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The Free Lunch

Narrated by: Spider Robinson
Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
2.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Under the façade of the world’s finest theme park lies a secret which could alter the course of human history.

Mike and Annie, refugees from the world outside, find a home underground, behind the scenes of Dreamworld, a theme park where hope exists as it does nowhere else. But Dreamworld is threatened by a jealous competitor who kills what he can’t have. As if this were not trouble enough, the two discover that each day there are more of the “trolls” who maintain Dreamworld than there were the day before. As the trolls continue to multiply, they must discover why, or it could mean the end of Dreamworld -and the real world.

Knotted in conflict and turmoil, what was a wonderful, carefree place becomes a battleground on which Earth’s future is at stake. Only Mike and Annie, two unconventional heroes, can save it.

Spider Robinson, winner of three Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award, is renowned for his Callahan’s Place series of bestselling novels. With his wife, Jeanne, he has also written the award-winning Stardance series.

©2013 Spider Robinson (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

“You get much more than you bargained for in this fun-filled yet serious novel. Spider’s the antidote for entropy, the blahs, and the pernicious notion that humor and good grace are absent from the SF field.” (Ben Bova)
The Free Lunch is a fast-moving homage to the lighter side of Robert A. Heinlein…Robinson knows how to generate tension without losing his sense of humor, a more difficult trick than you can imagine.” ( The New York Times)
“Mike and Annie are the kind of characters that return to mind long after the book is done, and the tale is as jaunty as only Spider can make it in his Callahan mode. How can you possibly fail to enjoy this one?” ( Analog)

What listeners say about The Free Lunch

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Profile Image for Keith
  • Keith
  • 12-04-14

Just ok

It was a decent book. Not great but not bad. I would say it wasn't one of spider's best. I liked the story and the characters but I had a hard time getting into it. By the end though it turned out to be better than it started.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Howard W. Hudson
  • 09-06-20

Excellent STory

I have been a Heinlein fan for nearly 50 years and before reading this story by Spider Robinson the only other novel I had read (or listened to) was Variable Star that he co-authored with Heinlein. I can see by Spider's writing why some call him the modern day Heinlein. This book was very well done and I plan on reading it again in the very near future. Because of it I'm currently listening to an old Heinlein novel, Rocketship Galileo, just because Spider narrarated it and he does have a good speaking voice. I am looking forward to starting his Callahan series next. Keep up the good work Spider! I was surprised that they didn't have him write the latest Heinlein novel that recently came out.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Gayla
  • 14-09-20

Best part was the author

This was a great story. I didn't give it five stars because then what do you give The Hobbit? But I enjoyed it very much. I knew I was onto a winner when the preface, by the author, had me laughing and really eager to hear more. This was my first Spider Robinson book, but it won't be the last.

2 people found this helpful

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  • KC Bender
  • 07-05-19

Tanstaafl

Excellent stuff! Spider did good as always!! one of my favorite books and so glad that the audio version rocked it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Scott
  • 04-12-19

So good!

I'm so glad I decided to look for this one in audible, as I already own the paperback but haven't had the time to read it. I was delighted to find that Spider himself was the narrator, and that he is quite skilled at it too. The story is easy to follow, with distinct character voices and clear chapter delineation. This was a perfect road trip companion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Milla
  • 27-09-20

Snares your attention

I absolutely loved this. The world is real, and the story takes wonderful twists that give you just enough to keep you guessing. The narrator di a wonderful job on the voices!

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  • Daniel Cascaddan
  • 26-09-20

scoial science fiction

I have been trying for more than a decade to get the curriculum committee and one of my deans to let me offer a political science fiction course for lower division GE. If I ever succeed, this will be one of the books I have my students read. What an EXCELLENT story! How have I never read this one before? I sure would like to visit a Disneyland with Tomorrowland turned into Heinlein Land! ;-) I can't believe with all the times I have read Star Beast, it only for the first time occurred to me that if I get a big dog, she will be named Lummox.

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  • Diana
  • 17-09-20

Fans of Heinlein’s youth novels should enjoy

I’m a huge fan of everything Heinlein, which is admittedly where I first heard of Spider Robinson. This tale is in the same spirit as many of Heinlein’s novels for younger readers. It has a lighthearted spirit with some more serious topics blended in. The main characters are lively and interesting. They’re well-developed and I for one would enjoy seeing where else their tale goes. Perhaps we’ll get a sequel? Annie and Mike seem like an unlikely pairing at first but unlikely or not they become friends and as a listener I would love to have dinner with them or go under in Dreamworld myself.

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  • ScottishLass
  • 31-08-20

Book cover more promising than the book delivered

Narration abd writing was great, but story never grabbed me... I just couldn't get into it even tho listened to the end.

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  • rocketnerd
  • 30-08-20

Thrill Ride through a futuristic theme park.

An entertaining Syfy adventure with interesting characters, very good narration, and enough twists and turns to make it worthwhile. A quick fun listen.