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Farewell to the Master

Narrated by: Tom Weiner
Length: 1 hr and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Were the alien and his robot here to help or hinder humankind? Find out the surprising answer in the original story that inspired the classic 1951 science-fiction movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.

This is a must-read for any science-fiction lover, for, as the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says, "the film lost the story's ironic ending." Now listeners can discover first-hand what Hollywood left out in this best-known novella of the legendary 1930s idea man, Harry Bates.

Bates's novella, published in 1940 under the title Farewell to the Master, with its poignant, haunting last line, posthumously brought him the coveted Balrog Award (1983). Long-time science-fiction fans rank it and its creator among the greats.

Public Domain (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Clydene
  • Clydene
  • 12-03-2010

Loved This Story

I have always loved the movie original The Day the Earth Stood Still and had wondered what the original story was like, and found Farewell to the Master absolutely delightful.

Sadly there seems to be very few stories from Harry Bates that have survived the test of time. It is wonderful to have this story on audible.com.

The reading by Tom Weiner was perfect for this story. His style on this book reminded me of the 1950s. But I had previously heard him narrate Blackwater, and he sounded a bit different there. Overall a great reading, and he calmly is able to emphasize drama without being too over dramatic.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Jim "The Impatient"
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 28-03-2016

PICTURE MAN

Starts with an introduction about Bates. Since Bates is not that well known today, the introduction was appreciated. Written in 1940 it may be a little slow for the under fifty crowd, but it is a well written story with a great message. The movie was a classic and like most movies is not exactly like the book. Both are good. It was a fun and thought provoking listen.

12 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Douglas McCabe
  • Douglas McCabe
  • 24-11-2017

"Farewell to the Master" <br />Reviewed

The best way to characterize this is to say it is not your grandfather's "The Day the Earth Stood Still", but it is equally as good and more ominous than the movie.
Excellent story and good narration.
I would like to see someone like J. J. Abrams table an unaltered version of this as a movie.

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  • smallz
  • 11-01-2017

Farewell

Fantastic story. The morality was lost in the Hollywood version. Very Meaningful. Great short story.

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Profile Image for Frank Donnelly
  • Frank Donnelly
  • 28-07-2016

Excellent - Story and Narration

I loved this story. It is the basis for the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still". But there are important differences. I would encourage a reader / listener to read this story and then watch the movie. Thank You...

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  • Michael Eaton
  • 29-06-2015

The Day The Master Stood Still

If you have loved the old, original production of "The Day The Earth Stood Still", so too will you love this original version of that great story. Bear in mind that the story and the movie are far different. Michael Rennie will always be Klaatu for me. As others have noted, do NOT skip ahead and read the ending of the story. You will ruin the story for you. The narrator is perfect, and he enhanced the story. By all means, get this audiobook.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Justin Hall
  • 01-06-2015

Better Than all the Movies which it Inspired

This was a very good short story. Why no one has bothered to make it into a proper film, I don't understand.

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  • PAUL OUIMET
  • 10-04-2015

THE MASTER?

What did you love best about Farewell to the Master?

I loved the twist at the ending, it was unexpected.

What did you like best about this story?

The detail that went into it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The fight between the robot and gorilla.

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Profile Image for Salvador
  • Salvador
  • 10-07-2012

The Day the Earth Stood Still

What made the experience of listening to Farewell to the Master the most enjoyable?

Touching base with the original story that inspired much of science fiction. It is similar to the feeling one gets when watching the original Star Trek series.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The robot. It is an icon in the genre.

Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favorite?

The robot. It is an icon in the genre.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kerry Ickatore
  • Kerry Ickatore
  • 22-01-2009

Very Nice

Well written Sci Fi and expertly narrated. Worth a listen even if you've seen the movie.

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  • Nephrite
  • 30-06-2020

A story with an interesting history well told

Farewell To The Master by Harry Bates

Hello again to all of my readers! I hope you are all well and now I shall explain today’s review. I’m sure that many of you have heard of or watched The Day The Earth Stood Still. Be it the classic 1950s version or the – much inferior – 2008 remake. Farewell To The Master by the (sadly lost to history) Harry Bates was the original short story from 1940 which proved the inspiration for the famous film. As such this review is going to be very similar to my review for Frozen Hell by John W. Campbell Jr.

Harry Bates is a figure which although he is not well remembered had quite the impact on the history of science fiction. He acted as the founding editor of Astounding Stories of Super Science which later became better known as simply Astounding Stories and was eventually edited by John W. Campbell Jr. For information on his tenure see my discussion of Frozen Hell. Bates often had his authors focus on exciting action with short bursts of plausible science when relevant. Bates himself did write a number of stories while acting as editor however there is no record of any published stories by Bates under any name after 1952. He eventually died in 1981 mostly forgotten.

Farewell To The Master is a story from 1940 which despite inspiring the 1951 classic is very different from its more well known children. The plot is as follows: A space-time ship suddenly appears in Washington D.C. unexpectedly. A large crowd gathers and waits for signs of any occupants. Eventually an humanoid looking alien leaves the ship known as Klaatu alongside a robotic thing known as Gnut. Klaatu is assassinated and to prove their sincere sorrow over the event a partial museum of the event of first contact and mausoleum for the remains of Klaatu is built. A journalist known as Cliff Sutherland becomes suspicious and believes that Gnut – who supposedly has not moved since the death of Klaatu – is secretly moving at night but I won’t give away any more of the story except to say that the famous ‘Klaatu barada nikto’ was an invention of the 1951 film.

I found Farewell to be an intriguing relisten. Cliff Sutherland proves to be an interesting character with slowly progressing intentions and motivations throughout the course of the short story while Gnut proves to be something of a puzzle. At least at first. Bates’s writing is enjoyable with enough going on to entertain the reader or listener and if you enjoy hearing the original versions of certain now world famous or ubiquitous stories I certainly recommend it.

The narration in the version which I experienced came from a Tom Weiner who I found a very good and enjoyable narrator. His various voices certainly seemed to capture the spirit of the 1940s and 1950s science fiction in which the story was created. In some ways it was similar to the narration done for The Luna Missile Crisis. Weiner also narrates a introductory miniature biography and history of Harry Bates and his involvement with the science fiction genre which also discusses some clear differences with The Day The Earth Stood Still.

On the other hand, despite enjoying Farewell to the Master, I would personally say that the 1951 Day is the superior experience. They tell different stories and have different messages so as a result you can certainly experience both and get a different result but Farewell (and I feel somewhat guilty saying this) simply feels more dated. It’s one of those rare examples where I find it difficult to define what ‘bothers’ me about a story (and in this case Farewell comparatively.)

As a result this is a story which I personally enjoy and has an intriguing ending but I wouldn’t recommend seeking out unless you are a big fan of classic science fiction or you consider The Day The Earth Stood Still as one of your personal favourite films. Otherwise the specific version I listened to is a three out of five story being elevated to four out of five by rather well done narration by Weiner and the mini biography prior to the story itself.

Hopefully you will all hear from me soon.

Sayonara!

Nephrite

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Raymond
  • 14-06-2011

The day the Earth stood still

This is the story that 'The day the Earth stood still' is based on, try this and see what the last film got so wrong!