Author: Robert A. Heinlein
What the heck did I just read? What kind of burned out hippy, drug fuelled psychotic episode did I just read? This book was more cringe than the space hippies from Star Trek!
Full confession, I read this book because it’s one of the most controversial books of the 20th century, and it’s on all the lists of significant works of American Literature, and all I can think was: THIS!?! Really? Has any Non-Boomer felt inspired or challenged by this book? Heck, has anyone post Jonestown felt challenged or inspired by this book? Sorry Heinlein, I’m not drinking this Kool Aid.
Earth’s first attempt to colonize Mars ended with the ship crashing and the loss of the whole crew. . . except the baby born on the trip. Raised by the local Martians, Valentine Michael Smith, has never seen earth… till now. Smith now finds himself a stranger in a strange land adapting to earth culture and trying to understand their illogical and contradictory ways.
Does that set up sound like this book is going to end with ESP, a sex cult/ hippy commune, child neglect, and cannibalism? because this book ends with ESP, a sex cult/ hippy commune, child neglect, and cannibalism!
This book is all that free love, hippy, drug culture garbage from the 1960’s that I can’t stand to hear from Boomers! “casual unprotected sex, drugs, and a woman leaving her kids to find herself, those were different in the 60/70’s.” No they really weren’t. They were bad choices then, and they are bad choices now! You’re just making excesses for your younger self.
Was this book popular because hippies could understand the heavy handed social commentary even when they were high? I’m thinking that’s why it was popular.
Read it if you want, but if your looking for the “scifi Jungle Book” Heinlein claimed this book was. you will be very disappointed.