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Extended Audio Sample Red Planet, 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 (4,510 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert A. Heinlein Narrator: Zach Villa Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781504713337
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Jim Marlowe and his strange-looking Martian friend Willis are only allowed to travel so far. But one day Willis unwittingly tunes into a treacherous plot that threatens all the colonists on Mars, and it sets Jim off on a terrifying adventure that could save—or destroy—them all.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Readers young and old will enjoy this fast-moving adventure novel.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A fascinating story of Earth-humans on Mars…The most thrilling and tingling kind of science fiction story by an experienced hand.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 2/12/2014

    " Another juvenile that I keep coming back to as an adult. This one is set on Mars and how a young man learns about growing up from his friend, a martian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger Loran Bailey | 1/4/2014

    " When I was in junior high school I read every Heinlein juvenile the school library had. I can still picture the shelf on which they were all shelved. That was a very long time ago and some of them I remember better than others. I am not sure that the school library had every single Heinlein juvenile, so I can't be sure that I read every one. Some of the plots I remember and others of them escape me now. Red Planet is one of those I was not sure that I had read. Now that I have read it again after all these years I can say that as soon as the little round Martian, Willis, was introduced the memory did come back to me and as I made it through the book more and more came back to me. That is the case even if this is not actually the same book I read back then. It appears that there was a grand battle between Heinlein and his editor and that the version I read in junior high school was drastically mangled in comparison to what Heinlein actually wrote. This version is a restored version and appears as the author intended it to be. I am tempted to give it a four or five star rating in tribute to the nostalgia of revisiting something I read back when I was just becoming a science fiction fan, but I can't quite do it. I don't know how I would have rated it then -- probably pretty high because I certainly did enjoy anything I read by Heinlein in those days -- but it just doesn't have the same effect now. First, the plot strikes me as a bit weak. A couple of teenagers do battle with and expose a corrupt headmaster of a school on Mars and they end up running away and living with the Martians for a while. The most interesting part is at the very end when Martian biology is discussed. Second, the story is considerably dated and most of all, it really is juvenile literature. As a much older and more sophisticated science fiction reader now, that means that it comes off as rather simplistic to me. I did still enjoy the book, just not that much, so I give it three stars. This is apparently the first of the Heinlein juveniles, published in 1949, and according to the introductory material it set the stage for Stranger In a Strange Land. Well, it so happens that I read Stranger In a Strange Land somewhere around the same time I read Red Planet, when I was in junior high school, and I remembered everything about that book much better. Stranger In a Strange Land was not juvenile literature. Back then I noticed no connection between the books and I still would not have if this volume had not told me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe Osborne | 12/23/2013

    " Entertaining Heinlein juvenile that holds up even today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JodiP | 12/16/2013

    " This was a young adult book about the first colony on Mars. It is in some ways, a precursor to Stranger in a Strange Land, showing the first meetings between Martians and people. The Martians were very creatively imagined and utilized in the story. There seemed to be more disdain for women than usual, with no strong woman or girl taking part in the action as you sometimes see. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamahome | 12/13/2013

    " Nice Full Cast Audio production. Fun young adult story about a kid on mars with a strange pet. Turns into a revolution story that wraps up with a lot of info dumping. Fun little 7 hour ride though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 colleen | 11/29/2013

    " read 05.12.87 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Russell Raby | 11/18/2013

    " The first sci-fi book I ever read, at the age of 12. Loved it, and it started me on a binge of Heinlein's "adolescent" series of books and a lifelong love of the genre. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alexander Khodyrev | 10/13/2013

    " Nice sci-fi with the usual libertarian/frontier themes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Roberts | 9/27/2013

    " This is one of my first Heinlein novels and it is a fun light space adventure. Nowhere near as much is going on as there is in later Heinlein books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin Ledford | 9/27/2013

    " As Tony said "this doesn't really seem like your type of book" and he was write. The good news: this book is allllll about friendship and that I love. Sorta seemed like a less exciting version of The Hunger Games "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 9/17/2013

    " I read this a long time ago, probably in middle school. The main part I remember are some big canals, and sleeping inside a giant cabbage to stay warm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allyson | 7/6/2013

    " Great yarn, in the tradition of the Golden Age of sci-fi. Very human-centric, with anthropomorphized aliens and the unspoken premise that the universe is there for humans to utilize. If you change the Martians to Native Americans and the colonists to pioneers, you've got a Western. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 4/15/2013

    " I liked pacing and the underlying themes of the story. Having read some of Heinlein's later works first, this one was sweet and subdued by contrast. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cees | 10/22/2012

    " Wacky wonders in the wild wilds of Mars as Heinlein retells the tale of a crazy Columbus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff Yoak | 6/28/2012

    " Red Planet continues to feel like one of the stronger juveniles for that audience, but its plot isn't really substantial enough to really grip me as an adult. I think it might turn out to be the first of Heinlein's novels I might want to introduce to my kids. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 PokeyPuppy | 5/23/2012

    " Meh. A way to spend a little free time, but nothing more. Not really worth re-reading, especially when so much of Heinlein's work is fantastic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany Larkins | 3/22/2012

    " I just love Robert Heinlein! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 1/23/2012

    " A fun youth book. I'll bet a feminist would have a fit if she read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenn Harris | 9/26/2011

    " The Kindle edition that I read is Heinlein's original version of the book, not the watered-down version that was published as a juvenile back in the 50s. Very interesting. Lots of kids with guns. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Björn | 8/6/2011

    " I read this when I was eight. It was my entree into science fiction, and as such I remember it fondly. Before this I was reading mysteries and pre-teen adventure books like The Great Brain, which weren't very different from this with the exception of the extraterrestrial locale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juli | 5/24/2011

    " I wanted to re-read Stranger in a Strange Land, but it wasn't on Kindle. This wasn't really a very satisfying substitute. I have to say, too, that I kind of preferred that poor, maligned librarian's edited ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 5/19/2011

    " A pretty enjoyable kids sci-fi story with a few interesting ideas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 3/22/2011

    " Out of curiosity, I decided to read this book because it was referred to in From The Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz. It is a "j" read, but was interesting, and I thought it would be appealing to the little boy in the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Crystal | 1/11/2011

    " I'm a big fan of Heinlein, and a bit surprised that I didn't like this one better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aliera | 1/10/2011

    " Reading science fiction master Robert Heinlein's books reminds me why I fell in love with the genre. And now I'd love to have a pet like Willis. ^_^ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Max | 12/31/2010

    " Standard Heinlein young boy pulp.

    No, I take that back, sub-standard. It is nothing like on par with "Citizen of the Galaxy." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allyson | 10/23/2010

    " Great yarn, in the tradition of the Golden Age of sci-fi. Very human-centric, with anthropomorphized aliens and the unspoken premise that the universe is there for humans to utilize. If you change the Martians to Native Americans and the colonists to pioneers, you've got a Western. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 10/4/2010

    " Besides being a goodread, no pun intended, RED PLANET is interesting because it appears that some of the ideas in the book were reworked and reappear in STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat | 9/2/2010

    " I read this when I was a teenager. I loved it back then and read it many times. I have fond memories of my feelings for this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anthony | 7/17/2010

    " Second Heinlein book, and I really enjoyed it. Will definitely be reading more of them. "

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