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Stranger in a Strange Land
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Archive FuturisticMagical > Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein (June 2018)

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message 1: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
I have opened this for you Patrick. I hope you don't mind. 😺


message 2: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6296 comments Mod
Stranger in a Strange Land is a 1961 science fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein.

It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with—and eventual transformation of—Terran culture. It is set in a post-Third World War United States, where organized religions are politically powerful. There is a World Federation of Free Nations, including the demilitarized U.S., with a world government supported by Special Service troops.

In 2012, the US Library of Congress named it one of 88 "Books that Shaped America".

The title "Stranger in a Strange Land" is an allusion to the phrase in Exodus 2:22.[2] According to Heinlein, the novel's working title was The Heretic.


message 3: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Thanks Rosemarie!


message 4: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
You're welcome!


Inkspill (runinkspill) I've started to read this - brilliant opening!!!


message 6: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6296 comments Mod
Thanks for joining in Inkspill!


message 7: by Inkspill (last edited Jun 14, 2018 01:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Inkspill (runinkspill) I've read the first part - oh, the twists and turns against a political backdrop - a thrilling read with many humorous moments.

I've seen the movie *Starship Troopers but this is the first time I'm reading a book by Heinlein - neat!!! :)

*typo corrected


message 8: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Yes! The beginning was very interesting!


Inkspill (runinkspill) This book is getting better and better - I wish I could read as fast as Smith and grok it all :))


message 10: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
It got a bit weird. I’ve got to say. Lol


Inkspill (runinkspill) yeah, I know what you mean.

I'm blown back - what an imagination, big philosophical ideas are tucked away between the thrills and comedy.

amazing!!!

I'm so pleased to read this :))


Inkspill (runinkspill) **** SPOILERS - kind of mentioned, but I'll do my best to not give too much away ****

finished reading part 3 - for a moment I thought I had opened the wrong book ☺

so the drama becomes more prominent with traces of comedy and the political plot is put on hold (I'm guessing) as religion is scrutinised.

meantime, Smith is grokking what it means to be human, but puzzled how to grok this part with the previous two.

maybe, it will all come together in the last two parts, I'll keep you posted ☺


message 13: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
I just finished part 1. It certainly is an exciting beginning to the book, especially what happened at the end of the last chapter in this section.
I am enjoying the writing and the pace of the novel so far.


message 14: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Yeah, religion got really scrutinized through the book. It got annoying. I wasn’t a fan of the last half of the book.


message 15: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Glad you’re enjoying it Rosemarie!


Inkspill (runinkspill) Rosemarie wrote: "I just finished part 1. It certainly is an exciting beginning to the book ..."

Oh neat! Isn't it just.

I've finished - the whole thing came together in the last 2 parts - some of the comedy returned but the focus was still the big issue. I'm not going to say anything more :)

Patrick wrote: "Yeah, religion got really scrutinized through the book. It got annoying. I wasn’t a fan of the last half of the book."
I can understand this, I liked where for most it it did not commit to either side of the argument.

Apparently, this novel had a cult following in its time - not sure if it does still - and gave the word grok to the English langueage, looking it up

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti...
Definition of grok
grokked; grokking
transitive verb
: to understand profoundly and intuitively


message 17: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Hmm I didnt know they actually made grok a word. That's interesting!!


message 18: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
I just finished Part 2. That part was a lot of fun and very entertaining. I am enjoying the book a lot so far.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
So far I am not enjoying Part 3 as much, since it is silly at times, and also because Part 2 was so good!


message 20: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new) - rated it 2 stars

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Yeah after part 2 the book goes downhill in my opinion.


message 21: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
Part 3 was terrible. I see what you mean Inkspill. Not only is he misogynistic, he is homophobic as well. Yuck!


Inkspill (runinkspill) Part 3 was hard - yeah, it was such a big change from the previous 2.

Parts 4 and 5 change again, and I thought gave a bit of a context to part 3

(might be a SPOILER ALERT!!!)
being about people looking for a kind of a liberation that leads to pure happiness but Smith realises how humans are more complex than Martians.
(end of SPOILER ALERT!!!)

I liked how part 4 is a story in a story, like Wuthering Heights.


message 23: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
Part 4 is like a psychedelic dream at times, with a tattoed lady and a bunch of snakes, etc.


message 24: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
Well, I finished the book. There was a very obvious ressemblance to a scene out of the New Testament.

I first read this book in university in the early 70s, at the end of the hippie years and really grokked it then.

I don't grok it this time. It started off with a bang and had a very corny ending. What a disappointment!

I am relieved that Dune did not disappoint. It was a five star read both times.


Inkspill (runinkspill) oh yeah, the tattoo lady

from what I've read of the 60s, I could see this fitting in with the mood of the times.

the way I read it, I thought the focus of part 4 was a discussion (as Caxton reports to Harshaw) of who has the right to judge what moral is.

and that last scene - yep, on the surface, corny but I thought the subtext underlined the contradiction (a pure, free kind of happiness is an impossibility if there is someone who has a different understanding of what this means)

I also thought the novel was making a big statement about religion in general, but I couldn't work out if it was pro religion or anti religion (especially when Martian philosophy is put into context)

I liked the first two parts more but thought it was very brave of Heinlein to take it in completely different direction. The novel addresses some big ideas and I'm not sure if he could have achieved this without a change in style and pace.

on a side note, and I may have this wrong, I think this novel and Dune were written around the same time, they are both sci-fi and have a kind of Messiah figure leading the pack - I'm guessing the 60s were a time when people were searching for answers - not sure if that has changed though


message 26: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - added it

Rosemarie | 8952 comments Mod
People are still seeking, since they still have many different types of Evangelistic preachers, along with New Agers and others seeking answers. I think that it is part of the human condition.

I would say the sections that annoyed me the most were those with Digby and Foster.

The nest scenes were something like pre-cursers to hippie communes, with the enhanced mind being replaced by LSD, etc.

The 60s and 70s were a pre-Aids time in which Free Love was Groovy. I totally see why the book was popular back then, but it didn't age well.

I actually liked his Starship Troopers better. 😱
I still need to read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, his other big one.


Inkspill (runinkspill) the first scene with Digby and


Inkspill (runinkspill) oops - pressed wrong button

anyway

and Foster just confused me, I had to reread it twice.

nest - communes, I didn't think of it like that - thanks, that's interesting

after this, I'm tempted to read Starship Troopers, but it will just have to wait as there's just too many others I want to read first


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