summer: A charming time-travel story from Golden Age Heinlein
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
The Door Into Summer (1957) is an immensely enjoyable time-travel story told effortlessly by Robert A. Heinlein long before he turned into a crotchety, soap-box ranting old crank who had a very unhealthy obsession with free love and characters going back in time to hook up with their mothers (gross!!).

So back to this book. It’s the story of Daniel Davis, a hard-working engineer in 1
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Derek
I first read this many years ago—probably about the time in which it is set: it was published in 1957 (just before I was born) but most of the story is set in 1970 and the rest in 2000/2001.  The only thing that really stayed in my memory was the reason for the title. 

Dan Davis once lived in Connecticut in a house with twelve doors to the outside. In Winter, his cat Pete (Petronius the Arbiter) would make him open every door, looking for the one that led to Summer. Pete's not present for th
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Eilonwy

Three and a half stars, so I guess my four stars will stand.

I read this as a teenager and have always remembered it as a love story. And I still think that. The difference is, this time I'm certain that the "love story" in this book is between narrator Dan and his cat, Pete, and definitely not between Dan and (view spoiler). The devotion and concern that Dan shows for his cat across time and distance i
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Andreas
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, classic-sff
I liked it far less than my previous RAH reads of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, or even Stranger in a Strange Land.

The story - silly technician looses his garage corporation predictably to greedy woman and former business partner - wasn't very good with all that implausible back and forth through time and hibernated sleep. RAH rode that SF trope but didn't motivate it well enough; a lot of less riskier and far easier solutions to the protagonist's problems lay on hands. Especi
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Jess Johnson
I have so much ambivalence about this book!!!

I have a soft spot for vintage Sci Fi that reminds me of hanging out with my dad and discussing some thing we both read in high school. I started this book and it was hitting all the right notes for me - protagonist with a quirky, strong, distinct voice and slightly wacky approximation of 'how the future works' -- there is one really fun line where he basically approximates reading on a kindle.

That said despite acknowledging this is an older book I ca
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Valerie
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
For today's standards it is a rather short novel with Heinlein still in his early stage, trying to develop the style that later led to his major works, and short is better in this case. It is told first person perspective and this makes things difficult for the narrative part but better for the introspective one.
There are no discussions of time travel issues or paradoxes to be solved, still the book is enjoyable, but if you want science fiction with any depth or emotional resonance, don't expect
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Trav Rockwell
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fast paced story line with drama for days. 'The Door Into Summer' was written in 1957 with the plots story based between 1970 - 2001. Robert A. Heinlein had to do a lot of predicting to paint a believable world set in 2001 in which he succeeds creating a believable account of time travel which isn't over the top or far fetched as most time travel novels seem to be. The main character Dan Davis is extremely well written, charismatic, smart, wise and quick witted, making him very enjoyable ...more
William
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this as a teenager, back in the 1960s. Heinlein was my break-out author for reading. Never before had I inhaled books the way I did with Heinlein, and this was one of my favourites.
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a SF novel published in 1957, the title depicts the following episode:

While still a kitten, all fluff and buzzes, Pete had worked out a simple philosophy. I was in charge of quarters, rations, and weather; he was in charge of everything else. But he held me especially responsible for weather. Connecticut winters are good only for Christmas cards; regularly that winter Pete would check his own door, refuse to go out it because of that unpleasant white stuff beyond it (he was no fool), the
...more
Simon
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-masterworks
This is a very accessible and entertaining Heinlein read.

It is set in what was then a couple of decades into the future: 1970. The protagonist ends up travelling 30 years into his future by means of a cryogenic sleep to wake up in the year 2000. Reading this book in the year 2015 gives one quite a different perspective than one would have had reading it when it first came out. One can look back and judge how the authors vision of those years diverged from reality.

This is an optimistic book. Op
...more
Cherie
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heinlein, read-audio
A long time favorite book, the narration really brought it to life!
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was the first time I had read this particular novel by Heinlein and I was initially not blown away by it. Part of that might be that it was not a re-read but I think it is more than that. It is fast paced, contains more 'hard' science than a lot of Heinleins sci-fi does and is fascinating in many ways. But at times - quite a lot of times, to be honest - the story seems to jerk rather than flow and the characters also jump around a bit. This may be due to the fact that it was originally seri ...more
Jim
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 1paper, 2fiction
I liked most of Heinlein's older stuff. Once he wrote "The Number of the Beast" he started writing too weird for me. This was one of his better ones. It is the first that I recall with a cat in it (he seems to have a reverence for cats) & an inventor who is a pretty smart guy but can still get himself into a world of trouble - and then back out again. Fun, quick read.
Valeroo
If ever I own a Cat his name will be Pete, for short.
Chris
Oh, 1950s science fiction - is there nothing you can't do?

One of the downsides to our modern information age is that we have so much information available to us. If I see a reference on a blog or in a book that I don't know, it's a quick hop over to Google or Wikipedia to find out what it is, and if it's really interesting I can find myself learning about something I never knew before. And so, if I want to know more about cold sleep, robotics or time travel, there's a whole host of ways that I c
...more
Alan
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Liked this book way more than his more famous The Puppet Masters and Starship Troopers. It was light-hearted and whimsical, though quite a bit outdated.
Toby
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Even for a novice Heinlein reader such as myself it was clear that this was one of his early adult novels. It's light on the philosophy and social commentary, light on pages and is a simple, enjoyable read.

There are a few interesting scientific advances put forward in the 190 pages, one of the fun aspects of reading classic science fiction, but the most fun is reading what they couldn't imagine. If ever you want confirmation of some of the great things we have access to in the 21st century you o
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6,950 followers
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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“I have spent too much of my life opening doors for cats—I once calculated that, since the dawn of civilization, nine hundred and seventy-eight man-centuries have been used up that way. I could show you figures.” 22 likes
“Nothing could go wrong because nothing had...I meant "nothing would." No - Then I quit trying to phrase it, realizing that if time travel ever became widespread, English grammar was going to have to add a whole new set of tenses to describe reflexive situations - conjugations that would make the French literary tenses and the Latin historical tenses look simple.” 13 likes
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