Review - The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

The Door Into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein

 

I ended up quite liking this but it could have gone either way right up until the last few chapters.  This isn't so much a review as a random collection of my thoughts about the book.  All over the place, but then so was the book...

 

It's a time travel book written in 1957 about a man living in 1975 and he travels forward in time to 2001 via cryogenics then back again to 1975 via a time machine...basically he jumps about more than once (and takes his cat Pete with him) and my mind gave up wondering about paradoxes after a while.  It's not without it's issues and is dated in many ways and at times the author sounds a bit sexist and racist.  It was written in the 50's, I get it, times were different but reading it in 2020 makes the differences stand out a bit.  All the way through there's a running dialogue between the main character and his business partner's 11 year old daughter which was weird and I'm still giving him the side-eye about that, now that I know how it ends.

 

Technological and scientific advancements would probably been a bit of a stab in the dark to try and predict between 1957 1975 and even harder to envisage for 2001 but he had a stab at it.

The newspapers were still made of paper but they were sort of laminated and looked like one big shiny sheet, but he got the 'page curl' thing right where a tap on the sheet corner made the old page just curl away to nothing and revealed the page underneath.  No computers though.

 

Clothes were not much different to what he knew in his own time, just a bit more colourful and mis-matched with the addition of 'stiktite' instead of zips.  I still have no idea what stiktite is but some ladies wore nothing but stitktite on the beach and were quite 'inventive' with it, or so I'm told. My mind boggles.  Nurses wore all white and still wore those little stiff cap things.

 

New words made up to sound like gibberish, ie - Going to the movies = going to the grabbies to see the grabbie stars.  Taking the 'Lays' to get around town.   'Kink' was a word that almost got him his lights punched out when he said it to a woman.

 

He made a show of having wired telephones in homes if you could afford them which was probably far fetched in the 50's and when outside of the home people still had to use payphones on street corners.  He had to send a postal order to the patents office in 2001 as they didn't accept cheques.  He wanted to get a message to an acquaintence while in 2001 and had to send him a card in the post as the quickest way.

 

The common cold was eliminated and cigarettes had been made harmless and you just waved it about in the air a bit to get them lit and Dr's were smoking them in the hospital...in 2001.

 

Money was a hard one for him to predict I think.  He thought that a handyman would be charging an extortionate $5 an hour to repair his robot and that a hospital room would cost him about $100 a night.  Going out to dinner would cost $10

 

All things considered though he did okay and in the end I got an almost 5 star read to kick off my month and I managed to finish one of my very overdue library books.