- Bewertet: Buch (Taschenbuch)
A mission is sent to Mars before a fast space drive has been developed. The members are carefully chosen, but things go wrong anyway. In the end, the only survivor is a child born during the mission, Valentine Michael Smith. He is raised by Martians in their alien culture.... A mission is sent to Mars before a fast space drive has been developed. The members are carefully chosen, but things go wrong anyway. In the end, the only survivor is a child born during the mission, Valentine Michael Smith. He is raised by Martians in their alien culture. When another mission finally arrives, they encounter a young man who is very different from any other human being. He has abilities they can't understand, a completely alien way of thinking and feeling, and an innocence and kindness that make him an easy victim to those who would like to get rid of him to get at the fortune he inherited or his possible rights to land on Mars. He is taken to earth and locked up in a hospital, an actor is hired to take his place in interviews, and it seems likely that he will be killed. But a young nurse, Jill, manages to get Michael out and to an old lawyer and doctor, Jubal Harshaw, who decides to protect and help the innocent young man. Michael starts on a path of learning about human culture and his own humanity. While doing so, he also starts to change the way of thinking and behaving among the people he encounters. But mankind isn't ready for his message and soon he and his followers are in danger again... What makes this a great novel (and got it a Hugo award as the best science fiction novel of 1962) is how deeply Heinlein manages to take us into the mind of an alien who slowly discovers humanity and changes in the process. The changing points of view from are convincing throughout and utterly fascinating. In addition, the plot is interesting, there's a lot of humour, a lot to think about, and many more well-developed characters one cannot help but like. This is one of Heinlein's best books. However, there are a lot of philosophical passages discussing anything from politics to religion, and the sexuality described in the book is very relaxed and definitely doesn't follow western / Christian morals. As a result, there are also people who dislike or even hate the book. One should have an open mind to enjoy it. Lastly it is important to mention that there are two versions: The original book was not accepted by the publisher because it was too daring, risky, and long. It was shortened by about a third. That version lacks a lot of the philosophical passages but retains the main plot. Some people prefer this because it's more plot-oriented and faster. The uncut version has a lot more depth, but it also doesn't develop a lot plot-wise in the middle. Personally I would go for the uncut version, at present available under the ISBN 0441788386 (and - intelligently - using the same cover as the cut version). If you want to make sure, there are lists on the internet that state which edition contains which version. Anything published before 1991 is cut.