Stranger in a Strange Land Stranger in a Strange Land question

Rating: 5 or 1
Anonymole Anonymole Jun 18, 2016 11:35AM
I only rate books 5 or 1.

Scoring 5=read it, 1=burn it.

Seriously. What does a 3.00 tell me to do? I have a binary choice here:

• Read the book.
• Don't read the book.

Which would you recommend that I do? Well? I only have maybe 5000 books to read in my life time. Yet there are MILLIONS of them. So tell me something useful! Should I read the book? Or not?

5 or 1

I confess . . . I gave this novel 3 stars.

But, perhaps more than anything, Heinlein's choice of conclusion thwarted my enjoyment of this "classic."

No doubt, "middle of the road" reviews may cause a potential reader to pause. Yet, at the same time, a "3" for one reader may be a 4, 4 and a half, or five for another reader. So . . .

I like what AnnLoretta said about Heinlein being foundational. Despite so many "clinks and clunks," there is so much in his work which is insightful, ahead of his time, and sometimes quite complex, (Here, I cannot help but think of the much maligned Beyond This Horizon novel).

I couldn't help but comment; and, I do wish I could have been more helpful.

"Good reading!"


I like your rating strategy, and although I am not as strict, I also tend to rate them high when I like them and low when I don't. There's rarely anything I feel so indifferent about that I would give it a 3.

That said, I don't agree that reading a book is a binary choice. You can read them, not read them, OR read you can read just part of them.

I know some people like to commit to finishing any book they start, so starting one is a crucial decision for them. However I am comfortable with giving a book a try, and if I don't get pulled in, I'll move on to something else.

Other people's ratings or recommendations have as much influence on my perseverance as they do on my starting. If I don't like it, I would be more likely to persevere if it got higher ratings.

That said, Stranger in a Strange Land was better in the first half of the book. I liked it, kept reading, but by the end I was not so impressed.

Anonymole Good point. I might wonder though that a book that is not finished is like a meal discarded or a movie where you leave half way through. In one word - ...more
Jul 07, 2016 01:02PM · flag
deleted user Interesting. When I don't finish a book, because I am so dern picky, it's because I've made a mistake, usually, in thinking I'm part of the demographi ...more
Jul 07, 2016 03:50PM · flag

I would say yes, because it is considered a classic, so many book lovers will have read it and you can then compare and contrast what you thought of it.
I would say to read it. There is the original publication length of about 400 pages and the extended one of about 600 pages.

deleted member (last edited Jun 18, 2016 01:43PM ) Jun 18, 2016 01:42PM   0 votes
I appreciate your rating philosophy.

No, given what you've read, unless you have a particular interest in what passed for innovative at the time of its publication, and 1961 was a watershed period, no question, on many fronts (EDIT: Unintended pun). You can't have read as much science fiction as you have without having read messianic sagas, although this one swings interestingly between the sincere and the sardonic, and you must know by now what "grok" means. I also find the term "I am only an egg" useful in many situations, although few people know what it signifies. But I can't imagine going back and reading Heinlein again, although he was important to me 50 years ago. He foundational to me (sorry, Mr. Asimov). While there are books I will probably reread all my life, I believe I would become impatient with SISL and lose my young and innocent appreciation of it, which would be a shame.

You or others may feel differently. I don't know.

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