Folsom Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The nation as we know it is a thing of the past. With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of 12 men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.
Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long-hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.
A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution. Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 32 minutes|
|Author||Tarryn Fisher, Willow Aster|
|Narrator||Jennifer Mack, Alexander Cendese|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 19, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #123,324 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#695 in Dystopian Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#815 in Science Fiction Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,947 in Dystopian Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on May 29, 2018
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Top reviews from the United States
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This is a plot unlike any other I’ve read. While the idea of a world predominantly devoid of men isn’t a new one – I’ve had conversations about how amazing it would be and how we’d need very few men – the humanity of what that world might look like never occurred to me. Folsom lent a blinding light on how absurd a position women could put a man in if forced to do nothing but father children with willing women. It was a gut-punch to see how quickly we could make them nothing but another commodity to be traded.
Gwen was everything. I wasn’t sure of her in the first chapter; there seemed to be something too soft, too timid about her, she quickly dispelled those fears. Her unique intelligence and ability to look beyond the propaganda she’d been served her entire life gave her a thorny kind of strength, she refused to let anyone close enough to her to sway her from her convictions; any time someone tried to repress her ideologies she struck back with no apologies. Her desire to bring a revolution to the complacency she’d lived with her entire life was awe-inspiring and a picture of the significance of true feminism.
I was surprised by how much empathy I felt for the End Men. Two days ago, I would have easily told you that I would implement the exact system that existed in this book. Today, I would tear down the walls trying to prevent something like that from ever happening. To people who think that romance isn’t an intellectual genre, that it has nothing to offer the world, you’re wrong and this book, this dystopian romance that expands on a society we’ve all postulated about, exemplifies just how much romance has to teach the world.
I have read several books from both Tarryn Fisher and Willow Aster, some I’ve loved and some I’ve absolutely hated. And for that, I find them both to be must-read inkslingers, anyone who can make me feel so profoundly after reading the words they’ve put on paper is doing something incredible. I have never left a book by either author without feeling their stories deep in my soul and, to me, that is the surest sign of a superb author. This book joins a long list of their books that go beyond a story to become an experience.
In some ways, Folsom is an inversion of the Handmaid's Tale. If the Handmaid's Tale is an exercise in intimate domestic terrorism where women are the possessions of men (Offred i.e. Of Fred) and reduced to fertile wombs by the merging of religion and the State, Folsom is an examination of the flip side. In Folsom's world, there are only twelve fertile men left (End Men) and their duty is to bring the male population back from the brink of extinction.
Women run the world and men are objects, public property, belonging to what appears to be an atheist State. If Offred is the stereotypical male fantasy of subservience, Folsom is the opposite. He lives a life servicing women by appointment as part of his duties to the State. If the Handmaid's Tale is up close and personal conducted within the private domain, Folsom's experience is public. He adopts the public persona of an alpha male, while essentially being a slave.
Folsom's sexual duties are devoid of intimacy and connection. His world, like his name, is a prison. In other words, the method of saving humanity is absent of the same.
Enter Gwen: At twelve, she had a dream/vision of having a baby and her politically connected mother has done everything within her power to ensure this becomes reality. It is within this context that Gwen and Folsom meet and form a connection that has political ramifications.
Through her burgeoning relationship with Folsom, Gwen's fantasy about End Men and the world she lives in are put to the test. Here is where key thematics of the story unfold: the freedom of the individual versus the state, freedom of choice, speech, to love who you want to—whilst balanced against the survival of the species. The broader question is whether the species deserves to survive when it needs to enslave people to do so.
All in all, I found this a compelling read. It's more humanist (and I use that in the academic sense of the word), than radical. In this world—the world of women—Fisher and Aster are unafraid to show women's inhumanity to women. Ambition, power, and cruelty are gender neutral traits, and the inference is that no matter who is in charge (male or female) it is human nature for some of the worst of us to be attracted to ruling others.
It is a bit of a slow burn, but the emotional, albeit predictable ending, certainly made up for it. Although I saw it coming, it didn't make it any less impactful. I thought the world building could do with some extension and I would love to know more about how it came to be, rather than just the perfunctory references to destruction, death, and disease.
Although I liked Gwen, there is a wide-eyed innocence about her character that did bother me. Protected by privilege, she didn't really become involved until events affected her personally and she got everything she wanted bar one thing, which sparked her rebellion. Until that time, she worked for an organisation that was intimately involved in the rejuvenation of the species, which is dependent on the enslavement of men.
Perhaps this is a pet peeve, but I find characters (and people) limiting who can only relate to events if they have some kind of personal stake in matters.
I am mindful after reading Folsom—just as I am after reading and watching The Handmaid's Tale, that these might be dystopian stories for some segments of the population, but they are the histories of other groups.
I look forward to reading the sequels.
Top reviews from other countries
A dystopian novel so powerfully brilliant, where the lines blur between reality, and fiction. It’s not like anything I expected, it’s unique, relevant, passionate, and raw.
Who does that?
A collaboration duo of epic proportions— Fisher and Aster—that’s who!
Flawlessly scripted with a precision that will pull you under with the power of a tidal wave, and hold you hostage like it’s your anchor. Simply breathtaking.
The onslaught of emotions throughout had my heckles raised, and my pulse racing, the palpitations I felt are by no means an exaggeration.
It will leave you on a precipice—a cliffhanger would be too kind of a word— read it now, and give yourself time to work through the barrage of thoughts, and emotions that will encompass you long after.
Believe me when I say you don’t even have to like Dystopian or even Romance novels to read this book, it has something for everyone, and you will love it.
I was invested in these characters, and this book, a reality so close to home, where broken people strive to overcome adversity in a time of uncertainty and chaos.
I ached for Folsom in a way I did not see coming, when I saw his vulnerability, it gutted me.
Hell Yeah to Gwen, she is tenacious, feisty, resilient, intelligent, and yet a compassionate heroine.
She gives new meaning to Rise of the Women, she brings hope—that two wrongs don’t make a right.
I guarantee you by the end you’ll want to stand with Gwen, rise up, and fight for The End of Men.
An epic read, and this is only book one!
“Savour it, you’ll only get to read it for the first time once.”
I just finished FOLSOM and I’m at a loss for words.
I went in not knowing what to expect having not read anything by these two authors before but I’m absolutely going to check out the rest of their work.
I find the more books you read, the less authors seem to be able to surprise you—so not the case with this one.
I was hooked into the story from the very first page and as I got lost in the characters, I found myself so obsessed by what might happen next, I just HAD to keep reading. I fell asleep clutching the book only to wake much earlier than I was ready to so I could dive back in.
I love different. This book is different. And I simply cannot wait to see where it goes next.
I have read everything Tarryn Fisher has published and loved every book, Folsom was nothing at all what I expected from her. I knew the blurb but the writing style seemed nothing like her. I haven’t read any of Willow’s books, perhaps the change was her influence.
Folsom is fundamentally a sex slave with his own private jet, a chauffeur and a dressmaker. He’s fathered hundreds of kids to repopulate the world but it takes a girl with messy hair asking about his boots to make the wheels fall off.
Gwen begins to question the use of the End Men and Governonr Petite a bit like Katniss questions the Capitol and President Snow. You’ve got to love a rebel uprising.
Folsom is different and new and thoroughly enjoyable. Can’t wait for Jackal.