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Fatherless (Fatherless #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  396 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
The year is 2042, and the long-predicted tipping point has arrived. For the first time in human history, the economic pyramid has flipped: The feeble old now outnumber the vigorous young, and this untenable situation is intensifying a battle between competing cultural agendas. Reporter Julia Davidson-a formerly award-winning journalist seeking to revive a flagging career-i ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by FaithWords (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,251)
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Jul 26, 2013 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: will-not-finish
I read a lot of "ok" books, quite a few "good" books, even some exceptional books...and then...then there are awful books.


The writing is stilted and horrible and elementary. The plot is a very thin and ineffective veil to cover a sermon delivered by an extremist. The author can't set aside a personal agenda long enough to tell a story.

I should have trusted my initial instincts after reading the author's note, but a good story combined with good storytelling sometimes manage
Apr 26, 2014 Samantha rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book. I really did. The message of where our country could be headed couldn't be more important, and I agree with what I think the author is trying to say. Unfortunately, the message is either lost in clunky prose, unrealistic dialog, and repetitive storytelling or it is preached - literally a chapter is a pastor giving a sermon - and the reader is hit over the head with it. I also thought that 2042 was a little too soon for the kind of sweeping changes that have taken plac ...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
Jan 12, 2013 Christian Fiction Addiction rated it it was amazing
Every so often I read a book that leaves me feeling like the plot is entirely too possible, and I shudder to imagine that it might come true. Fatherless is just such a book, depicting a not-so-distant future where it becomes routine for an elderly person to end their burdensome life, where the average man doesn't even bother to have children but instead remains the eternal playboy, and where the concept of marriage is simply laughable. I found the plot to be fascinating, and needless to say I wa ...more
Cynthia Vogel
Apr 05, 2013 Cynthia Vogel rated it it was amazing
The first time I picked up Fatherless, I read the first couple of chapters and then felt bogged down in the politics of the information involved in setting up the characters and plot. I felt overwhelmed and put the book down. However, I picked it up a few days ago and consumed the 488 page book in two sittings. The plot turned out to be engrossing. It deals with an America half a century from now. An America where the baby boomers are now antiquarians and there are not enough people to care for ...more
Mar 19, 2014 Erin rated it did not like it
Shelves: pg-13
Ugh! This was just a really long, poorly written book in which nothing important ever happens. The premise is great. In a time when the elderly outnumber the young and the young stop having kids, how do you deal with the resulting economic crisis? You set up centers where the elderly can volunteer to "transition" (which is a friendly way of saying that they can opt to pay to have physician assisted suicide...). The first chapter of this book was pretty amazing. There is a boy who has the same di ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Free To Thrive

By Julia Davidson (RAP Syndicate)

A friend of mine recently informed me she wants to have a child. She's not religious, but her parents are devout Catholics. They have an opinion on the matter. Actually, two opinions.

First, they want their daughter to find a partner (husband to use their word) before becoming a mom - something less than 25% of women do for good reasons I've covered in earlier columns. (Why do religious fundamentalists criticize our generation for avoiding parenthoo
Adam Graham
Feb 26, 2013 Adam Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fatherless marks the start of a new career for Dr. James Dobson as he and co-author Kurt Bruner who begin a trilogy of dystopian novels with the first installment.

Fatherless takes place in the year 2042, as the United States continues down its trendline of lower fertility, longer life spans and retirements, and a social safety net that requires large number of workers for each retiree or disabled user to survive.

Predictably this system is teetering on the verge of collapse as the United States
Mar 04, 2013 Venecia rated it really liked it
This was actually pretty good. Dystopian Christian fiction. . . sort of. Usually dystopian fiction is based on a new world order, not a current one. However the themes and general feel of the book is dystopian.

This book has me a little unnerved. It seems a little too easy for it to really happen. We do have an aging population plus a decreasing family size. Not as many people are getting married as there used to be, and there is a population of Guylanders already here in America. People put off
Jan 08, 2013 Teela rated it liked it
When offered the opportunity to preview this new piece of fiction written by co-authors, James Dobson and Kurt Bruner, I jumped on it. I’ve read several of Dr. Dobson’s parenting books and was anxious to accept this offer.

The year is 2042 in a very somber America when for the first time in our history, the elderly outnumber the healthy and vigorous young are at a minority. How will this debt riddled America pay for the health care needs of her ever growing population of senior citizens and tho
May 23, 2013 Anisha rated it it was amazing
This book takes the current fashion of unmarried parents to the ultimate outcome - males without strong male images creating 'guylanders'; playboys who play and leave and women who are career driven and find children a burden. The book discusses the dissolution of the family unit and the effect it has on society through a series of characters both traditional (derisively called Breeders) and modern self-centered hedonists who create then abandon their offspring (or kill them for any number of re ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Becki rated it it was ok
In this futuristic novel, the demographic trends of the younger population not be substantial enough to support the aging has finally come to a crises point. Politicians are looking for solutions and are divided on the sanctity of human life (both old and young). And many have tough choices to make.
I didn't feel like I could really become attached to any of the characters in this story. If anyone, Angie compelled me the most. And I look forward to seeing how the story with their youngest unfolds
Aug 23, 2014 Charlotte marked it as if-you-recommend-this-i-ll-bite-you
Let's examine the evidence.
-Huge, famous Christian guy not famous for being a (fiction) writer is listed as the author...
-...With his name substantially larger on the book's cover than that of his "co-author".

Ah yes, the evidence leads me to conclude that James C. Dobson, dubiously listed as "Dr", didn't write a word of this book.

Additionally: IT HAS SEQUELS?? NOOO! This sounds like an unholy alliance between Mind Siege and Left Behind.
Mar 15, 2016 Katie rated it liked it
This book was hard to read in that it paints a very bleak picture of the authors' projections of life in 2042. That said, I can easily conceive of the cultural norms they imagine. I thought the characters were well developed and likable, although some of their actions are a little hard to believe. The story line feels stilted and a little confusing at times, but overall not bad writing. Although I'm a follower of Christ, I tend to shy away from "Christian" fiction as the writing quality is usual ...more
During the first few chapters, I almost put the book down to quit reading it because I felt bogged down in a lot of political details and it felt very negative to me. However, I'm glad I didn't give up because the plot became much more interesting. This is a futuristic novel set in 2042 and deals with some ethical dilemmas that did not seem too far-fetched but all of which involved views on the value of human life--whether it be an elderly person with dementia or an infant with a genetic disorde ...more
Victor Gentile
May 14, 2014 Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner in their new book, “Fatherless” Book One in the Fatherless series published by FaithWords brings us into the lives of Kevin Tolbert and Julia Davidson.

From the back cover: The year is 2042, and the long-predicted tipping point has arrived. For the first time in human history, the economic pyramid has flipped: The feeble old now outnumber the vigorous young, and this untenable situation is intensifying a battle between competing cultural agendas. Reporter Julia Da
Dec 31, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing
I hope this book remains fiction, but I can see it becoming reality. It takes place in the not-too-distant future where all children are "pre-screened" before birth and the elderly are "transitioned" if either is seen as a "debit" to society. It's a very scary prospect, indeed. This book is very well-written and explores these topics through the eyes of its characters' lives. The characters are all well-developed and the story flows well. I highly recommend it.
Jan 05, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cheryl by: Barnes & Noble Advanced Reader Copy
Kept my interest and I didn't put it down until I finished. It gave me a lot to think about.

A great book for book clubs since there are many different social issues to discuss and explore. Not super heavy on the religious aspects but they are there.

Sensitive Readers (view spoiler)
Oct 22, 2015 Callie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
I think I still have a good-book-hangover from this one. I don't know what I was expecting going in to this book, but I could hardly put it down! The world that is painted in this book is simultaneously bizarre and chillingly possible. I cannot wait to read the next book to see what happens to the characters!
Jul 07, 2014 L rated it really liked it
I had not read anything by James Dobson since I was raising Daniel, so was surprised to discover he was writing novels. This one was a real page-turner. Set in 2042 when the world population has gone bottom up and the number of elderly more than doubles the amount of able-bodied workers still in the workforce. This has created such economic upheaval in all countries that a new program called "transition" has been implemented. A really scary book because Dobson and his co-author Kurt Bruner paint ...more
Jul 05, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it
In Fatherless Dobson takes us into a not so distant future where "transitions" (government approved suicide) for the elderly and those with any kind of undesired defect.

The main characters are Kevin and Angie Tolbert an up and coming congressman and his wife, Julia Davidson-a past her prime Pulitzer prize winning journalist and Matthew a young man caring for his mother and deciding whether or not to encourage his mom to choose a transition.

The story lines with Kevin and Angie as they navigate
Jesse Smith
May 20, 2013 Jesse Smith rated it it was amazing
Copied (in part) from my review at -

The truth is, the foundation of the country is under attack – and fatherhood is in decline.

That’s the basis of a new novel by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner. I’ve read non-fiction books by both of these authors and found their insights useful but I couldn’t see either of them writing fiction. Nonetheless, they did a fantastic job of writing a compelling story while underlining the potential problems created as we deva
May 08, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in a proposed trilogy by Dr. James Dobson. It is also his very first fiction story. The story is set in the year 2042, and America has finally followed other countries to where the number of workers contributing taxes to the government is now out-numbered by those who are receiving help from the government. The story vividly imagines a future in which present-day trends come to sinister fruition.

Rather than spend down the finances that the elderly or ill have on their own
Brenten Gilbert
Feb 07, 2013 Brenten Gilbert rated it really liked it
There’s enough truth, logic, and/or reasonable possibility in the pages of this book to make it mildly depressing. Set in the near future, Dobson and Bruner paint a rather bleak future of the world, with a few rays of hope sprinkled in for good measure. The media serves as something of a mouthpiece for the political agenda of the day and the pressing issue at hand revolves, unsurprisingly, around the sanctity of life. The twist, however, is the debate has shifted from life’s beginning to the end ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Kai rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Fatherless shows a possible reality to our current financial crisis. With Social Security dwindling and more people are living longer. It takes more workers to support Social Security than in the past. This book shows a scary parallel reality to our own if governmental policies shifted too much to the right or left.

In Fatherless, the government has shifted to offer the elderly tax incentive. Transition (suicide) is accept. Genes are being altered to have healthier babies. Handicapped is almost u
Teresa Bateman
Aug 01, 2013 Teresa Bateman rated it it was amazing
Disturbing, haunting, concerning--this book worried me far more than more graphic dystopia novels that are so common right now. They all portray a horrible future where we struggle to survive, but at least the reader can find comfort in their improbability. This book, however, simply takes current trends and carries them a step or two down the road, all the name of "personal freedom." It's 2041. The United States, like many other developed countries, has reached the tipping point. There are more ...more
Jenna King
Feb 18, 2013 Jenna King rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Davis
This is one of those thrillers which takes current trends and imagines our society in the future which is not that different in how it functions overall. This particular book is thus far focusing on those who think "transition" is a good way to help those with a poor quality of life ... with the transition from life to death. There is a Christian element, understandable when one reads about the author, but thus far I am not finding it as heavy-handed as many of that genre. And, let's face it, ma ...more
Mar 26, 2013 David rated it liked it
Recommended to David by: John Stonestreet interview
Shelves: fiction
A story in a similar vein as Alcorn's Deadline. That is, a story about a specific ethical topic woven into a narrative. The characters were believable and true (view spoiler).

The futuristic setting was handled well. Some new technology was described, but nothing that made this into a science fiction novel. Just enough
Jan 31, 2013 Chad rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-wins, owned
First off, many thanks to the authors, the publisher and Goodreads for my free copy of this book to read and review.

As with any of my reviews, I will share my opinions and generalities regarding the book. I will not get into a technical review or give away spoilers if at all possible.

Had I known who the authors were in advance, I never would have entered the draw to win this book. Pretty blunt, I know, but it's the truth. Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner were both part of the Focus On The Family
Erin Forson
Mar 14, 2013 Erin Forson rated it really liked it
Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner craft book one of this futuristic trilogy with a powerful hook, followed by an examination of the fiscal future of the United States through the eyes of various characters. I enjoyed following each of the characters: Julia Davidson, career-driven liberal journalist who longs for more, Kevin Tolbert, fighting to uphold personal morals in a corrupt government, and Matthew, struggling to survive financially and support his ailing mother while sacrificing his dreams. ...more
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James C. Dobson is a psychologist, commentator, and writer. He is the founder of Focus on the Family, a group advocating what he views as Christian ethics and political conservatism, and hosts a radio program of the same name.
More about James C. Dobson...

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Fatherless (2 books)
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