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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Friday (audiobook) by Robert A. Heinlein


Published by Dh Audio in 1982.
Read by Samantha Eggar
Duration: approximately 3 hours.

Many years ago, in the early 80s, I was a devoted reader of all things Heinlein. Somewhere along the way I guess I lost interest (I don't remember), but I found this audiobook version of Friday and thought I'd re-live the old days a bit.

From the product description on the back of the box I did not remember having read the book, but soon enough, I vaguely remembered the plot a bit. So, how was it re-visiting Heinlein? It was okay. The story line was not nearly as interesting as the backdrop (a fragmented United States - how I'd love to see a short history of this vision of earth plus a short description of the technology - Heinlein accurately describes the internet - not bad for 1982).

Friday is a genetically modified human being created from bits and pieces from all around the world. She lives in a remarkably open society that openly discriminates against such Artificial People (APs). Heinlein builds the book on the themes of wanting to belong and being rejected for things that you cannot control.
Robert A. Heinlein 

Heinlein's free love world (nearly sex-crazed) is, in my mind, a bit of wishful thinking on the part of Heinlein. However, I'll give him his due - the multiple-partner marriages are a controversial idea to toss out there - and part of the job of a good sci-fi writer is to toss out new ideas and cause some discussion.

Overall, I was not over-impressed with my audiobook version of Friday. Part of it has to do with the fact that it is heavily abridged (the unabridged version of the book lasts 13 hours, this one is a mere 3 hours). The story suffered from the abridgment. Secondly, the choice of reader was disconcerting. She was very British and she never shook that accent, no matter where the action was taking place. Sometimes that worked out well, but usually it was jarring to hear residents of New Zealand, Winnipeg, Southern California and Vicksburg, Mississippi speaking with any number of British accents (sometimes Cockney, even!).

I give this audiobook version of Friday 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Friday by Robert A. Heinlein.

Reviewed on January 9, 2007.

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