Hello my lovely readers!
Today is book review time. I was inspired to pick up Stranger in a Strange Land by Mayim Bialik (you might know her as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory) who named her highly interesting blog GrokNation after a word used in this novel. So let’s see what it is about!
Valentine Michael Smith is very special. He spent his entire life on Mars, was raised by Martian and never had contact with other hums. Now he is to return to earth. Will he be able to understand all of our human concepts like love, religion or prejudice?
Where do I start with this one. Stranger in a Strange Land is certainly many things. But I have my troubles with this novel.
While about the first 1/3 was interesting and touched several ideas that are still up to date, despite the book being published in the 60s. I was rather intrigued and kept making my way through the almost 700 pages. However, it all went downhill really soon. One of the major problems I have here is the sexism. Heinlein addresses some very modern an open concepts, even concerning sex, but he never fails to put “women in their place”. Sometimes it’s subtle, but often it’s quite obvious. Let me just quote one sentence and you’ll get the picture: “Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it’s at least partly her own fault.” I’m pretty sure there’s no additional comment needed here.
Heinlein addresses tons of different topics in his novel and manages to give it all a weird touch. At first you might be able to follow his ideas but there is a point where he goes over the top. The book is no longer fascinating but merely annoying. I kept on reading, hoping that we might return to something that makes sense but unfortunately it never happens.
It’s been a while since I finished the book and the only thing I remember is how irritating this novel felt. There me be some interesting ideas there at first but it’s honestly not worth fighting through 700 pages. At the end I was actually pissed off and simply glad I could finally return this book to the library.
Stranger in a Strange Land is definitely not what I had expected and most certainly not what I had hoped for. A super irritating and annoying book, that’s not worth the time.
Did you read the book? Let me know in the comments what you think!