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
"A vastly entertaining trip." (The New York Times)
I downloaded this book because it appears on so many top 100 lists of the best science fiction. I'm sure when it was published in the 1970s it got strong reviews. However, it hasn't stood the test of time. It's approach to homosexuality is dated to the point of being offensive. It isn't bigoted, but suggests that homosexuality is simply cultural or learned behavior. Thus, 95% of earth is gay to keep the population down. The author also does a very poor job of anticipating technological developments. In the fictional 2010 newspapers are delivered by fax, nobody has a cell phone and data is stored on microfiche. I don't expect perfection in predicting near-term technological developments, but most writers of this era were able to at least predict personal data devices and the coming computer revolution. In short, the book feels very dated, and the story itself isn't compelling enough to overcome those shortcomings. I suspect that the books anti-war message resonated well in the mid-1970s and its approach to sexuality and technology didn't get in the way because it was not yet clear how poorly Haldeman understood both. In 2014, it feels like a re-run of the Brady Bunch--interesting if you want to get a sense of the culture of the 1970s, but not worth the time simply for entertainment.
Probably not - too many books, not enough time - why repeat.
Easy listening. Unlike other fantasy stories it is not necessary to remember large number of peripheral characters in this one.
The hero and his SO.
Although some of Haleman's predictions of the future seem a bit silly now (government-mandated homosexuality to control population, for example) and its pacifist message doesn't have as strong an impact as other efforts, this remains a thoroughly enjoyable yarn. Fun in the same way that other 1950s-1970s future-predictions are fun.
The whole relativity thing and time dilation was a great plot device. I liked how the technology and world changed with each new assignment.
The ending was a little too pat, but the loose ends were all tied up so I could feel closure.
If your looking for a fast paced, "slice and dice", "shoot out at the last planet in the universe" story look else where.
This story, however, is chock full of "the more things change the more they stay the same" predictions.
The reason for The Forever War was somewhat predictable but Haldeman's guesses about how things may change in the years to come are plausible.
The narrator added much to the story. He paced it very well.
Better than I expected; the synopsis makes it sound dull, and the ending feels like a bit of a non-ending, but the added dimension of the leaps in time are interesting. I've seen rumors they are making this into a movie - could be interesting if handled properly.
The book is well read, very enjoyable. I just prefer the original version of the book (1974 release) to this one.
There is a criminal spoiler in the opening credits (not even in the actual book). This spoiler tells the main storyline of the book and COMPLETELY ruims the first chapters!!! I am mad out of my skull becouse of this utter ignorence and am going to demand a FULL refund.
At irst I thought it was just an introduction and actualy part of the book, untill the narrator went:
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.
"A classic tale- needs an updated narration"
Still a great story after all these years, i read it when it first came out and it has stood the test of time.
However the narration is dated, it sounds old, tired and lacks any passion, it could really do with being redone in a more lively modern context and then it would be nudging 5 stars
"Forever?- This went pretty quickly!"
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.
"A good classic"
I'd heard great things about this book, but honestly, it left me a little cold. It took me a long time to get through it, with long breaks between bouts of listen. Perhaps that's why, but I found it a bit disjointed as a story. Narration: Excellent
Doesn't have the final Novella that was Written after the Forever War - 'Forever free' Which continues the story of Mandala and his Family on the planet Middle Finger .. It's not as good as the Forever War , but does tye in nicely the two books 'Forever War ' and 'Forever Peace' - as both of the other books are available as audio books it seems shame not to have this one available.
The Book itself is faultless so I guess when reviewing a book the question is- Is the reader up to the job?' In this case the reader George Wilson does a fantastic job - Sounding -Cynical and laconic about the situation he's been put in.
The Forever War has to be on of my favourite books, and this recording does it justice. I normally listen to audio books when working, and this one had me listening on the train, at work and on the way home too! If you like sci-fi, then this is a definite must read/listen.
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