Summary

When it was first published over 20 years ago, Joe Haldeman's novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards and was chosen Best Novel in several countries. Today, it is hailed a classic of science fiction that foreshadowed many of the futuristic themes of the 1990s: bionics, sensory manipulation, and time distortion. William Mandella is a soldier in Earth's elite brigade. As the war against the Taurans sends him from galaxy to galaxy, he learns to use protective body shells and sophisticated weapons. He adapts to the cultures and terrains of distant outposts. But with each month in space, years are passing on Earth. Where will he call home when (and if) the Forever War ends?
Narrator George Wilson's performance conveys all the imaginative technology and human drama of The Forever War. Set against a backdrop of vivid battle scenes, this absorbing work asks provocative questions about the very nature of war.
©1974 Joe W. Haldeman (P)1999 Recorded Books
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Critic reviews

"A vastly entertaining trip." ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 07-01-09

Loved it.

Having always wanted to read this book, I took the opportunity of a long commute to listen to it instead. it is slightly dated, but if you cannot rise above the tide of time, you shouldn't read any book older than a couple of years old, which rules out rather a lot of good books - "That Treasure Island, it's sooo dated!"

The narration is good, and the story itself, despite having travelled in strange directions as far as predicting a future world is concerned, is charming with believable characters and plays with interesting ideas. Not sure how it won the Hugo and Nebula, as I can think of better books, but still well worth listening to.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ben on 26-09-14

Forever?- This went pretty quickly!

What did you like best about this story?

This has been one of my favourite books in a 'best sci-fi' list that I have been working through lately. The structure is great as it keeps the pace of the story motoring along and alternates between the action based military campaign, and a more thoughtful reflection on the society that has been left behind. It's not a dumb book, but it remains completely unpretentious at all times which is not always the case with the old sci-fi. Pleased I came across this one.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John on 24-09-08

A classic.

The Forever War is science fiction at its best: A commentary on war cast in a science fiction motif.

Haldeman wrote this specifically as a reaction to the Vietnam War, of which he was a veteran. It is dated a bit, given that it posits the availability of collapsar jump technology in the 1990s, but that's just an interesting plot device, not the point of the book.

One reviewer suggests Starship Troopers as a better alternative. I strongly disagree and believe she has missed the point of The Forever War entirely. Starship Troopers is a lot more like Heinlein's version of Plato's Republic, especially clear if you've read his non-science fiction works. The Forever War is no such animal.

In short, I put The Forever War beside Stranger in a Strange Land and Foundation as the best examples of the science fiction genre and well worth your time to listen. Pure and simple.

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56 of 58 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 11-03-15

F U Sir!

When I first read this in the early 80's it was considered cutting edge, now it is considered a Classic. This does not surprise those who have read it, most of us knew back in the 70's and 80's that this would reach classic status. Before David Weber and John Ringo, there was Joe Haldeman. This involves a lot of physics, a lot of time paradoxes and a little anti-war. The physics in most cases is explained so that the common layman can understand and it is done in an entertaining way. In the beginning of the book Mandella goes to a planet out past Pluto. The suits they wear and how they deal with the climate make the book very entertaining. It is nota lot of speeches, it is more if you do this you will blow up, etc... It is written in a way in which you do not feel you are in a class room. There was some stuff, especially toward the end of the book that did go over my head, but the book was still great as a whole.

M*A*S*H
Is the theme song going through your head? The anti war is not overly done. You are not beat over the head with it. There are no long Alan Alda speeches. You can be a war hawk and still love this book. I will admit that the book does drag a little toward the end, but still as a whole it is great. Think a more modern version of Arthur C. Clarke.

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34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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