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Publisher's Summary

Under the façade of the world’s finest theme park lies a secret which could alter the course of human history.

Mike and Annie, refugees from the world outside, find a home underground, behind the scenes of Dreamworld, a theme park where hope exists as it does nowhere else. But Dreamworld is threatened by a jealous competitor who kills what he can’t have. As if this were not trouble enough, the two discover that each day there are more of the “trolls” who maintain Dreamworld than there were the day before. As the trolls continue to multiply, they must discover why, or it could mean the end of Dreamworld -and the real world.

Knotted in conflict and turmoil, what was a wonderful, carefree place becomes a battleground on which Earth’s future is at stake. Only Mike and Annie, two unconventional heroes, can save it.

Spider Robinson, winner of three Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award, is renowned for his Callahan’s Place series of bestselling novels. With his wife, Jeanne, he has also written the award-winning Stardance series.

©2013 Spider Robinson (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“You get much more than you bargained for in this fun-filled yet serious novel. Spider’s the antidote for entropy, the blahs, and the pernicious notion that humor and good grace are absent from the SF field.” (Ben Bova)
The Free Lunch is a fast-moving homage to the lighter side of Robert A. Heinlein…Robinson knows how to generate tension without losing his sense of humor, a more difficult trick than you can imagine.” (The New York Times)
“Mike and Annie are the kind of characters that return to mind long after the book is done, and the tale is as jaunty as only Spider can make it in his Callahan mode. How can you possibly fail to enjoy this one?” (Analog)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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Facinating Mystery

Would you listen to The Free Lunch again? Why?

Yes because I love anything Spider Robinson writes. He draws you into his stories. Annie and Mike come to the world's greatest fantasy world because they didn't fit into the real world. Why, because they were intelligent and insightful. So we learn about their stories and why Annie is called Mother Elf. Then comes the mystery - who are the extra trolls coming in, what is their purpose? Losts of twists, lessons to be learned. And at the end you want to hear more of how everyone fared - Annie, Mike and the Trolls. Will there be a follow up novel? I hope so.

Which character – as performed by Spider Robinson – was your favorite?

I didn't realize Spider was the narrator until the end - he did a great job. I think Annie was my favorite - always spot on and right to the point.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I want more!!!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Jay
  • Huntingdon, PA, United States
  • 02-21-13

Pleased to Meet You

Any additional comments?

Usually I'm not a fan of authors reading their books, but Robinson does a good job. I very much enjoyed the story and will be happy to spend more of my credits for his books. Just when you think you'll never find another good book, there it is...like finding an egg a week after Easter.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

As I expected from Spider Robinson. Puns, action and intelligent dialogue galore. Thank you Mr. Robinson.

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  • Keith
  • LIVERMORE, CA, United States
  • 04-12-14

Just ok

It was a decent book. Not great but not bad. I would say it wasn't one of spider's best. I liked the story and the characters but I had a hard time getting into it. By the end though it turned out to be better than it started.

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Spider is the greatest

Would you listen to The Free Lunch again? Why?

Yes, this is a great story with the hope Spider tries to put in all his writing, and his voice is wonderful

Which scene was your favorite?

The end of the book where Annie is reacting to the suggestion of going under at Thrillworld.<br/>