A book about a young man raised by martians who returns to Earth. In some ways it is a retelling of the Christ Story, but I imagine many Christians would not approve. The idea of the water bed was first introduced in this book, as was the word "grok". It is an important part of American literature. It was of course written by Robert Heinlein.

All of the above, plus it reveals some interesting and often disturbing insights into the human psyche. For example: how idol worship occurs and what happens when it goes wrong; charity vs. greed; why we laugh...

The original text is about 220,000 words long. Thanks to the publisher's fear about producing what some may consider a controversial work, Mr. Heinlein was pressured to edit this down to a little more than 160,000 words. It was this edited version that was first printed in 1961.

This book was banned for many years during the turbulent 1960's- a very noticeable omission in the preface to the 30th anniversary uncut edition (1991, Ace/Putnam).
A fairly strange novel by Robert Heinlein, better known for its radical arguments for polyamory than for any actual literary value. The story is actually two different stories which happen to be sequels, the first about how the "Man from Mars" arrives on Earth and is allowed to fit in to our culture, and the second when he starts developing and explaining his ideas about sex, God, and laughter. Robert Heinlein could have done better with this book if he hadn't been hitting us over the head with his social philosophies the whole time.

Incidentally, this novel is thoroughly offensive to Christians because of Heinlein's depiction of the novel's corrupt church and the blatant parallels between Christ and the title character. Those readers are recommended to read "Starship Troopers" or "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" instead for an introduction to this author.

"Heinlein has done more to harm SF than has any other writer, I think - with the possible exception of George O. Smith. The dialogue in Stranger in a Strange Land has to be read to be believed. 'Give the little lady a box of cigars!' a character cries, meaning that the girl has said something that is correct. One wonders what the rejoinder would be if a truly inspired remark had to be answered, rather than a routine statement; it would probably burst the book's gizzard."

Philip K. Dick from "Will the Atomic Bomb Ever Be Perfected, and If So, What Becomes of Robert Heinlein?" (1966)

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