Customer Reviews for

Stranger in a Strange Land

Average Rating 4.5
( 338 )
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(223)

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(58)

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(34)

2 Star

(14)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

In context, it's an amazing work

First published in 1961, this book has been accused of being a product of the 60's, but what we think of as 'the 60's' didn't begin until mid-decade. Amazingly, it sprang forth from the late 50's, where the American mind-set was neo-Puritanical, and women's and men's r...
First published in 1961, this book has been accused of being a product of the 60's, but what we think of as 'the 60's' didn't begin until mid-decade. Amazingly, it sprang forth from the late 50's, where the American mind-set was neo-Puritanical, and women's and men's roles were well defined. If anything, it helped shape the 60's, not the other way around. Sure, the language is a bit stilted by today's standards, and the allegory of the 'Man from Mars' is a bit heavy-handed. But several of the book's themes, including the concept of strong, intelligent, sexually liberated women, were quite radical at the time. Don't expect hard science fiction. The science is secondary to the human drama and the social commentary, which borders at times on satire. And yet the Fosterites, which I had thought were quite absurd when I first read this, are shockingly similar to many personality-cult religious movements that have enjoyed wide popularity since then. This book successfully mixes biting satire with a positive, even naive, view of how humans might live together in peace if they can learn to 'grok in fullness', to be freed from the slavery of their petty jealousies and narrow, ugly world views. While shining a glaring spotlight on some of humanity's less pleasant characteristics, it still manages to leave you with a hopeful vision of how things might truly be.

posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

False Advertising

This is NOT the proper, unabridged copy that was published at the writer originally intended. It's still an okay book. But it's simply not the same with almost 1/3 of the book missing.

posted by 11747332 on June 2, 2012

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    After hearing so many people discuss Stranger in a Strange Land as a science fiction classic, I was understandably eager to experience this remarkable piece of literature for myself. And no one was more disappointed than me to discover it was impossible to finish. Perhaps it's because I attempted the author's uncut version, I'm not sure, but I got about halfway through and decided I had never been so bored by science fiction in my life. Certainly there were some interesting ideas in the book---I will be forever grateful I had the chance to discover "grok" and the Fair Witness---but the book seemed such a string of endless, maybe-going-somewhere? events that I gave up. Perhaps I'll try again in a few decades....

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Stranger in a Strange Land

    This book is can both be seen as a good story or not too interesting by a reader for the same reason. Some people like myself can only handle enough of the impossible or unrealisticness. This book can be interesting while the main character Valentine Michael Smith, also known as Mike, is forced to learn how to live in an earthly environment after being brought to the world from the planet Mars where he was discovered. But the fact the a man was raised on a different planet by martians is far too unrealistic to consistantly keep my interest. The book did progress and become more interesting as i read through. I was interested how the government was out to find Mike throughout alot of the story. Also, we come to find out that Valentine Michael Smith is actually like the chosen one. This information also threw me off. The fact Mike was pretty much god and was able to levitate objects and people, and could even evaporate people from mid air. The novel was far too unrealistic for my liking, but i do recomend it for people with great imaginations.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    A Sad Disappointment

    As a rule, I do my best to steer clear from giving negative reviews. With that said though, I could not bring myself to find much enjoyment or substantial and positive comments in support of this book. The characters were very shallow. The consistent slandering of homosexuality YET the endorsement of CONSTANT free will sex with anything and anyone..don't forget though, homosexuality is frowned on and you are reminded of it almost every chapter. The book was horrible. It tried to redeem itself with a soft porn edge and that is what really made the book failing. I could have enjoyed the politics and plot more if every chapter didn't deal with someone trying to have intercourse with someone else. DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE on this book. I am shocked still it received awards.

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2000

    Overrated. A stange essay disguised as a sci-fi novel.

    'The most famous sci-fi novel ever written,' it said on the cover. Arguable. In any case, even if the book were that famous, I don't think it was very good. Accuse me of expecting something else when I heard such an awesome claim. Guilty. Still, I found the book utterly disappointing. The sci-fi part of it was minimal and gave way to the long dialogues in which that Jubal character displayed all his points of view, which are probably shared by the author. In general, I thought the book could have easily been limited to a short essay on how sex makes people grow closer, and little would have been lost. Quite disappointing.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    I did not like it but you might.

    Personally, I did not like this book. There was way too much religious philosophy in it for me. I did like some of the characters. They were entertaining.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    excruciating, but good plot

    Most of the characters have the same sarcastic dry wit personality - except for Micheal with his pristine innocence and good will. The reader is constantly bombarded with a sanctimonious interpretation of the pettiness of humanity. Honestly, I couldn't finish it (I read about 75% of the book) because the humor of the dialogue was so irksome to me that I had to discard the book. It is very rare that I don't finish a book. That said, the plot was wonderful - with a lot of unrealized potential, in my opinion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

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    Posted November 27, 2011

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    Posted October 23, 2008

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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    Posted June 30, 2012

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    Posted January 19, 2012

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    Posted March 6, 2011

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