Stranger In A Strange Land

Review of the book Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
2022-07-14 – ⁠2022-09-11 finished
⁠certainty: log ⁠importance: 1Source published on: 1961

A human born in Mars and raised by Martians travels to Earth. He is innocent and pure. He trusts his “water brothers” to the point that he would commit suicide if they asked him to, he has superpowers like adjusting the way he perceives time, making things disappear, etc.

Man walking on Mars
Man walking on Mars

The first part of the book was gripping. The Martian, Valentine, is considered rich because of Earth’s space laws, so everybody, starting with the government, is after him but, even though he is an adult, he is at the mercy of everybody getting in touch with him because he’s mentally like a child.

I found Valentine’s lens to see the world interesting and hilarious, and the plot engaging. However halfway through the book (65%), the adventure turned into a boring series of discussions about politics, religion and human relationships. I’m also not sure what the detailed explanations of the cunning actions of the character of Jubal were intended to convey.

How do I grow from this book?


  • The Martian, SpaceX.
  • War of the Worlds for more directly aggressive Martians.
  • Neuroplasticity, samskaras, neural networks: You are the average of the people you interact most frequently with, but age has a big influence. For example, certain habits learnt as a kid that cause friction as an adult don’t change nearly as easily. There is something fascinating about the way we evolved to learn: zero conscious effort to acquire habits as a kid, increasingly higher amounts of energy required to change as you grow older.
  • Perspective, lateral thinking.