• Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Robert Heinlein


I've been re-reading a lot of Heinlein lately. I wonder if anyone else has a favorite character from one of his books.


I've heard many great things about this author and I thought about giving it a shot. What book would be great to start off with?

1. Starship Troopers
2. Stranger In A Strange land
3. The Moon Is A Harsh mistress

or any other book I might not have heard of.



New Member
if you really have to read a Heinlein.. go for Starship Troopers.. my old favourite of his was Podkayne of Mars.. he's a bit dated.


New Member
Stranger in a Strange Land is more of a commentary than his other books. It's his classic that reaches beyond s.f., and beyond an s.f. readership. I group it with Brave New World.


New Member
As an introduction I would recommend 'Tunnel in the Sky' that is one of his youth novels. It's referred to as a science fiction version of 'Lord of the Flies'.

His later adult books (and Starship Troopers) can differ greatly and doesn't necessarily appeal to everyone's taste.

zen said:
he's a bit dated.
Yes, some the themes aren't as controversial today. Governments are still dated today however.


New Member
Shell Game Method

My first Heinlein was Stranger in a Strange Land, whereas my husband's first was Starship Troopers; I guess it just depends on taste and chance. As for being dated, I'd say his style might be dated in some instances, and his demeanor is idiosyncratic and somewhat aggressive, but it is interesting how, once you dive into Heinlein, you become used to it again and the style simply puts you in the "Heinlein frame." I wouldn't call his ideas dated, only perhaps his social framework presentation in some instances. I got a little weary of the whole Howard family/Lazarus Long thing, simply because it seemed to be an excuse for returning to a "clubhouse of the mind" at the end of some books, rather than ending the book properly. I haven't read Heinlein in earnest for some years (but did pick up 4 early books about 2 years ago and enjoyed them, although they were a little haphazard in places.) His ideas, however, are controversial no matter how old. Consider the quote," An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. " That would certainly put him in a definite political camp. But I think his thoughtfulness on the controversies puts him beyond the pat arguments that might pop into one's mind upon reading that. (Of course, the pat arguments are useful when one carries them to their logical conclusions, and that is, after all, why I read any speculative fiction.)

In answer to your question, I'd put the books you listed initially randomly under 3 shells, move them about, and pick one. That's kind of how I ended up reading Stranger in a Strange Land, and if you like the one you get, there's always more! If you don't, you can always quit or put the decision off til later!



New Member

Wolhay has a good idea, go for his early novels (many of which were published under a different name). These were edited almost to the point of banality (he felt that the discussions with the editor were amusing enough to have them published after his death). The early works however show some spark of originality that does help set you up for his later works when he could publish whatever he wanted. The Lazarus stories have some ideas that were edgey for their time, and still slightly odd today. As for "Stranger in a Strange Land," every now and then I hear a rumor that they are finally going to make the movie.

I liked Heinlein, and feel that you would do yourself proud to read them all.


New Member
Severus_Snake said:
" An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. "

That quote really makes me want to read a book by him . . . Which book was it from? I have never read anything by him but I hear about him a lot.

I really like that kind of thing, one of the reasons I like Michael Crichton's books so much, even though he usually ties an okay story along with his controversial statements. Are there any other good controversial writers?

Mike Ashe

New Member
So far I've read 3 books by Robert A. Heinlein: Friday, Starship Troopers & The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Didn't like Friday at all but I loved The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

What are your favorite Heinlein books?


I've got Starship Troopers as a gift, when I was 12. I loved it, much much better than the movie. Haven't read the rest of his stuff, maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea... I was looking something to read anyway :). Any recommendations?


Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
It's good if you don't look at it as a remotely faithful adaptation.

The sequels sucked though.

Avid SciFi Fan

New Member
I agree. I think it had potential, but the implementation fell short. Things became too unrealistic with the story to the point where you had to just accept it and go with the flow.


Ancient thread... Sorry .
Named one of my cats "Oscar" after Oscar Gordon from the novel "Glory Road"
He is indeed , tough , snarky and loveable.
My favorites by Heinlein:
Glory Road
Tunnel in the Sky
Citizen of the Galaxy
Farnham's Freehold
Starship Troopers
Oh yeah a picture of O' Oscar ... don't let his "I'm cute" look fool ya....Oscar.jpg