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review 2017-09-11 03:19
Review: Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land (Remembering Tomorrow) - Robert A. Heinlein

This was my first time reading anything by Heinlein.  I really enjoyed the first half, and I was pleasantly surprised by how readable and entertaining it was, but I disliked the second half quite a bit.

 

The main premise is that there is life on Mars, and humanity has only just begun to travel there.  As a result of the first trip, a baby is born on Mars, his parents die, and he is raised by Martians.  When the book begins, Mike, the baby in question, is now an adult and he has just traveled back to Earth to meet his race.

 

I thought the first part was great.  It was a bit dated in some of its attitudes and beliefs, but the story was interesting and I really liked how Heinlein built up this alien culture which looks at things so differently from humans, to the point that some things simply can’t be translated in terms humans can understand and vice versa.  The characters were relatively interesting and likeable.  Even Jubal was likeable at first.  I had the impression, without knowing anything about Heinlein’s personality or beliefs, that Jubal was Heinlein’s voice in this book, representing the ideal older man and expressing the ideas that Heinlein wanted to convey to his readers.

 

The second half devolved into mysticism, orgies, and, worst of all, monologues, and I didn’t care for the ending.  But my biggest complaint was with the monologues.  They weren’t terribly long, but they were frequent.  The author, usually through Jubal, seemed to have a lot of opinions on religion, philosophy, families, and cultural taboos that he wanted to express.  My problem really wasn’t with the opinions themselves.  I agreed with some and disagreed with others.  I was horrified by a few and amused by others.  It’s just that they were presented in a manner that felt too preachy, and that pulled me out of the story.  And at that point, the story itself became less interesting and everything felt like a vehicle to deliver the monologues.

 

I have a couple of Heinlein’s other books on my reading list, and I’ve seen them compared more favorably to this one, so I intend to cycle back around and give him another try eventually.  When he was just telling me a story and not trying to preach at me, I enjoyed his writing style.  On the sites where I can give half stars, I’m rating this as 2.5.  On Goodreads, I decided to round up to 3 based on the first half and parts of the second half.

 

Next Book

In the Night Garden, the first book of The Orphan’s Tales by Catherynne Valente, another new-to-me author.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-02 08:17
July 2017 — A Wrap-Up

 

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As much fun as only Douglas Adams books can be. Although, it might also be due to my technique that I apply when reading books by DA. I space them out, which keeps the jokes and randomness from being repetitive and not-random!

 

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I won this in a giveaway. Read my review here.

 

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Okay, so this was different and seemed a bit incomplete at the end but I still liked it. Something that stuck with me was the concept that while the people were free as a nation, it meant compromising their individual freedom. What does that even mean?

 

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Here is a scene that stayed with me:

 

 

 

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This was cute and fun. I will continue with the series to see if it is more than just cute and fun though. Two examples to give you an idea of what the art looks like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trying this one out for size. Still not impressed though. Just wanted to leave this here; it shows a new level of racism, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

This was for a buddy read over at Booklikes. I won’t say the book wasn’t a fun read, however, it was quite light on science. The humor the depth of observations were the usual Scalzi standard.

 

I just realized this was the beginning of a whole new series with quite a few books in it. While I liked the book, I didn’t love it. Lets see if I feel like reading the next one.

The funny thing is that this book will be the first entry in my Twinsies — Books that Go Together series of blog posts!

 

Two words that I loved:

 

 

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This was okayish. I thought that the author was trying to make up for all the complaints that the readers make about Dresden being sexist. It didn’t work for me though. The story was weak but I did like the art. No idea why I like the code of “honor” that Macone plays by but I do!

 

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I have no idea why I read this. Maybe I only read it because I had it. Whatever the reason, I didn’t like it just as I didn’t like the movie. This was a sequel in comic form but it had nothing new to hold my attention. Two supernatural species fighting each other with humans caught in the middle. Sound familiar? It did to me too! The art was okay-ish while there was no story.

 

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Find my review here.

 

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This one was also a Bingo read for the extremely slow round of Book Bingo that we are playing at work! About the book, it isn’t that I didn’t know what went on in Afghanistan. It was nice to be able to know the exact stats for what went down there.

 

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You can find my review here.

 

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I tried Lumberjanes and didn’t like it but when I saw this was going to be a crossover with Gotham Academy (which I mostly like), I decided to give it another try. I am glad I did because it was a whole lotta fun! I love how the characters seem more human and less comic-y because of the way they are drawn. They don’t all look as if they have stepped off magazine covers. Now I just have to give Lumberjanes another chance to wow me!

 

 

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quote 2017-07-25 17:18
One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.

—Robert A. Heinlein

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text 2017-07-07 13:40
7th July 2017
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein

Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig. 

 

Robert A. Heinlein

 

Decades before the waterbed was patented and popularized in America, science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (born July 7, 1907) described them in detail in his books.

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