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Old Man's War | [John Scalzi]

Old Man's War

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
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Publisher's Summary

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea of what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine. And what he will become is far stranger.

©2005 John Scalzi (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award nominee, Best Novel, 2006

"Scalzi's imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated." (The Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (5284 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dax Mickelson 03-31-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Love it!"
    What made the experience of listening to Old Man's War the most enjoyable?

    This story does remind me of the "classical" sci-fi writers' styles. Great performance and worth owning!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "75 Year Old Sodliers?"

    John Scalzi loves to dig into the idea of a person being able to change bodies like they change underwear. In this book changing bodies is not quite that easy, but it is a prominent element of this story. It just so happens that I really like the philosophical ideas that it brings up, it is very post human and appeals to me.

    Narrated by William Dufris Old Man’s War presents some very cool ideas. Taking old people from Earth and moving their minds into young genetically enhanced space marines and then dealing with all of the repercussions of doing that. Good stuff.

    Mr. Dufris delivers a great performance and gives all of the characters individual voices and emotions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Newmarket, Ontario, Canada 03-22-13
    David Newmarket, Ontario, Canada 03-22-13 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    Story
    "Fantastic re-working of the Starship Troopers meme"
    What did you love best about Old Man's War?

    Great concept for a future world in which the Colonial Union has isolated and culturally "frozen" the earth to use its' first world citizens as soldiers and its' third world citizens as colonists in a bloody race for real estate against a universe full of hostile (and hungry!) aliens. The twist is that you don't get to volunteer to be a soldier until you are 75...and no one comes back.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Space opera at its' best, with the wry humor that Scalzi is famous for.


    Have you listened to any of William Dufris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Dufris's narration is always perfect, which a range of character voices to encompass most situations.


    Any additional comments?

    I only wish Scalzi would stop saying "he said" or "she said" after every bit of dialogue. Failing that, could he not edit his books for narration to eliminate this annoying tic in his otherwise superb stories?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Valentine San Francisco 03-13-13
    Michael Valentine San Francisco 03-13-13
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    "Teriffic From Start to Finish"
    What made the experience of listening to Old Man's War the most enjoyable?

    The imagination and the writing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's such an interesting take on the Sci-fi genre. Great pacing.


    Have you listened to any of William Dufris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    It took me a little while to get used to him, but I ended up really liking him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. just a smile.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll be checking out John Scalzi again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabra 03-12-13
    Sabra 03-12-13 Member Since 2010
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    64
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    "What are you willing to pay"

    How far will you go to stop the aging process. Not your average book on aging and war. I enjoyed the book now reading the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory United States 03-07-13
    Gregory United States 03-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Outstanding"
    Would you listen to Old Man's War again? Why?

    My favorite Sci-Fi so far. Very enjoyable right from the start.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All. Great character interactions.


    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?

    n/a


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

    YES


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Virginia Beach, VA, United States 03-04-13
    Chris Virginia Beach, VA, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story + great narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Recommend it to everyone who occasionally feels their age. It's a great escape to your youth.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Entirely plausible given recent direction of scientific advances.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His tone and variations gave me an instant grasp on many of the characters.


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

    yes, don't want to spoil it for others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wade Addison, TX, United States 02-25-13
    Wade Addison, TX, United States 02-25-13

    The universe rearranges itself to accomodate your picture of reality.

    ratings
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    9
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    "Interesting take on bioengineering"
    Would you listen to Old Man's War again? Why?

    I enjoyed this story as much as I have enjoyed all of John Scalzi's stories. Lots to think about in this one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob lewisville, NC, United States 02-19-13
    Bob lewisville, NC, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Good military tale in classic space opera setting"

    For those who loved the Forever War, or Starship Troopers, or even Startide Rising, this is a must book. While the space opera setting is standard, almost to the point of distraction, and the military memes have all been seen before, Scalzi's core twist, of old people fighting a war, freshens them up just enough to keep things going, especially when confronted with child warriors. Good science fiction makes you think and relate to current times without rubbing your nose in it. Scalzi makes it fun and a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Grifo valrico, FL, USA 02-11-13
    Daniel Grifo valrico, FL, USA 02-11-13 Member Since 2011

    dgrifo

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    "fun read for retired military who want to reminise"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    the books has some entertainment value but is not funny , creative or memorable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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