Thursday, September 25, 2014
Review of Friday
Science fiction from the 80's. What can you expect?
Friday isn't the kind of novel you'd put in the same place as Space Odyssey, but it has got its own merit.
I liked what the author tried with this novel. Instead of giving the future a major part in the novel, it became part of the background. Just the scene where the action happens, it reads like an adventure novel set in the future instead of in this day and age.
The woman we follow throughout the book is Friday, a cyborg, or maybe not. She's actually a testtube baby but apparently society in Heinlein's book doesn't see them as actual human beings. Today we can already filter out bad genes if we have certain diseases in the family we don't want our child to inherit, and Friday also had a magnificent set of genes. She's immune to certain diseases, her reflexes are quicker and her senses just a little better than ours.
She designed to fulfill certain duties in life, that can vary from lifeguard to sexual companion.
Friday herself is a courier. She travels around the globe and the other planets, carrying information. What she does is best described as clandestine, because her job sometimes needs her to kill a few adversaries that are in her way.
Her mindset can best be described as liberal. She doesn't have a problem with what she does, because she sees herself as not being part of the human race. Each time she tries to connect with humans, most turn away from her when they find out she's not altogether that common. Also, she's sexually progressive. Sexual acts are being described fairly abstract as if she doesn't see it as an act of love, but more as physical exercise. She even says that in the novel, although not in those words.
I'm not sure these are a fiction from the author's mind or his way to display his opinion on the matter, but I found it to be a little over the top.
I don't mind what happens in the novel, but what I did mind was how Friday went about it. And it's not even her alone. Apparently in the future, sex isn't treated as sacred as it is today. Most humans don't mind mingling constantly with others, trading their spouses, joining others during their intimate acts.
I'm not sure what to think of it. Would it be better if sex wasn't treated as exclusive as it is now? For as far as I'm concerned, it's the thrill of not being sure when or with whom that makes us as pliable as most of us are. If it would be widely available with no repurcussions, people would just end up not doing it anymore. Or not as much. Most of us anyway.
But what do I know. I just wished it wasn't a major part of the book. It bothered me a little. Sex just be a chain of events, as a topic it lacks depth because in the end it all turns out the same.
But enough about the better part of marriage, Friday wasn't a bad novel, if you omit the free spiritness of it. It's not a world I'd like to live in, but Heinlein did portray a believable world.
I'm giving this novel a 6,5 out of 10.