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Extended Audio Sample Citizen of the Galaxy Audiobook, by Robert A. Heinlein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,693 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert A. Heinlein Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2013 ISBN: 9781482947199
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It's many years in the future, the exact year cannot be certain. There is a certain mystery in the air. The human race has spread over the entire galaxy, and with it, new challenges and tribulations have appeared. Slavery is common on the planet Jubbul, an Earth colony many light years from home. The boy, Thorby, is nothing unusual up on the chopping block. For all accounts, it's an ordinary everyday occurrence...until the beggar buys him.

What transpires next is something no one ever could have imagined. It turns out Balslim the cripple, the man who purchased him, is not at all what he seems. Rather, he's much more than that, a writer and a sage, a stout teacher, and wise beyond even his advanced years. Balslim takes Thorby in as his son, and as a result, the boy flourishes.

It isn't long before Thorby realzes that Balslim is something of a spy, and before you know it, he's transferred onto the starship Sisu due to an unpaid debt. The resulting adventure is beyond Thorby's wildest dreams. What will he make of it? What adventures lie ahead? No one knows for certain! Robert A. Heinlein was one of America's most celebrated science fiction authors. Born in 1907, over the course of his life he reshaped the science fiction genre many times with his works. He was one of the first science fiction authors to break into a mainstream audience, and his works greatly raised the expectation for quality of writing across the genre. He was also an entrepreneur who gave much of his time and wealth to charity. He also won several acclaimed literary awards.

Citizen of the Galaxy is a thrilling adventure tale that shouldn't be missed by any reader, especially not one with a love of science fiction.

In a distant galaxy of colonized planets, the atrocity of slavery is alive and well. Young Thorby was just another bedraggled orphan boy sold at auction, but his new owner, Baslim, is not the disabled beggar he appears to be. Adopting Thorby as his son, Baslim fights relentlessly as an abolitionist spy. When the authorities close in on Baslim, Thorby must find his own way in a hostile galaxy. Joining with the Free Traders, a league of merchant princes, Thorby must find the courage to live by his wits and fight his way up from society’s lowest rung. But Thorby’s destiny will be forever changed when he discovers the truth about his own identity.

Citizen of the Galaxy is a suspenseful tale of adventure, coming of age, and interstellar conflict by science fiction’s Grand Master.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Science, mystery, and strong ethical concepts give the book sure appeal to devotees of science fiction.”  

    Saturday Review

  • “Absorbing, convincing, and well written combination of science fiction and mystery.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Sometimes satirical, probingly provocative, this is a characteristic Heinlein off-the-ground mirage, with the protagonist encountering the values of a free society, weighing the worth of the individual.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Ackerman | 2/2/2014

    " A strong member of Heinlein's juveniles. I felt that the first third of the book is the best, then it kinda goes down hill. It never lost my interest though, and it certainly has a broader scope than many of the other juveniles. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sean Friar | 1/31/2014

    " SO far i am on chapter five. I think the book so far has not been very interesting and i dont know what the book is about. I dont know what everything leading up to the point im at has to do with anything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wade | 1/31/2014

    " Best book my brother ever recommended to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lord | 1/28/2014

    " This is the First book of his I read and loved it. He wrote many of his books for the older teen. Easy to read, exciting, and have read many times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christy | 1/27/2014

    " Probably would have rated it higher except it slows down a bit at the end. Still enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thaarchitect | 1/10/2014

    " This is one of his best. Strong characters with depth, interesting plot and variations show us an fascinating universe in a way that doesn't overwhelm us with technical complexity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandi | 1/4/2014

    " great, need say no more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 elissa | 12/19/2013

    " I vividly remember reading part of this when I was staying over at my grandma's house. Not a typical Heinlein (at least the part that I can remember wasn't). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthisa | 12/9/2013

    " A lovely classic Heinlein tale. Deep reflections of the social concerns of his day, that is-- the 1950's-- as filtered through the lens of science fiction. Very well done and a great "first read" for those wanting to see what Heinlein's all about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Worthington | 10/21/2013

    " I like Heinlein because many of his books deal with government, citizenship, responsibility...though placed in a science fiction setting these subjects are very real to me today....I find it fun and very sobering to find the ideals of what I believe are truth projected into wonderful stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben Davies | 10/5/2013

    " A simple, easy-to-read Heinlein science fiction novel. Nothing too extraordinary, it follows a coming-of-age story that tracks the main character from slavery to, well, something different. The end of the book was somewhat sudden but OK. An enjoyable, easy-to-read but not gripping novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 8/20/2013

    " A classic science fiction story, old school Heinlein at his best! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ☠Anonymous☠| 4/12/2013

    " It was really good even though I read this for school, Heinlein is one of my favorite Sci-Fi authors, this book was really good but sometimes it got a little run on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 2/5/2013

    " Heinlien wrote a series of novels aimed at the teen market and this is among the best of them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ned Barrett | 9/15/2012

    " Citizen of the galaxy is one of Heinlein's "youth" novels but is an acceptable adult read. It is the story of an orphan in the far future who finds his true identity and claims his rightful place. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joseph | 6/7/2012

    " I really loved this science fiction novel by Heinlein when I read it at the age of about 11 or 12. Actually I must have read it a couple of times during that period. So I recently decided to revisit it after all these years. Now I found it alright, but it is a book better intended for young boys. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rdlee3z | 5/30/2012

    " Very good read by one of the greats of classic Science Fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 5/10/2012

    " Awesome Heinlein. A little shorter than I would have liked but always a good time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ThomasAD | 2/8/2012

    " What a phenomenal read. This was the first Heinlein book I have read, but it certainly won't be the last. I would recommend it to just about anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 1/31/2012

    " One of my favorite Heinlein juveniles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim B | 9/2/2011

    " One of my favorite of Heinlein's books. (I have read them all) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harry | 5/23/2011

    " Heinlein's story of status and how one character reacts to his rise in one situation which leads to low status in his next. Classic Heinlein, nicely conceived, well executed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 5/4/2011

    " One of my favorite of Heinlein's books. (I have read them all) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 4/18/2011

    " Great story. Narrator was awesome, very good at doing the various voices and inflections, etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 4/11/2011

    " I enjoyed reading it, and it's good accessible sci-fi. Heinlein's ending are always a bit flat, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 2/23/2011

    " A simple, easy-to-read Heinlein science fiction novel. Nothing too extraordinary, it follows a coming-of-age story that tracks the main character from slavery to, well, something different. The end of the book was somewhat sudden but OK. An enjoyable, easy-to-read but not gripping novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clint | 2/21/2011

    " One of my favorite Heinlein books so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ThomasAD | 2/21/2011

    " What a phenomenal read. This was the first Heinlein book I have read, but it certainly won't be the last. I would recommend it to just about anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 1/31/2011

    " I liked this book. How he cheats the system, and what happens to the poor guy afterwords. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 1/2/2011

    " Loved it. The part dealing with exploration of starship culture was the best. Ending was a little weak but that doesn't hurt the book as a whole too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 12/28/2010

    " A classic science fiction story, old school Heinlein at his best! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 11/15/2010

    " Awesome science fiction depiction of a fight against injustice in the galaxy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yeahiknow3 | 11/12/2010

    " Awesome beginning, before the story fizzles out and becomes increasingly more boring. Seriously, wtf. "

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About the Author
Author Robert A. Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein (1907–1988) was born in Missouri. He served five years in the US Navy and then attended graduate classes in mathematics and physics at UCLA. After a variety of jobs, he began to write science fiction in 1939. He is a four-time winner of the Hugo Award and a recipient of three Retro Hugos, and in 1975 he was named the first recipient of the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. Several of his books were New York Times bestsellers, and his worldwide bestsellers have been translated into twenty-two languages. 

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.