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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic heroine and a very deep novel
This is, quite simply, one of my favourite books of all time. Friday is a 'combat courier' with a big secret. She's a genetically engineered person, at a time and in a society utterly hostile to her nature and existance. Alongside the action this book is a sweet study on the importance of having a family (biological or otherwise) and a long hard look at the ugly face of...
Published on 12 Mar 2003 by anna

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3.0 out of 5 stars Smoke the toke that Jesus smoked ANGEL STICKS: Guaranteed noncarcinogenic
This mostly light-hearted book begins with a woman being subjected to a rape and a beating in an effort to get information from her, but the tone taken makes it almost incidental. She is a courier for a large corporation and in fact is an AP (Artificial Person). Nothing bad can happen to her, however, because she is trained to withstand almost any kind of attack. Sister,...
Published 6 months ago by Eileen Shaw


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic heroine and a very deep novel, 12 Mar 2003
By 
anna (Ole Blighty) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
This is, quite simply, one of my favourite books of all time. Friday is a 'combat courier' with a big secret. She's a genetically engineered person, at a time and in a society utterly hostile to her nature and existance. Alongside the action this book is a sweet study on the importance of having a family (biological or otherwise) and a long hard look at the ugly face of prejudice. The prose can be a little dated at times, but that's perhaps half the charm - that such a forward looking novel (socially as well as technologically) could have been written in such a style.
Oh, and this book has the best opening page I have ever come across in my life. Just read it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favorite!, 13 Nov 2000
By 
Joss Delage (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
Heinlein is great, although sometimes a little bit paternalistic vis-a-vis women... This book is about a very strong female character's desperate struggle to be accepted in a very decadent society, that rejects her as non-human
Dialogs are witty and smart, and the book is a great introduction to Heinlein's libertarian philosophy (which goes further than politics, to include family structures, sexuality, etc.)
One of the best Heinlein IMHO...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time but missing the point?, 5 April 2007
By 
Chris Chalk "Chris" (Croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
Meet Friday, a futuristic vision of the world might look like. Prejudices are still abundantly apparent with some directed in quite familiar directions (the racism shown by Friday's extended family) and some in more novel ways - prejudices against artificial persons, and unfortunately that is exactly what Friday is. Born in a laboratory and raised in an crèche Friday is a courier, arguable the best at what she does, she operates in a world where sexual freedom has reached a crescendo but unfortunately this liberation has not quelled the natural human bloodlust but in this world the enemies aren't always countries, the major corporations have a lot to answer for.

The story line of the book itself takes the form of Friday's memoirs as she seeks to make sense of the actions that have occurred both around her and too her. She seeks to justify her humanity - or indeed lack of it - as she fumbles through the world on a seemingly hyper efficient wave of energy that is drastically undermined by the lack of faith Friday has in her seemingly perfect abilities.

Underneath it all Friday is an insecure as the next man.

I wasn't overly enamoured with the actual thread of the story as although it is impressive that Heinlein saw all these technological advances in communications would come about but as I am someone who is living in an age where these are more ever apparent that element of the story had little effect. As well as this even though I was fascinated with Friday I did also struggle with her - to me she is almost an attempt at the perfect female from a male point of view, she is attractive, athletic, feisty yet deeply insecure and almost in need of "saving". The paradox Heinlein puts forward is blamed on her upbringing but I didn't really buy that.

Yet for all that I found the book utterly fascinating, it wasn't that I cared what happened to Friday per se I just wanted to enjoy the ride of how ever she would get there. I wouldn't call this a masterpiece but it is certainly interesting and it may very well drive me to explore more of Heinlein's books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Un-Person or Super-Person?, 26 Mar 2007
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
Genetic engineering is one of the hot buttons of today. Part of the debate about it centers on just how much tinkering should be allowed on the human genome. Heinlein, writing this long before such tinkering was physically possible, tackles some of the ethical questions such capabilities bring to the fore.

Friday Jones (aka Marjorie Baldwin) is just such an `enhanced' person. Her parental genetic makeup was carefully selected from some twenty donor parents, mixed up in a test tube, and was raised in crèche for such `artificial people', or APs as they are referred to throughout this work. This careful selection and manipulation means she is stronger, has faster reflexes, enhanced vision and hearing, and is more intelligent than `normal' people. Does this bring her acceptance and respect as one of the best of humanity? Far from it. For in Heinlein's envisioned future, APs and their cousins, Living Artifacts (people modified to be obviously different from normal humans, referred to as LAs) are declared `un-persons', relegated to the absolute bottom of the social pecking order, forced to work as effective slaves, subject to summary `elimination'.

Which leads to what this novel is really all about: Friday's search for acceptance and love. As such, this is a character driven novel, and the plot seems to wander around quite a bit with no clear objective, though each step along the way shows more and more of just who Friday is. Friday's world seems to be part of the `Crazy Years' of the Future History (though it's not directly connected), where nations have been Balkanized, multi-national corporations have at least as much power as nations, and wars between various factions, even those that use nuclear weapons, are taken as just another fact of life. This background provides for plenty of action, as Friday, as a secret courier, must wiggle her way past these conflicts. It also allows Heinlein to get in some of his typical satirical cracks at some of the idiocies he saw around him (though there's less of this pontificating here than in almost any other of his late period novels) - most interesting to California residents is his depiction of San Jose, it's government, it's obsession with the people's initiative process, and the frequent incompetence of elected government officials (or, for that matter, corporation executives who forget that customers pay their salaries). Along with this are his comments on various forms of marriage partnerships, some of which will make blue-noses very uncomfortable, and one depicted gang-rape scene might violently upset quite a few.

Right alongside these items are his technological predictions - he does a pretty good job of envisioning the internet and interconnecting web of just about everything from financial transactions to digging out the dirt on anyone. But his major point of departure is the Shipstone, apparently a really enhanced version of a battery, which has helped solve a lot of the world's energy problems. But I found his prediction of the return to the horse-and-buggy for in-city transportation unrealistic, most uncharacteristic of Heinlein's predictions, as such means simply cannot support the population density of today's cities.

As some have remarked, even with these technological improvements, this is a more depressive outlook for humanity's future than Heinlein normally presented. Here he thinks it's so bad that there is no saving Earth, that the only place humanity can really grow and achieve its potential is on other planets, free of the all the cultural and political baggage that encrusts this world.

Friday is very charming and believable for most of this book, though a decision she makes late in the book doesn't ring quite true. The obstacles she faces should make people do a little soul searching about just what it means to be human and about prejudice in all its forms. And the world she has to live in might make people realize that if they don't do something to change some current societal trends, it could become our future. This is not his greatest book, but with its high action quota, its very personable protagonist, and its strong relevance to the world of today, it's a most worthwhile read.

---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Smoke the toke that Jesus smoked ANGEL STICKS: Guaranteed noncarcinogenic, 12 Jun 2014
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
This mostly light-hearted book begins with a woman being subjected to a rape and a beating in an effort to get information from her, but the tone taken makes it almost incidental. She is a courier for a large corporation and in fact is an AP (Artificial Person). Nothing bad can happen to her, however, because she is trained to withstand almost any kind of attack. Sister, perhaps to Lee Childs hero? Quite why we had to have a rape at this juncture soured the whole thing for me. No mention is made of any injuries, a quick visit to the corporation’s doctor, and she’s as good as new, in spite of having a nipple cut off. Okay, maybe Mr Heinlein has to get something off his mind. We are in the realm of fantasy edged with, when it comes to space travel, some nifty bits of techno-speak. But Friday, as she is called, isn’t real, so why should we invest our time in her?

There is a fairly interesting plot and a few escapades and I suppose it may enliven a dreary day, but I couldn’t get too interested in such a nebulous scenario. Let’s face it, if you have to have someone raped, the least you could try for might be a few doubts about the morality of the thing. The plot looks up a bit when Friday decides she will escape from almost certain death by losing herself on another planet. As far as I’m concerned she’s been on another planet all along.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Time Friday, 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
"Friday" by Robert Heinlein is an entertaining Science Fiction book that centers around a man-made engineered creation who has it all. Friday is a character who has great brainpower, beauty, impeccable fighting skills, and is popular with both men and women. There was at least one circumstance in the book that I took issue with. For instance, pages 9-10 deal with Friday being raped. I understand that the author probably meant well when writing a character who can supposedly force herself to act like she likes it. However, the only issue with this rape inclusion is that even with fiction writing, the questions raised from the incident would potentially muddy the waters of the hurt that some other rape targets may have suffered. Aside from this caveat, there are also some controversial circumstances in the book that were ok with me. For example, on page 40 Friday is asked about her marital status and the number of husbands that she has. This was also alluded to on pages 48-50 where Friday is given a choice of joining a marriage unit that consists of at least two wives(aside from herself) and three husbands. Yes, the multiple marriage concept does sound far-fetched but I humbly predict that it may become an actual reality within the next 300 years at the most. For this reasons, "Friday" by Robert Heinlein is a classic science fiction book for those who are open-minded to potential scenarios in a futuristic society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable read, 13 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Friday (Hardcover)
This is basically a good read. As usual with Heinlein you have an entertaining story which is examining some fundermental societal views on topics such as sexuality and racism. The point from which these are examined is dated, so it actually shed some light on the world view of America at the time the book is written. There are some themes which are repeated from 'Door into summer' that is a liking of cats; and aslo some themes from 'Job a comedy of justice', namely passing of favours from stranger to stranger. No Heilei's best book but well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A study in the need to belong, 10 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. Timothy W. Dumble (Sunderland, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
I was motivated to read this work having read a reference to it in an essay by Asimov in his collection 'Gold' and
having never previously read any of the work by this, one of the doyens of Science Fiction.

First impressions are of a some what dated piece of fiction crafted in an increasingly bygone age -the 1980s. 'Friday' is unquestionably old school even for 1982 when compared to the emerging cyberpunk work of Gibson and Sterling .A glance at the publishers list of current best sellers in my NEL edition sets the novels context clearly:'The stand','Dune','The Fog'.Leaving aside the somewhat 1960s liberal approach to sexuality,'Friday' still has much to offer the contemporary reader however.

This is a stylishly written, pacy page turner in the style of Dan Brown and is a unique blend of SF and spy thriller.At the heart of the narrative is the struggle by the eponymous heroine, an Artificial Person to find an identity, to become accepted and to belong - something all readers can identify with.

Unquestionably Heinlein has influenced the writng of contemporary writers of this genre.There are striking similarities between the tone and ideas developed by Bacigalupi in 'The windup Girl' and 'Friday', both are set in post modern worlds,plagued by energy shortages, ruled as much by corporate elites as by nation states and populated by artificial people.Indeed Heinlein's notion of a corporate nation and terretorial nations seems particularly apposite in a modern world where nation states are increasingly crippled by debt whilst global corporations continue to prosper.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly absorbing, 20 May 2005
By 
This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
Friday Jones is a combat courier... and an artificial person. That is, she was conceived through genetic engineering. In the world in which the book is set this makes her a second class citizen, and allows some interesting parallel thoughts about slavery. But mostly this is the story of an insecure but very strong woman through dangerous missions, world upheaval, divorce and personal revalations all the way through to a surprise happy ending. I read it again and again because the character appeals to me for some reason.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One of his lesser efforts, 22 Mar 2013
By 
This review is from: Friday (Paperback)
Friday contains many of the elements that make Heinlein such a great writer - primarily, his ability to spin out a believable and intricately detailed future society without having to beat the reader about the head with endless technical descriptions. So there is no great discussion of what a "semi-ballistic" is or how it can get one from anyplace to anyplace else in an hour or less, or of how the flying cars work, or any of that - the focus is on what these kinds of things have done to society and how people live in this world, which is as it should be. Also on display is Heinlein's usual political slant, with some talk of the evils of taxes and how working for the government is inherently immoral, and whatnot. You may agree with that, or may not, but he doesn't really belabor the points and for the most part it just comes across as being how Friday thinks about things rather than being handed on down as immutable truth, as some of his books do. So even if you think he's wrong, it's still interesting in that you are learning how Friday thinks and acts.
It's also known for the controversy it generated over the sex. For the most part I don't find Heinlein's attitude towards sex of "ideally, anything between consenting adults goes" to be especially shocking - I agree with him. But the flipside of that is that since I do agree with him I don't really need half the book to win me over on it, and so the endless depictions of Friday wanting to jump into bed with most everyone she meets - or they wanting to jump into bed with her - gets kind of tired for me after a while.
But that leads into the book's worst flaw, which is that Heinlein seems to have forgotten to put an actual plot in here. The whole book is pretty much just a series of things that happen to Friday, and for the most part those things are her jumping from relationship to relationship. There are broader events happening - the balkanized world Friday lives in is undergoing some kind of revolution for about half of the book. But we don't really learn a great deal about it. Friday isn't really involved with any of it, she certainly isn't a factor in it happening, or a factor in stopping it. It's just kind of there in the background serving as a plot device to make it harder for her to travel around. I kept waiting to find out that she was some sort of unwitting pawn in the grand events unfolding, that she was playing some vital role without even knowing it, that would be revealed to us in the end. Only it never happened. Friday just keeps on bumbling around from one place to another, falling in with one crowd or another, with no rhyme or reason to any of it, and then there's a bit about how nothing else interesting ever happened to her and the book just kind of stops.
Is it a terrible book? No, it really isn't. But it is a weak one, by the standards of Heinlein.
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Friday by Robert A. Heinlein (Paperback - 1 Mar 1983)
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