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Farnham's Freehold Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1994

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (February 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671722069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671722067
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Farnham is a self-made man who sees nuclear war coming and who builds a shelter under his house; only to find it thrust into a strange universe when the bomb explodes. In this future world all civilization in the northern hemisphere has long been destroyed, and Farnham and his family are fit to be slaves under the new regime. Heinlein's story is as engrossing now as it was in its original form decades ago. -- Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein, four-time winner of the Hugo Award and recipient of three Retro Hugos, received the first Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement. His worldwide bestsellers have been translated into 22 languages and include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, Time Enough for Love, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. His long-lost first novel, For Us, the Living, was recently published by Scribner and Pocket Books.

Customer Reviews

Heinlein was one of science fictions greats.
Kenneth M. Kyzer
In the end the book really doesn't make any kind of sense and too otp it all off the book is almost drianed of the author's usual good humor and wit.
General Pete
For another -- and it's probably a consequence of the first problem -- _not one_ of the characters in this book is even remotely likeable.
John S. Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle L. Blair on March 12, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Frankly I am SHOCKED at the poor reviews this book recieves.

There are two MINOR complaints I have about this book, one that the son's acceptance of his castration is a little too easy, could have had 2 or 3 sentences that would have made this more believable, either to set him up as a yes man (where he would do anything to get ahead) wich he did not seem to be; or to have him willing to do anything to be with mommy and make her happy (wich he was not when it came to talking about her drug problem etc).

The second minor complaint that I have is that I think the sign at the end of the book could have had more impact and shown the moral of the story or what the characters learned through their experiences more. Such as: books for barter was good but it should have listed other things wich would have underlined the story such as labor/work (underlying theme is that labor is virtue and sloth is evil), Training (self improvement is stressed, the value of knowledge), Durable goods (items saved from pre apocolipse = forthought and planning, Items manufactured post apocolipse = labor and skills) etc. Keep the bridge lessons as a insider joke but they could have had something about Be nice or leave- no intolorance will be tolorated etc to underline the anti racism message. I just feel like he diddnt wrap it all up in a nice polished way and that it was a missed oppertunity.

Ok now onto the positives.

This book is not racist. If you think it is you are completely missing the whole point and I kind of wonder if you really read the whole book. Im going to refute things in list form since there are so many points and they overlap.

people have claimed Racism because-
1. The Dark skinned overlords are Cannibals.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Erin Clark on June 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After a bomb warning screaming from the Farnham household television, the family, along with their servant and a friend of their daughter's, rush down into their bomb shelter. They wait in fear at the world they will find upon emerging, but when they finally open the shelter, are amazed at the beautiful untouched world around them. After some adventuring, they find that they are in the same place as when they began, but the land remains untouched by human developement. They are seemingly alone in the newly beautiful world and become adapt to being self sufficient. Together, they plan to start a new civilization, until one day they are discovered. Taken and enslaved in the 'new world' where people of colour become the ruling class and the anglo's the slaves, they find that they somehow had been catapulted into the future. This new world is a place where people are born into certain classes, their futures being determined by birth. Much like the world we live in today, the people accept their places willingly and never question their status. Hugh Farnham, however, see's the injustices of this new world and devises a plan of escape. Although I'm not a huge science fiction fan, I really did enjoy 'Farnham's Freehold'. Heinlein weaves a clever little story with this book, and throws in a few neat twists at the end. Covering the issues of race, governing politics, and those of gender, he comes up with a really creative tale that is accessible to a wide audience. It's really worth a read.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Michael G Farris (1radiomike@excite.com) on October 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a sucker for any type of post-apocalytic story. Farnham's Freehold is this type of story. I really liked this book and also disliked it at the same time. Hugh and his family; wife, son, daughter, servant and a friend are caught by a nuclear surprise. They survive in Hugh's shelter; and are catapulted to a world in the future where all 'white' society has been obliterated, and black rule over whites. Slavery, studding, torture, castrating and cannabilism are the norm in this society.
These situations are not sensationalized but they are shocking.
Problems with book:
1. Not much character depth: The most truthful characters are Joseph the servant, and Hugh himself. The other characters are as followed: the drunken wife, a mama's boy, a daddy's girl and a sexy friend of daddy's girl.
2. Not scientific. I can buy how Hugh builds a well stocked shelter. I can buy how they got catapulted to the future. I can't buy how only black society survived. Certainly, the Chinese (more technologically advanced than Africa in 1962) or the Japanese would have survived also.
3. Disturbingly written. Cannabilism and torturing are disturbing actions. But they way in which it is written seems to be more shocking than the acts themselves.
Good points of book:
1. Stunningly adroit fable of racism. Slavery has visited every society, including the kinder, gentler and more responsible Masters.
2. Use of drug 'Happiness' to keep slaves happy and docile. Very reminscent Huxley's soma. Wise foreshadowing on how some believe illicit drugs are used to keep down the black man and other underclasses.
3. They way Hugh and Joseph are written. Hugh is over the top, a man who will do whatever it takes to survive while still having a moral compass.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David J. Atkinson on October 16, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There is much in this novel to typecast it in the social setting of the early sixties. It was a time of constant terror of nuclear war as well as pre-equal rights and sanctioned sexist behavior. I was a child in that era but remember it well. Heinlein's protagonist is a self-confident, self-taught and somewhat righteous father figure who "knows best". Events prove the value of his foresight, but with a strange twist that challenges the hero to move beyond his preconceptions. This is what I like most about Heinlein's novels. I think many people deride Heinlein for his stereotypical characters, but if you hang in there you get to see how they respond to extraordinarily non-stereotypical events. It is worth is.
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