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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is my FAVORITE HEINLEIN book, 2nd Only to GLORY ROAD!! For those who condemn this work, perhaps they haven't grasped all the concepts behind it? Although it is true that Heinlein's early works are his best, this IS ONE OF HIS BEST BOOKS, BAR NONE! I first read this book over 20 years ago, not long after it was first published, and I am HAPPY to read it again today in July 2010! I have give COUNTLESS paperback copies of this book to friends throughout the years, as it is one story I most certainly can read and re-read. If you are debating on whether to buy or read this book, then Buy the paperback, or borrow from a library! For less than the price of a Movie ticket for 1, this story will grab you from the start, and PULL YOU THROUGH THE ENTIRE BOOK.... You can't go wrong with this book. It is one of the books I Always Keep on my shelf.... It's a GOOD READ!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joe nichols jr
My old copy had fallen apart from so many readings. So I ordered a new copy. and I just put together her "boss" with Heinlein's earlier work with him which I had not read and now have read.
Great science fiction author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a superb book from the brilliant mind of Robert A. Heinlein. And Friday is the most interesting heroine that anyone could have the pleasure of teasing their fancy. Yes, I'm praising this book! I took one look and was hooked. On adventure, on action, on love of the heroine. Boy, did I cheer her on! I couldn't help myself. I wanted her to succeed. I wanted her to be happy. Of course, with Heinlein you have to mull through politics, sex, different marriage, science, space, until you get to the heart of the heroine's life. I'll let you fill that in. If you read this book, I'm sure you'll be entertained, and you'll enjoy the fact that you had the pleasure.
Podkayne of Mars :: The Door into Summer :: Citizen of the Galaxy (Heinlein's Juveniles Book 11) :: Sixth Column :: Double Star
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
l abdulaziz
I read this book when it was first published 31 years ago. Reading it now was like meeting an old friend and sharing the past/future together. Science fiction is the love of my life and even though I see through older eyes now, the genre remains true. Great read, then and now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was very unique read and one of the more politically interesting of Robert Heinlein's books. It delves into the basic ethical dilemmas surrounding the equality of people on a version of Earth with everything from democratic to imperialistic political views. The main character is basically a sentimental "wild cat" as she is referred to in the story. She loves kittens and easily falls in love with others, yet can kill a man at lightening speed with her bare hands when necessary. A good read for fans of science fiction and/or political commentary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amer salameh
Sexist as all get out and by today's standards somewhat offensive in parts but simply a lot of fun. The elusive Boss steals the show. Writing is fast paced and well done and silky as a good rollercoaster ride, something the current batch of so called sci-fi writers (with a few exceptions) should consider as they churn out stuff that would embarrass the old pulp fiction writers. Re-reading it after all these years as I'm using a quote in my current writing project. A real joy ride.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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 slightly decadent society. 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.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer buttkins
This is possibly Heinlein's BEST work. Think of the character Summer Glau portrays on Terminator, and add some Human qualities. I have always wondered why it is not made into a movie...
This book ROCKS...!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah rose
I first read the book when I was in middle school and some of the adult oriented content went right over my head and I still loved the book. I have read it over again a couple of times since then and I seem to get something new out of it each time. Robert Heinlein was a truly gifted author and quite frankly some of his male/female relationship ideas make more sense to me than what is customary in most of our "civilized" world today. The story line is still relavent today and it only takes a little imagination to see the world taking shape in a similar fashion. I am sure I will read it a few more times before I leave this veil of tears. I just wish it was available as an ebook.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Unquestionably the weakest story line and poorest character development that I have ever seen in a Heinlein book. Nothing but sex, sex and more sex in a purely unbelievable future setting. I am a huge fan of the author, but this one book is not worth the read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
travis w
The books main character was well written and very sure of herself but definately female and very sure of herself.
If the cover is any clue as to her looks then her own description of not being any thing memorable is not accurate.
I don't want to put in any spoilers so i will just say-you will find out all about her in the first few pages and it will explain a lot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tina shull
Reads a lot like “I Wii Fear No Evil” but better. It’s a little off putting in terms of the too prevalent sexual references (which make it inappropriate for younger readers). Still, it has all of the depth that attracted me to Heinlein 55 years ago. A word about the Kindle edition: I wonder if any human actually reads the end result? There are far too many errors that I attribute to scanning.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This book was a Hugo and Nebula nominee. It must have been a slow year. The story follows Friday Jones, a laboratory created artificial person who works as a specialist courier. On return from a mission to the moon something goes very bad and Friday ultimately finds herself cut off from all she knows. The story, told in first person, follows Friday as she attempts to reconnect with her old life and find her footing in her new situation. The story is ok, a decent read. I found the ending a bit of a dud and some characters were acting, well, out of character. Be aware this is typical late Heinlein: sex, sex and more sex. Also, I absolutely detest the cover art of the Kindle edition. Someone must have been paid by the number of eye searing colors the could use.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Friday is a genetically engineered human, a super-genius with super-reflexes, disease immunity, and gorgeous looks. Ok, interesting hero. But, Heinlein does a horrible job of making anything believable. Friday is viciously gang raped, tortured and mutilated because of her job (courier for a shady character later referred to as Kettle Belly). To recover, she goes to her NZ group family by marriage, where she is required to have sex as the men in the family wish, but when she tells them she is an artificially created person, they divorce her. So, Friday calls a sexy transport captain who welcomes her into his group family spread across NZ and Canada. But, global tragedy strikes, caused by warring corporate factions. Friday flees Canada to get back to Kettle Belly, but can't find him, so she returns to Canada, missing out on hook-up sex with a random traveler because he chickens out due to his being an artificial person and not wanting to hurt her. Kettle Belly finds Friday, reassigns her to spend her life browsing computer networks and exercising, she makes brilliant predictions from little data, then Kettle Belly dies of old age, his organization terminates, she hangs out with some other ex-employees, more brainless sex, then is hired as a courier to a distant planet, discovers she has been implanted with the future heir of a rich distant planet, decides to escape to nearby planet because of course her employer will kill her after transplanting the fetus from her womb to the actual queen's at destination planet (So how does THAT work? Yank the umbilical cord as if women have built-in USB ports for umbilical cords?), she finds sexy pilot's family is also relocating to nearby planet. Friday, her artificial person maid/minder, and her artificial person rapist turned bodyguard, join sexy pilot's family. Friday lives happily ever after as a housewife/child minder. That's it, Heinlein? Supergenius becomes housewife? Bleah. Nancy Kress, Beggars in Spain, is an infinitely better exploration of how an improved (sleepless) human relates to the rest of humanity. Read Beggars, skip Friday. You're welcome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Actually, this one surprised me. It's a bit different than anything I've ever read by Heinlein. He really spent much more time on character building in this novel, rather then spend so much wasted time on descriptions of badges, uniforms, protocol, etc. Very believable future spy type stuff!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Heinlein in his writing prime! The "Grand Master" of Science Fiction creates one of the strongest and most interesting female characters in the history of fiction, even if she is only an "artificial" human. Although the reader may be a bit nonplussed when Friday kills a man on page one, and stuffs him in a locker, don't give up, all will be revealed. I LOVE Friday! She is my favorite female character in all of the fiction I have ever read. And, my best estimate is that I have read over 7,500 books of fiction, a book every 3 days on average, since I was 15 years old.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I’m generally fond of Heinlien. I skipped this book when it first came out because friends said it was terrible. And they are right. The writing is fine. There are interesting ideas. But the plot lurches and staggers . Worse, I just don’t care about a single character. Friday just doesn’t make sense . She has no real feelings, other than considerable sex drive. How can she have no real curiosity about her boss? Why does she does ever wonder about his morals ? Meh, save yourself , read something else.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
"Friday" by Heinlein is written in 1st person from the viewpoint of "Friday." Friday is ab artificial person, female, and a sort of under cover courier. In the beginning of the book she is gang raped, beaten, and abused. Yet, somehow that does not seem to alter her sex drive or her emotion. I found that extremely unrealistic, as the plot suggests that Friday really is a human, just with a different origin.

The female characters in some other Heinlein books are adequately believable, but not in Friday. I felt a sexist undertone in the whole book.

Long and rambling speeches are made by various characters, and that gets really boring.

S-marriage is a big part, and that basically is a group marriage with multiple husbands and wives.

Throughout the whole book there was a feeling that Heinlein just did not respect women much. It was not just some character's view, but more the way the females were written about and described. Admittedly, Heinlein was born in 1907, and that must have affected his views, but his books from the 1950s have better female characters.

I found Friday to be a HUGE disappointment. Boring, poorly done characters, hackney idioms, and just a not very engaging plot.

Rating, D-
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I read this in highschool. I really loved it back then. There are aspects of it that I really loved this time. But the narrator ruined the story for me all the way through. She had a boring voice for Friday and for everyone else male or female,she sounded like Katharine Hepburn. Nothing against the great actress. She might have made a great Friday. But she didn't fit the rest of the characters. I would have returned at the beginning but I thought I could overcome the voice and stay in the story. That didn't work out very well. so here I am at the end, wishing I would have just ordered it from the library and listenrd to the kindle text-to-speech.

As many of you know, I have been trying to read about strong women by women for a couple of years now. This was written by Robert Heinlein. I think he understood some of what women go through. But for something that is futuristic, Friday was not as strong as I thought she should have been, still bowing down to the male of her life (Boss) and wishes what all women might want to have in their lives.

I do think people should read this to gain insight. I just suggest text-to-speech or paper book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rachel rust
Friday has an intriguing premise: in the future, a genetically enhanced female with super strength, super intelligence, and super good looks serves as a courier for top-secret interplanetary missions. With this high-concept logline, the book sounds like a fun sci-fi adventure.

However, Heinlein fails to realize any of this intriguing potential. He seems unattached to the premise throughout and rather than committing to it and delivering on it, the book wanders through several fitful episodes and goes almost nowhere. There is a form of resolution in the end, but this resolution has little meaning due to the poorly structured plot.

Behind the premise, Friday is fundamentally about finding one's place in the world, family, and belonging. I appreciate that Heinlein challenged himself to give a superficial sci-fi pulp novel a meaningful theme, but he didn't go all the way. The book straddles two genres--sci-fi pulp and literary drama throughout, and rather than carrying off the experiment to integrate the two, Heinlein fails on both accounts.

The protagonist, Friday, has a clear need (family and belonging), but no concrete external goal glues the story together. As a result, the story is tangential and there's no sense of pacing or suspense.

It feels as if Friday is the cursory result of a month-long rush to write a novel. With a little more care and thought, the book could have been worthwhile.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa kelso
Friday would have been a throwback to Heinlein's "juveniles" of the 50s, and so far as characterizations and plot is concerned, that comparison is easy to make. However, like all of his later novels, the inclusion of copious sex and discussion of various forms of sexual partnership and marriage make this a novel for mature audiences.

The shining star in this book, as in his much earlier novel "Farnham's Freehold" is a strong anti-bigotry theme. Friday, our heroine, is constantly discomfited by bigotry, and fights her own battle against it via a third party situation. As always, Heinlein makes his points strongly and rationally, both in his familiar but riveting essays and as conversation and action in the story.

You'll recognize many of Heinlein's favorite (and quite welcome) devices:
* the wise older man/boss/tutor who seldom makes a misstep - as in "the Old Man" in "The Puppet Masters" and characters like Jubal Harshaw
* the highly competent hero (heroine here) who doesn't yet realize their skill and smarts, but manages to get through their trials
* infuriating wrong-headed people who are certain they are right
* instant friends and lovers with hearts of gold
* plenty of "out of the frying pan into the fire" action and story sequences
* convincing essays on the decay of society

Friday is, as all Heinlein stories, full of fun, and full of thought provoking scenes and essays.

Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
candice m tinylibrarian
The cover should depict a darker skinned woman. People who dismiss Heinlein as a fascist should be forced to read this novel and stranger in a strange land. In many ways the definitive novel about a females quest for identity. Makes all of his points by storytelling, rather than shrill preaching. If you are a far left writer a work of this quality makes you unsatisfied with your writing. The few future societies seem plausible as well.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dipesh pherwani
Well now, this is a bit different from the many other Heinleins I've read. It's dated 1982, just six years before his death, and I think he was deciding to pull out all the stops on his generally contrary vision of likely futures.

RAH specialized in upsetting preconceptions. So in this story the super-human "agent" (though initially we never quite know who or what for, and even at the end it's a little murky) anyway, this AP, "Artificial Person," is a woman - as are many of the fighting forces and mercenaries described. Yes, Wonder Woman had already been around for many years, and we'd also had the Six Million Dollar Man, but in Heinlein's world, there are whole enterprises devoted to turn out APs' by the score (or more likely hundreds, quantity not specified.) However, they are not regarded as heroic saviors: in fact there is a strong stream of prejudice against them, similar to the still current strains of racism targeted at various ethnic groups. In other words, this is a much deeper and more rounded exploration of the "enhanced abilities" concept than in the comic books or TV series.

Then we have the sex: Heinlein always had an "anything goes" approach in this department, but in this one he turns it up a notch. She is called "Friday," not to be confused with the "girl Friday" stereotype - or is that a dig at it? Anyway, she is perfectly fine with a lover introducing a friend to spend the night, and with random lesbian approaches: the basic notion is that some people make far too much fuss about it all, so long as everyone enjoys it, the more the merrier (though he does not seem so open about gay guys).

Of course there is a space angle: there are colonies out there. But most of the action takes place on Earth -and it is an interesting place. North America has split into multiple self-governing entities: there's the Chicago Imperium, the California Confederacy, BritCanada, Quebec....the rest of the world is on the same model. But their powers are matched by those of the multinational corporations (give him points on that one.)

Transportation is interesting: the private car has basically disappeared - just a few APV's - "Authorized Powered Vehicle." Otherwise transportation is public or horse-drawn: but the public type is very advanced. Hypersonic semi-ballistic shuttles link the continents, and "capsules" hurtle in high-speed "tubes" between cities.

He still only saw computers as huge central machines: yes, everyone had "terminals" but the IBM PC had only come out in 1981 and had given no promise yet of the multi-capable machines of today.

His other social views are fully on display: the attachment to codes of honor, the importance of financial openness and trust, the wariness of anything that is "Big Brother." In today's terms, the better side of Republicanism, but he would have been appalled by some of today's extremism.

Quite a read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This book explores themes that often reoccur in other works of Robert A. Heinlein: freedom, self-reliance, and polyamory. Unfortunately, it is not his best book. I would not recommend “Friday” as an introduction to Heinlein’s philosophy, even though you might still appreciate little gems of wisdom scattered across the text.

I don’t fully understand the root cause of all the heroine’s struggles with low self-esteem. Being a highly intelligent and physically strong genetically engineered human being, she would have to assume her superiority to other people. It would be the most logical thing for all artificial persons to form a secret society in order to help each other to get ahead in life. In a short time, genetically modified humans would become the world’s ruling elite. It would be interesting to read about that.

Admittedly, all the persons in this book look alike. If their names or occupations aren’t indicated, you will have a hard time to distinguish them from each another. They unfailingly manifest the best character traits. They are all sweetness and light. Both males and females are kind, sincere, generous, and charming. Even more, most of them are attracted to Friday, and ready to have sex with her. There is not a trace of ambiguity about them. Although I am not entirely against good characters in novels, “Friday” strikes me as psychologically unrealistic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fernando infanzon
I LOVE this book. There are a lot truths that many people are not willing to face. Heinlein had a way of making us think about what we are reading even as we are being entertained. So much of what we read "brain candy". The best thing about Friday is that she is her own woman. She defines who she is. She does not need others to tell her who or what she can be. She is what every woman should be strong enough to be.

By the way, this book was published in 1982. Friday is a female of the 21st Century or beyond. She may have been created in a way that will soon be possible with today's technology. Hopefully by the time that it is possible to create a woman like her, women will be able to be strong enough to be who they are inside, and to show it on the outside. We should define our own sexuality. We should define our own understanding of religion. We should define what we feel is success. We should strive to be our best self with no apologies. We should never be afraid to be our authentic selves. That is my perception of Friday. She is the woman that I wish I could be.

Yes the book is a bit unbelievable at times, but it is a work of fiction. Some of Heinlein's best humor is tongue in cheek...and that is what I like about reading his books. If you're prudish in any measure on the sexual spectrum, then you need to stay far away from his book. If you're accepting of others views on sexuality and open minded on the sexual spectrum, or at least tolerant, then enjoy your read.

By the way, a lot of his books are very left leaning in the sexual spectrum...and I'm okay with that. AND there is less sex in this book that some of those drugstore "romances" that so many supposedly prudish women buy.....
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Going through my old collection and re-reading the original Friday!

The book is still very entertaining but perhaps my viewpoint has changed in 30 years since reading it the first time. I find the concept of people looking down on the idea of AP's somewhat dated. Maybe the concept did not carry forward that well the last few decades? The future Earth is an interesting place which Heinlein fleshes out nicely here and there.. The characters are generally vivid with a few weak spots here and there. The swinging 80's sex is a touch over the top (is there anyone that Friday had NOT slept with in the book?) and detracts a little from the story in my honest opinion.

Still if you are looking for a good popcorn book to read on a summers day it is hard to go wrong here. Friday makes the cut and stays on the bookshelf, perhaps I'll re-read and post another review in 30 more years God willing ;-)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
natasha jones
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein

The Friday in “Friday” is an Artificial Person, an AP. This means that she was not conceived in the usual way but rather her conception came about as the result of work by skilled medical scientists who took the best genetic parts from a number of donor parents, not just two. The finished product ranks at the tip top of the intelligence scale. She also has superior reflexes, much greater endurance that most people and greater strength. She can move quicker, faster and with more impact than regular two parent people. This, when added to extensive training in the martial arts, gives her an unmatched lethality.
Which she needs in her profession as a special courier. She takes highly valuable bits of information from here to there around the globe or to Luna or to one of the nearby space habitats. Friday gets mixed up in some serious skullduggery and must use all of her smarts, quickness and skill in order to achieve simple survival.
We enjoy the tale for the action/adventure yarn that Heinlein wrote. But Heinlein being Heinlein, along with the adventure tale we also get a strong dose of Libertarian philosophy and his somewhat eccentric view of human sexuality and familial relationships.
In many of his works Heinlein poses alternate methods of organizing families. In “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” he supposes what he terms a serial marriage, that is people who marry into a group, a kind of sexual and corporate family. In “Friday” he describes what he calls an S group which is a version of the same kind of family. He also has some characters who practice polyandry, that is a woman with more than one husband. And variants of the same with no sense of sexual exclusivity between husbands and wives.
Perhaps the most famous of the Hippie era communes was 'The Farm'. After a couple of decades of experimentation the communicants found that a nuclear family with husband, wife and kiddies was the most suited to human nature and the successful fostering of children. Heinlein poses multiple variants on that theme, none seem like they would be sustainable in real life, at least not over the long haul.
He gives us a look into our future in terms of ubiquitous spy cameras that float around. We now have the cameras everywhere to peek at our public selves and seem to be on the verge of having them attached to what we now call drones. Add that to water beds, mechanical fingers and other devices first postulated by the great master of science fiction.
“Friday” exhibits the traditional Heinlein distrust of government and large institutions. I rather like that. He gives play to the ideas of self reliance and individual worth over the collective that we need reminding of often in this day and age.
I even enjoy the anarchic sounding word and phrase usage Heinlein puts in the mouths of his characters. They persist in calling close companions 'Dear' and the like. Certainly no one these days speaks like that.
Heinlein always provides warm characters and vivid action to entertain while he infiltrates our minds with his subversive messages. Good for him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lobsang yeshi
It's a generally-held tenet that the novels of Robert Heinlein are better before 1970 than afterwards; with few exceptions, his earlier works are his masterworks. Even some of his juvenile fiction novels (in particular, Tunnel in the Sky) are superior to some of the last novels he wrote. "Friday" is an exception. (Well, so is "Time Enough for Love", published in '73.)

Friday is a sort of "bildungsroman" or coming-of-age novel, with a female protagonist. While Heinlein attempted to write a number of female characters who were fiercely self-reliant, highly competent and independent, he never really features a woman as a main character. I don't consider this a flaw; many authors really don't "get" the opposite sex and their opposite gender characters tend to be dressed in a sort of "literary drag." In fact, Friday, who is a genetically enhanced created human being (presaging cloned or eugenically bred humans) is sometimes more male than female. Her sex drive, which is usually in overdrive, swings both ways, and she only gives a passing nod to heterosexual preferences as she hops into bed with anyone slightly willing at the moment. This is explained away as both part of her genetic enhancement and an effect of her psychological flaw, which is a dependency and lack of self-esteem caused by being raised as a non-person (enhanced humans or "AP's" are property, not legal persons in the balkanized and degenerate Earth states) and her upbringing in a commercial creche rather than with parents.

Friday is a courier who is expected to deliver sensitive information across turbulent national lines frequently in battle zones or at least in politically unstable situations. She works for "Kettle Belly" Baldwin, who is a familiar character (the charismatic commanding officer or professor or other elder wise man who shows up time and again in Heinlein's works.) Baldwin advises Friday to eventually migrate off-Earth and acts as a mentor for the insecure young woman.

Her adventures getting through her last mission for Baldwin and her subsequent adventures culminating in migration are well-written and exciting. Sometimes the novel meanders but it gets on course. The end, though a bit rushed, I think and containing a major flaw (don't want to give it away, but her mistake comes on the heels of her work as a brilliant savant, so you'd think she'd...but, I won't tell you but you'll see it, I'm sure, as you finish the book.)

Aside from the gratuituous but non-graphic sex and a lot of sniggering lesbian scenes which are more male fantasy than a true attempt at creating a bisexual character, this book has plenty of action and a lot of good elements, including a list of symptoms that characterize a moribund society (think; this was written 40 years ago and it's seeming all too true.) Well worth reading and probably the last good novel Heinlein wrote.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
murray woodside
Heinlein presents some interesting concepts: genetically created "artificial persons", group marriages, and a disunited states. However, I'm torn about the protagonist, Friday. She seems to have an artificial personality. For instance, she is unfazed by a gang rape. I suppose it could be explained away with her being an artificial person, but it makes her a less interesting and inviting character, and leaves Heinlein open to charges of sexism.

Another SF novel which has strong but real female protagonists is Cognition Chronicles: The Redstone Legacy
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
She is trained in physical combat and weaponry, incredibly strong, fast, and determined never to fail at her job as a combat courier. She is also sexy, loving, and beautiful (though she'd argue the latter). Her name is Friday...and she's an artificial woman. Simply put, Friday was created in a lab. Thus, while her appearance is completely human, she doesn't fully grasp human emotions, reactions, and customs.

Our story begins with Friday returning from a secret courier mission assigned by her employer, known only to her as "Boss" (until about 3/4 into the story, but no spoilers). However, she is betrayed by one of their own, captured, tortured, and gang-raped until she is rescued by operatives.

However, Friday doesn't appear to sustain much, if any, emotional damage from the experience. She is enraged, but not distraught, nor does she seem to suffer the deep trauma and shame that most rape victims experience. I'm not sure if this was due to her training and conditioning or if Heinlein merely downplayed that to keep the story moving.

Friday is almost immediately ready to get back to work but Boss insists that she take downtime. The next several chapters of the book follow Friday as she takes a vacation and ends up signing on to join an extended family in New Zealand. However, when they learn that she is artificial, the head of the family turns on her and breaks Friday's contract.

From there, Friday tries to return to Boss back in California but is sidetracked by terrorist attacks and petty wars between nations. While traveling through Canada, she finds herself taken in by a semi-ballistic ship captain named Ian. He brings her home and introduces her to his wife, a fiercly strong-willed woman named Janet, and her other husband, Georges. Instantly, Friday bonds with Janet, with whom she nearly makes love. She also bonds with Ian and Georges, with whom she does make love.

As the acts of terrorism force states and nations to close borders, Friday finds it ever challenging to return to HQ, taking on many identities, jobs, friends, lovers, and a few near-fatal adventures along the way. When she finally reaches Boss again, in a completely new secret HQ, he takes her off courier duty and places her in academic study, which is disrupted by events outside her control.

Friday then finds herself out of work, but not out of options. She takes one last courier job off-world, one that changes her life drastically and forever.

In the mind-boggling, incredibly detailed world that Heinlein lays out for us, sex comes free and easy. I lost count of how many lovers (men or women) that Friday slept with through the course of the story. However, Heinlein's writing is never pornographic, never erotic. It is merely suggestive and, at times, comedic.

National boundaries no longer exist as we know them. Many of the states are now sovereign countries as are the provinces and territories in Canada. New Zealand and British Canada are the best nations on Earth though society at large is in decay. There may even be another pandemic plague on the horizon. Polygamy and homosexuality are common and as accepted as the green of grass and the blue of sky. Artifical persons, however, not so much.

Families are managed more like corporations, their foundations seemingly driven by finance first, love second. Heinlein is known for presenting ingenious social commentary in his stories and that is prevalent in Friday. Although the term "internet" is never used explicitly, the information and communication technologies presented in the story are prescient.

Overall, Friday is an engaging read, drawing you into a society that, to be honest, may not be too far in our own future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
benjamin cross
The book starts out strong, then breaks its teeth about a third through. Yes, the backdrop is an awesome modern/futuristic world, but the story itself is pointless and, most of the time, inexcusably dull. Ahead of its time in many ways, it also (unfortunately) adopts the now-popular "bystander account" approach to story telling. The downside is, you don't actually get a plot of your own. The protagonist wanders about aimlessly for most of the book, completely at the mercy of forces beyond her control. If Heinlein set out to write a strong female character - admirable at the time - he failed miserably, because the heroine is strong only in the physical and, perhaps, emotional senses. As a participant in the global events, she is as passive and neutral as they come. She is very assertive on a personal level, but lacks clear goals (any goals) or beliefs and ends up a textbook pinball protagonist. Although she is destined for greatness, she ends up in the most traditionally-female role possible. Musings on the true meaning of "greatness" may help those with unrealized potential sleep at night, but to me it read like a waste of a perfectly good sci-fi universe.

Beside that, in his attempts at realism (or perhaps cynicism), Heinlein ends up sounding like a disgruntled divorcee in his description of the males in the book. The protagonist seems incredibly technophobic for an android (there is a LOT of the usual "machines=bad, manual labor=good" diatribe. Add some political author tracts and you get an annoying reading experience indeed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nathan n r gaddis
"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 these reasons, "Friday" by Robert Heinlein is a classic science fiction book for those who are open-minded to potential scenarios in a futuristic society.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Friday is certainly one of the higher-quality works turned out by the legendary Robert Heinlein in the '80s. It is a ripping good adventure story which contains most of the usual Heinlein themes: corrupt public officials; the competent and self-reliant man (or woman, in the case of this novel); an almost anarchic view of government and a citizen's place in society; audacious (for the time) anti-religious barbs; tons of sex, some 'normal' and some not; odd marital arrangements; etc. One thing that was touched on in this book that isn't usually explored by Heinlein, however, is the theme of discrimination. The main character, you see, the eponymous Friday, isn't "human." Or, at least, that is the sentiment of the people around her. She is termed an "artificial person" (AP) because she was genetically-engineered. Such people have questionable legal protection around the world and are regarded by bigots as inhuman. This bothers Friday, and although she does not set out to gain the approval of these people (a pointless and degrading quest for anyone), she does seek out friends who will accept her for what she is.

Friday is a courier for the enigmatic competent older man known only as "Boss" in a crumbling futuristic America which has been balkanized. We follow Friday on various adventures as she deals with the turbulent political atmosphere on the decadent future Earth.

There's not much to the plot, which is odd for a Heinlein novel. What plot there is is intriguing, however. The various characters are all well-sketched, although Heinlein has never been good at creating wholly believable female characters. This problem is compounded when the novel is a first person memoir from a woman. It isn't a huge problem, however, seeing as how such odd female psychology is generally a consistent feature of his writing, and one quickly remembers that Heinleinian women are a different sort altogether from normal women. Like Ayn Rand, his characters are very distinctive and atypical. The primary value of this book lies in the fact that it is very well-told. It is suspenseful, engaging, and genuinely difficult to put down at times.

Heinlein has written much better, but there are far worse ways to spend your time than reading this. Perhaps this should be approached as a fun and light snack, a warm-up for some of the heavier stuff written by him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rachel rush
I admit it. I'm a Heinlein junkie. I'm not sure if there is a rehab or a self-help group out there for me, but even if there was one, I'm not sure if I would even want to go to it. It's Heinlein after all! I've read everything from his lesser-known earlier works like "Orphans in the Sky", to his Juveniles like "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", to his Lazarus Long series, even is famous "Stranger in a Strange Land", to even his non-fiction work. And although I love them all, I must say, that Friday is undisputedly my favorite.

What makes Friday so alluring? It is a tale of acceptance and belonging and what is the human soul. It is a story of an "artificial person", Friday Jones, whose "mother was a test tube, and her father a knife". She is a professional courier (that is to say, she is a carrier pigeon for top-secret documents and important information), who seems to be normal and well adjusted in every way. However, underneath her cheerful and charming exterior lays a frightened little girl who seeks acceptance in the most desperate ways, but fails in her quest to find a family. During these chronicles, she discovers many things about herself. Small, personal bits of information, a strength and resourcefulness that she never knew she had. Eventually, she finds a family and as she says, she finally "belongs".

The story is quite simple, so why is this story so spellbinding?

Besides the beautiful blend of technology, history, and characterization, there is also a cohesive story line as well as a thrilling plot. Friday asks the age-old question, what is a soul? What makes a human, a person? Although she is beautiful, accomplished and talented, once she reveals that she is an AP, she is outcast and sneered at. She is considered less then a human, because she was not born, but created.

This question has undoubtedly been raised in the works of the Grand Masters of science fiction. Asimov took a mechanical point of view in "The Bicentennial Man". Phillip Dick echoed Friday, and the concept of APs in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" with the plight of the Replicates. So why does Friday tug at me so?

Because it is told from the human point of view. With the exception of Friday's superhuman speed and strength, she could be very well be anyone. She has the same fears and desires, and her childlike charm and insecurity makes her all the more human.

Her quest to find a family and for acceptance is a long and winding one. She is not on a crusade to change the world, nor to battle the great evil of prejudice and racism, but to find her niche in the world. Her caring and nurturing nature is juxtaposed with her lethal skills, giving her the dimension that is necessary for us to follow her story.

Friday makes us care about her trials, and her hurts become ours. And as a result, makes us ask ourselves what defines us as human, and feel the anguish at discrimination.

It is the ability to not only inflame, but also to soothe, that makes Friday so memorable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie ann
In all honesty, it really should be three stars instead of four but since "Friday" was a return to more classic Heinlein I gave it a nostalgic extra star bump up. It's not equal to Heinlein's work of the 40's & 50's but, good god, it's an improvement over his anoxic tomes "The Number of the Beast" & "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls", etc.

Heinlein is still unfortunately stuck in his strange sexually liberated yet repressed state of mind (girl on girl sex good, boy on boy icky) but I think that's probably failure to escape his era. Same with his understanding of women which, while limiting, is reflected by his take on men. We're not talking realistic behavior or culture here. It's adventure. And "Friday" is entertaining adventure. His periodic pedantic sermons are easily scanned over - they're only annoying if you take them seriously.

I've read this book a few times and there's really only one bit that I found negatively impacting memories of this book. Heinlein did a good job of illustrating how Friday's desire for family and home blinded her to the negative aspects of her first group marriage. However, at the end of the book I didn't see how her new one was different other than her saying it was. Since she thought the same about the first one nothing except Heinlein's preaching testifies to her achieving a real family/home. I would have liked to believe it by having something more to do with the story illustrate it. It seemed like she could still be being used and it made me sad for her.

Which is why I recommend this book. Even with its flaws I did really care for the character of Friday.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
carolyn jacobson
A great writer’s worst book. As Heinlein aged, his views towards women remained in the 50s. When he tried to write a main character who was a larger-than-life superwoman adventurer? Predictably suckish.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mohamed habashy
Friday is a courier. She's also a bio-engineered `enhanced' human, who kills indiscriminately, fights like batman, and has a libido Captain Kirk would be proud of. At first, I had difficulty getting into this audio book. Mostly because the male narrator's voice (what were they thinking? Could it really be that tough to hire a FEMALE narrator?) Was about as emotionless as a computer. Also, I was put off by Friday's character. She... Seems to be a sexual fantasy rather than a person.
After I overcome my aversion to Friday's personality, I found myself strangely compelled by Friday's world. While this novel is by NO means Heinlein's best, I was hooked anyway. Friday is a sympathetic character. I loved her relationship with boss, her friends, and comrades in arms. My only disappointment in this book, was I felt that Friday's love interest Percival was not very well developed. I also felt, that Friday failed to grow as a character and there were parts where Friday seemed to wander from relationship to relationship without much point. (I would've much preferred Friday have a few successful relationships rather than the DOZENS, which seemed to be portrayed).
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. Friday was a compelling character whose life and story was well worth listening too. Especially after the first few chapters. Word of caution, however: because of graphic violence, and rampant sexuality I would NOT recommend for sensitive or young readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mat wenzel

If you divided Robert Heinlein’s books into three periods, Early, Middle and Late, Friday would fall into the later category( see my Listmania, “Robert A. Heinlein Books, The Late Years”. Friday is about an Artificial Person (AP) who works as an executive courier for Boss, the Director of a super secretive organization.

Friday goes beyond a simple clone, she is an enhanced clone. “Her Mother was a test tube, her Father was a knife”. The story follows Friday for awhile and gives you a taste for the flavor of her life.
I enjoyed the story and recommend it for Heinlein Fans.
Gunner, September, 2014.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Ms. Friday is a courier in a world fraught with danger - wars, internal conflicts, trans-national companies operating outside the law, etc. In this world, the courier must be able to think fast, defend herself (with lethal force if necessary), and be very resourceful to get her message through. The twist: Friday is not a real person.

Heinlein takes an interesting premise for the basis for his heroine. She is (what we would call today) a genetically modified organism, and a test-tube baby. She has enhanced physical attributes (stronger, faster, higher libido) as a result. Heinlein's twist is that Friday, and her genetically-modified equivalents, are not granted human status, both in a legal and in a "moral" sense (they are told they don't have souls). However, as these GMO people are not obviously different, there is no way for the average person to tell who is a "real" human and who is a GMO. It is an interesting premise, one that is more relevant today than when the book was originally published. Unfortunately he fails to develop or much discuss the philosophical implications.

The strength of Heinlein is always his thought-provoking alternative worlds. Here we have a fractured North America, wherein Canada and the U.S.A. have split into (at least) the following countries: Quebec, P.E.I., "British Canada" (Ontario to BC), California (including the entire Pacific seaboard), Nevada, Texas (including most of the "Confederate" states), and Illinois. They all have different government systems from raucously democratic (California) to oppressively dictatorial (Illinois). We also have Heinlein's patented alternative family: the group family where several men and women are all married to each other and share themselves around. Interestingly, we have a world wherein homosexuality is irrelevant, yet racism is prevalent.

However, these philosophies and government systems are merely window dressing, without the kind of thought and detail that appears in, say, "Stranger in a Strange Land." I wouldn't mind except that the main story meanders around pointlessly for over half the book. If Heinlein's purpose for Friday's extended tour of North America was to introduce and make commentary on government systems, it would have needed no plot purpose. Instead, we follow the details of Friday's travels with no commentary and when the travel is done (100 pages later), the overall plot has not advanced one step. It's this sort of meandering that irritates the reader and detracts from anything Heinlein is trying to say.

Overall, the story is better and the characters more believable, than Heinlein's other female-narrated work, "I Will Fear No Evil." However, I would still not put this work in the top tier of Heinlein books. It was fun to read, I suppose, but ultimately it is not really worth remembering.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
carrie neuburger
I read "Friday" in the Spring of 1988 as a Sophomore in College. I played Queensryche's "Sanctuary" continuously as I read, and have desired to see a film version with Queensryche doing the soundtrack. If anyone does the movie, please don't butcher the story as with "Starship Troopers!" Friday is such a real protagonist, which is uncanny as she is, by the very nature of her being, "unreal." Strange how life imitates art in that the issues of engineered life i.e. cloning are now a reality. While possibly Heinlein's attempt to allegorize racism, Friday's dilemma of not quite being human by someone's measured standards could well play a legitimate role in the very near future. The setting of a collapsed Federal government broken into various city-states brings to mind the Pandora's box of extremist groups and conspiracy theorists who all predict a fall of the U.S. As a soldier in the United States Army, I see all of these issues in a somewhat muted form, but as probabilities too likely to be ignored. Heinlein was, to borrow the cliche, ahead of his time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashley brooke
FRIDAY does not compare with Robert A. Heinlein's acknowledged classic STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND. In his best, most memorable works, Heinlein does not simply tell a story, he creates a world that is at once bizarre, and at the same time, frighteningly plausible. In STRANGER, he created, in the tale of Valentine Michael Smith, a world of free love and religious needs. In STARSHIP TROOPERS, an outwardly simple tale of war on other planets masked an insidious view of a completely war-oriented, republican world. Heinlein's gift, besides being a master story-teller, is to explain the machinations of these cultures in such a way that you find yourself completely empathizing with the politics of the world. Only later do you come to conclude that the world was not as appealling as it seemed. To put it another way, Heinlein is a master at propaganda.
FRIDAY is not in the same league. It does create a world of the future that is odd yet easily believed to be possible, but it does not enrich this world with the same amount of care or detail as in his previous works. FRIDAY is a simple adventure tale, and a damn fine one at that.
FRIDAY, the protagonist, is a genetically enhanced superbeing, working as a courier for a mysterious outfit. The story reveals her travels through a war-torn but upbeat world, her family life in an S-group (an interesting variation on out-moded Mormon beliefs), and her profound lust for life. There is some thought-provoking discussion as to her place in society (Is she human? Does she qualify as having a soul?), but the story does not dwell on this. Friday handles every situation as it arises, welcomes each new challenge with open arms, and the story moves so quickly, there is little time for any actual introspection.
That is the one element that would have transformed FRIDAY from an entertaining read into a full-blown classic. If Heinlein had slowed the pace just a little, and let us dwell on some of the more alarming aspects of the society in which Friday survives, a truly astounding piece of science fiction would have resulted.
But perhaps I'm reading too much into it. FRIDAY is an adventure, a slam-bang road trip that never fails to entertain. Take it on that basis, and FRIDAY qualifies as a story no science fiction fan should be without.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anja manning
This is in response to an earlier review discussing the "un-PC" nature of Heinlein's works, and the reasons behind his views.
Heinlein is well known for the unconventional social commentary present within his books. Friday is no exception. I read Friday when I was fifteen. I am female, and I found many of the ideas expressed to be offensive. I also found many of the ideas to be ahead of their time and have adopted them into my own philosophy.
Whenever one reads Heinlein, or any author, it is necessary to place the work in it's appropriate cultural context. This does not mean that anything that is written is justifiable simply because it was considered "right at the time", as another review seems to imply.It means that in reading anything, including past and current works, we must understand the motives and bias of the author.
As readers, we have the ability to see more perhaps than the author intended. We have the discretion to take the good, reject the bad, and learn something about ourselves and the author in the process.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ingrid erwin
I came across the paperback version of this book in the $1 bin of a thrift store and was surprised I hadn't heard of it before. I thought this might have been a rare dud in his career, but thankfully, I was wrong. This could be considered a sequel to his novella "Gulf", and actually features Kettle Belly Bailey, and makes reference to Joe and Gail, the main protagonists in Gulf.

Within the first chapter of the book, you realize that this is not a typical Heinlein book. The primary character, Friday, is a young, artificially created human female. A departure for him considering most of his stories are from the point of view of young adolencent males. A few of the early events in the book will give some readers a shock (read it and you'll understand why), but shortly after, the book takes off into a typical Heinlein story arc of action and adventure.

Heinlein explores several subjects in this book ranging from communal marriage, overt racism, authoritarianism, genetic engineering, and sexual promiscuity.

Overall, a very good book and worth well more than the $1 I paid for it
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I had recently read Starship Troopers and loved it, so I was looking forward to reading another Heinlein offering, Friday. However the further I got into the book, the more I realized that this was not to be. While the book is enjoyable to read, it has no plot and no main villain. The ending is contrived and predictable. On the positive side, Heinlein’s view of the future was interesting as he talks about the disposition of the US and Canada. The main character is likeable but her sole raison d’être is to act as a vehicle for Heinlein’s political and social views.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Friday AKA Marjorie Baldwin is a gentetically engineered woman, an Artifical Person. This meant that she is stronger, faster, smarter, than the average human, and was also classified as a

'non-human' by society. Her Boss has chosen to use her as a courier (Friday of couse had no voice in the matter) and in the course of her duties has been captured and tortured. Once rescued and recovered she was on leave when she once again was separated from her employer. As Friday struggled to report for duty she was forced to travel across much of the world and along the way began to question just what it meant to be 'human'. Upon returning to work even more questions arose, questions that required Friday to journey to another world in order to answer.

This novel definitely demonstrates that RAH had finally overcome his male chauvanist attitudes of his early works. Friday is definitely female and in this work it is the men that are rather sketchily drawn. Heinlein had also totally embraced the 'free love' and 'open marriage' ideals of the swinging '60's. Friday rarely turned down an offer to share a bed regardless of the gender, or number, of the other occupant(s). This is definitely not one of RAH's juvenile books but as with all of Heinlein's works will leave the reader with something to think about long after the book has been put down.

For fans of RAH references are made to earlier works/characters. It also fits into the Future History universe but can be read as a stand alone novel and would be a good place to begin reading Heinlein's work. Any fan of RAH's work that has missed this one so far is in for a treat.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
If you've read Heinlein before and liked what you saw, Friday is a fun tale following the path of a genetically engineered courier / secret agent. It's an entertaining read, just the thing for taking a step away from the here and now for a while.
If you're unfamiliar with Heinlein, a warning might be in order. Heinlein has been called a misogynist or a lech by some, and this novel is an example of his work that might prompt such an assessment. At several points the story voices the author's attitudes about sex and gender relations. (A blurb on the back from the New York Times Book Review reads: "... she can think better, fight better and make love better than any of the normal people around her.") A quote from one of the principal characters sums up what seems to be Heinlein's view: "Geniuses and supergeniuses always make their own rules on sex as on everything else; they do not accept the monkey customs of their lessers." To be sure, this element does not dominate the story, but some might find it to be a turn off. I prefer to believe that Heinlein simply refused to constrain his imagination to technological visions of the future.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I rated "Friday" a three star story. I think I have read all of Heinlein's fiction and this is the story that I was most disappointed in reading. I wish that it was less dark. At the time, Heinlein was in a pessimistic and depressed state of mind. This shows more strongly in his nonfictional writings during this time. I am not certain but I believe Heinlein was not very well at the time and it shows.

I wish Heinlein had held off sending this story to his publisher. When he was doing better, he had the capacity to write much better and more optimistically about many of the areas that "Friday" explores. Nevertheless, there is fascinating material here. Some equivalent of the `Beanstalk' could appear within the next 50 years. `Artificial' genetically enhanced humans are less than ten years away from now (2008). And, an America split into several countries is a subject of several serious political writers.

I guess that I am hooked on happy endings. While the ending of this story is not unhappy, it also is not happy. Heinlein tended to be tougher on his heroines than on his heros. This novel is, partly, a sequel to a short story that also has a sad ending. Unfortunately for us, both stories are based on a `universe' that has more darkness for humans than most of Heinlein's `universes'.

Overall, this is a very `adult' book, even by current standards. I do not recommend this book for readers new to Heinlein. They should start with one of his earlier books.

Despite the negativity, pessimism, and generally dark tones, the story is fairly good. And, it is a fiction written by Heinlein. Genuine Heinlein fans will appreciate Heinlein writing on various philosophical thoughts.

I must add one more item, which no other reviewer seems to mention. At the end of the story, Friday is a surrogate mother to an interesting girl child. Hint: THIS is where the main plot of the story has gotten. This story is like going to see an old, stumblebum, stage-magician. As the act opens the magician (and the assistant) are bowing to the crowd. Then you see the assistant seem to slip something into the Magician's pocket. Then the magician does thirty or forty card tricks out of that pocket. And, finally bows himself off the stage. So, did the assistant slip a bunch of card tricks into the magician's pocket or was it the incomparible, and priceless, "Star of Inda" ruby? If you can read, this story says that it was the "Star of India". If you can't read, you get tired of the card tricks.

Sometimes, the real trick is better hidden than you may assume. Finally, just to leave you with something to bug you, please remember that 'Kettlebelly' Baldwin was a pretty good magician himself, among other things. Over the years, I have pictured three or four 'sequels' to Friday, because I am bugged as to where Heinlein seems to leave this story at the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sharon a
Boss of System Enterprises is a curmudgeon, a strategist who sends agents out like the old national agencies. He employs Friday as a courier. One who can defend herself, for there are others that want the same thing. She is thrown on her own resources when the organization disintegrates, and flees across the fragmented North America.
Dialogue tells much of the story, and combined with Friday's observations, make wry observations on changes in society. Many old institutions are gone, and racketeers operate freely.
Friday is hired by a shady operator to make one last operation. And her future hangs upon it.
Adult situations, alternative marriages are explored.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amanda pallotta
This story covers the memoirs of a genetically enhanced woman - Friday. Apparently just about everything about her is enhanced: Reflexes, Strength, Looks and Libido. The universe in which this story takes place seems to be populated entirely by heterosexual men and bisexual women. At times I really felt that the sex was detracting from body the story.
Even after reading the book cover-to-cover it was a little difficult deciphering exactly what the book was about. This was probably Heinlein's intent: make the reader have to think about what the story was. To me it was about the protagonist searching for some place to belong. In a world filled with people who treated her as an unwelcome artificial person, Friday was searching for some place to call "home", and some people to call "family".
I did not dislike this book, but I just couldn't connect to the character. She gave up the opportunity to settle down to work, and gave up the opportunity to work to settle down too many times, and there was just no method for this I could follow. Additionally many loose ends are left poorly resolved.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
suezette given
I don't think Friday is up to par with Heinleins works, but it's still a decent book, and fun to read. It is a bit rough, as others have mentioned.
Friday is a courier, and is one of the best. She is specially trained to react with deadly force when her subconsious trigers her to do so to protect herself and her messages. These mental diciplines allow her to react with indeffrence and tactical stratigy to a gang rape, and other indignities. She's also a genitically engineered person, and is considered by most to be an un-person, even by herself. Her upbringing was one which taught her she was unworthy of being considered a real human, and so could never understand, or fit in with, real humans. In her journey she is finally able to come to terms, years later, with her status, and realise she really is human. But, her self-degridation is painfull to read at times.
This is also a treatice on racism. Although I found the level of racism to be unrealistic, I have a hard time beliving that racism would progress to this extreem condition in the future.
There is a high level of casual sex in this book as well, though not in detail. Friday sees sex as a fun activity, to be used to let off steam, to give a 'thank-you' to someone who has done her a favor, or even to not be rude by refusing.
An interresting read, some food for thought, but not one of the 'greats' of Heinlein. The main theme of the story is Friday trying to find a place to belong, where she can be accepted for herself. In the end, I think this shows the humanity in all of us. Don't we all just wish to find love an acceptance for who we are?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heidi galpern
Despite the science fiction techno-thriller plot, the real point of this book is its stand against racism. Heinlein created a character whose genetic material was synthesized from many different, though all human, sources. In the world of this story, this makes her an "artificial person" and not entitled to full human rights. The plot then follows her around a Balkanized future world of near-anarchistic states and ultra-powerful corporations, and ultimately beyond Earth. But Friday's ultimate quest is for a family that will put aside its prejudices and accept her completely.
The real lesson of this book is quite simple: we are all human, regardless of our genetic mix, and racism is baseless nonsense. In case the metaphor of Friday the artificial person was too subtle for some science fiction fans, Heinlein beats us over the head with a subplot about a white family that disowns their daughter for marrying a Pacific Islander.
Many great Heinleinesque touches fill out the story, including some lessons on genetic engineering, and satires on several North American subcultures (most notably California and Quebec). Friday's observations on the dangers of credit cards, and the ability of people to trace your life through the worldwide computer network, are hauntingly apt considering they were written in the early 1980's.
About the only point where Heinlein drops the ball is with Friday's reaction to her rape, and her reaction when she meets one of her rapists face to face. Definitely an embarrassment for Heinlein, but if this doesn't make you throw away the book in disgust, the rest of the book is quite well done.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Among the top hard science fiction stories I've read, this was one of the first, and the only one I'd finished, upon first picking the paperback up, in 7th grade. I found it in a classroom at school, in 1982, and have it to this day, and the hardback, and the Samantha Eggar, abridged audiobook. I look forward to getting the unabridged version.

Interesting to note the similarities between this work and Bladerunner, as they both appeared in '82. Since it likely took Heinlein at least a year to write this huge tome, with input from his wife, inspiration for Lazarus Long's wife, I would guess the reverse-engineered BR, as opposed to its source material, likely was co-authored by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples (re-writes) with no idea as to the similar nature of APs versus replicants.

I would like to bring up Mr. and Mrs. Joe Greene, mentioned as one of Marjorie's ancestral sources. A previous reviewer mentioned not being able to think of any other pre-existing characters besided Baldwin,in Heinlein's ouevre. However, if you've read Gulf, the previous Baldwin adventure, then you've read about Mr. and Mrs. Greene, who helped Baldwin pull off a minor revolution. I believe Stone Pillow, unpublished(?) may have had one or more of them in it.

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls also has a direct connection: unless Heinlein was in the habit of replicating character descriptions upon unrelated people, the protagonist (eyepatch, cane) Strikes me as a parallel dimension version of Baldwin, since the character is a d-hopper. Just a thought. plus, the respiratory illness afflicting the space station the man ports into is the same one which laid Friday low for a period of time, on a space station. The same one?

One last note. A late 1987 sci-fi film, Star Quest: Beyond The Rising Moon, re-edited and cg-enhanced three years ago, into Outerworld, was heavily inspired by Friday, though with major changes. Check the similarities:

Pentan, an AP with a six-letter name, like Friday, is used as a courier, assassin, and seductress. At the beginning, she ambushes two returning Norwegian Interworld space couriers in Star City, North Africa, relieving them of their cargo, a data storage unit, with a pen which shoots a disruptor beam, severing the security lock on the box. She then interfaces, with a tiara, with the data unit carried by one of the two human carrier pigeons, soaking up info on a crashed alien ship, a Tesseran artifact, in a star system several light years away. It's the second such ship, found by a Norwegian Interworld satellite. Tesseran culture revolutioized humanity's relationship with space, much like Shipstone crystals changed the lives on humans in Heinlein's book.

Her corporate employer, Kuriyama Ent., sends her minder, John Moesby, to meet her. After leaving him on a monorail platform, Moesby activates the 'stroker', which will cause a neural implant to kill her by edema within 72 hours; to prevent this, she needs to travel to Inisrfe, a planet in the Halcyon system.

She hires Harold Brickmann, a spacer, to fly her. After beating two bruisers, Mr. Beaufuss and Tebrook, sent to get money Brickmann owes (legitimately) to their boss, Pentan then saves him from her boss's thugs, led by Moesby, who is sent packing by Pentan after she kills two troopers by hand. She disposes of the corpses, sending Brickmann into a state of mild panic and shock; Brickmann goes to call the police on Pentan, but is chased down by a trooper. Pentan runs up behind the thug, chasing Brickmann across a footbridge, judo chops him on the throat (sound familiar?), and brings down Kyle, one of her teachers in a flying car, piloted by a Kuriyama trooper, with the dead thug's machinegun. Upon takeoff, she levels with him as to her genetic origins, later prompting a memory sequence of her training and presentation before her new boss.

She and Brickmann travel to Inisfre, followed by Takashi Kuriyama's carrier, the Promethian, hauling several Tulwar fighters. Brickmann watches Pentan as she sleeps, making sure she doesn't die from a massive cerebral hemorrhage kickstarted by the handheld device Moesby used in Star City. Pentan is freed of the stroker by her ethics and philosophy teacher, Robert Thorton and his wife Rachael, who run a terraforming operation set up on the out-of-the-way planet by Kuriyama as punishment for being a subversive influence within the corporation and Kuriyama's former conscience, which the CEO no longer needs. Pentan's defection is seen as a betrayal of Kuriyama's view of her as his personal ideal. She finds the location of the second Tesseran ship, cons Brickmann into flying her there, for a cut, and they jet, literally.

Kuriyama lands on Inisfre, and takes over the complex, questioning Thorton while his soldiers search the complex for clues of Pentan's next move, then blows the ecolab up (dir. cut) with the Thortons still inside. Pentan and Brickmann disable two Tulwars sent to apprehend them, then escape the system.

Travelling through hyperspace, Pentan schools Brickmann on her deadly attributes, then they have sex, at Brickmann's behest, believing he can draw her out with a display of trust and intimacy; but Pentan, a genetically stunted AP, can't experience a full range of emotions like a normal human, so she gives Brickmann what she thought he wanted: sex, with no strings attached. This blows Brickmann's mind, so the two stay apart for the reaminder of the trip, though Pentan, from within the ship's shower, watches Brickmann, fascinated, infatuated, and maybe even a little saddened, by him.

Their final destination is Elysium, a planet further into the core of the spiral arm, where the crashed alien spaceship, the source of much of the space technology enjoyed by humanity, lies, unclaimed. Unfortunately, Pentan can't claim it, as her kind are unrecognized by the law (!), so Brickmann must make the claim for her, for which he'll receive a hefty cut.

Once they make planetfall, they find the massive ship relatively quickly; within it is a pocket void, with flying blips of light, a rocky surface, (presumably the planet surface sticking through the interior), and a startling, truly wonderful sight: a galaxy, floating in space, within the ship. Possibly a doorway to the galaxy, or universe exists within the ship, revealing the source of unlimited power for such an ancient alien construct. Truly beathtaking!

Unfortunately, here comes Kuriyama and his small corporate army. Moesby orders Brickmann's death and sends Pentan away, while Kuriyama returns to the Promethian. Pentan then double-crosses her employers, hijacking a Tulwar, blowing up a few more, startling the pilots holding Brickmann, who, in turn, kills them. He and Pentan make it to atmosphere, ditching and then destroying two Tulwars, then to space, where Pentan turns the tide on Kuriyama and Moesby, trusting Brickmann to help, fighting Kuriyama's spacers, including her flight trainer, George, in an asteroid field (newly added for the spec. ed.), before Moesby forces the gunnery officer to shoot a Tulwar carrying a nuke. Which nukes them... Douche...

In the ensuing explosion, Pentan is wiped from Brickmann's radar; despondent, he returns to the surface of Elysium, resigend to his fate of being alone, until he hears the sound of engines... Pentan... She and Brickmann can be intimate again, but she's still a cold fish, psychologically. The ship is theirs, now.

Quiet a departure fron the source material which, in all honesty, was used (they've never credited it) merely as a framework upon which the novice writer/director, former fx tech Philip Cook (in a fantastic debut), managed to hang a tight piece of cinema (shot in a Baltimore warehouse! ),which never gave way to a sequel (pity). Its low/no budget appeal is cemented by the acting and thoughtful writing and directing. It's a gem of the small screen, and one which should satisfy fans of pre digital vid sci-fi, and fans of Heinlein who will pick up on the little details, if they pay attention, which will be rewarded in short order.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brenda wharton
in friday, heinlein delivers more of his views on topics of humanity.
he deals with the concept of bigotry and bias, as evinced through the implementation of a central character more, or less, than human. friday has been gentically engineered (a concept heinlein uses more in his lazarus long stories), and subsequently, is viewed by the populace, as less than human.
bigotry is not discussed in great lengths, but heinlein does incorporate it as a subplot line.
the story itself takes some twists and turns similar to what heinlein does with number of the beast, but the book is much more accessible than notb. friday is a courier, who works for an emloyer she knows little about, and we follow her narrative through her adventures with her employer, and without. the story itself is fairly fast paced, and varies enough to hold the readers interest, jaunting between locations and introducing new characters on a fairly regular basis.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
obiora okwudili
One of The Deans very best. A very good story which to my delight is sort of a sequel to a very early RAH Story called Gulf from the book Assignment in Eternity. It was really great how it all fit together. Good writing and multiple plots make it a great read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tiffanie davis
This late-period Heinlein novel is at least better than the one it followed (_The Number of the Beast_). Most of it is fun to reread.

The protagonist here is an Artificial Person (AP) named Friday Jones, who works as a courier for the organization headed up by Hartley 'Kettle Belly' Baldwin (last seen in the 1949 short stort 'Gulf'). Friday's very cool all around but she has a little self-esteem problem owing to the fact that much of the world thinks APs aren't genuinely human.

Well, of _course_ they are; they're genetically engineered to be able to outperform us ordinary mortals in strength, speed, and intelligence, but they're human (genetically and otherwise) all the same. (So you should ignore reviewers' comments describing Friday as a 'cyborg'. She's no such thing.) And that's really the heart of this novel -- Friday's long and sometimes excruciating journey to _belonging_. (In this respect, the novel very nicely _undoes_ all of the Uebermensch crap Heinlein wrote in the 1940s.)

That's the heart, but the novel has a couple of spots on its soul. As other readers have noted, Friday's response to her rape (and her rapist) is more than a little jarring, and I don't think it's possible to explain it away as a result of her upbringing and genetic enhancements. And I could have lived without the several pages of astrogation and starcharts (although I do enjoy Heinlein's little doodle of a centaur).

The sequence of events starts off well enough, but it sort of rambles and meanders. Oh, well; most of it is interesting, anyway, although the secret-agent intrigue peters out partway through. And there are memorable characters -- nothing quite at the level of the Long family, mind you, but still some pretty interesting people.

Plus there's some extremely cool stuff in the background. Heinlein the prognosticator scores especially well here, creating a fictional analogue of the Internet (in 1982) and setting his tale against a backdrop of corporate infighting and political Balkanization that is almost never, but should be, credited in histories of cyberpunk.

I like it -- at least well enough to reread it fairly often. I wouldn't recommend starting with it if you're new to Heinlein, though.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lori gallagher
When I first read the opening paragraph, I couldn't put the book down. I read it straight through in a week. Over the years, it is the only book I give away to friends as a must read. I've probably purchased this 8 times now and learn a few things each time I read it. Somewhere towards the end, Heinlein spends a few pages going off on a tanget about mathematics and space travel. I've never understood why.

This book leaves such a good feeling to the reader after you finish it; better than a cup of coffee in the morning. Heinlein predicts so much of our future I'm amazed. I'm also wondering why this book isn't rated as one of his top 3 rather than Starship Troopers or Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein nails it with government, big Corps, and what to do once you recognize what a sick society looks like. I love the fact that the Friday is female. Also, it seems that those who love Starship Troopers don't really care for Friday and perhaps vice versa.

A must read. I keep reading sci-fi and Heinlein but I haven't found a better book yet. Well written with lots of humor. Funny how we now are talking about drones, big govt., and the latest outbreak. Heinlein had it down and continues to have an accurate view of the future. Maybe you'll burn down an electric eye of your own someday like Friday.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Friday is an intelligent, witty, sassy woman with attitude. It is unfortunate that a particular event in Friday's life involving sexuality takes up so much unwarrented space.
The "rape" which is refered to during any controversial discussion occured during the torture and interrogation of a captured intelligence agent - and as such, Friday called upon her training as an agent of an espionage agency to keep her head screwed on straight, in spite of what barbarous things these thugs decided to do to her. Let's cut out the nonsense and recognize Friday for the strong woman (and intelligence agent) she is.
Also, why is it that when a woman wants to be pregnant and stay home with the kids, she's "anti-woman," but when she wants a career and wants to remain childless, she's a '90s woman?

I recommend you go and get this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This book, although keeping with typical Heinlein themes, is set apart from his other books in one key factor... it does not integrate with his future history. While I do like some of the recurring characters in his other books, they tend to all have the same plot line. This book does not hook into the others and I think it is better for it.
It is a Heinlein book, however. Like the others, some key themes stand out: people of extrodinary intelligence being morally superior, tanstaafl (there aint no such thing as a free lunch) and wanton sexuality. Honestly, if this were all the book was, I would avoid it. However, like many of his novels, Friday has a great plot.
Friday is a novel which explores the idea of an artificial person designed to be better than any other human, a clone if you will, who attempts to find her place in society and save herself from its pitfalls. The plot seems very relevent today with the current controversy over cloning. While I do not agree with his conclusions about the issue, I think he does explore it from some interesting angles.
The book is written in first person and, although he tries, I do not believe that Heinlein writes a believable female character from that perspective.
Over all, this is not a great book, but it is a good book and it deserves to be read and perhaps reread.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matt lindsey
Story is great. I've reread this story multiple times.

The only reason it is getting four stars is that whoever translated it to the Kindle edition couldn't be bothered with spelling, correct words, etc...

Sad really.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Basically a character study of the title character as opposed to a ripping SF yarn starring that character, "Friday" combines old Heinlein (a tough, semi-fascist story setting, some military set pieces) with new Heinlein (a sympathetic view of the benefits of free love in all its forms). The novel presents a series of episodes where we see the saucy yet sensitive, skilled but modest Artifical Person known mainly as "Friday" confront a variety of personal and professional challenges.

A small warning: despite the pretty woman in the cute jumpsuit on the cover and the occasional talk about free love, the book is not all pleasant reading. For example, Poor Friday is subjected to a brutal multiple rape during the course of a mission in the opening chapters. Helping the reader get through that particular scene, however, is the fact that the title character is able to shrug it off so easily, even during the act. Not so easy to shrug off (for this reader, at least) is a later development, where Friday befriends and becomes very close to one of the rapists. The whole thing can be looked at two ways: Heinlein could be saying that rape is no big deal, so what's all the shouting about? But I like to think that his view might instead be this: rape is horrible, but women shouldn't be depicted as being fragile flowers who can never recover from such an assault- they're stronger than that. I do hope that the latter point is closer to the author's opinion on the subject.

Another curious aspect of this episodic, idea-rich novel is its emphasis on the role and importance of credit in the future. This book is positively fixated on Visa, Mastercard, American Express, investments, contracts, and bank transactions. Hardly a page goes by without an observation or discussion about what particular credit card should be used in what particular situation, the importance of good credit in general, the value of having different accounts under different names, etc., etc. In the novel's future vision, banks and corporations are the true governing bodies, so the book's emphasis on credit certainly fits, I concede. It's just sort of odd to be constantly reminded of your own credit status ("Is my Mastercard bill due next week?") as you're reading a science fiction novel. Scary, too, if Heinlein is positing that a your-finances-are-everything scenario is where the real world is heading.

In the end, "Friday" is solid and adequately entertaining, though sometimes a little dull with all its finance talk (again, the book's not all about free love). However, if you're the kind of person who in fact enjoys detailed speculation about where world finance and economics might be heading, you might get a little more out of it than I did.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer mcdonald
I have read Friday at least once a year since I discovered it about 1985 or so. Its plot moves with surprise after surprise. Narrated by the heroine herself, a strong and interesting cast of characters interact with her as do many clever and feasible weapons, conveyances, planets, and anatomical/biological situations. If such a world existed, I would only be happy in it if I could be Friday! Do yourself a favor: escape into a comfortable other world ala Heinlein at his very best!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cristina mj
Heinlein's classic tale of a combat courier and her adventures is no less thrilling upon multiple readings. The political and social implications of his futuristic society are well-thought out and bear the unmistakable Heinlein stamp. If you're a fan of his other works, you'll like this one. If your morals are conservative and your politics are anything other than libertarian, you probably won't like it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darlene comeaux
I get *really* sick of women who say, "Gee, science fiction doesn't have enough strong women!" and when a book like Friday comes along, with a strong, strutting, active woman in it, they all retire to their Sunday punch and chew on Heinlein for "skewed sexuality." Friday is in the grand tradition of powerful female fictional characters dating from (at least) the middle ages--Nicolette, who defends a french city from the Saracens; Spenser's Britomart, the female knight; Howard's Red Sonja. Et cetera. Heinlein says more about human prejudice and incapability to see beyond social codes in this novel than he had since writing _Stranger in a Strange Land_
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
linda ski
There are people who proclaim this as their favorite Heinlein book above all others . . . and I can see that simply based on the narrator, spunky Friday. She's earnest, loving, sensitive, just looking for a family and a need to belong. However, it's sure not mine. I liked it sure but after reading several other late period Heinlein novels I just got struck with a feeling that I've seen this before. The good stuff first: Friday is a courier working for an organization where she doesn't know what they do or why they do it . . . she's also an "artifical person" essentially genetically engineered and there's this weird prejudice against APs for some bizarre reason, since you obviously can't tell them apart. Sort of like the X-Men, the nornal looking ones at least. And that's pretty much it. The book starts out with something resembling a plot but quickly dissolves into a meandering, if entertaining mess . . . all showcasing what Heinlein must have thought as the perfect world. And in his perfect world there is sex. Lots of it. And it's obviously a perfect world from the mind of a male because every woman is bisexual (and I mean every!), every male is heterosexual, everyone sleeps with everyone for really no good reason ("Hey, you're hot, let's have sex!" "Okay!"). Friday is gangraped in the beginning and really doesn't seem to care all that much. The plot becomes fairly episodic as Friday careens from one odd situation to the next with only the most tenuous connections linking them . . . the world Heinlein creates predates the rumblings of cyberpunk by a few years but it still feels too antiseptic . . . but plot twists come literally out of nowhere, and impossible coincidences abound, as well as absurdities (come on, every loyal enemy agent instantly switches sides because Friday asks them really nicely?). Somehow Heinlein manages to keep you reading, even as you can't fathom why Friday is doing the things she does, she says she wants to settle down but then goes back to work, and when she goes back to work she claims she wants to settle down. Even worse is Heinlein's obvious to do things simply for the sake of shock value, I'm not talking violence, I'm talking brash societal commentary that comes from literally nowhere, the character just makes his point and moves on, like a good little mouthpiece. Don't get me wrong, this is an entertaining book, except for the digressions into sex and love and why everyone should do it, most of it is at the very least interesting even as it's going nowhere. It's like watching a car just riding around a very small circular track, fun to watch for a while but eventually you want something to happen. The fact that he manages to make all of this coherent and readable attests to his genius, even if this isn't the best example of it. New readers might find some new stuff here but those of us who have been through Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Time Enough for Love, and I Will Fear No Evil (especially that one!) will find that we've been here before and there's only so much you can say about a one note concept (free love) anyway before it gets tedious. But don't fret, new readers, the man has done better than this. Far better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A few decades into the next century, the world's superpowers, including the United States, will have balkanized into a number of smaller states, and the real world powers-multinational corporations--will have territory no broader than the lots their headquarters occupy. At least on paper, for their boardroom squabbles take on mammoth proportions--chess matches with the globe as the board. One contender loses a pawn and Acapulco vanishes in a nuclear fireball. Amid this capitalist/nationalist brawl, a few intelligence agencies sell their services to the highest bidder, and in order to act effectively, these agencies need strong, swift, intelligent operatives.
Enter Friday, a genetically engineered woman who can outfight, outrun and outwit any normal human. She works as a courier for one of the mercenary agencies, and we follow her exploits as she dispatches her assignments. But all is not well with this superwoman, for she has been conditioned from earliest childhood to think of herself as an "Artificial Person," which is nothing more than her brave new world's designation for "slave." Worse, every time Friday feels as though she has attained a measure of love and belonging (which she never got in the corporate lab that raised her), something happens to upend her world. Follow along on her quest for love--and watch out for assassins.
Heinlein penned this proto-cyberpunk novel in 1982, a few years before Gibson fired what is arguably the first shot in the cyberpunk revolution: Neuromancer. (One wonders how much Neuromancer's megalopolis "The Sprawl" owes to Friday's vivid and chilling backdrop.) And we find in Friday what is a normal feat for him but amazing for most any other septuagenarian novelist: Heinlein clearly and seemingly accurately extrapolates trends which still unfurl around us today. For example, he predicts an internet complete with multimedia and search engines long before it existed, and describes a leviathan called Shipstone, Inc., an indispensable and manipulative megacorporation highly suggestive of the Microsoft of today. He speaks of a world tendency for large states to splinter into many smaller ones a full decade before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. And Heinlein also riffs on the darker undercurrents threatening mankind, among them organized crime, pestilence and famine, and various forms of know-nothingism--including religious terrorism.
Friday is loosely tied to the novelette "Gulf," which appeared in Assignment in Eternity; the two works share a character, "Kettle Belly" Baldwin, and the motif of a secret society of supermen. There are enough big ideas and rousing action in Friday to satisfy any reader. ~~Beth Ager & Carlos Angelo
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vanessa guest
How about if she was not really human?
I think Heinlein does a good job of presenting a womans point of view, albeit Friday is an android and not really a "woman" in the first place. He touches on many social/political themes in this book, his future vision of California is a riot, I think perhaps he may be called in the future a type of Nostradamus.
I first read this as a teenager and loved the adventure, the sex themes and the overall story line. The second time I read this book, having been through many other Heinlein books and being older, I also enjoyed the commentary that I missed earlier.
I would recommend reading this book and 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', 'Stranger..' before going into the later much longer works of Heinlein.
I'll bet someone will make a movie based on this book someday and I am equally sure it will be botched and screwed up much like was done with 'Starship Troopers'.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This SF novel has a special place for me. The first RAH story I read was a novelette entitled "Gulf", in which we first meet his concept of the super-human, and in which we first meet those from whom Friday was genetically constructed. In the present novel RAH takes the concept a stage further and creates a remarkable heroine, at the same time human and more than human. The novel has its fair share of human characters, many of who are rounded and credible in their humanity. Plenty of sex and violence too, but none the worse for that. Two further comments: the subject of this SF novel is nothing other than the nature of the human being itself ... and following recent developments in genetics (popularly reported in Time Magazine) it is more topical now than ever.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darin clark
Heinlein is always worth the time, the ideas alone but the world he builds and the mindsets he explores are just worth thinking about. I don't always agree with him - but I always enjoy thinking about what he presents.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
uzma noormohamed
I read this book after it was recommended on some message boards I used to visit. They were saying how James Cameron (Titanic) must of gotten some of his ideas for Dark Angel from this book.
So I decided to take the people's advice and read it, I was curious to see what it was about. To tell you the truth it was the first science fiction book I read. I avoided sci fi like the plague, sticking with Fantasy.
At first, I couldn't read it. I found that the beginning was really boring and hard to stomach. Sure there were some good parts but a lot of it was boring, and so I stopped reading it for a long time.
Then one day, for whatever reason, I picked up the book again and started reading. After the halfway mark I was hooked. Don't judge this book on its beginning, it's a great book once you get halfway through. It's interesting and entertaining with a fast plot that kept me hooked, I couldn't put it down.
So was it worth the read? Ya, it was. It was totally worth it once you get past the beginning...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
diana aulicino
but a fun read. Heinlein seemed to keep getting hornier, the older he got, but doesn't let that get in the way of exploring themes that will soon be no longer fiction.
How far out is human cloning? Some scientists are promising (threatening?) to have it accomplished within a year, others say we are still a decade away. That's only ten years and that seems soon. It will not be a very long leap to get from cloning to designing Artificial Persons (AP's, apes). What will be their legal status? Their social standing? How will we be able to tell natural people from AP's? With Friday, we get to explore this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zazk juan de dios
I read this book when it first come out and it has never ceased to captivate me. Some of the technology in this book is here now but was thought of years ago. Some of it seems outlandish too. If you read into it well you see many parallels along the time paths that Heinlein created then in his own an what has come to be. If you believe in a conspiracy then some of it may seem very real and not fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I am a Heinlein fan, and this is definately one of the top five Heinlein books. Rife with social commentary, scientific factiods, and nifty ideas, Friday will hold the thinking person's interest easily and provide lots of curious and revolutionary theories to mull over afterwards. Beware, however, that this isn't as "tight" as _Stranger in a Strange Land_; it's slight lack of focus is the only reason it didn't get five stars. But don't let that keep you from buying this one; it's an enormously fun read- well worth your time and your dollars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer brush
The whole point of fiction is that it's a fantasy that makes you think. And the whole point of science fiction is that it's also supposed to be plain F*U*N. "Friday" fulfills both criteria. Yes, there're some rough edges; so what?? As a guy who enjoys reading strong women, I loved this book, and wish I could find a girlfriend with this combo of strong and weak qualities. She's down-to-earth, not at all mean, practical, sweet -- what's NOT to like??? Let's call "Friday" a guilty pleasure, just relax and enjoy it.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
brock wilbur
I can't say I really hated this novel. It just didn't really seem to be going anywhere. The main character didn't really have a clearly defined objective, and the book just sort of meanders episodically, rotating supporting characters in and out throughout the novel like a revolving door. He does keep the action moving, though. The free-love world Heinlein seems to idealize is a given in his later novels, and so I wasn't as shocked by it as some of those who reviewed this book before me. There are a couple preconceptions one must be prepared for in the Heinlein universe: sex is fun and everybody likes to do it as much as they can; and nobody ever gets jealous or hurt by their lovers having sex with other people.

Even expecting that in a Heinlein novel, it was still a bit of a shock when the main character, the narrator, gets gang-raped within the first few chapters, but doesn't really seem to mind. Although the book isn't erotic in the least, Heinlein's casual acceptance that everybody is sleeping together can be unsettling to an unprepared reader.

Friday is a genetically engineered human (not a cyborg, as one of the above reviews states), although for some reason the society she exists in does not recognize genetically engineered humans as real people. To me, it was hard to swallow the idea that people would hold this prejudice, because there wasn't anything that was specificlly non-human about her. Since much of the things that happen to her depend on accepting this premise, the book was a little less enjoyable for this reason.

If you're looking for a book which doesn't offer any real deep thoughts, but just takes the reader on a winding path of near-constant action, then Friday fits that bill nicely. There is not much more to recommend it, though.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alli b
Heinlein has long been one of my favorite authors, and I was pleased that "Friday" didn't let me down.

"Friday" is an artificial person. She was bred in a laboratory from the finest genetic material available, and she works for a free-lance intelligence agency as one of their top couriers. Raised to believe she is less-than-human, Friday is constantly assaulted by "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", driven from situation to situation in an adventure that is as much a tale of her discovering her worth as a human as it is a futuristic spy thriller.

My wife takes exception to a couple of items about how "the Dean of Science Fiction" wrote his women, at least in this case. She (my better half) feels that Friday doesn't react as a real woman would to some situations... well, one in particular. Personally, I think he created a character that is interesting, often charming, professionally tough-as-nails, emotionally vulnerable, and quite lovable. And given the premise of her origins, I find I can accept how Friday behaves. (Then, I'm not a woman.)

Heinlein has created a character that the reader can not only cheer but empathise with... highly appealing on a number of levels.

I can re-read this novel every year or two and still be just as effected as the very first time. It's a story that feels like visiting an old friend. That's good writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Hey, what more do you need? Listen, this is not going to win any Hugo awards, but it is a fun, enjoyable futuristic adventure through Heinlein's wild imagination. A rollicking Bond-like female cyborg protagonist loves and kills her way through a typically Heinleinian future, replete with rogues, double agents, robots, despotic leaders, and that rare good human.

Any book that can advertise with a straight face that it was Playboy Book Club's alternate selection of the month can't be all bad.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christine palmer
In Friday, Heinlein presents a character that I find more compelling than Lazarus Long. Friday is a courier, and she is quite frank and jovial about anything but social rebuffs. While the presented story is compelling enough, the true appeal of this book is in the deep, rich background story. It is barely noticeable in the book proper, but when you look, you find a story rich in intrigue and depth. Five stars is the only possible category for this masterpiece, which is quite probably Heinlein's best.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara ahmed
Here's another wonderful Heinlein story where he creates a very believable alternate reality. Again, his main character is a strong, smart and beautiful woman. She is treated with prejudice because she is different, but refuses to let that deter her and creates a better life for herself with this difficult world.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elizabeth turnbull
I'm not a big fan of Heinlein; nonetheless, this is one of my favorites. The characters live, the plot is plausible given the world they are placed in, and the world is not implausible given a beginning in the present and certain assumptions, none of which stretch credulity overfar.
A must for any Heinlein fan, but more than that, I'd recommend this book for any reader of science fiction who isn't all that fond of Heinlein, but who is willing to give him one more try.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Once upon a time on an Earth gone straight to hell, there is one really nice, very pretty superheroine who (alone among all her associates) has it all together. As sweet to her adversaries as to her friends, she trots about the ganaxy delivering contraband intel for a 'boss' straight out of Central Casting. With every modern convenience at her disposal, she's still faced with the very human problems of fitting in among normal people, balancing work and down time and stopping to smell the roses in a Bladerunner-esque world ruled only by money, fance gismos and mercinary expediency.
To those who say there's no plot here, I respond: There doesn't need to be! The action is always fun, as well as warm and soft (you're supposed to read it that way despite all the standard backdrop required of any sci-fi tale worth its salt). What's really sweet is that in Friday's world, there's no REAL violence (Don't be too literal about the actual words on the page, which are only there as pro forma window dressing). In fact, what makes this the best of the best is that Friday is fully as nice to her adversaries as to her colleagues. If you're a guy, you'll start fantasizing early on about being sent out against her -- (this is how Heinlein gets you involved, another mark of a great read). Like any good protagionist, Friday grows up along the way (though this part's a little underdone). Indeed, the only real problem I have is: How does she end up so well balanced in a world which clearly isn't?
One more thing: There's really no climax, and the ending is an ANTIclimax which doesn't fit the rest of it -- almost as if Heinlein had to force himself to give this really sweet superhero a rest, figuring he couldn't serialize her, which I guess he really couldn't. Understandable; I sure don't want to let her go. Imagine more Friday exploits for yourself. An A+ for sure!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erick cabeza figueroa
Who is the greatest science fiction writer of all time? Apparently a lot of people say Robert Heinlein is. If you google that phrase (which is how we decide things now) the first three images that show up are Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke, and Robert Heinlein (with Phillip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury rounding out the top 5.)

I've never read anything by Asimov, and I've only ever read 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood's End by Clarke, the latter being a book I was assigned to read in Advanced Placement English in 12th grade. I've read a lot of Heinlein, some Phillip K. Dick, and only a few Ray Bradbury.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "Greatest" and "Writer," at least. I noted that none of the people on Google's list were movie writers, but George Lucas' Star Wars is arguably the single most influential scifi work ever created. Melissa Mathison wrote the screenplay for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and I don't see her on the list. So we don't include "screenplay writers" as "writers" in this category I guess.

I was in the ER for a blood clot just before Xmas, replacing my annual Xmas flu with something decidedly more potentially-fatal, but nonetheless easier to have. I told that to Sweetie, just that way: I said I'd rather have a blood clot in my leg that might kill me without much notice than the stomach flu because I'd been able to live my regular life with a blood clot, only slightly inconvenienced: I missed no work, went swimming with the boys, and did almost all my usual stuff including eating fancy doughnuts during our annual Xmas Shopping Day Of FunStravaganza (TM), while with stomach flu all you can do is sit around and wish you were about to die because then it would be over. This story has a point. The point is this: To kill (morbid pun intended) time in the ER, I brought with me Robert Heinlein's book Friday, which I'd read a long time ago and was re-reading as part of 2016's 100 book.

The blood guy who had to take a sample to see what drugs would keep me alive until my insurance ran out (with insurance: 400 bucks a month for one kind of medicine, just to stay alive.) He saw the book, with its provocative (slightly) cover, and asked what I was reading. I told him it was a scifi book about a sort of created-human who works as a courier and is trying to survive a weird sets of coups in what's left of North America. Who's it by? He asked. Robert Heinlein, I told him. Never heard of him, he said. The guy was about mid-20s. I said Stranger in a Strange Land is probably his best-known book. He shrugged.

Number 3 on the list of all-time writers gets you a shrug.

I think the list of all-time writers is weighted towards 'golden-era' writers, and weighted towards those guys we think are important. You have to go way down the list before you get to Larry Niven, Douglas Adams, and Kurt Vonnegut. China Mieville and David Brin are on there. Alan Dean Foster and Nick Harkaway are not. Why not? Too recent? To few books? Not deemed weighty enough? I would be willing to bet that Adams has sold more books than Isaac Asimov.

Has Isaac Asimov Sold More Books Than Douglas Adams? A Thinking The Lions Investigation:

Answer: Apparently, yes. Wikipedia says that Asimov's Foundation has sold 20,000,000 copies while Adams Hitchhiker series has sold 16,000,000.

By sales alone, Jules Verne should be our most important scifi writer: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is said to have sold 60,000,000 copies. The next closest scifi book is 1984, which has sold only 25,000,000 copies. That is closely trailed by The Hunger Games trilogy at 23,000,000 copies. As an aside, I would rather eat a copy of 1984 than watch anything with Jennifer Lawrence even vaguely associated with it.

I once argued that you could tell whether something was truly great by how many people had ever heard of the thing. Greatness, I posited, was something that was known rather than understood, and if people repeatedly talked about something, it was probably great. (The counter to that is lots of things that are demonstrably not great like Donald Trump and the Zika virus are also well known.)(The counter to that is this: would you rather be infected with Zika or have Donald Trump be president? Answer in the comments.)

(I would rather have Zika. To be honest I would rather that Donald Trump have Zika than be president, and I could just go on with my life, but I had to choose one or the other.)

So sales are actually probably a good measure of how great a writer was, as is the fact that people still know who Jules Verne is even though he died three centuries ago.

Did you know that Jules Verne was also a poet and playwright? Why is a play writer a 'playwright' and a book writer is an 'author?' Verne quit being a lawyer to write, launching the Voyages Extraordinaires series, which was said to be 'well-researched," and I guess it was for the 1860s-1870s and actually nobody has ever proven that there are not people living in the center of the Earth, so take that.

Apparently one problem with the esteem in which we hold Verne is that his novels were written in French and are frequently poorly-translated as kidlit, so we don't think of him as a big-time author. Verne himself argued that he wasn't writing 'science fiction.'

Heinlein's books are the sort of books that someone would hold in high esteem. They feel as though they are worth it. They're mostly long, very talky at times, have some hard science in them and some science that seems like hard science but maybe isn't? The first Heinlein book I ever read was The Number Of The Beast, which has a lot to say about non-Euclidean geometry and mathematics and computer science and random numbers, but also features busty blondes sunbathing naked and trips to other universes and the like. It was pretty good-- a good mix between Heinlein's too-talky works (Time Enough For Love, e.g., which I started to re-read last year but gave up on as too boring) and Heinlein's more basic short stories and scifi novels (like The Puppet Masters, which felt non-Heinleinian). I had picked The Number Of The Beast up off the shelf of the UW Bookstore back when I first came to school here as an undergrad.

Stranger In A Strange Land is the one people who know Heinlein or know scifi or both remember, really: the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a man raised by Martians and then brought home to Earth who starts his own religion is, as I remember it, a great story full of vague references to sex, discussions of art and politics, and, ultimately, a discussion of humor that somehow works its way to a cannibalism scene about religion. So it goes, to take a Vonnegut line.

A lot of Heinlein books are vaguely tied together: The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and Time Enough For Love and To Sail Beyond The Sunset all combine with The Number Of The Beast to present a multiverse in which various dimensions exist including those dimensions which are created as fictional characters: a character in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress grows up to be in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, in which she meets a previously-fictional character she helped write stories about one time. It's all pretty entertaining and has the feel of science.

"Pretty entertaining and has the feel of science" is how I'd describe Friday, which feels like it's set in that same universe but makes no reference to any of the other books. Friday is an 'artificial person,' a human created by gene splicing to be smarter, faster, and stronger than other humans. At the outset of the book she's returning from a mission as a courier, but soon gets sidetracked by a series of coups that result in border closings and trouble for her getting around on Earth (an Earth in which California is a democratic Republic, an area around Chicago is a tyranny, etc. and corporations are pretty powerful). Much of the book is devoted to Friday's attempts to report in, and then the latter part of the book is her first 'mission' as an independent person outside of her organization.

It's a good book-- less talky than a lot of Heinlein, more action, and the exposition works well with the story. There's not a lot of explanation of stuff given that a reader of a memoir by someone like Friday -- the book is presented as a memoir -- would need explained, which works well. By that I mean, if Friday were a real person and wrote a real memoir, a reader of that memoir wouldn't need Friday to describe political systems and what "Shipstones" are (a kind of battery) and so on. I like that kind of scifi: where the stuff is presented as "I don't really need to explain this to you because you know it," making the book move better and feel a bit more real. Luke Skywalker never stops to explain what the Senate was, after all.

Is it a great book, worthy of making Heinlein at least the #3 scifi author of all time? I don't know. When it comes to measuring greatness, it's not enough maybe to determine a writer's worth simply by how many books he's sold, or how many books he's written. Maybe we have to take that into account but also measure his impact on the culture -- not just by the esteem we grant him (or any writer) but by how the culture pays tribute to him.

Heinlein doesn't appear on that Wikipedia list of best selling authors. OMNI Magazine ranked him 10th (below, among others, Ursuala K. Leguin) but said he's the "Dean Of Science Fiction" and quoted Asimov saying that Heinlein was 'the best science fiction writer in existence.'

Heinlein seems to be revered for popularizing scifi (he was 'one of' the first to get a scifi story into popular magazines) and making social commentary in scifi commonplace. Someone founded a religion based on his Stranger in a Strange Land. Astronauts credited him with making a trip to the moon seem possible and he was a guest commentator for the Apollo 11 trip. He popularized some terms, like "Pay it forward" (which appears, in philosophy at least, in Friday.) He was embraced by libertarians and hippies, but criticized for appearing to accept pedophilia and incest. Elon Musk says Heinlein was an inspiration. He is in the Hall of Famous Missourians along with Scott Joplin, Dred Scott, Bob Barker, and Betty Grable.

He also had a talking rat character named after him in a movie. So it goes.

Briane Pagel is the author of "Codes," and reads 100 books a year, blogging about them at "Thinking The Lions," which you can find on blogspot.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
natalie bagley
I've read every book Heinlein ever wrote. After the middle sixties, I started asking myself why. In spite of his undoubted storytelling ability, his ideology began to take center stage.
Friday is a genentically enhanced female (watch Dark Angel to see it done better) who resembles nothing more than a lost pup looking for a pat instead of a kick. She gets kicked more often than not.
Heinlein's narrative skills are as good as ever, but the book seems to have no point other than to preach sex, sex, SEX! For really good SF, read the earlier, "juvenile" Heinlein, who was not juvenile at all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Friday as a character is captivating, stamped with Heinlein's traditional humorous and realistic views. He also brings us into Friday's plight as she forces others to see her as a person, not an artificial one. While she remains loving - "the coldest circle of hell is reserved for those who abandon kittens" - her profession takes her into dangers which she handles with smooth precision. Pure Heinlein, purely fantastic. Love it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I enjoyed this book, and I think you will too if you read it. It's about a genetically engineered courier who is called an artifical person. It raises questions in the reader's mind that are becoming increasingly important as scientists today are now unraveling the secrets of the human genome. Genetic engineering will lead to many ethical issues that as a society we will need to resolve. Ahead of its time, this book deals with how these issues affect one particular "person" named Friday.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lakshmi c
[Warning, I am a self-confessed Heinlein fan <grin>!]
As I get older, I find more and more that I enjoy Heinlein's juveniles and early novels more than his later ones. I think the main reason for this is that my view of women drifts farther and farther from the one presented in the novels.
I think that in today's environment of sexual equality (and increasingly, sexual *equivalence*) RAH's novels do not play well to a general audience. When I was younger, I fell in love with any number of red-headed, Heinlein heroines but I feel uncomfortable re-reading some of these books today.
Of course, that perhaps indicates only that I don't enjoy opinions differing too much from my own or that I am just a follower of prevailing opinion, but I feel that for example, _The Puppet-Masters_ offers just as good adventure without the sexual element intruding so much.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is a CPAS (cyberpunk) novel about a genetically engineered person who is trained to be a combat courier in a future world where countries like the USA have been balkanised. A really good book that has a couple of issues.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
That's what the book should be called. It wasn't bad, but there didn't seem to be a definite conflict that stayed throughout the book. As a memoir of a future person, it is entertaining and fast-paced. As a futuristic story, it could use some work.

This was the first book by Robert A. Heinlein that I have read, and although I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, it has not put me off trying another Heinlein book in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A genetically engineered woman travels in the future world of Heinlein. A novel wrapped in future espionage and intrigue. I enjoyed Friday as a character, but felt that the story itself could have been more adventurous. You will find this novel to be quite enjoyable, and must for any Heinlein fan.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Unlike most SF readers, I have never been a Heinlein fan. I hadn't read him since being scared off by "Time Enough for Love" 20 years ago. But hey, I thought, I'm older now, I should give RAH a second chance. I'm sad to report, though, that Friday did nothing to sway my opinion.

The main problem with Friday (the novel) is that it lacks a coherent story line. Friday (the character) is an artificial person, a kick-*ss courier for a shadowy organization run by "The Boss." When the book starts, she is being chased by enemies after delivering a package. So, you think, this will be a SF espionage novel; Friday will battle the enemy organization, solve some mysteries, save the day. But no, we never discover what her mission was about, or who the men chasing her were, or why. She retreats to the headquarters of her organization, and you think, ah ha, this will be an Alias type story; we'll find out who the Boss is, what his group does, go on dangerous missions. But no, the Boss dies and the organization disbands. Before dying, he tells her she is a latent genius, and initiates an intensive education. Friday responds, and begins to unravel sinister connections in current events. So, she'll figure out who is behind the recent world-wide wave of violence and take him down, right? No, she has to quit when the Boss dies, and that storyline comes to nothing.

And so it continues throughout the book. Instead of being a head-banging agent, Friday is more like a pinball, bopping around Earth and beyond without direction or purpose. She goes here, goes there, perhaps has a minor fight or scrape, meets people, has consequence free sex with them, then moves on. I'm not offended by the never-ending sex, just annoyed by it. It serves no purpose to the story. In fact, there's no point to the book that I can see, other than promoting some of Heinlein's pet ideas: free love is great, governments are stupid, corporations actually run the world. And I'm sorry, the dialog is kitschy at best. He must have used the word "silly" a hundred times.

Friday did nothing to win me over to Heinlein. If you're looking for an entertaining read, I suggest you look elsewhere.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
As a friend, aunt to my daughter, or fellow rigger in any theater or concert hall or arena , Friday is an exemplary woman.
Not only does she have augmented phyisical resources, but also well rounded emotional & smarts as well.
Brittney can go fishing w/Friday anytime. love dad.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jimmy reagan
Still as good as the year I first read this...1985. It seems funny but a lot of science mentioned then seems now to be in the forefront ie the Beanstalk! The Plague and where it originated! This is I think Heinlein at his best. After reading this I re-read Frederick Pohl (Gateway series) and again the science is matching there here and now....Read and be prepared to be amazed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For me, Heinlein is the master of Science Fintion, he always writes in a different way, his own way. The best thing that I like about his works, is his philosophy, his understanding of life how it is, and how it's going to be. In this work, you've got it all! Philosophy, filled with it! Style, a whole new format of Heinlein's writing! Before you read "Friday", you won't understand Heinlein in fulness. And in this extrodinary peace he put one more element that you would not find in most of his works, sexuality! This book is an ultimate story for whoever you are, adult or teenager, Read this! Belive me, you'll love it!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A must for anyone who appreciates Heinlein's off-beat humour. Friday is a strong, intelligent, highly skilled professional, a testament to the skill of the genetic engineers who "created" her. But she's also a lonely woman with a desperate need for acceptance - which she seldom finds among "real" humans. Her search for a place where she belongs and her battles against the prejudice of others are inspiring. A fast moving action-adventure with a sting in the tail. This book offers a scathing commentary on prejudice and glimpse of a future that may not be as far away as it seems.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
neha pal
Another of Heinein's best works.
His philosophy of life is like New Hampshire's slogan--live free or die. Freedom, love, happiness. Friday is an enhanced person. Not quite human, or rather more than human. She works as a courier and love and adventure falls into her lap.
An engaging story. Buy the hard cover, because you will want to re-read in many times. Enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
w john bodin iii
In this book, Robert Heinlein does a nice job or portraying the plight and alienation felt by those who are different from what is considered "normal", in this case an android female. While the protagonist's ongoing search for her own identity and a place she can call her own are indeed compelling, the narrative is, unfortunately, sidetracked by her seemingly endless sexual escapades, which detract from the main character's appeal and needlessly distract the reader. While it can be argued, with good reason, that her almost single-minded focus on sex is an integral part of her quest for self-discovery, it can get tiresome for those who expect a more "serious" approach. Altogether a good, but not a great selection from the Master himself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I'm a big fan of RAH, and this is one of my two favorite books of his. Friday is one of the most compelling protagonists ever put on paper, and her cunning contrasts perfectly with her naivete (sp?) in regards to human reasoning. An absolute must have for any SF fan.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Friday was Heinlein's comment on Apartheid. The fact that APs were non-persons is analogous to the status of blacks, coloreds and asians in South Africa. Just as Starship Troopers is aabout patriotism and the responsibility of citizenship.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hassem hemeda
I liked this book, not a great piece of literary work but good none the less.On ground level it spits in the face of bigots, racisits, sexists, and extremists in general, if not tounge in cheek.If you speed read this, get lost in the story, or "skim" the pages you will miss it and think otherwise that it is just action, sex, and sci-fi.When in fact the sex and action are innuendo,Heinlein sets you up, your fancy fills in the rest.On the sublevel we see railgun transprotion, the world wide web, and governments of extreme states battling for power with each other and corporations.Sound too familar? Read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
therese provident
Friday IS what I think all women want to be. As one, that's how I see it. Of course she does have a bit of a randiness problem... but she's being written by a man! However, this is truely a great story, and Friday, along with her cohorts, are people you wish you knew. A fun and invigorating story, Friday is a good read every time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jim o shea
At first glance, Friday is simple adventure novel, set in a future that is both terrifing and seductive.
But like all of RAH's work, there is much more than is on the surface. Friday asks a lot of questions about humans, first and foremost among them being, "what makes us people?" By the time you put the book down, Ms. Friday knows the answer.
Will be any closer to an answer than you picked upthe book, or will you have more questions? My money is on the latter.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Scattered, wordy and sexist, Friday is a book best left in the garbage bin. Rather than write a detailed review, I'll share this nugget - what would you think of a male who wrote a story about a woman, who by all accounts was considered a genius, who decided to marry and start a family with a man who has viciously and repeatedly raped her, after kidnapping her? I'd say the author of such a book has got to be pretty disturbed.

Well, that's how Friday ends. So when someone tells you they enjoyed it, they are giving a little insight into who they are as a person, as quite possibly what they think of you too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carol golembiewski
My opinion: Friday, while not my favorite Heinlein, is superior to 97% of the current literary output. Mind you, I think the worst Heinlein I have ever read is better than 95% of the current literary output.

My suggestion is to find the earliest (by publish date, i.e. not those published posthumously) Heinlein you can find and work your way to the latest.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
patrick aquilone
This book is an excellent example of Heinlein's combination of rip-roaring science fiction and social commentary.
Despite his objectification of women, this is a book you can really sink your teeth into.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
emily thompson
This book bit. I got this book thinking, "hey, Heinlein!" but it appears after reading that I should have been thinking, "hey, shoot me!" There is no plot to this novel--the grand resolution is that super-sexy courier Friday becomes a primitive farmer. At first Friday seems to be on a mission; she seems to matter, but when she's ordered on a vacation she proves herself a true overworker by forgetting that she even has a job and goes gallavanting across future Earth in many boring and trashy escapades. Friday doesn't have a story--though Heinlein tries every once and a while to pretend it's so; it's just one long vague, boring, orgy. There seem to be elements of Heinlein's better books in Friday--the Beanstalk, Luna City, and the mysterious organization that Friday works for (for a little while, at least). But don't read this book for them--read the OTHER books like Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, Tunnel in the Sky (the point is that there are others!)...Friday isn't worth your time because it's completely pointless. You care about the character because Heinlein is (to some extent) a master, but when you get right down to it, she doesn't DO anything except fornicate! There are many better books out there, and there are even better Heinlein books out there, so read them instead of yet another addition to the brain-dead pile.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
gayle parness
This novel had excellent characters, a unique future world, and a very good story line, but....the antagonists of the novel were very poorly written. The main character Friday is an Indian, so why is she drawn on the novel covers as a pale face? This novel would have been much better if the adversaries were not written to be so...two dimensional. I am a huge fan of Heinlein and i enjoy reading his novels, but i struggled with reading this one. The main characters nymphomania is too reminiscent of Heinlein's other female protagonist, Miss Maureen Johnson Long in TO SAIL BEYOND THE SUNSET, but Maureen Johnson Long had a rationale for her promiscuity, while Friday does not. No woman enjoys being sexually assaulted whether they be artificial or not. Friday's sexual assault at the beginning of the novel was tolerated and even overlooked by Friday even though she was angry about it. This troubled me. I Understand that she was an artificial person trying to fit into human society, but her reasoning in going about it was risque and extremely off kilter. Heinlein should have gone with a more subtle approach when dealing with the psyche of an artificial female. That would have made a more emotional impact on me as a reader and would have made the character less raunchy. I didn't enjoy the novel very much, but someone who is into a light science fiction story that centers around a provocative character will love it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
As a friend, aunt to my daughter, or fellow rigger in any theater or concert hall or arena , Friday is an exemplary woman.
Not only does she have augmented phyisical resources, but also well rounded emotional & smarts as well.
Brittney can go fishing w/Friday anytime. love dad.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I just re-read Friday, and confirmed it as the beginning of the end for Mr. Heinlein.
He takes on a very difficult topic - bigotry - and does a poor job of dissecting it for discussion while blasting the reader with his grandstanding opinions.
Like most of his later work, he starts with an interesting plot develops it to the point of grabbing significant reader interest and then seems to get bored and moves on to another topic.
As with all of his later stuff, his free-love/sex message comes through loud and clear which takes his attention from developing more of the plot and characters.
In the end, the book just kind of peters out and really never finishes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
becky maness
The world we know as Friday is soon to be the future. Engineered beings will walk the earth, dogs shall talk with the help of boosted intelligence, and we shall roam space. Friday is a great book, definately on my top-ten Heinleins. Definately a grand work of Art.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
megan neumann
This was probably the tenth of all RAH's books I've read, and in my opinion one of the very best. The plot takes us on twists and turns like I've missed since The Puppet Masters. Friday is an adicting secret courier with above human skills and problems. At times funny and always interesting, a must read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A fast reading amusing ditty, written by a master of the genre, Robert Heinlein who sold millions during the 1950's. Some of the lingo is dated but I couldn't put it down. Good reading for any hard-core sci fi reader.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The world Heinlein creates here is the real goal of all progressive/liberals. A sustainable culture where only really important people can have an "Authorized Power Vehicle" and all us peasants are getting around by horse, public transportation, or on foot. No, there is no oppressive big brother or dictator to fear, just a system that can not be changed. Ever.

Be reasonable, you can't expect freedom or a "bill of rights' to work when the population of North America is the same as India!

Malthus is not just taught in the schools of the rich, it's ingrained as a belief. A religious dogma. In the future, limited resources will only allow a late 20th century standard of living to a limited number of people; the ruling elite.

Remember the flap about John Kerry's yacht? Well, the Liberal Goal is for that yacht to be invisible.... to you.

This is the future world that Liberals are working toward.

Gun Confiscation is the First Objective so Universal Registration is the first step.
Then comes confiscation; civilians first, then the Police, then the Military.
Use each step by step to get to the next phase.

In the end, we will all be as happy in our assigned places as the peasants were in the middle ages.

God Bless Us All, and Keep Us In Our Proper Stations.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
regina nilsave
I remember telling my grandfather that I was reading this book and seeing him flinch. "Heinlein's a good writer, but he's written some bombs and unfortunately you picked up one of his worst." This book was a chore to get through. Heinlein can't write women - even if they're artificial. The treatment of the rape is insulting. Not only does she feel totally fine about it (even marrying one of her rapists later) but then she cries when she gets lost in the woods or when she BURNED POTATOES. At that point I threw the novel around the room a few times and swore not to read anymore, but it was about 200 pages in, so...

Some might say that her reaction is fine because she's written by a man (which is absolutely ridiculous, plenty of men can write women - at least better portaits than this) or not a real human. But then why does the book INSIST INSIST INSIST that she's just like everyone else. Then why doesn't she ACT like it?

Some have argued that this is an adventure book but all of her doings profoundly bored me. There were some nice speeches on racism, but a lot of people have done it a lot better. Also, the supposedly most "influential" part of this book - the idea of America split into Balkanized states - was barely covered. After reading it I couldn't even tell how the different parts of America were so different. (Although the California section was somewhat amusing). I will say that the amount of sex in this book is greatly exaggerated. There really is very little.

I haven't read anything else of Heinlein. I'm open to the fact that he may be a good writer, but this book ranks as one of the worst things I've ever read. Annoying main character, boring adventures, and a world only half-focused. Thumbs way down.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Writers, unlike elephants and whales, don't have a genetic instinct to go off to some big, cosmically-determined graveyard when the time is right and simply die. At the risk of sounding harsh, they really should. A huge percentage of great modern writers doom themselves to a sullied reputation by continuing to pump out useless, overpriced books long after their initial quality decline, even though their financial stablitity is assured - say, by their late '50s - and many simply keep it up until they keel over on the carpet next to their desk. Science fiction writers are among the worst of the lot, and of those, Heinlein really has to take the cake. He wrote, in my opinion, some of the very best science fiction ever published - and almost all of that was in the 1950s. After the late '60s he simply went off the deep end, and it almost makes me chuckle to think he could get bilge like "Friday" published as late as 1982. The audacity of the man is just...staggering.

You know it's a bad sign when Heinlein writes a female first-person narrator, because he's never been known for making women anything other than objects of desire. Friday certainly isn't a surprise. She's sexy, she's quick, she's a killer...did I mention she's sexy? Did I mention she loves sex? Did I mention she gets it on with practically _everyone_ she meets in the book? It's not that I'm against Heinlein's ideology of free love, of polygamy and polyamory - it's not for me, but I have no moral objections. No, it's the way he slams them over the reader's head in lieu of this little thing called a plot. Stranger still, Heinlein seems to be the very rare man who actually became more socially liberal the older he got, which in other circumstances I would approve; here, though, it's like he just sat down one day in the late '70s and went, "Well, gay sex between men is still evil, but since 1955 I've decided lesbianism is really, really HOT." Okay, Bob; it's your fantasy, I guess. The absolute weirdest aspect of "Friday," however, is watching Heinlein attempt to shoehorn all these sexual proclivities, and his feelings on women, into an actual female character. Friday is just as submissive as every other woman he ever wrote, and guess what, she likes it that way. Twenty pages into the novel she tells us that gang-rape comes with the dangerous territory of being a courier(!), so she might as well enjoy it as much as possible (?!?!). This might work if she was a robot, but she's not, she's a test-tube baby, and Heinlein blathers on and on about she how doesn't feel human and she doesn't think she's human and yadda yadda yadda look! Time for more sex. Did I mention she cries when she realizes she'll never see a pet cat again? But not after being raped, or having her right nipple sawed off? Uh-huh. Go on, Bob, pull the other one.

What's really sad about it all is that it would probably work as a comedy. If Heinlein had decided to write the book as a parody of his own style and writing habits, by God, "Friday" probably would've been very, very funny. And in lighter moments, he does still have a deft hand with comic dialogue, which is basically why the book doesn't totally flunk on every level. But a good 80% of it is just garbage - Heinlein wanting to have his cake and eat it, too. He clearly wanted to write a James Bond-style spy/action/adventure book, AND have there be a very modern female protagonist, AND have a forum to spout his personal ideology over and over again. But it doesn't work. And I'd like to get rid of this book as soon as possible, please.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I personally asked the cover artist whom he had modeled the illustration of the title character on. He sighed and told me that many people had asked him that question but that he had made up the figure from scratch and that it was not based on any real woman. Sigh...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
m j murf
This book is bad in just so many ways. By far the worst thing he ever came up with. Just horrible. 'What if I had a super girl android servant I could send on missions, and she loved sex whenever and
however, and I could get lots of the details afterwards.'

If you want something that is similar, but actually decent, try Joel Shepherd's Cassandra Kresnov series, Crossover, Breakaway, Killswitch.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This was the first and ONLY Heinlein book I've ever read.

It's a sleazy 70's porn flick with lasers. About as deep as a mud puddle and every attempt to inject sex into any situation comes to pass; gang rape, torture fantasy, homo-erotica, wife swapping, etc.

This was not a work of good literature in any shape of the imagination and the main character's primary function seems to be to serve as the sexual outlet for others.
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