A Blog of Geek Eccentricities
Stranger is one of the iconic Heinlein works. Worth a read, not only for its libertarian values but also its commentary on religion. It's not my favorite, though--I prefer The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (for Pixel, the cat who...) and The Number of the Beast (damn those black hats! I want the car, though)
Wheels within wheels like much of Heinlein is centered around longevity. Working from a premise of a long healthy life allowing time to start over when life's catastrophes strike
I've read "The Stars My Destination," "The Dispossessed," and I read everything I could get my hands on by Heinlein back in junior high and high school. I was surprised at how few from the list I had read.
The list does seem kind of eccentric, but that may be a good thing. If it only had books I'd pick myself, what would be the point? Surprising not to include "The Weapon Shops of Isher" though. Back in high school I really enjoyed "The Stars my Destination." I'll read it again one of these days. Robert Anton Wilson is worth a look, but after a while the whole "raunchy, hilariously irreverent" shtick gets repetitive.
I am fortunate in that my wife, when I married her, had an extensive library, including the (almost?) complete works for authors like Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, etc. Having grown up not being much of a fan of reading (wooo! shiny TV!!!), she was able to introduce me to Heinlein and describe some of the differences between his more adult-themed books (like Stranger) and his younger-reader books (like Starship Troopers). I can still remember one line (paraphrased from my memory) where Valentine (the human-raised-by-Martians) is visiting a zoo with another character, and observes some (apes? monkeys?) : "“I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts... because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting.”"I've also previously made some reference here
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