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The Farm

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,436 Ratings  ·  2,063 Reviews
Until the moment he received a frantic call from his father, Daniel believed his parents were headed into a peaceful, well-deserved retirement. They had sold their home and business in London, and said "farewell to England" with a cheerful party where all their friends had gathered to wish them well on their great adventure: setting off to begin life anew on a remote, buco ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 13th 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Peter Boels I really enjoyed this book too and was pulled into the story from page one. I read it completely in one single day!! That's why I gave it the full…moreI really enjoyed this book too and was pulled into the story from page one. I read it completely in one single day!! That's why I gave it the full five stars.

Maybe some people wanted Tom Rob Smith to write another Leo Demidov sort of story after his trilogy, but I think "The farm" is at least as good as that. I really love his filmic style and the way he makes you want to keep on reading with his typical style of ending a chapter.(less)
Colby Coombs Inescapably, "Rubbish". It grieves me to so assess; his other books are so grippingly good!
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Best Books of 2014 That Are NOT Erotica
26th out of 504 books — 373 voters
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Man Booker Prize Eligible 2014
83rd out of 165 books — 685 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
and that is why we don't keep secrets.

this is one of those psychological thrillers with a possibly-unreliable narrator, a maybe/maybe not crime, and a boatload of both family and smalltown secrets.

daniel is 29, living in london with his boyfriend mark, and working a job that is not making the most of his expensive educational background. his parents have retired after selling their business and properties, and moved to a small town in sweden, near the place his mother tilde grew up, and then ra
...more
Dem
Mar 02, 2014 Dem rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

Having read and absolutely loved Child 44 Child 44 (Leo Demidov, #1) by Tom Rob Smith I was very excited and had pre ordered my hard copy of The Farm by Tom Rob Smith.

The praise on the blurb of this novel really leaves you to believe you are about to embark on a " Chilling, hypnotic, and thoroughly compelling novel. You will not read a better triller this year"

The Novel is set in Sweden and tells the story of Chris and Tilde who retire there to a farm in a remote area to recapture what could only be considered the good l
...more
Raven
Feb 23, 2014 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by the real life psychotic episode experienced by his own mother, Tom Rob Smith has crafted a powerful and affecting study in the disguise of a crime novel, as to the effect of a similar incident on the very fabric of a family. Daniel resides happily in London with his partner Mark, and with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and the less frequent communication with family, believes his mother and father to be happy and secure in their retirement to Sweden from the UK. However, fol ...more
Jasmine
Jun 11, 2015 Jasmine rated it did not like it
What an anticlimax. I'm confused by the great ratings this book has received. The entire story was transparent, at best. The characters, who ended up being important, were under developed, and Daniels motives and reasons were flakey. And the ending...what was that about? I was really waiting for so etching MORE or BIGGER than how it ended. I feel short changed, and felt this could've been SUCH a better story, written in someone else's hands.
Patrice Hoffman
The Farm is the first novel I've read by Tom Rob Smith. There's been a lot of praise for his other crime novel Child 44 so I figured why not give him a chance. Plus the premise of a woman gone mad who needs to defend her delusions is always a good story.

The Farm begins with Daniel receiving a call from his father warning him that his mum is not well and has been committed. Not too long after that call, Mum arrives to London hoping to have an ally in her beloved son. This is the first time Daniel
...more
Sam Quixote
Mar 23, 2015 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it
Daniel’s parents, Chris and Tilde, have retired to a farm in the Swedish countryside. All is going well, he thinks, and the only problem is how he’s going to reveal to them that he’s gay. That is until he receives a strange email from his mother and then a phone call from his father - Tilde is insane, says Chris, and she needs help. Meanwhile Tilde, arriving in London alone to meet Daniel, insists that she’s being hunted by a group of murderers, including Chris, after she uncovered a horrific co ...more
Julie
I have a hard time pigeon-holing this in the thriller category, since two-thirds of the narrative takes place at a kitchen table in a London apartment in the form of a conversation between a mother and son. It's a testament to Smith's confidence as a writer that he spools out a story in a nearly all tell, very little show fashion. That doesn't mean it always works. After repeated cutbacks of scene to that London kitchen, I began to roll my eyes and wish SOMEONE WOULD GET TO THE BLOODY POINT ALRE ...more
Susan
Feb 02, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel lives in London with his partner, Mark. His parents, Chris and Tilde, have retired to a remote farm in Sweden – the homeland his mother left many years before. He believes them to be content and well and uses his image of them as happy and busy in their new life as the reason why he has distanced himself from them. For Daniel has made excuses not to visit – rather than explain that his career is not going well or introduce Mark to them, he has contented himself with emails and vague promi ...more
Rata
Jan 01, 2014 Rata rated it it was amazing
Wow, this is an excellent book. The story's so compelling and gripping I read it in one go.

The story revolves around Daniel and his parents who returned a few months ago to Sweden, the homeland of Daniel's mom, to relish their retirement at a farm: one day, Daniel is called by his dad and confronted with shocking news: his mother behaved strangely for quite some time now, accused her neighbors and husband of some mysterious crime and was finally brought to section herself into a psychiatric ward
...more
Blair
The Farm presents itself as a taut, gripping thriller in which a man is torn between different stories told to him by his parents. Daniel's father claims his mother is not of sound mind, while she insists she has uncovered a terrible conspiracy surrounding their new home, an isolated farm in Sweden. Most of the narrative is given over to the mother's - Tilde's - story, as heard by Daniel; he interjects occasionally, but on the whole this is a very traditional, chronological account of events. On ...more
Michael Robotham
Mar 18, 2015 Michael Robotham rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful psychological thriller that never lets the reader get comfortable. Structurally it is a triumph because so much of the information must be fed slowly to the reader, building up false layers that sound completely plausible, yet can be interpreted in different ways.
Josh
Jun 05, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Tom Rob Smith’s new stand-alone novel “The Farm” (after the highly successful Child 44 trilogy) shows his diversity in story-telling. This is not an action-based, in your face, thriller like his previous work, but a psychological mystery, a coming out of sorts as a writer.

The mystery behind the farm is a mystery itself. Mostly told from the perspective of the mother (Tilde) of the main character, Daniel, it starts off with a phone call from his father (Chris) saying how mentally ill Tilde is and
...more
Marnie
First off- this is not Child 44. This is not an action/ thriller so if that is what you are looking for - select another book. This is a mystery.

Daniel gets a phone call from his father that his mother has gone crazy and has been institutionalized ( hello 1800's ). Rushing to the airport Daniel gets a call from his mother that she has escaped Sweden and that his father and others are out to "get" her. Who to believe? Is the mother a victim or an unreliable narrator? That is the mystery.

The auth
...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

"Promise that you'll listen to everything I say with an open mind. All I ask for is an open mind. Promise me you'll do that, that's why I've come to you. Promise me!"

Daniel is shocked when his father rings in tears to announce his mother is sick, not physically ill but mentally, and he has been forced to admit her to a psychiatric hospital. Distraught, Daniel makes immediate plans to travel to Sweden where his parents now live, but before he can board the plane his mother arrives in London, clut
...more
Anna Kļaviņa
4.5

What happened in summer 1963? And how it is linked to summer 2013?

I was eager to read Smith's latest book, as I loved Child 44 and yet I was not sure how much I'll like it because the last book in the trilogy was a disappointment.


The Farm was better than I expected. A well written page turner as Child 44 but also with more layers then that.

And more personal. Few years ago, Smith's father phoned to tell him he suspected his mum was mentally ill. Hours later, she arrived in Britain.

Natalie
Apr 21, 2015 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
''Dijete 44'' ga je obilježilo i to mu je vrh vrhova.
Farma je dobra, ali nasmijem se kad kažu da je ''bolja'' :) Negdje sam čula da ga je inspirirala vlastita obiteljska priča :( Mama mu je Šveđanka, tata Englez...ako je netko od njih to ili slično prošao žao mi je. Nema tu akcije, napetosti...ima samo puno iščekivanja, onako psihička slagalica, kome vjerovati od roditelja??. Roditelji lažu dijete od djetinjstva o njihovom životu, dijete kasnije laže njih oko svog života...
Laura
Aug 13, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read that held my attention from beginning to end. I loved the suspense and I wasn't disappointed with the ending. I did not find it predictable. If I had one complaint, I might say that the conclusion was almost too neat but I loved the book and easily rated it with a 5 star.
Steven Z.
Dec 25, 2014 Steven Z. rated it it was amazing
When I began reading THE FARM, Tom Rob Smith’s new book I had certain expectations having read his trilogy of thrillers dealing with the Soviet Union; CHILD 44, THE SECRET SPEECH, and AGENT 6. From the first paragraph I grew curious, but very surprised. The story line was nothing like his previous books. This effort begins with a phone call from Chris, living in rural Sweden calling his son, Daniel who resides in London. Daniel’s parents had lived in London, but because their finances had succum ...more
Ethan Spier
Feb 28, 2014 Ethan Spier rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I was expecting. It felt as if it was leading somewhere that it simply didn't reach unfortunately. I can't think of anything specific to criticize it other than the fact I felt baffled by some of the character motivations and their actions in places, although this is perhaps explained a little as the story develops... I'm not sure and I'm being a little too abstract.

Overall, a good story and a pleasant read, but nothing exceptional.
Nancy Oakes
I liked this one.

for a longer look at this novel, feel free to click on over to my online reading journal; otherwise, this is the short version.

The Farm is a multilayered story within a story within a story that is slowly peeled back like the proverbial onion until you reach its core. The opening sequence is a total grabber. The narrator, Daniel, receives a call from his dad Chris telling him that his mom Tilde is sick, that she's been "imagining things -- terrible, terrible things," and that s
...more
Mike
I picked up this book because I had read two previous novels by this author ("Child 44" and "The Secret Speech") which I enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately this book did not live up to those standards.

It's a story told in flashback by a person who may have dreamt most, if not all, the details up. Alas, the story is really not very compelling (a British couple retire to a farm in Sweden where the wife is not well liked and who subsequently begins to suspect there is a conspiracy to get rid of them)
...more
Peter Gasston
Feb 19, 2014 Peter Gasston rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, ebook
I’m not sure what to think about this. It’s certainly an engaging read in that it keeps you turning the page, but it rarely challenges you or steps beyond a standard thriller template. The book relies on being a tale told orally from one character to another, but the dialogue never sounds real; would someone really say “… churning a morbid April sky”? On top of that it runs out of steam and rushes to a conclusion, wrapping up the central mystery in the last 30 pages with an awful lot of expositi ...more
Heather
Mar 21, 2015 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Dear Author Tom Rob Smith......Seriously? That's the ending you're going with?

This book was starting out to be one of my favorite books of all time! It was quite brilliant and written perfectly. I couldn't wait to read a word, a page, anything - picking it up at red lights, while curling my hair, brushing my teeth or cooking dinner. I was intrigued and excited, I couldn't wait to turn the page.

The beginning pulled me in and I was lost in he world of Sweden and the lives of Tilde, Daniel and Ch
...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Oh my goodness! I've been hanging out to read The Farm by Tom Rob Smith ever since I heard the premise:
Daniel's parents have retired to Sweden, and all seems well until he receives a call from his father.
"Your mother's not well. She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things. She's had a psychotic breakdown, and has been committed to a mental hospital."

But then his mother rings to say: "I'm sure your father has spoken to you. Everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad. I do
...more
Dana ****Reads Alot****
I wrote this loooong review and my computer decided to shut down in the middle of it. I was aghast!!! I really enjoyed this book. Tom Rob Smith really knows how to tell a suspensful story that will keep you guessing. I had NO CLUE throughout the entire book who was telling the truth till the very end.

I love that in a book.

Tilde and Chris whom are husband and wife decide to move back to Sweden where they had inherited a farm. They were excited at the prospects. There were problems almost immediat
...more
No Name
Jul 12, 2014 No Name rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gripped me from the start. I read it in two days which is a feat considering my busy work and family schedules. The short micro chapters with the cliffhangers made it almost impossible to put down. The suspense...the terror of Hakan's actions...the slowly building tension. However, it was not a perfect story. I did notice two distinct plot holes and the ending kind of dragged on unnecessarily. Reading this made me think about how we don't really know the people we love although we think we ...more
Sam Sattler
Sep 25, 2014 Sam Sattler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
First off, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Rob Smith's "Child 44" trilogy. Those three books are still some of my favorite thrillers of all time.

Now, as to "The Farm..." where to begin? I am going to stay away from the plot other than to reveal the intriguing premise set out on the book's dust jacket itself. Daniel, a young man living in London with his partner, gets a call from a remote farm in Sweden where he believes his parents have settled into a "peaceful" retirement. According
...more
Kasa Cotugno
My pleasure in this book was intensified by seeing the author in person. Smith's reputation was built on a well received trilogy of thrillers set in Russia, but this standalone novel had its genesis from personal experience. A fact I wouldn't have known if he hadn't shared it right off the bat at the book store visit. After his mother and father retired to a remote farm in Sweden, he received a call from his father alleging his mother had turned mad, become insane, and the next thing he knew, hi ...more
Mark
May 19, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
“I'm sure your father has spoken to you. Everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad. I don't need a doctor. I need the police. I'm about to board a flight to London. Meet me at Heathrow.”

Daniel is living a quiet uneventful life in London. A few months earlier, his parents retired to a small farm in Sweden. He has put off visiting his mother's home country and then one day he receives a frantic call from his father, stating that his mother has gone off the edge and has been hospitaliz
...more
Nick Davies
May 11, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was amazing
Though it took a little while to get into this book, and I was uncertain about it for some time, this feeling was not a reflection of a lack of quality in this novel, but a consequence of the great skill and intensity with which the author builds an uncomfortable and disorienting situation at the centre of the book.

The novel concerns a young man who is called by his father from Sweden, telling him that his mother has gone missing from the psychiatric hospital she had recently been committed to,
...more
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Tom Rob Smith (born 1979) is an English writer. The son of a Swedish mother and an English father, Smith was raised in London where he lives today. After graduating from Cambridge University in 2001, he completed his studies in Italy, studying creative writing for a year. After these studies, he worked as a scriptwriter.

His first novel, Child 44, about a series of child murders in Stalinist Russia
...more
More about Tom Rob Smith...

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“...Except when I was alone. I'd hate myself. It's how we feel about ourselves when we're alone that must guide our decisions.” 4 likes
“Let me quickly remind you that the allegation of being mentally incapable is a tried and tested method of silencing women dating back hundreds of years, a weapon to discredit us when we fought against abuses and stood up to authority.” 2 likes
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