Review: “Glory Road” by Robert A. Heinlein

Glory Road coverTitle: Glory Road
Author: Robert A Heinlein
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Orb Books, 2006 (First published in 1963)

For some people Science Fiction is one thing and Fantasy another, and never the twain shall meet. These people are idiots. Never mind that if you gathered all these people in a single room (depressingly large) with the assignment of writing definitions for exactly what falls in each category there would soon be bloodshed, in my opinion the two are inextricably linked. Anyway, if you are one of the aforementioned blowhards, you won’t like this book.

Glory Road is the tale of E.C. “Scar” Gordon, a wounded Vietnam vet taking a break from his journey home to enjoy the wonders (and clothing-optional resorts) of France before returning to the states. His vacation is proving quite relaxing until he discovers an advertisement in the personal ads describing him to a T and offering dangerous employment and adventure. He has no interest in danger or adventure–enough of that in the jungle, thank you–but it soon becomes clear he specifically is being targeted….and his prospective employer is the kind of woman who doesn’t take no for an answer. Soon he finds himself worlds away on an adventure of epic proportions.

If you are at all familiar with Robert Heinlein, you know he never writes anything without underlying messages involved, from pushing Fascism in Starship Troopers to Atheism (or the deity of man, I never quite decided) in Stranger In A Strange Land. This can sometimes be subtle, sometimes not, but it rarely (in my limited Heinlein readership, anyway) comes with the sense of fun and delight that Glory Road brings to the table.

Language: PG
Violence: PG/PG-13. Some, but not too graphic. This is an adventure after all….
Sex: PG-13/R. There’s quite a bit implied, and some frank discussion of the subject, but no explicit sex scenes. One of Heinlein’s favorite soapboxes is the (perceived) silliness of our American/Terran sexual taboos/practices, so….be forewarned.

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