STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND:

Discussion in 'Robert Heinlein' started by clareabella, Feb 6, 2003.

  1.  
    clareabella

    clareabella Lead guitar

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    Has anyone read Robert A. Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange land'?? I have just finished it and I think it's fantastic!! Heinlein is a most excellent writer, and Mike just the best Man from Mars in a long run. One of those books that you can discuss for nights on end.
  2.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I did actually have this book unread on my shelves a couple of years ago. But, darn it, think it went into the loft along with the rest of the novels I had then.
  3.  
    clareabella

    clareabella Lead guitar

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    Damn it!! Ypu've got to read it ASAP!!! It's the best book I've read for ages!! I actually read it in two days, when usually it takes me over a week! I demand you read it for your own sanity!!
  4.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Searching the loft would be a mind-numbing process - basically, since I became a dad I've been squeezed out with a host of my things taking refuge in the loft.

    However, I think I'm going to have to start looking out for second-hand bookshops. I'm sure there's one not too far away, and frankly after buying Peter F. Hamilton I think I'll go the cheaper road when purchasing unfamiliar works.

    Soon see how it goes... :)
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    Eldanuumea

    Eldanuumea New Member

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    Oh Brian, you do have to find a copy and read it. It is a marvelous book......raises interesting questions about many things.
  6.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Still not been in the loft for the books and stuff - but been busy in our wee little garden putting up a fence. From someone who can barely rewrite a plug, it's quite an achievement!

    Assuming it stays up, that is - unlike the other fence... :eek:
  7.  
    clareabella

    clareabella Lead guitar

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    that's procrastination! :mad: ::)

    i've never found robert. a heinlein in any book shop let alone any second hand shop. but indeed, you never know.

    second hand bookstores are a mecca for the book person, i some how think they're spiritully linked to me, as i think about a book i should get or find out abuot, and low and behold i find it in a second hand book store for 30p. it's a sign!
  8.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I intend to go into the loft sometime over the next few days. Hopefully, I'll find it then. ;)
  9.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I got it down! I got it down!

    I went into the loft today. ;)

    Won't be able to start reading it until next week, but assuredly it will be the next book I read. :)
  10.  
    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    So, tell, tell...how did you like it?
  11.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I still haven't got around to reading it! My girlfriend is actually halfway through it, but I'll try to be next. :)
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    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    I tried reading it a long time ago and couldn't get through it. Since I think I was in high school at the time, I should probably try it again.

    Second-hand bookshops are great! We have some where you trade in your old books and get credit towards whatever they have in stock. What a world we live in!
  13.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    My girlfriend has put it down two-thirds of the way in and says she can't be bothered with it. She's complained about it for a while - doesn't like the dated gender roles, the characters, or the way it's written. She says she's been forcing herself to read it - but now no moer! She's rung her sister to get her to send her the fourth "Otherland" novel instead.

    Hm...
  14.  
    Foxbat

    Foxbat I am a number

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    My opinion (for what it's worth): Stranger in a Strange Land is probably the finest book ever written by Heinlein. The problem is not with this particular work but with his subsequent work. I always felt that, in most of his later efforts, it was the same character regurgitated which, to me, showed Heinlein's limitations. Paradoxically, Michael Moorcock made a career out of character regurgitation (The Eternal Champion) and it worked for him. I think the reason it worked was because Moorcock's was a conscious decision whereas Heinlein was probably working at his limits. Still, it's a fine book and worth persevering with.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I daren't touch it at the moment, though - I am so easily influenced by what I read. "Emperor" is coming along a little too slowly - and as it's stylistically based on "Dune" I've been reading extracts of that novel again, just to get myself into shape for writing character conflicts, etc.

    I will ensure that I read "Stranger in a Strange Land" the moment I've finished writing that. Or maybe before, if I find this quiet phase turn into a lull.

    While we're on the topic of Heinlein, though - would anyone make a general recommendation of his other works? How about "Starship Troopers"? Although objections were covered on another thread, I wonder if there's anything else by Heinlein that really stands out behind Stranger?
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    GnomeoftheWest

    GnomeoftheWest New Member

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    SIASL is definately not a woman's book...It "appears" way to sexist for any woman to get past. My wife loved it except for this aspect. I don't think most men find it sexist at all, but sort of a male fantasy fulfillment.
    Besides, woman would probably not object had roles been gender reversed (seems they have a double standard also). For the time it was written (1960), he empowered his woman characters far more than other authors of the period.
    It's just that most woman I've discussed it with can't get past Jubal's ordering them about.
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    littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Super Moderator

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    I think the way to approach the sexism in Stranger is to see it for what it is - a reflection of a past era in American culture. At the time it was written, it reflected gender roles quite accurately, except for - as Gnome mentioned - that Heinlein probably empowered his female characters a little more than was acceptable in the late 50s/early 60s. And, you must remember, that Jubal's "secretaries" talked back to him quite a lot and, as far as I've been able to see in the three or four times I've read the novel, never really did much that they didn't want to do. And that is probably about all you can expect in a novel written by a man before the women's movement really got underway in the public consciousness.
  18.  
    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    I can't believe that I still haven't got around to reading this. I'm just not in a reading mood at the moment.
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    aperick

    aperick New Member

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    Stranger is my all-time favorite book. But one will find very little to be impressed with in the first two thirds of the book. That first part is all character development and such. It is only in the final third that we get the attempt at a completely objective assessment of the human condition -- and prescriptions for improvement.
  20.  
    aperick

    aperick New Member

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