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Friday

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  25,366 ratings  ·  709 reviews
Friday is a secret courier. She is employed by a man known to her only as "Boss." Operating from and over a near-future Earth, in which North America has become Balkanized into dozens of independent states, where culture has become bizarrely vulgarized and chaos is the happy norm, she finds herself on shuttlecock assignment at Boss' seemingly whimsical behest. From New ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 17th 1997 by Del Rey (first published August 3rd 1982)
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James Neither. She was a human being. Before birth her genes were altered to give her certain enhancements, such as better health, hearing, vision,…moreNeither. She was a human being. Before birth her genes were altered to give her certain enhancements, such as better health, hearing, vision, increased strength, and supposedly intelligence.

In her culture she was labelled an "artificial" person, not because she was an android, but because not all of her genetic material was due to natural selection.

I don't think there were any androids or robots mentioned in the book, other than machines that performed robotic tasks. (less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  25,366 ratings  ·  709 reviews


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Stephen
Robert Anson Heinlein…shame on you, sir. W…T…everwomanhating…F were you thinking when you wrote this drivel?

Friday is, in my irritated opinion, the most offensive and childishly ridiculous female protagonist since Russ Meyer and Roger Corman teamed up to co-direct Planet of the Nympho Bimbos Part II: Attack of the Soapy Breast Monsters.**

** Not a real film, so don’t bother searching Amazon for it.

Pardon my soap boxing, but this is a despicable pile of misogynistic shit that should have been
...more
Lyn
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Two months before the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner was released, Robert A. Heinlein first published Friday.

Blade Runner was the film adaption of Philip K. Dicks’ 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? but Heinlein may also have been influenced by PKD, in that Friday concerns the creation of “enhanced” humans.

Both works also feature and highlight a strong female lead character. Friday for Heinlein and Priss in Blade Runner have created in speculative fiction an archetypal female:
...more
Owen
May 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
The first few pages had me thinking "Wow, when the old goat isn't preaching his agenda of communal polygamist living and actually TELLS A STORY, he makes you remember how good he is at it!" Then he promptly settles in for about 100 pages of agenda and leaves most of the potential that this character had to fizzle. Even though Friday is just another incarnation of Heinlein's typical horny-bimbo-with-a-Ph.D. dream girl (and there's nothing wrong with that), her artificial person status, ninja-like ...more
Alex
Jul 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I read this book several times as a teenager, because it had sex scenes. I may still have a thing for short-haired women in high-collared jumpsuits. (May. I don't actually know, since that doesn't exist.)

So I dug it back then, even though I realized at the time that it had both storytelling and philosophical problems. But now I'm 40, and this book is terrible.

It has zero plot, first of all. Just no plot at all. It's, like, here's a superspy and she has a bunch of sex, and that's it. Which you
...more
Manny
Not as good as Saturday.
_________________________________

The most memorable passage in Friday occurs on page 1. I quote it here in full:
This book is dedicated to Ann, Anne, Barbie, Betsy, Bubbles, Carolyn, Catherine, Dian, Diane, Eleanor, Elinor, Gay, Jeanne, Joan, Judy-Lynn, Karen, Kathleen, Marilyn, Nichelle, Patricia, Pepper, Polly, Roberta, Tamea, Rebel, Ursula, Verna, Vivian, Vonda, Yumiko, and always – semper toujours! – to Ginny. R.A.H.
Ever since reading the book in 1982, I have wondered
...more
Manuel Antão
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, 1992
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Emotional Disconnect: "Friday" by Robert A. Heinlein



"Friday" is typical of some of Heinlein's style used in some of his not so successful books. Heinlein certainly likes his archetypes, as he should. Jubal Harshaw in “Stranger in a Strange Land,” for example, is just another Boss, a mysterious ultra-rich, cynical genius and Mike is the super-powered innocent growing into his own. I appreciate the feelings more when they are mixed with
...more
Jake Mosely
Heinlein's age really shows in this one. The most noticeable things about Heinlein's later works are his twin obsessions with free love and breakfast. This book features several pointless sexual encounters and equally pointless detailed descriptions of breakfasts. While the sexuality can come off a bit "creepy old dude" the breakfasts are entertaining, well described slices of an old man's true joys extrapolated into his story. I really would only recommend this one for those with previous ...more
Gary
Apr 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
For my entire adult life, and a bit back before becoming an adult, I have walked to the “Science Fiction” section of the book store and seen this book lurking there. The cover with the unzipped jumpsuit, “Ooh, silly me, is that my right breast?” has always vaguely piqued my attention, but never quite enough to inspire me to actually purchase the thing. There are, after all, Boris Vellejo covers not too far away, and those are going to draw my eye and empty my wallet faster when I’m looking for ...more
James
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of late Heinlein, Cyberpunk fans.
This book is an old friend of mine. I originally picked it up after seeing the cover art and reading the description in Michael Whelan's "Worlds of Wonder" - a book of his art. It was the first Heinlein I'd read.

When I first read this book, Friday was among the first female action heroines I'd run across. She was smart. She was sexy (er... almost to excess), she was tough, and, I thought, still feminine. Subsequent readings dimmed that a bit. Friday is a good attempt to create a believable
...more
CD
I am naming this an all time favorite as it is Heinleins own response to all those misguided self-righteous 'literary critics' and college lit professors who needed a scapegoat in popular fiction for a twenty year period of time.

There are reviews here at Goodreads that obviously have been written by those readers so tainted by the 'legend' of Heinlein and his misanthropic misogyny, jingoism, and racism that they fail to recognize or can only grudgingly admit there is much more else to RH and the
...more
Rachel
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
(written 5-05)

Yyyyyyeah! Loved it. Heinlein sure knows how to write a good story, even if his female characters are always bi-curious sex maniacs in favor of free love with multiple partners. For an artificial person, Friday seems pretty damn human. I liked the mystery in the plot and just how bad-ass she was.

"I did not offer to pay the Hunters. There are human people who have very little but are rich in dignity and self-respect. Their hospitality is not for sale, nor is their charity." 178

"A
...more
R.S. Carter
A friend of mine slipped me this soft cover at my book club. He thought I would enjoy it. He was right.

While the exploits of our genetically-engineered superhuman in love, sex and war are fun to read about, Heinlein's futuristic milieu's are always the front runner. The world is broken and the worst of the extremes have begun vying for power. What side would you rather be on? The fascist socialists who kill anyone with a savings account or the theocracy hell bent on removing rights from everyone
...more
Malum
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is one of the most Heinlein books ever Heinleined. Nearly all of his tropes are here: Open relationships/shared partners, promiscuous sex being no big deal and as taboo as shaking hands, shady corporations, war, people fighting for personal freedoms, people hiding from crooked authority figures who are on their trail, noble older men, an emphasis on scholarship and learning, people getting rich by luck and/or tricky shenanigans, anti-bigot sentiments, anti-organized religion sentiments...I ...more
LittleAsian Sweatshop
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-scifi, scifi
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 ...more
Mike
Oct 04, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Heinlein book, and not his best, but certainly not the worst. After The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, much of his works started becoming a little redundant in their characterizations ('good' women are always super smart and sexy and love to fuck, 'good' men are always brave and strong, both have frontier ideals and want a free society of people just like them who all fuck each other without jealousy and live in group marriages) and a little slower in their plot machinations (they ...more
Thomas
Aug 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lordy. I'm aware that Heinlein's later works are self-indulgent examinations of everything he held dear (e.g., free love, libertarianism, and breakfast), but I'm shocked how much he crosses lines with this book. It starts off early, too, with the titular character being gang-raped in the first chapter, and how she decides to cope with it by liking it. The worst thing about it all is one of them has bad breath, and furthermore, she notes that rape is worse for men, so what does she have to ...more
Tom Tresansky
Jul 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
Heinlein, in his later years was a major perv.

I had first read this many years ago, and remember it as an adventurous romp about a Balkanized Earth (and beyond) featuring plenty of sexytimes starring his nympho-with-a-brain super agent. I remembered Friday as being a kind of female James Bond. What I couldn't remember was any specifics of the villains' plot, etc.

After rereading, I know why that is...because THERE ISN'T ONE.

Starting with a ambush capture scene, the book seemed perfectly setup to
...more
Kathryn Flatt
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read "Friday" many years ago, and only because I forgot to send back the monthly card for the book club I was in and this was a default selection! Yet it stays in a level of memory that is easily retrievable. The main character, Friday, is the kind of heroine that always captures me--strong, resourceful, brave--the kind of woman protagonist I strive to create in my own books.

The thing that continues to amaze me is how prophetic it is, considering it was published in 1982. The world is a
...more
Lafcadio
Aug 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fly
Shelves: 850-905, suite, fanscifree
I have my suspicions about Heinlein's women. Friday seems the embodyment of them all.
Mario
Phenomenal story. The ending (view spoiler) was fine.

I do not at all agree with some reviewers that would describe the book as misogynistic, or that Friday is merely a man with [boobs] (although I have not yet
...more
Terence
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: The cover (obviously)
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I read this in high school (the cover really helps these star ratings). If I were to reread this today (which I have no desire to do), I would give it 2 stars, mostly for the ending ((view spoiler)).

Addendum (11/22/11):
Upon further reflection and in light of the comments below, I'm revising my rating to 2 stars: Get past chapter one and ignore the ending
...more
Debbie Zapata
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: saturdaymx
Friday is an Artificial Person struggling with the demands of her job as courier for The Boss, her own feelings of isolation due to the attitudes of most people around her towards APs, and a world gone crazy. I had not read this book for years, so it all seemed new to me and I enjoyed it very much.

I had to wait a long time for a reference to Robinson Crusoe, but it did finally show up with perfect timing when Friday was in Las Vegas. It was a bit of an AH-HA moment, since I am also reading about
...more
Mei
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorite Heinlein novels. Friday is a wonderful heroine - not one-dimensional, and so on.

The world that Friday lives in was echoed slightly in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash (another all-time favorite novel of mine). In Friday, the protagonist is an artificial person ("AP") with enhanced reflexes and intelligence. She is a highly trained courier: "it WILL get through."

There is one rape scene which can set one off a bit, but I found it to be accurate to the story: in
...more
Kathleen Dienne
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Asking me to pick my favorite Heinlein is like asking me to pick my favorite friend. My favorite changes depending on my feelings, my life at that moment, and probably a heap of things I don't even notice.

I loved science fiction and fantasy from an early age, but the heroes I found were almost entirely male. Females were either supporting characters or props.

Friday is tough, independent, brave, and makes things happen. She wrestles with insecurity, but it never keeps her from taking action. At
...more
Lindsey
In short, if you like Heinlein, you're going to like this book. Politics, some action, sex, intrigue, background world-building, and the need for the true leaders of humankind to push their boundaries feature prominently in this story. Friday is the story of a young woman who is a high level courier for the mysterious Boss. As is typical in Heinlein's novels, the storyline is much more about who Friday is and why she makes the choices she makes than about what she does or the people around her.

...more
Thom
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This episodic adventure story moves along at a pretty good clip, and was a fast read. In it, Robert A Heinlein liberally visits his favorite themes of description of government, free love, and breakfast. Friday is a strong character, female of gender and with darker skin than pictured on the cover. She also seems very much what RAH thinks the ideal female would be.

I first read this as a "new" Heinlein novel, after having read Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and several of the
...more
Mel
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love love love everything that Heinlein ever touched. There was a brief moment in the story when our dear Friday meets another of her own kind (no spoilers, I hope) and he disappears, convinced that she wouldn't want him if she knew what he was...heartbreaking.
Like in Farnham's Freehold, I got the sense that, without climbing up onto a pulpit, R. A. was demonstrating the prejudice which people inflict on each other (all the while being confident of the absolute rightness of their prejudices).
...more
Jeff Yoak
I don't know if I'll ever get tired of reading Friday. Other than perhaps Minerva, I find Friday the most appealing female character Heinlein created. The plot is not as tight as many of his early novels, but still flows. The action is extremely well-written. The Heinlein avatar is particularly appealing in this book. It just has lots to recommend it.
Deodand
Sep 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, With Reservations
Oh Mr. Heinlein, you are a flaming sexist, and crazy as a shithouse rat. But I love you anyway! I can't help it.

Please read any Heinlein novel with your eyes WIDE open. His ego was huge and he liked to pretend he was every character in his books, including the females.
Ericka Clouther
Okay, sometimes I display bad taste. This is a good example. This book is bad because the main character is a woman and she displays a very cavalier attitude about gang rape. This can be attributed to any number of causes: 1) perhaps Heinlein just doesn't understand female anatomy and women's emotional lives, 2) perhaps Heinlein wanted to display what a superhuman badass spy the main character is, 3) just trashy writing so as to kick up some publicity bad or otherwise to sell books? And I tried ...more
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Long Live Heinlein: Does Friday belong in the Long series? 1 18 May 05, 2015 02:51PM  
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7,118 followers
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into
...more
“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” 461 likes
“I don't see why human people make such a heavy trip out of sex. It isn't anything complex, it is simply the best thing in life, even better than food.” 83 likes
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