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What a Depressing Book. (1 Viewer)

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Stranger in a Strange Land.


Despite the religious undertones and somewhat overt sexism, it's a damn good book. A damn depressing book. Fortunately, since Jubal Hershaw is the best character ever (since he's almost exactly like me, which made it somewhat of a strange read) and the book is written so well (just look at that first sex scene!), it's still a damn good book and its flaws are negligible.

And hey, it's only depressing because it's true. For those of you who have read it, I refer to the ending, which to me only illustrates the hopelessness that is the state of human affairs. Also the characters Patty and Stinky, who either blindly follow their faiths or "interpret" them based on how they wish to act.


I'd recommend it to anyone who needs to read something intelligent. Prudes, Jehova's Witnesses, fantasy geeks, computer gamers, conservatives—read it now. Jubal's arguments are very convincing (but I'm biased since most of them are mine as well) and Mike is very lovable character—especially when he loses his innocence but doesn't really.
 

journyman161

Senior Member
Early heinlein was good stuff. But once he introduced Lazarus Long, he started promoting his own ethos which was basically it's OK to screw anything & everything provided you can get to them while they look youthful & pretty.

Once his personal lifestyle choices eventually made their way into the writing it spoiled both the books & some great ideas.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
I've only read two of his books—Starship Troopers and Strange in a Strange Land just twenty minutes ago. God, what a depressing book. I figured it would end with the world being destroyed or everyone dying or just Jubal dying. But noooo...

What a disgusting lynching scene. I try to keep myself from grokking death and what does Heinlein go and do? He makes it impossible for me not to experience it. The bastard's a good writer, and those are the most dangerous kind.
 

journyman161

Senior Member
Well, I wouldn't worry too much - he's dead isn't he? Back a bit b4 1990?

I was very sad to see his writing go off the rails like it did. It was like finding out about AC Clarkes sexual preferences - takes away the glamour.

He was my 1st SciFi author (& at 6 years old, one of my 1st of any genre) with Tunnel in the Sky, The Red Planet, Podakyne of Mars, Glory Road & several others.
 

journyman161

Senior Member
I'm with hodge there. Expressing a view in writing that builds the image of the scene you're creating doesn't mean the author actually believes that view.

And beside those currently in power, RAH would rank as verging on communist.

Also, it's a bit tough looking back at people from outside their environment & putting them down for (maybe) holding the same opinions as millions of others of their time. No Internet, No televised war, No 200+ TV channels, mostly - Not TV, computers that needed special buildings to house, (& a country-sized budget to buy) not even a pocket calculator.

Also, the US had only just broken out of it's internally-focused attitudes & decided there might be a world out there. (It's rapidly heading back that way currently)

Also, unless you've lived under the daily fear of nuclear war, (& we actually don't these days) it's difficult to understand what that deep-set fear does to your daily outlook.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
From what I hear, and it looks likely, this book was partly to blame for the hippie movement. I love hippies.

But Heinlein was by no means a right wing extremist. Even though it is possible to write a scene outside of your own beliefs, I don't know of anyone who would actually make the moral of the story something opposite if your own beliefs. And the moral of Stranger in a Strange Land is very hippie-ish and libertarian (which is a conservative view—a classic conservative view, not neo-conservative).

From his glorification of pornography and strippers to his encouragement of free love, it's apparent that Heinlein likes sex.
 

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