Friday, 31 October 2014

MCMLXI: Stranger in a strange land

After the human astronauts had landed on Mars they all died, except for Valentine Michael Smith a boy that is found and raised by the native Martians. Like an ordinary Martian. He is able to read minds like they do and learns to control matter. But then he is found and brought back to Earth. He becomes a celebrity. He is the only human who has been to Mars and returned to Earth.

He is helped by Nurse Gillian Boardman but the leaders don’t want them to be left alone. At last they escape together and build a kind of religion of their own based on the teachings and ways of the Martians. Smith doesn’t feel human, he feels Martian. He is an intelligent creature with the genes and ancestry of a man, but he is not a man. He is a Martian.

I very much looked forward to reading this book, that has become a cult classic. But I was very disappointed, really. The first ¾ of the book I really kept on reading because I promised myself to finish the book, but would I had not done that I would have put it down. Sorry to all the fans of this book, but I really only enjoyed the last quarter of the book. It seemed old-fashioned Science Fiction to me. And it is old fashioned of course. But unlike To Kill a Mockingbird, this book showed the time in which it was written. And that made it – for me – hard to read.

I cannot give this book more than 3 out of 10 points.


  1. I do understand what you mean Han but I have to disagree with you...I agree that the SciFi portions are dated but if you just read the thoughts, dialogue and emotions, I would give it an 8 out of 10. But then I am a Heinlein fan. ;)

    Hugs and Blessings...

    1. And I understand what you mean Cat. That is exactly what I hoped to find, but didn't. Got to read another Heinlein soon. Can you recommend one?



    2. If you are looking for SciFi, one of my favorites of Heinleins is "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress". It was written in the 60s also so again, you need to overlook some of the 'dated' descriptions/references. Let me know what you think.

      Hugs and blessings...

    3. Thanks Cat. I will read it and let you know what I think about it. Interesting title. I like it when people tell me their favourite books. It makes me think of them reading the book. Would he or she like this piece? Hej, that is strange, this is not like her and still she recommends it, why?

      So thanks for the recommendation. Rest assured I will read it.


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