Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land

* A 1001 Books Book

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Original Uncut Version by Robert A. Heinlein | LibraryThing

Heinlein, R. A., & Hurt, C. (2006). Stranger in a strange land. Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audiobooks. 9780786174300

One of my mom’s favorite genres is Science Fiction. A favorite author of hers is Robert A. Heinlein. Many consider Stranger in a Strange Land his foremost novel. As I’m not as big of Sci-Fi fan as Mom, it’s taken me a few years to actually read this book. The audiobook happened to be on a shelving cart at one of the HCPL branches.

In the capitalist near future (1961-wise), a crew travels from Earth to Mars. After landing on Mars, the crew dies, leaving their sole heir, newborn Valentine Michael Smith, on the Red Planet. The Martians rear the little human. While the Martians vastly differ in anatomy and drive, they bring up Michael in Martian ways.

Twenty years later, another crew from Earth arrives and takes Michael back to the third rock from the sun. Officials quickly sequester the “Man from Mars” in Bethesda; he is innocent of the ways of Earth.

They block visits from females as no sex differences (male/female) exist on Mars. However, Gillian “Jill” Boardman, a nurse with a hobby of “men,” sneaks in and offers Michael his first glimpse of the opposite sex. Thanks to her friend, journalist Ben Caxton, Jill learns that Michael is unfathomably wealthy and considered the owner of Mars. Seeing his treatment and losing touch with Caxton, Jill kidnaps Michael and seeks refuge at the octogenarian and Renaissance man Jubal Harshaw’s home. From there, Michael changes the world as he grows cognizant of mankind.

Wow, this book was fantastic. The foresight Heinlein possessed in the notions of water beds, genetic counseling, and my all-time favorite fair witnesses simply defies description. His eye towards how a “consumerist America” would react to a stranger in a strange land seems so real.

Five Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – U2 – Stranger in a strange land – Cloudy version

Places : – Earth, Mars 

You might also like:
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein

For more on Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, check out the following sites: