The Top 100 Inspirational Books: 80 - 61
page 73 - Stranger in a Strange Land
Master science-fiction author Robert Heinlein tells the story of a boy, Valentine Michael Smith, raised on Mars by Martians and his attempts to adapt to bewildering, deceitful humans and their baffling culture. The son of the first astronauts to the planet Mars and orphaned when they died, Smith is raised by deeply spiritual Martians, who possess full control over their minds and bodies. Twenty years later, Smith is “rescued” by a second expedition and returns to earth immensely wealthy, the heir to his mother’s patent for an interplanetary engine – but becomes a political pawn in government and cultural struggles. He frightens authorities with his mystical abilities, superhuman intelligence and childlike trust. He sees little point in such niceties as clothing and attempts to teach humans how to understand the universe – by being a part of it. A cult classic and bestseller, this parable has dark overtones as the young hero achieves near-godhood and immortality, and mocks humanity’s materialistic, media-driven world. A troubling book, A Stranger in a Strange Land inspires the reader to reconsider such human concepts as war and jealousy and humanly twisted organized religion.
~ Rob Kerby
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