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Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land


by Robert A. Heinlein

Michael Valentine Smith Timeline and Summary

  • Mike is born on Mars and raised by Martians. So far so cool.
  • Twenty years later, the Champion comes to Mars and finds Mike. Our human Martian goes with the Champion to Earth, ready to grok.
  • Mike is sent to Bethesda hospital, but Jill busts him out of there.
  • Gil Berquist and Detective Johnson try to intercept Jill and Mike. Not cool—Mike kills them.
  • Mike and Jill head to Jubal's house, and Mike begins to learn about human culture and society. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty strange phenomenon.
  • Men are sent to capture Mike, Jill, and Jubal, but Mike whisks them into nonexistence. To celebrate, he kisses Jill. It's his first kiss and everything, awww.
  • The World Federation conference is held. Mike gets to keep his Martian wealth, but he loses sovereignty over Mars.
  • Mike visits a Fosterite religious service. There, he reaches a cusp and while grokking his actions, he decides he is no longer a nestling. Translation: boy's grown up.
  • Next up, Mike loses his virginity to an unknown culprit (unknown to the reader anyhow, not him we assume).
  • Mike and Jill travel the world together, grokking away. Mike ends up a carnie and becomes water brother to Patricia Paiwonski.
  • Mike finally groks laughing by—you guessed it—laughing.
  • Inspired to help humanity, he becomes ordained and starts the Church of All Worlds.
  • Ben visits Mike at his new place, but he's scared off by the way Mike does things.
  • In the end, the Church of All Worlds burns down. Mike is arrested, but, not surprisingly, he flies the coop.
  • Mike and Jubal have one last talk in which Jubal convinces Mike that he wasn't a failure.
  • Don't get too sentimental. Soon after, an angry mob murders Mike as he tries to preach to them. 
  • But it's all good—he ends up in the afterlife.