This is straight up one of the worst reading experiences I’ve ever had the misfortune to suffer through.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
First Published in 1961, though the uncut version (which I had the displeasure to read) was from 1991
I got it from the library and have no regrets for not spending money
I’m not going to leave a Amazon link for you to support this drivel – BUY AN INDIE BOOK INSTEAD IF YOU MUST WASTE SOME MONEY
I almost gave up multiple times, but I suffered through because of an inability to quit anything and a desire to just trash this book on my blog
It was awful. I regret everything.
1/5 Discoball Snowcones (but only because Goodreads doesn’t let me do 0)
The plot was dull and just dragged. I read the uncut version, and I can’t imagine a world in which the original 1961 version wasn’t better. What the hell could those extra 60k words have done to make this piece of shit better? It was altogether too long.
I tried as hard as I could to remember that this book could have been a product of its time, that I shouldn’t judge its blatant sexism and less-blatant-but-obviously-present racism. At the same time, the sexist thoughts in the book were a major part of the premise. The faultiness of these thoughts, especially to a millennial or younger person, ruins the entirety of this book.
The premise of the book could be summarized as “Men are violent pigs who, without plentiful access to infantile, useless females, ruin the societies and creations they make.” That’s really all the book was about. The plot and characters were neither believable or, honestly, very detailed despite the sheer length of the work. It was a failed attempt to explore the above theme.
There was so much sexy things in this book that didn’t feel like they added to… well, anything. The book wasn’t erotica, and the explanations that ‘sex occurred’ almost felt like those stories an 8 year old tells when they first learn the word ‘sex.’ Heinlein’s attempts felt juvenile and barely coherent. In my opinion, sex in stories is best done if:
- The act matters for plot reasons; even better if it’s not for a revenge motivation
- The book is written and billed as erotica or as a steamy romance
None of that was true for this steaming turd of a book. I suppose sex in this book mattered for plot reasons if you consider that they made a sex cult in the end…?
The female characters, though I suppose Heinlein could have argued at the time were strong, were just objects for the Man from Mars – the main character – to collect. If the entire premise of the book was that sex brought togetherness and understanding, having the female characters be so vapid and unquestioning really didn’t serve to make me believe him. Though not as obvious, there was also a clear disdain for male homosexuality (and a slight distaste for female homosexuality, though not nearly as prominent).
I’m reading Dusk by Susan Gates. It was loaned to me by a friend, and it’s a pretty short read, which was necessary for now (especially when you see what’s coming next month!).