cover image Tramp Royale

Tramp Royale

Robert A. Heinlein, Author Ace Books $18.95 (371p) ISBN 978-0-441-82184-6

This potboiler travelogue is the record of a 1953 jaunt around the world by the prolific SF writer ( Stranger in a Strange Land ) and his wife. Unpublished until now, the book tells of bargains that no longer exist, landmarks that have disappeared, and standard tourist experiences with natives, customs officers, tipping, hotels and transportation. The late Heinlein's (1907-1988) comments on the countries he visited are dated, facile and sometimes embarrassing, as when he approves of the Buenos Aires slums for their cleanliness, or praises Peron for his love of children, or criticizes foreigners for their failure to appreciate Sen. Joseph McCarthy. The work has little by way of style or insight to warrant its resurrection, but as his widow explains in her diffident introduction, she unearthed it when Heinlein's editor requested his unpublished manuscripts. Alas, his fans may be hard put to know what to do with it. (Apr.)