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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 (691 )
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4.1 (609 )
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  •  
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 08-31-13
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 08-31-13 Member Since 2013
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    "I enjoyed it despite a pro-nuke eugenics slant"

    40 plus years ago as a teenager I spent many afternoons and evenings locked away in my bedroom reading Robert A Heinlein, and I still enjoy his stories and his social libertarianism (advocacy for unashamed nudism, polygamy, etc).

    This is an enjoyable story and in spite of several ways this book is philosophically alien to me (described briefly below) Heinlein is too good a craftsman to let his polemics bog down the plot.

    Some call this book racist because it posits a future where the northern hemisphere was wiped out by nuclear war and despotic Africans have become the master race and whites are slaves. There are definite racist elements from cultural context of 1950s America that makes a modern reader cringe (use of the n word on several occasions for example), but my sense is that by reversing races in the slave/master relationship Heinlein is being anti-racist more than racist.

    This story appears to spring from Heinlein's own experience of building a bomb shelter during the cold war and imagining post-holocaust scenarios. As such the pro-nuclear polemics beat you over the head with notions that an all-out nuclear war is survivable, including the premise of this story that if you get a direct hit it sends you 2000 years into the future.

    Heinlein admits he "has been worried about America for a long time" and this part of his story is a troubling subtext - that you can save the best part of America by killing off 95% of the people. Taking this a bit further, it also troubles me the way Heinlein embraces eugenics - "eliminating the bottom third would be good for the gene pool", and asking his daughter if her unborn child "comes from good stock." These notions are so reminiscent of Nazi philosophies that they are genuinely troubling elements.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Zombie Specialist Secret Fortress 06-03-14
    The Zombie Specialist Secret Fortress 06-03-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Don't waste your time on this one"
    What did you like best about Farnham's Freehold? What did you like least?

    The preaching of 'I am so much smarter and therefore more worthy than you because I am a prepper' is maddening. The scene within the bunker after one night is so stupid that it caused me to believe that this story was written by a horny teenage boy! The whole incest topics are appalling... seriously is this author for real!


    Would you recommend Farnham's Freehold to your friends? Why or why not?


    Could you see Farnham's Freehold being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Frank Stallone as Hue... couldn't think of a bigger redneck to match the character


    Any additional comments?

    Worse book I have ever read!

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Mawson Lakes, South Australia 09-26-15
    Roy Mawson Lakes, South Australia 09-26-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Classic, inteligently written SciFi"

    I grew up reading Heinlein in the 70’s, was surprised to find one of his books that I hadn't read and thoroughly enjoyed him in the 21st century. Ignore any comments about racial language, its just not relevant to a book written in the 60's.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" 04-19-14 Member Since 2016
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    Story
    "DADDY, YOU CAN HAVE ME"

    IF YOU WANT ME
    Within the first two hours and chapters, Hugh manages to get three women naked and commit adultery while his wife is drugged on the other side of the curtain. The daughter knows about the adultery and approves, making friends with the woman. She also admits that she would love to sleep with her dad. Three men and three women survive an atomic blast. They live by their selves for months. All the women are interested in the old man Hugh, they have no interest in the two younger men.

    HE MADE FAST TIME TO THE SLUT'S QUARTERS
    Sluts and Studs are a major part of the second half of this book. There is a science fiction story in this book and I was able to listen to the whole thing, as I wanted to know what was going to happen. Parts of the story bothered me, such as why these survivors never explored to see if anyone else survived. I also knew right away what happened to them, but they came up with two other ideas and never thought of the real one, that you has the reader will suspect right away. We are led to believe that Hugh is okay to commit adultery because his wife is fat and a drunk. We are led to believe it is okay for Hugh to threaten to shoot his own son, cause he is a stupid spoiled mamma's boy. Hugh is pictured as the perfect he-man. His wife and son are not his fault. When you read this you will realize that his wife and son are the way they are, because of Hugh. There was a very tense time, when Hugh's daughter has a baby. This chapter was well written.

    My library is now empty of Heinlein books. I will continue to read Heinlein, but it will only be his earlier books and I will check out the reviews, to make sure they are not in the pro incest category. I hope reviewers will be truthful and call a spade a spade. I hope those who are truthful will not be banned to the back pages, by dreamy eyed Heinlein fans that think his #### don't stink.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Captain 09-06-16
    Captain 09-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "terrible! waste of time & money"

    the book literally discusses the card have bridge every chapter & compares every aspect of the story to that game. the story jumps around with no sense of purpose. None of the characters are in anyway likable. The worst part however is that the story is dreadfully boring

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick J. Cowhey 06-29-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Strange"

    I've listened twice, only to escape from boredom. I had a hard time with the main character. his mannerisms and sense of right/wrong are from a long past era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Parish 08-08-15
    G. Parish 08-08-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A Lesson in Slavery"

    This book, while a bit loose on science, is a harsh look at the logic of slave societies from both sides. While it could be controversial even now, it is well worth a listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 02-26-15
    David 02-26-15 Member Since 2017
    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
  •  
    Wiegand Pinckney, MI, United States 01-19-15
    Wiegand Pinckney, MI, United States 01-19-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Not Heinlein's best work..."

    Normally I like Heinlein, even though I would not call him a hardcore SciFi author. Normally he brings a lot of cultural nuance to his stories that make him unique, which I like. However, in this case, the "cultural references" amount to preachy neoconservatism which results in characters that are more caricature than anything else. The women in the story are either drunks, airheads or sex objects. The "hero" appears to be cut from the same cloth as the cigar-chomping army general of the Incredible Hulk, and the son is portrayed as a weak, worthless spoiled rich kid. The only interesting character was the "butler" which in this case Heinlein chose to make a stereotypical black servant complete with a snappy repertoire of "Yes boss!" Really? I could not even get through the third chapter of this sorry excuse of a story. Unfortunately the narrator just reinforces the already ridiculous stereotypes.

    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

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