The 512 Streaker

A Streak - A commitment made to do something for 365 days straight. This blog is dedicated to documenting my experience of learning something by completing a streak.

Stranger in a Strange Land

July 18, 2016 | | | Share on Google+

I quit this book about 100 pages in. I was sad to do it, but I whole-heartedly disliked the first hundred pages. For me, I was super pumped to read this book because of it's deeply-rooted sci-fi acclaim. Since most of what I read is sci-fi, it felt weird to not have finished this book. A little bit about Stranger in a Strange Land, if you don't already know it; it's about a human who was born on Mars coming to Earth for the first time. According to the Library of Congress, it is one of 88 Books that Shaped America.

The main reason I found this book hard to read was because I had to look up facts half the time to understand what Robert A. Heinlein was saying. The book is set in "post world war 3" era, but was written and published in 1961, so there are many great references to the progression of technology, but too many on the establishment and segmentations of politics and religion. So much so that every time Heinlein introduces a new character, he drones on about what political and religious faction they are a part of, which takes away from the momentum of the story. This over saturation really killed it for me.

The juice of the story in the beginning is the relationship between the young female nurse and the Martian. At first the Martian is placed in a hospital and in captivity, but is set free by a lowly nurse that works at the hosiptal. At the beginning of the book the nurse takes part in a special ceremony (a martian ceremony) that binds their friendship. The ceremony to the nurse is just sharing water with the Martian, but for someone living in Mars, that is supposedly a HUGE deal. It is funny to me that after having read this book (just the first 100 pages, I feel like I have to state that so that no one gets made a me) and Dune, by Frank Herbert, I see some pretty significant similarities. Both authors wrote on how water is the most valuable resources. Both authors wrote their books in the 60's, so they must of thought that the consumption rate of water in the future would be a tremendous problem.

According to wikipedia, the book was cut from 220,000 words to 160,000 because the publisher thought it was too long. That might have been an indicator that Heinlein dove too deep into his work. Honestly, I might I would have enjoyed it if I stuck with it a while longer. I could come back and try again when I have more time, but that was my impression of the book, too long and oversaturated qualities that did not help to move the story along.

July 18, 2016 | | | Share on Google+