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Farnham's Freehold Audiobook

Farnham's Freehold

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Publisher's Summary

Hugh Farnham is a practical, self-made man, and when he sees the clouds of nuclear war gathering, he builds a bomb shelter under his house, hoping for peace and preparing for war. But when the apocalypse comes, something happens that he did not expect. A thermonuclear blast tears apart the fabric of time and hurls his shelter into a world with no sign of other human beings.

Farnham and his family have barely settled down to the backbreaking business of low-tech survival when they find that they are not alone after all. The same nuclear war that catapaulted Farnham 2,000 years into the future has destroyed all civilization in the northern hemisphere, leaving Africans as the dominant surviving people.

In the new world order, Farnham and his family, being members of the race that nearly destroyed the world, are fit only to be slaves. After surviving a nuclear war, Farnham has no intention of being anyone’s slave, but the tyrannical power of the Chosen race reaches throughout the world. Even if he manages to escape, where can he run to?

©1964 Robert A. Heinlein, 1992 by Mrs. Virginia Heinlein (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Heinlein’s story is as engrossing now as it was in its original form decades ago.” (Midwest Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (684 )
5 star
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Overall
3.8 (614 )
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4.1 (603 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ted 04-04-15
    Ted 04-04-15 Member Since 2006
    ratings
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    11
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    "Heinlein at his disturbing best...."
    If you could sum up Farnham's Freehold in three words, what would they be?

    scary, disgusting, true


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Farnham's Freehold?

    When Farnham and Barbara returned to their starting point just before the bombing.


    Have you listened to any of Tom Weiner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Don't know but this was very well done. I listen to hear the separate characters and how well they stay in character and how well the reader maintains that throughout the book. Weiner delivered.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A film of brutal reality and insight into the human condition..twisting and turning through a maze of contradictions and paradox.


    Any additional comments?

    RAH is still the king of sci fi

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 02-26-15
    David 02-26-15 Member Since 2017

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Futuristic story of reverse-racism"

    This book has some notoriety among Heinlein's legions of critics for being a "reverse racism" story in which a group of white people (and their one black house-servant) are blasted thousands of years forward in time by a nuclear war, and find themselves in a future ruled by black overlords, served by an underclass of subservient whites.

    Farnham's Freehold is actually not that bad, nor is the narrative message as ham-fisted as I expected; Heinlein was a progressive for his time, and notwithstanding all those people who claim he was a libertarian, less plausibly, a "right-winger," or absurdly, a fascist, he was clearly trying to make a positive statement about freedom, self-determinaton, and racial coexistence. The story is more complex than some of the more inflammatory reviews give it credit for — most of the characters, white and black, are decent by their own standards but flawed in various ways, and no one is made out to be inherently better or villainous by virtue of their race.

    That said, it's understandable that a novel written in 1964 about blacks imposing chattel slavery and racial supremacy over whites — and literally ranching them for food — might be seen as a somewhat less than elevating contribution to the genre today.

    As a story, this was okay, but not one of Heinlein's best (though certainly not his worst either). Hugh Farnham is a typical Heinleinian omni-capable Everyman, aided and assisted by a typical Heinleinian woman (hot, willing, smart and capable but knows her place and likes it) as they try to escape from the dystopian nightmare they have found themselves in. Actually, as dystopias go, none of the characters in the book are treated particularly badly, a point made repeatedly by their "Charity"/master, and refuted effectively by Farnham when he points out what the "King's Charity" really means. Like most Heinlein novels, there is food for thought here, and a decent amount of adventure, and a lot of nubile fourteen-year-old sex slaves (who the main character of course is too noble to take advantage of).

    Interesting but dated, and not what I would recommend to someone new to Heinlein, but if you like his other, better works, Farnham's Freehold will probably entertain you.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    avoidthelloyd Poteau, OK 01-24-14
    avoidthelloyd Poteau, OK 01-24-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Meh... Obviously Dated..."

    I love time travel novels. If you follow my reviews you will see I have reviewed a lot of them Audible offers. This one is in the lower 3rd of that group. To me, I want a minimum of 3 things in a novel: 1) characters I care about 2) A good plot that keeps me guessing 3) A good pace with enough action to maintain my attention. This book is obviously dated compared to others I have read, which isn't always bad. I feel there wasn't enough time devoted to character development at the beginning, so I didn't really feel any of the emotions of the characters or care what happened to them. Also, it really lacked a decent amount of modern time travel theory. There was some interesting thoughts at times, but I feel nothing was explored or explained enough to be satisfying. There is a real lack of scientific vantage point. The characters quickly end up in another time, but the events that transpired in the future were really boring for the most part. It was heavy on social injustices and taboos but time travel itself was absent for a LONG time. If I would've known what you know now, I wouldn't try this one. Instead, I highly recommend 'Replay - Ken Grimwood', 'Lightning - Dean Koontz' and 'Schumann Frequency - Chris Ride' for the best I've read. I really hope this helps. Later.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin United States 12-21-12
    Colin United States 12-21-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Good story, but a bit dated"

    I'm sure the storyline must have shocked many when it was first written, but as others have said, it seems a bit dated now. Especially annoying are the vacuous female characters.

    Tom Weiner did a very good job narrating and I think he brought to life the character of Hugh Farnham in all his anachronistic glory. He even did a decent job making Ponse believable and even somewhat sympathetic.

    One thing that made me laugh was that I kept visualizing the commander from the "Team America" movie whenever Hugh Farnham's character spoke. That's OK though since those characters are really one and the same.

    Overall a good job, but not one of my favorites.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Flint, MI, United States 12-01-12
    Linda Flint, MI, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Very interesting - thoroughly enjoyed the story!"
    What did you love best about Farnham’s Freehold?

    I most enjoyed the ending (which I won't explain in detail) because second chances were involved.


    Any additional comments?

    I have long been a Heinlein fan and read this story many years ago. It was very interesting to have the characters and narration voiced. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ron olympia, wa, United States 12-20-12
    ron olympia, wa, United States 12-20-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Typical Heinlein"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    no


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Farnham’s Freehold?

    Time travel


    What three words best describe Tom Weiner’s performance?

    Satisfactory


    Was Farnham’s Freehold worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Typical Heinlein - challanging accepted sexual practicies coupled with period social issues and of course science fiction.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hans Miranda Johnstown, CO, US 01-04-17
    Hans Miranda Johnstown, CO, US 01-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Read it twice"

    Excellent story. Has it all: time travel, family drama, slavery, freedom, love, violence . . . Explores the height and depth of human existence.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robb 11-06-16
    robb 11-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "classic Heinlein style"

    the story dragged along at times, other times jumping ahead. good story line, characters, but perhaps a bit more of the philosophy behind the scenes could be explained directly, or in conversations, etc. well narrated, good development, bit of a bland ending, though I suppose if it were me, I would be very appreciative of it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David D. Schneider 09-25-16 Member Since 2017

    Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Incredible Foray Into Post Apocalyptic Slavery . . . 😱"

    5 stars Great.
    4 Stars Good.
    3 Stars OK.
    ________________________________________________
    I grew up devouring Heinlein but I don't remember this book. It is a fairly serious look at the Cold War MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) bomb shelter era mixed in with a sobering look at the import of slavery in a Dystopian world. Sound confusing? It is. But it is generally pulled off in an entertaining mostly believable tale of the Farnham family's trials and tribulations.
    _________________________________________________
    Recommended strongly for anyone who is a Heinlein follower and fan. ........................ 😱

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Glickstein 05-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    "loved it"

    I want this and all his other stories to be movies.
    I think there are 6 or so in pre production now.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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