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NAME Valentine Michael SmithANCESTRY HumanORIGIN MarsValentine Michael Smith Is A Human Being Raised On Mars, Newly Returned To Earth Among His People For The First Time, He Struggles To Understand The Social S And Prejudices Of Human Nature That Are So Alien To Him, While Teaching Them His Own Fundamental Beliefs In Grokking, Watersharing, And Love


10 thoughts on “Stranger in a Strange Land

  1. says:

    Apparently a classic of the sci fi cannon, I d never heard of this book until it came up on a book club here It took me a long time to read only because of lack of time, and a rather annoying trait the author has that I ll go into later.This is one of those books that tells us about the period it was written in than anything else, so it s important to note that it was first published in 1961 and later again in 1968 when moon fever was running high and people seemed to have high expectations for human achievement Events are set in an undisclosed future but the older characters seem to remember the first moon landing, so I wouldn t be surprised if Heinlein was thinking of it being set around about now With a mix of very daggy technology like stereo tanks TVs and large, clumsy listening devices, alongside hover crafts and spaceships to Mars, the scope of the setting is hampered by a 50s imagination Stranger in a Strange Land is about Michael Mike Smith, the Man from Mars , offspring of two of scientists on board the original mission to Mars, who was raised by Martians He is Martian than human, especially in his thinking and outlook and philosophy, when he is brought back to Earth Heir to a shitload of money care of his parents heritage, it s unsurprising that the bigshots on Earth are wanting to keep him locked up tight A nurse at the hospital where he is first kept, Jill, offers him a glass of water and in that one action becomes a water brother the highest accolade for Mike She rescues him from the politicians with the help of her journalist friend Ben and takes him to the home of a grumpy, reclusive man, Dr Jubal Harshaw, who lives with three young women who serve as secretaries Anne, Miriam and Dorcas and two men who take care of the property Duke and Larry Mike s particular talents slowly reveal he can vanish things, including people, if he recognises there is a wrongness in them he can withdraw from his own body and shut down his body so there is no heartbeat he can teleport and think telepathically he can absorb books in minutes and regulate his own body, making it muscular and mature at will and so on All of this can be done with understanding of the Martian language, which Jill starts to learn He s completely ignorant of human ways, of human concepts things like jealousy, possessiveness etc are all alien to him He doesn t understand religions and he has never laughed.After months on the road with just Jill, learning and grokking , he finally knows why humans laugh and how to do it himself, and gets the human condition It leads him to start his own church , though it s of a way of life open to people of all religious denominations, with free love and open mindedness, and abilities gained through mastery of the Martian language With Mike set up as a new Messiah, a prophet, there s only one logical conclusion for this story.As a story, Stranger in a Strange Land is enjoyable and original Yet, as a story, it s also bogged down with sermons, with Heinlein s opinions, and a very out of date mentality It reads very 60s and 70s, though it was written before then Not as far sighted as it would like to be It s especially noticeable in the relations between men and women, which have that faintly liberated tinge that s all really lip service, and a great deal of sexist language Which is ironic, really, considering Mike s free love cult There s also an affectionate insult for a Muslim character who s nicknamed Stinky that I couldn t help but be offended by.It does make it hard to read, though, when you come across lines like this, as spoken by Jill very matter of factly Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it s partly her fault p304 While today the statistics are like nine of ten times, a woman s rapist is someone she knows , the idea that it s partly her fault is still considered true by way too many people To hear this come out of Jill s mouth makes it especially awful.Another example is Jubal saying Pipe down, Anne Close your mouth, Dorcas This is not a time when women have the vote p382 Granted, they ignored him and did what they wanted anyway, but there re a lot of these flippant, dismissive remarks all through the book Product of its times, sure just not at all futuristic.Then we come to the proselytizing, which the book is rife with Today, reading this book, the opinions shared are very yes, so old hat, in other words Though it is fun to read the rants, the set up is cringe worthy Jubal is the main lecturer, and the characters around him serve as props There are a great many Huh s from educated and knowledgeable people so that Jubal can share his abundant wisdom One huh is okay, but when each long paragraph of Jubal is responded to with a huh it gets a bit silly Frankly, it s bad writing It reminded me somewhat of The Da Vinci Code, which also uses characters to expound the author s theories on religion etc at great length While these things did at times make it harder to read the book, essentially the book is easy to read and often quite fun too Jubal s sermons and when Jubal isn t around, other characters fill the role, like Ben and Sam can be a bit heavy handed and obvious but a lot of it I agree with, so it wasn t rubbing me up the wrong way Mike is a challenging character to write, because in order to write a naive, ignorant character to this extent, you need to be incredibly self aware Heinlein has fairly good success here, and Mike s growth, maturation, development and resolutions fit the character and work He has charisma and is definitely intriguing yet because he lacks the human flaws, he s also somewhat unapproachable and alien a good balance to achieve.


  2. says:

    One must read Heinlein s signature work to understand what all the fuss is about, from both sides For the RAH fans and Sci Fi crowd, this is an excellent book, a masterpiece of the genre For the opponents, and I understand there are many, he systematically makes a lot of folks mad, from conservatives and theologians, to feminists, and even pro government liberals He was way ahead of his time, and yet also rooted in a pre war mindset that was probably infuriating to young baby boomer readers and especially to the baby boomer s parents But the influence on the genre and on the larger culture is unmistakable.And the next thing is that this really transcends the science fiction genre Heinlein, excusing his later life meanderings into the weird and sexually uninhibited, was a great writer He uses a Sci Fi story about a man from Mars as a vehicle for him to explore and to expound upon a great many subjects, most notably theology, ideology, social and sexual s, and popular culture Love it or hate it, or don t GROK it at all, this work will no doubt inspire strong emotion, this is a powerful book and a must read for SF fans.


  3. says:

    This is a book that it seems like I should like It deals with issues of religion, including a strong critique of religion as we know it, presents socially progressive ideas about sex and relationships, and relies upon a fundamentally humanist, individualist philosophy In the end, however, I can t get past a few things to really like this book 1 The word grok I understand the meaning and significance of the word within the book and I understand why Heinlein chose to create a new word to carry this meaning, but grok It s an ugly word and it gets used about 150 times too many in the book.2 The use of mystic religious concepts and practices Heinlein critiques traditional, human religions, but he is unable or unwilling, finally, to leave behind the trappings of religion, relying upon them to bolster his argument This bothers me because it feels like manipulation, like a man trying to have it both ways by using the religiosity and losing the religion Michael admits that his philosophy, his truth, couldn t be taught in schools and says, I was forced to smuggle it in as a religion which it is not and con the marks into tasting it by appealing to their curiosity 419 He admits that he is manipulating his audience just as Heinlein manipulates his as well as admitting that the people he is trying to save are no than marks, dupes to be conned This is entirely too cynical for my taste and does not accord with the whole Thou art God and I am God and all that groks is God philosophy.3 The sexism of the text, which is inseparable from its heteronormativity and even homophobia Despite Heinlein s progressive especially for the time ideas about sexuality and desire, he reinforces the gender dichotomy repeatedly, putting women and homosexuals in their place as he does so Sometimes this is obviously negative and hard to miss, especially for a modern reader Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it s partly her fault 304 At other times this is done with apparently positive statements Male femaleness is the greatest gift we have romantic physical love may be unique to this planet 419 A statement like this one is troubling not because of its emphasis on romantic physical love but because of its insistence on the male female gender dichotomy as a necessary component of that love A substantial example arises when Jill discovers that she likes to be looked at it, that it makes her feel desirable She says, Okay, if a healthy woman liked to be looked at, then it follows as the night the day that healthy men should like to look, else there was just no darn sense to it At which point, she finally understood, intellectually, Duke and his pictures 302 3 The realization that she likes to be looked at is fine as far as it goes, although the immediate leap from there to pornography is definitely a problem pornography of course having huge and unavoidable issues of power wrapped up in it that this analysis neatly sidesteps Following Jill s realization of her own desire to be looked at, Mike comes to see that Naughty pictures are a great goodness and they go together to strip clubs to enjoy the live version However, Jill found that she grokked naughty pictures only through a man s eyes If Mike watched, she shared his mood, from sensuous pleasure to full rut but if Mike s attention wandered, the model, dancer, or peeler was just another woman She decided that this was fortunate to have discovered in herself Lesbian tendencies would have been too much 307 Here, Heinlein brings together his progressive, free love ideas about sex itself with his traditional ideas about gender roles and his leaning toward homophobia The conclusion Jill arrives at here is that a sex and desire are good, b women are the spectacle, never the spectator, and c lesbianism is completely taboo, even for someone who is otherwise interested in opening herself up to sexual love in its many forms This one scene simply brings together these ideas that recur throughout the second half of the book Repeatedly, it is made clear that homosexual behavior is a danger for Mike to avoid and that women s role in sexual behavior is essentially passive 4 The emphasis on self, whether in self love, self pleasure, self control There are two basic ideas here One is stated by Patricia Paiwonski, Mike s first convert, who says, God wants us to be Happy and He told us how Love one another Love a snake if the poor thing needs love Love thy neighbor And by love He didn t mean namby pamby old maid love that s scared to look up from a hymn book for fear of seeing a temptation of the flesh If God hated flesh, why did He make so much of it Love little babies that always need changing and love strong, smelly men so that there will be babies to love and in between go on loving because it s so good to love 288 Love is wonderful, love is a good goal, but this is a love I am suspicious of, for it is a love based on feeling good, based on happiness There s nothing wrong with feeling good and being happy, of course, but if feeling good and being happy are the primary goals of life, then that opens the door for abuses of others in the name of love or happiness and seems a rather meaningless goal in and of itself Hedonism alone is not enough for me The second basic idea is Mike s final message to the people The Truth is simple but the Way of Man is hard First you must learn to control your self The rest follows Blessed is he who knows himself and commands himself, for the world is his and love and happiness and peace walk with him wherever he goes 429 Again, this is not a bad goal for once, finally, Mike brings a message of personal responsibility to add to the free love and grokking that has constituted most of the rest of the book However, to expect the rest to follow from that kind of responsibility and self control is just silly This is The Secret, this is name it and claim it theology, this is bullshit Like the idea that God wants us to be happy so if we all try to live for our own happiness, it will all work out, this is a philosophy that believes that YOU are the center of the universe, that everything will work out for the best This is the complete opposite of the philosophy provided in Kurt Vonnegut s Sirens of Titan Vonnegut also emphasizes love and finding a kind of happiness, but in his universe, those things are refuges in the midst of chaos, small things we can each do to make the world we live in a little better, a little livable, not means to become masters of the universe For Heinlein, God moves from out there to in here, validating each individual person s individual desire and decision for Vonnegut, there is no God, not out there and not in here For me, that is much appealing.


  4. says:

    Well, I don t quite know what the hell that was I d gotten it into my head at some point that you weren t anything until you got reading this out of the way, but it was probably one of the most odious reading experiences I ve had in my adult life especially for a book I volunteered to read One bonus star for the last five pages or so being not quite as totally awful as the rest of it, and that s about it And I feel dumb writing a bunch of obvious shit for the five people in the world besides me who haven t read this yet But for those five people, I can tell you what I ve learned 1 If you have a choice between reading the version of a book that got everyone excited about it, or the unabridged version published decades later because it was the author s preferred version, LORD GOD READ THE SHORTER ONE Do not make the mistake I made Unabridged does not mean cooler It means longer It means unedited, sloppy, and even questionable But mostly it means longer 2 Anyone who says they re able to look over the unrelenting misogyny of this book is, like, freaking insane The misogyny is Unrelenting It is so completely unrelenting that I kept wondering if the whole thing was a put on Like, huge swaths of text about how Martian idealism will negate Earthly material needs are interrupted just to mention that even with said idealism, women will never want to stop shopping I mean, are you kidding me That can t be anything but trolling, right Like, I have read books written in the past before, dudes The delivery date on this book is no excuse for the fact that the women in this book I mean, I don t know how to describe it It s crazy It e like they re supposed to be a different species or something Either Heinlein is pulling the reader s leg, or he s a gender specific sociopath.3 This is not really a separate point, but since there s like 100 pages at least devoted specifically to the beauty of orgies, up to and including lady orgies, I m shocked at the lengths Heinlein goes to in order to emphasize that none of the male characters are gay, or would ever consider being gay Again, it s a dated book, or whatever But the introduction clearly states how Heinlein was trying to break every taboo he could think of, up to and including cannibalism.Cannibalism But no gay dudes Even the Martian is like Of course, as I preach the power of sexual utopia, I could never ever, never ever, never ever hook up with a dude But I could totally teach all the ladies to be better at hooking up with dudes I could do this by having sex with all of them HELL S YEAH BRO ALL YOU BRO 4 Jubal Harshaw We need to talk about Jubal Harshaw If you talk to anyone about this book, after you get through the rampant misogyny and the no gay dudes and the this book is terrible, some asshole will go Yeah, but Jubal Harshaw, amirite Like the idea that you have one character that sort of has a personality makes up for all the other characters having less than none Let me frame it for you this way at the beginning of the book, Jubal Harshaw is a hack writer living in self imposed exile surrounded by women who are basically all secretaries mothers daughters girlfriends to him By the end of the book, the Martian cult members all believe he is the father of their Martian Jesus, and then he gets laid by a young woman who s used her spooky Martian powers to transform herself into a clone of the one female character everyone in the book is in love with So maybe that sounds like a cool spot to be in, right Not to mention Harshaw is written as being the smartest person on the planet, negotiating with the media and the government in one swoop in order to protect the Martian Jesus not in a pure holy genius way, but a this old maverick can outthink all you whippersnappers and corporate shills kind of way Like the pure doggone common sense of being a fat middle aged fiction writer will get you a harem of mom secretary daughter girlfriends, make you powerful than the UN, and make you the father of Martian Jesus.Heinlein was a fat middle aged fiction writer when he wrote this SO IT S NOT EVEN YOUR WISH FULFILLMENT IT S HEINLEIN S AND THAT DUDE S FREAKING DEAD.4 We need to talk about the Martian sex cult First, I m calling it this because it s totally what it is, even thought technically it s a bunch of humans living in sexual utopia through learning Martian mind tricks But Martian sex cult is funnier and truer As I said earlier, there s at least 100 pages devoted to an attempt to break down the reader s preconceived notions about sex cults not being creepy, and how they make everyone happier But look, maybe Heinlein didn t have old episodes of Real Sex to watch on the internet, but now we do, okay And sex cults are creepy, fireals In fact, 100 pages talking about their non creepiness does not make them less creepy Guess what it makes them the exact total fucking opposite of.And I m just saying, maybe if there d been one little guy orgy in all those pages, like to replace all the dudes talking about how they were having sex with each other s wives I m just saying that would be a start But mostly no Because even then You have this psychotic group think thing that is totally mind wipingly terrible and makes me hate everyone alive for liking anything about this book.5 In reviewing this, I m going through it in my mind and heart again, and you know I fucking hate it I fucking hate this book I was never actually convinced that Heinlein wrote all this stupid contradictory gender politics stuff or insane cult stuff in order to troll the reader, which would be the one way I could possibly excuse everything else The book is ethically dishonest, Heinlein was a scumgoat, and Jubal Harshaw is a turd.But the cover It s pretty cool.


  5. says:

    Note Original pub date is 1961 Fuck you, Heinlein That s like 3 or 4 hours of my life I m NEVER GETTING BACK This isn t a book, it s a pompous recitation of every one of your pet peeves and pet theories, delivered through the mouths of your utterly two dimensional characters during the course of a nonexistent plot You can throw all the orgies and kinky sex you want in there, but it doesn t make your book edgy or profound, and it sure doesn t make you a good writer Although, bonus hilarity points to Mr Heinlein for putting tons of lesbian stuff in there, but going out of his way to say that the men don t touch each other AT ALL, because that would totally be GAY, and I M TOTALLY NOT INTO THAT, OKAY HEY, HOW BOUT THEM NAKED CHICKS Yeah, whatever Heinlein Go tend to your masculine insecurities elsewhereOk, moving on.


  6. says:

    I will state, without apology, that I have enjoyed every Robert Heinlein book I have ever read.Do I always agree with his philosophy or his observations on life No.But he tells me a story, and while he is telling it, I don t put that book down.I don t read books to find authors who agree with me or match some political template.I read books for stories And diversity in story tellers is good.


  7. says:

    Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it s at least partly her own fault The most quoted sentence from this book.He s right it is A woman should shroud herself in black, even wear a veil over her eyes and for extra protection she should wear a big size of Doc Martin boots so it could be a man under the shroud Michael Jackson used to do that and always be accompanied when she goes out Which should be rarely Very rarely When she is in the house most of the time she should have the view through windows obscured and a chain on the door No man who is not related to her should enter Not workmen, not the police, not her son s friends from school No one Then she won t be raped If she doesn t do all of the above, and she she is raped it is obviously her fault If she does do all of the above and she is raped, then she should examine her conscience and see if there was something else she could have done to protect herself and didn t This sounds like Saudi Arabia right Or Afghanistan or any of those countries This is because I was reading how there are very few rapes in these countries It wouldn t have anything to do with the harsher penalties that the courts often apply to the victim rather than the rapist would it view spoiler Rape in Saudi Arabia worth reading this in it s short entirety hide spoiler


  8. says:

    Nowadays, most people seem to either love or hate Heinlein Many read his children s books like Podkayne from Mars, Red Planet and The Rolling Stones, enjoyed the adventure and moved on to his adult stuff just to get The politics, sexism and lack of depth went over their young heads To them, his books were just great adventure And yes, for the era in which they were written, they were great adventure and less sexist than most SF at the time My intro to the man was a little different I was dallying at the library because I wanted just one book I was 12 I think My mom was trying to get me to leave so she glanced at the paperback rack where I was standing, grabbed Stranger in a Strange Land and said, If you want to know how weird your father is, read this book How could I turn that down I grabbed it and devoured it as soon as I got home.I loved it, the free love was eye opening, and I announced when I was finished that I was bisexual I ve never turned back, although my mom was understandably disbelieving, never really even hearing me She was later shocked when I first dated another woman The book affected me profoundly but I am afraid to read it again because I m sure I ll hate it So I have a love hate relationship with Heinlein He was my second favorite author by the time I graduated from high school having read everything he wrote By the time he died, I had wised up and realized what he was really about Libertarian politics anger me His twisted sexism, the kind where a woman tells a man he s smarter because he needs to believe he is and yet has very little power, makes me want to vomit And I hate to think what kind of racist drivel I d find.But if there was a book that actually changed my life, this is it Yes, I was 12, and yes, I would have come out eventually and yes, I would probably strongly dislike the book now But Stranger was my favorite book for a long time For its place in my past, my enjoyment of it at the time I read it, and the effect it had on my life, I must give it five stars Just don t ask me to defend it.


  9. says:

    Democracy s worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents a depressingly low level Now, why does that resonate so hard Great line even though it is not representative of Stranger in a Strange Land s major theme Stranger in a Strange Land is Heinlein s best known and most popular book It is not his most controversial novel but seems that way because it is the most widely read one His later books Friday and I Will Fear No Evil are, to my mind, much controversial, but also verges on being unreadable This is not the case with Stranger in a Strange Land, which is a hoot from beginning to end.Robert Heinlein did not want Stranger in a Strange Land to be labeled as science fiction because he wants readers to view the novel as a sociopolitical allegory exploring the origin of a new religion, social s, sexual liberation and other challenging themes It is very easy to find stacks of in depth analyses of this book online, but when I first read it in the 80s I was unaware of the themes, subtexts etc At the time I only read sci fi for the escapism and this book did not disappoint.Looking at the basic plot it is not surprising that Stranger in a Strange Land is labeled as science fiction The story concerns Valentine Michael Smith, known to the public as the Man from Mars Mike as he generally referred to by the other characters was born on Mars, his parents and the rest of the crew the colonization starship Envoy mysteriously died 25 years later another expedition from Earth discovers Mike as the lone survivor, having been raised by Martians Mike is brought back to Earth, he is soon taken into the care of bestselling author Jubal Harshaw This is where he learns at superhuman speed the English language and the peculiarities of human culture Once he groks humanity he sets out to found a new religion based on Martian philosophy, featuring learning the Martian language, developing telekinesis, polygamy, thou art God and various other alien practices His Church of All Worlds picks up many followers but is viewed with disdain by the authorities and followers of the established religions, who are out for his blood.Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov are often referred to as the Big Three sci fi authors During my formative years as a sf reader, Heinlein was my favorite of the three, followed by Asimov then Clarke He just seemed like the funniest, the most badass A couple of years ago I reread his Starship Troopers, a book I enjoyed very much as a teenager, and found it to be overly didactic and consequently rather dull Prior to this Stranger in a Strange Land reread I half expected to be similarly disappointed This turns out not to be the case, the didacticism is there, but presented in a much entertaining package I particularly enjoyed the early parts of the book when Mike is depicted as a sort of space Mowgli His sudden withdrawal into a corpse like meditative state, his incomprehension of nudity, money, ownership and all social s in general, makes for some great comedy While the book is not exactly densely plotted I enjoyed his development from idiot child to a Crocodile Dundee like character, and eventually to a messiah Art by SharksDen The first half of the book reads like a conventional sci fi romp, the second half, which consists of dialogue than plot, is where Heinlein throws his challenging ideas at the readers From the several discussion forums I have read, quite a few readers decided to abandon the novel when the sexual issues come in thick and fast As a mature reader I could not help but notice the sexisms in the book, a lot of the bantering in the dialogue is fun, but the female characters are often talked down to by the men The non graphic depiction of free love is also cringe inducing As for the seemingly libertine ideas put forward by Mike, Jubal and several characters I would have to be crazy to agree with them all, but Heinlein s intent was never to convince the readers of these ideas but to provoke them to think, to try looking at conventional wisdom from new angles, even crazy ones.Heinlein s literary skills are ahead of most of his sci fi contemporaries when he is not busy being sexist, his prose and dialogue fairly sparkle Jubal Harshaw is probably the most vivid and vibrant character I have ever encountered in a sci fi book he obviously has all the best lines, probably because he acts as an avatar self insert for the author Valentine Michael Smith is almost as memorable because of his oddness Unfortunately, none of the female characters are well developed or believable For me, Stranger in a Strange Land is a flawed gem that sensitive female readers will probably find distasteful and feminists will find intolerable I suspect Heinlein would have approved this state of affairs, as his intent for the book is to challenge the readers through satirizing the accepted social s If you can tune out the sexism a product of its time it is well worth reading certainly required reading for anyone who wants to be well read in science fiction.Notes Grok is the most famous neologism from this book In essence it is a level of understanding so profound that the subject or object of this understanding becomes a part of you and vice versa The ranking is the reverse these days, I like Clarke best, then Asimov, then Heinlein Lately, I have come to appreciate Clarke s epic hard sci fi plot and speculations than the other two biggies possibly because I read very few Clarke books in the 80s, at the time finding him too dry and not very humorous This review is of the uncut version as Heinlein first conceived and written it, first published in 1991 The abridged version was published in 1961, both versions have their fans and detractors I read the 1961 version in the 80s, unfortunately I can t remember what the differences are but I do think some of the dialogue in this uncut edition is rather longwinded The 1962 Hugo Award was, of course, for the abridged version Thanks, Denis for raising this issue Some of the background info for this review was gleaned from this Mental Floss article An interesting Goodreads group discussion about this book, which remains a problematical read for many, and Heinlein would not have wanted it any other way From Quora Why are Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov called the Big Three of Science Fiction Quotes The Universe was a damned silly place at best but the least likely explanation for its existence was the no explanation of random chance, the conceit that some abstract somethings just happened to be some atoms that just happened to get together in configurations which just happened to look like consistent laws and then some of these configurations just happened to possess self awareness and that two such just happened to be the Man from Mars and the other a bald headed old coot with Jubal himself inside When one is of my age, one is necessarily in a hurry about some things Each sunrise is a precious jewel for it may never be followed by its sunset Gratitude is a euphemism for resentment The Japanese have five different ways to say thank you and every one of them translates literally as resentment, in various degrees could not avoid having government, any than an individual man could escape his lifelong bondage to his bowels Valentine Michael Smith


  10. says:

    Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it s at least partly her own fault 511 Perhaps this is the single most quoted statement from this work, and also the statement by which Heinlein is critiqued and berated, the same statement by which this philosophically charged work is sullied by 1 star ratings Whether by inadvertent straying into a faulty conception and erroneous application of intentional fallacy or the failure to recognize that Heinlein sought this work to stand as historicization of the prevailing attitudes at the time of writing juxtaposed with those of the future, as represented by the Man from Mars, the loss of substance predicated upon such mistakes are saddening Most reviews needlessly nitpick this book by implacably quoting sexist remarks offered to us by a cantankerous Jubal, who symbolized the attitude of a bigoted past, but that is missing the big picture, and missing the very idea this book seeks to impart That is the point, to present homophobic, sexist, resistant to change personas that stand for the past, because in the end, we see that Jubal, is opened up to a new philosophy, divested of all improprieties and finds himself realigning his beliefs, a belief which is open to change By doing so, Heinlein, through Jubal and the Man from Mars, asks the reader, by extension, to reexamine beliefs and conventions To disregard this by literally focusing on the sexism is to lose the quintessential aspect of the book See beyond the literal Challenge the conventions This book is included in The Hugo Awards Reading ListThis review, along with my other reviews, has been posted at imbookedindefinitely