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Farnham's Freehold Paperback – June 7, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reprint edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143913443X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439134436
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


''Heinlein's story is as engrossing now as it was in its original form decades ago.'' --Midwest Book Review

''Surprising, exciting, horrifying, and very stimulating . . . Heinlein is at his controversial best.'' --sfreviews.com

''Surprising, exciting, horrifying, and very stimulating . . . Heinlein is at his controversial best.'' --sfreviews.com --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Robert A Heinlein is considered one of the “Big Three” of classic science fiction (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke).   Heinlein is a seven-time Hugo Award recipient and was given the first Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement. Heinlein’s juveniles alone have influenced generations of scientists, engineers and creators the world over (for instance, it was once estimated that everyone in the Apollo 11 mission control room had read and loved at least one Heinlein novel). His worldwide bestsellers include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, Time Enough for Love, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

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Customer Reviews

Even a cursory study of genetics will demonstrate this to be factual.
I love all of Heinlein's book but this is one of my favorites because it's the FIRST of his books I read!
Patricia Kenworthy
This book was really hard me to get through I don't know about the rest of you.
General Pete

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 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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21 of 23 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 45 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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43 of 58 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on March 25, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm giving this one three stars just because there are some interesting speculations in it about the future of a postapocalyptic world (and because I share the lead character's positive view of the United States, as Heinlein clearly does as well). But this one ranks near the bottom of my own list of Heinlein's novels.

For one thing, he wrote this one smack in the middle of his Nuclear Rant Period, and he's very heavily into Soapbox Mode here. This was a time in Heinlein's life when he got (let's put it gently) deeply annoyed at anyone who suggested that massive nuclear buildup wasn't the way to handle the alleged Soviet threat, or that maybe surviving a nuclear holocaust might not be such a terrific thing. (Indeed, he built a bomb shelter at his Colorado Springs home -- _before_ Colorado Springs was anywhere near a likely nuclear target; NORAD didn't exist yet.) His surly attitude (not to mention his tub-thumping sermons about the Benefits of Military Service) informs this entire novel.

For another -- and it's probably a consequence of the first problem -- _not one_ of the characters in this book is even remotely likeable. Joseph, the 'houseboy', is as close as we come to a decent human being, and even _he_ turns out to be sinister and menacing before we're through. It's hard to take sides between Hugh Farnham and his son Duke; the dad's a jerk and the son's a whiny wuss. Hugh's wife Grace is no prize either, and their daughter Karen -- apparently intended to be sweet and innocent -- just comes across as spoiled. And Barbara never gels as a character at all.

For a third thing, even the stuff some readers _like_ about late-period Heinlein isn't well done here. For example, some readers have commented on Heinlein's apparent approval of incest.
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