Citizen of the Galaxy

Citizen of the Galaxy

by Robert A. Heinlein

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In the Far Future, young Thorby is sold in a slave market to an old beggar who is more than he seems to be; and Thorby takes part in many adventures as he climbs the ladders of power and learns the truth of his own identity. A suspenseful tale of adventure, coming-of-age and interstellar conflict by science fiction's Grand Master.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013418196
Publisher: Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date: 09/18/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 282
Sales rank: 98,296
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988), often called the Science Fiction Grand Master, was the author of such ground-breaking novels as STARSHIP TROOPERS, RED PLANET, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND and THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS. He is generally considered the greatest and most influential science fiction writer of the twentieth century. In addition to being a bestselling author, Heinlein's novels won 4 Hugo awards, 3 "retro Hugo" awards, and the first "Grand Master Award" from the Science Fiction Writers of America.,

Date of Birth:

July 7, 1907

Date of Death:

May 8, 1988

Place of Birth:

Butler, Missouri

Place of Death:

Carmel, California


Graduate of U.S. Naval Academy, 1929; attended University of California, Los Angeles, 1934, for graduate study in physic

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Citizen of the Galaxy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've re-read this novel many times and I'm going to recommend it to my book review club. This would make an epic motion picture on the same scale with Star Wars. Maybe I can get a writer friend of mine to put together the screenplay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thorby is a frightened slave on the auction block when the auctioneer angers a patron which results in Thorby being sold to a one-eyed, one-legged beggar named Baslim. Only Baslim is not exactly as he seems. He wins Thorby's trust and respect and begins to teach him languages and mathematics. He also gives Thorby a message to pass on to a captain of one of five ships when they are in port if something happens to Baslim. And it does. Thorby goes on the run with The People, Free Traders. And Baslim has asked them in his message to get Thrby to a military vessel of the Hegemony and discover his identity. And Thorby ends up in more danger than he ever ghought. An exciting and thought provoking story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in elementary school a long time ago and several times since as it is a very well written book and has some interesting concepts about power. Kind of parallels todays US plutocracy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
R.A.H. The dean of science fiction, grand master of the future history. He was the best of the best. And no one will ever be better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since first picking up a Heinlein novel at the tender age of ten, I have been unable to put any down since then. But this novel is a classic read. It details the innocence of a boy becoming a man, paralleling our own innocence of the 50's growing into the 60's. I have reread this novel umpteen times and still am excited by it each and every read.
RRHowell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This remains a special book for talking about cultural relativity, different forms of oppression, political systems, and encouraging people to study. Formative in my own life, and one of the books I wish I could get many more children to read.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve read an awful lot of science fiction over the years, including my share of Robert Heinlein. This book, which follows the life of a former child slave from the tutelage of a kindly ¿beggar¿ to the pinnacle of society, is pretty standard fare. Nothing really to distinguish it from hundreds of others. It is relatively short and moderately entertaining. You can buy it at an airport bookstore and consume it over the course of 4-5 hours in flight.
JudithProctor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favourite books, I've read it many times. It was written before I was born and yet it's dated remarkably well. The lack of mobile phones is about the only thing that feels wrong in this space-going society.Thorby, a young slave is bought by old Baslim, a crippled beggar. But there is much more to Baslim than meets the eye and Thorby learns much from him. Eventually events force Thorby to leave Sargon and to travel with the Free Traders. The Free Traders are an interesting culture and the complexities of their social structure with its stress on knowing exactly whom you are related to and how is initially confusing to Thorby. When he finally leaves his adoptive family, he is forced into yet another different culture - the one of his birth.In some ways, this is the hardest one of all for him to adapt to, but he comes to understand that the best way he can fight back at the slavers is in the way he least expected to.It isn't an easy decision for him, and when I first read the book as a child, I disliked the ending - I was looking for 'happy ever after'. As an adult, I really like the ending. It deals with maturity and acceptance of responsibility and understanding that to give freedom to others, you may have to lose it yourself.
PaulFAustin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the three best of RAH's juveniles
sirfurboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heinlein is a true science fiction writer. He writes a wonderful and compelling story, filled with action and danger. The message of the book works on several levels, and he thinks about the science of what he writes about too (even if he conveniently ignores the usual scientific show stoppers). This book works on many levels, and is one of my favourites in the genre.
Meggo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I am a real Heinlein fan, this book left me disappointed. It started off strong, and held my interest until about halfway through, and then it went downhill fast. The feeling I got from reading this book is that it was either three books, or one book that was written anticipating a follow-up. Regardless, the ending felt disconnected from the front half of the book, and felt not so much that the story had ended, but that Heinlein had stepped away from the typewriter for coffee and someone sent the manuscript to the editor by mistake. A rare disappointment.
annbury on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of Heinlein's most imaginative and interesting books, I think, though it was published as part of a series for young adults. The story begins in the capital city of a wealthy and corrupt world, where Thorby, a scrawny slave boy is bought by a man who seems to be a beggar, but is actually an intelligence agent, trying to trace the workings of the slave trade. The beggar treats the boy like a son, educating him and inculcating his own values, but when the beggar is captured by the police Thorby must flee. This leads him into a trading organization, a modern day Hanseatic League, into the imperial military, and eventually back to earth, where he turns out to be the missing heir to a vast fortune -- based in part on the slave trade. The story is exciting (even for an adult), some of the characters compelling, but the strongest thing in the book for me was Heinlein's skill at developing imaginary but believable societies (the capital city, the Hanse, the military) in very short order. A great read, and a great gift for youngsters just getting into sci fi.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The greatest Henlein juvenile, and probably my favorite work of his overall. Recently re-read while sitting in the Harvard Coop.
dvf1976 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to much of this book with Erin.The willful ignorance of Thor's family (toward the end of the book) was a good contrast with the support he got from Baslim, the Sussu, and the commanding officer.
darlingtrk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to teach young people about personal responsibility and recovery from personal hardship. The book is about freedom. Of course, he speaks of the idea sometimes from a military pe...rspective, but his exploration of different kinds of freedom shows that all people must choose and nurture their own freedom. Thorby goes from rags to riches, and all along learns that different people are subject to different kinds of slavery. Choices must be made. The reader may think he makes good or bad decisions regarding his final choices, but he makes them freely. In this edition, the reader makes Baslam sound like Sean Conery, but his other voices are also fun to listen to. It is one of Heinlein's more profound works, especially his books for young people. Excellent stuff to introduce middle schoolers and high schoolers to.
GrahamYYC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was written by Heinlein for his 'juvenile' series. Really just pulp that he dashed off to pay the bills and pay off his mortgage. I rate this as the BEST novel he ever wrote. I have read and re-read everything he ever published and this book has it all as you can see from all the other reviews. What this book really possesses is all of Heinlein's admirable politics and philosophies without the uncomfortable sexual deviations he has in other books of his like 'Farnham's Freehold'. I will say that Robert Heinlein set me on a course of conservative thought and life-long learning and reading. I got it all for a free library card. Some of his better books in this vein are Starman Jones, Time for the Stars and The Star Beast. Good Stuff, the kind of books you can re-read every 5 years.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thorby is a slave and in the opening scene he is "bought" by a beggar who turns out to be more than what anyone, especially Thorby, bargained for. His master hates slavery "with a cold passion" and releases Thorby and instead adopts him, training him to be a beggar and thensome. Soon Thorby is learning different customs and family structures as he travels from planet to planet. Life as he knew it is never the same again, especially when he finds his way back to Earth and the "family" he didn't even know he had.
jontseng on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A rags-to-riches space opera with strongly human themes. In places simplistically told, and something of a deus ex machina at the end. Commendable nonetheless.
Othniel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One has to read Citizen of the Galaxy to understand the development of Heinlein's cultural themes and of his fascination with various forms of kinship and marriage as well as other aspects of social structure. Your first clue is that the anthropologist aboard the Sisu is named Margaret Mader.Heinlein also takes on slavery in this book. And white collar crime. Plus there is a rapscallionesque lawyer who describes himself as "middlin honest". Coupled with a charming protagonist, ethical mentors and the Space Navy, all the elements of a great Heinlein adventure come together in Citizen of the Galaxy."Good Business".
cdogzilla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best of Heinlein's "juveniles." Still enjoy reading it as an adult.
monado on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first part is excellent; the second part OK; the third part drags.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thorby is a fun character to read about. I would recommend this book to people who like fantasy. There is slavery mentioned in the book too. I really enjoyed this book! My only complaint is that it could be a bit boring at times.
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