Citizen of the Galaxy Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Citizen of the Galaxy

The Citizen of the Galaxy is Robert Heinlein's classic coming science-fiction coming of age novel. The books starts with a young unknown boy being sold as a slave in a backwater, brutal part of the galaxy known the Sargon. Baslim the beggar buys him at the auction not to use him as a slave, but to raise him as a son.
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This book takes over several years and several settings. The first part describes Thorby's (our hero) adventures on the Sargon as a young boy. Thorby escapes the planet on a trader ship after Baslim's death. The second part of the book describes Thorby's life amoung the pecuilar society of the traders as a youth. The third part desribes the search for his birth family with the intergalactic space police force. The final part takes place on earth after he found his birth parents on earth as an adult. Thorby works on earth to eradicate slavery.

The review of this Book prepared by Jamie

We are introduced to Thorby as a slave, being auctioned off. From that point, we follow his exceptional life as he learns about himself, the galaxy, and his place in it. Thorby's owner ("Pop"), Baslim, is one of Heinlein's standard rough and tumble's, an endearing character.
The review of this Book prepared by Kim Marks

Heinlein's best Juvenile novel. Involves fight against slace trade.
The review of this Book prepared by Philip A. Petmecky

This is probably Heinlein's finest juvenile novel. It explores the themes of slavery, betrayal and courage. The settings are vivid, varied and imaginative. This is probably one of Heinlein's most strongly-plotted novels.
The review of this Book prepared by Jack Kelly

Thorby starts out a slave owned by a beggar. But he works his way up in this rags to riches story from slave to begger to merchantman to soldier to ultrarich. This story focuses on what it's like for him as he joins new cultures.
The review of this Book prepared by Steve

Chapter Analysis of Citizen of the Galaxy

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Training/Apprent.    -   Yes Working up the ranks of...    -   business Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one person from different culture of other persons

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   slave Age:    -   a teen


Terrain    -   Space, need spacesuit A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society    -   very controlled society Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes How much dialogue?    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Citizen of the Galaxy

Robert A. Heinlein Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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