E. C. “Scar” Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia, but he hadn’t given up his habit of scanning the personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him: "Are you a coward? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 pounds, fluent English with some French, proficient with all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential, willing to travel, no family or emotional ties, indomitably courageous and handsome of face and figure. Permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger. You must apply in person, 17 rue Dante, Nice, 2me étage, apt. D."
How could you not answer an ad like that, especially when it seemed to describe you perfectly? Well, except maybe for the “handsome” part, but that was in the eye of the beholder anyway. So he went to that apartment and was greeted by the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. She seemed to have many names but agreed he could call her Star. A pretty appropriate name, as it turned out, for the empress of twenty universes. And she sends him on the adventure of a lifetime.
Robert A. Heinlein’s one true fantasy novel, Glory Road is as much fun today as when he wrote it after Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein proves himself as adept with sword and sorcery as with rockets and slide rules, and the result is exciting, satirical, fast-paced, funny, and tremendously readable - a favorite of all who have read it. Glory Road is a masterpiece of escapist entertainment with a typically Heinleinian sting in its tail.
Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was the dominant science fiction writer of the modern era, a writer whose influence on the field was immense. He won science fiction’s Hugo Award for best novel four times.
©1963 Robert A. Heinlein; renewed 1991 by Virginia Heinlein; 2003 by the Robert A. & Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust; Afterword 1979, 1984 by Samuel R. Delany (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic reviews

“A triumph.”( Chicago Tribune)
Glory Road maintains a delicacy, a bravura, and a joy that not only are notable, but clearly consign it to his heptology of major SF novels.” (Samuel R. Delany, American author and literary critic)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By BobBr on 26-09-12

Enjoyable reading of perhaps Heinlein’s best book

I first read “Glory Road” in 1963 when it was serialized in “The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction”. I subsequently bought the book in paperback and, carrying it with me around the world, reread it several times. I think “Glory Road” is one of the few Heinlein books that doesn’t suffer quite so much from the author’s penchant for taking a story so far and then not knowing what to do with it while his sometimes obstreperous libertarianism is not quite so grating here. “Glory Road” consists of two distinct parts: the first is a thoroughly fabulous, swashbuckling “Quest”; the second is a rather insightful examination of the mundane, “real-world” consequences of having undertaken and completed The Quest. It spoke directly to me both before and after becoming an expat.

I know the book very well in other words (I have parts of it memorized) and it was with some trepidation that I bought the audiobook version. I was not disappointed. Bronson Pinchot is an accomplished voice actor. (How many people know/remember that he played “Balki Bartokomous” in the mid-80s/early-90s US sitcom “Perfect Strangers”?). His characterizations (especially of the supporting roles) are a joy to listen to. Admittedly his “Star” is not what I imagined her (he makes her sound like a sultry Doris Day) and his Rufo wanders sometimes disconcertingly between Peter Lorre and Pepe Le Pew. Nevertheless his voice acting makes a huge contribution to the enjoyment of this production, which is much more satisfying that any straightforward reading could have been.

Highly recommended as an enjoyable reading of what may be Heinlein’s best book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Jim McLean on 15-08-17

Not quite what I remember!

I loved this book as a teenager and decided to add it to my Audible library 40 years later. It is a bit of a pubescent fantasy and in my view is now unfortunately dated beyond my recognition. My enjoyment was further hampered by what I thought of as a very strange narration. The interpretation of Star, one of the key characters made me uncomfortable and the stereotyped French accent given to Rufo was painful. If I hear "sheeee" or "herrrrrrrrrr" in that accent again I may give up completely.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By ShySusan on 28-05-12

Heinlein's only fantasy

This is a great book. I've been wishing for a long time that Audible would get it. I've read it over and over again through the years, and I'm happy to say that now I'll be able to listen to it over and over again because Bronson Pinchot does a wonderful job with the characters' voices.

I'm not sure that this is really a fantasy. It has swords and seems to have sorcery, but the magic gets explained in such a way that it seems to (almost) be advanced science. But it has the feel of fantasy. If Heinlein wrote this book today, the publisher would have insisted on a 20-book series, and I truly think our hero Oscar Gordon could have provided it to us.

Heinlein was born more than a hundred years ago, and attitudes toward male/female relations were different then. But just as we do not hold Shakespeare or Homer to 21st Century societal norms, so we must give Heinlein a pass here as well. He was trying.

I think that any young man who likes science fiction or fantasy will like this adventure story. And I think that women who can release their grip on modern feminism for the space of a few hours will like it as well.

Get this book.

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38 of 42 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By BRKyle on 19-09-12

Heinlein's great story, a glorious spin by Pinchot

Unlike many Heinlein fans, I have loved "Glory Road" since I read it as a teenager. At that time, I had just read "The Lord of the Rings" and was delighted by what I saw as a beautiful fantasy adventure that wasn't quite so heavy and thoughtful.

WRONG. It's just as topical and political and sneaky about making one think as any of Heinlein's books... but more about that later. Suffice to say that E. C. "Oscar" Gordon (and why anyone would name a little baby boy Evelyn Cyril is beyond this writer; though my given name is also Evelyn I'm at least FEMALE) became a voice in my head as the competent, reluctant -- or not so reluctant -- hero, one I always remembered, and the book a sentimental favorite.

I adore Audible books, but often the casting is not to my preference. Hazard of the trade, I guess. The wonder is, after a few moments, Bronson Pinchot, an actor I've always liked but wrongly considered something of a lightweight, BECAME the voice of Oscar in my head. Pinchot's command of narrative, dialogue, nuance, and, yes, dialect, made this story come alive for me as never before. I could close my eyes and be THERE; his reading gave it an immediacy that I seldom get from **any** production, audio, video, or otherwise. I wonder if he's a fan?

Reading "Glory Road" time and again over many years, I have come to see the craft that seemed so effortless the first time through. Heinlein was current with not only the time he wrote this classic (1962 or thereabouts) but with the time I read it, in the early 1970s with the war in Southeast Asia still going on in its bloodiest, most nonsensical glory (yeah, folks, get over it, I AM that old). And sadly, he was correct about how "non-veterans" got treated after that war for many years.

I'm off to find more of Mr. Pinchot's audiobooks. I recommend this for fans of Heinlein, sword and sorcery, and just plain good acting and narration of a book. I had a whale of a lot of fun listening to it, and I'll bet you will, too. It's worth the time.

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26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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