Saturday, January 13, 2007

Heinlein x6

For some reason, back in December, I got a bug up my butt, and decided I wanted to reread some of the Robert Heinlein books I had already read and re-read several dozen dozen times over the course of my life. When I moved, I had given away all my Heinlein books, except for the hardcopy of Stranger in a Strange Land which had belonged to my mother (and which was the impetus for her bad trip in college, in which she felt she was drowning in a glass of water).

I checked my library's catalog though, and lo! We have The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and The Number of the Beast. I borrowed them, devoured them, reread my copy of Stranger, picked up a copy of Glory Road at Black Oak, found at Green Apple copies of I Will Fear No Evil with a really creepy cover and Job: A Comedy of Justice with the cover I remember, and I read them all in the course of a couple of days, and I was left a little sad, which I think happened to me the last time I read him.

When I was growing up, I remembered him as deliciously dangerous and subversive, brilliant and groundbreaking with so many excellently cool ideas that should have changed the world and lives. Now, he seems to me like a weird old creepy man with, nonetheless, a talent and a hell of a lot of opinions.

I had forgotten that Number and The Cat collapse from adventure stories into his weird Lazarus Long Future Utopia Happy Sex and Smartness fantasies; Stranger is nice in theory, but also appallingly hippie like and a little creepy; Glory Road and Job are flat-out fun stories with important scathing subtext instead of Messages; and I Will Fear No Evil is just flat-out fucking weird, though I have a soft spot for it, for no reason than I can articulate.

I have not yet shaken the Heinlein bug, and I am sure I will be off hunting in used bookstores for awhile yet.


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