Heinlein was well known in his time to be less than thrilled at all the hippies and drop-outs who adopted this book as their bible. He was said to have hated it when people asked to "share water" with him, as if the ceremony he invented was somehow sacred. His own time spent in the U.S. Navy (had to leave for actual medical reasons) led him to believe that only those who did national service should vote (See Starship Troopers) - so, he was far from thrilled by the peace movement and the drop-outs of the Sixties.
EVEN SO, this book had a profound effect on American culture by opening the minds of its many, many readers to the possibility of a religion that meant something, that led to actual changes in how people behave and act toward one another, not just beliefs -- but actions. I dare say that the thoughts Heinlein put out into the culture via this book were an important part of the stew that led to the reviving of religion as a vital force in the culture, after it had become so staid and dry during the Fifties.
Okay, enough profundities. This book changed my life. There, I said it. It did that by leading me to ask myself questions that I had been trying to avoid, which put me on a different path religiously and otherwise. I might have been a very different person had I never read this book.
The world would have been much different had Heinlein not written it. You owe it to yourself to read this NOW.
This was Heinlein's crossover book. He had written stories attracting science fiction fans for a decade or more. When this book came out in 1961 or so, it drew more readers than science fiction fans. Read it and find out why. It's a good read, simply but effectively written by a master story teller.
Amazing book. And the characters are so real! You can truly see people acting this way, making these decisions. And Valentine -- the main character -- is truly what you would expect a man from another planet to act like, having no understanding of anything even remotely human. The preconceived notions that humans have, no matter where they are from -- he does not have them. Wonderful, and completely realistic. I understand why the cover reads "The most famous science fiction novel ever written."
This book definitely ranks as one of Heinlein's best works. The premise is intriguing, as is his idea of the future of our country, especially in light of when the book was written. This author is definitely one of my favorites.
I never considered my self a sci-fi fan but this book may have changed my mind. I can not believe there has not been a movie based on this book. I connected with the "Man from Mars" Michael. Being raised on Mars on having no ideas of what it is like to be human/earthling, the confusion and eagerness to fit in. The struggles to connect his Maritan understanding of life, right and wrong, relationships with his new life and family on earth. I love the concept of "water brothers" and "thou art god". The book was very though provoking and offers a new perspective on how to view life, love, religion, death, property, wealth, everything it is be be human.
If you are going to read 100 Sci-fi Books in your life.
This book needs to be in the top ten, of that stack of 100 books.
Reading may not change your life, but it may change your perspective
on life if you read it while your young enough to be influenced by
Its a classical Sci-fi Tale, and it puts a lot out there for you to consider,
maybe it was more timely to read it back in the 70's and 80's Like I did, but
I do think it holds significant weight and should be required reading for those
looking to expand their perspectives on Literature and Life.
name valentine michael smith, acestry, human, origin, mars. michael was born on mars and learned the way of life of mars. he was sent to earth to learn, due to different vocals, he had to learn how to be a human. had never seen a woman, that was a first for him. this books has more twists and turns to drive your mind up the wall trying to figure out what is the real perpose of him being on earth. a lot of surprises is all i am going to tell you. reader beware, you are in for a trip of a life time.
I grokked this book in fullness and found it wanting. On the sci-fi front the technological aspects have not aged well. From a 'future society' standpoint it felt more like a commentary on the counter culture movement of the late 60's. Worth a read if you want to read a sci-fi book from the 60's.
After reading Starship Troopers, I wanted to read more of a brilliant storyteller, philosopher, and literary poly sci professor. This book started decent and continued that way far into three-quarters of the book. That last bit, though, was very hard for me to get through--and I can get through most anything.