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)
As a story, I found the book to be an uninteresting and tedious recounting of events with little connecting them into a coherent thread.
However, the plot of the book is not why it was written. It is clear that the author's intent was to use the plot as a premise for writing a future history of the human race. As a future history, it is largely a failure.
For the most part, the author's predictions about the future of the human race are either banal and unpredictable, already failed predictions in 2009, or techno-babble non sequitors that are not supported by any rational chain of reasoning.
The book is an interesting footnote in the history of sci-fi, but I think it has little value on it's own merits in 2009.
This novel tells a story that sends the message: "Until you turn into communists, you won't understand that the enemy isn't your enemy." Or, stated in more conventional language: To those who understand, no explanation is necessary; to those who don't, none is possible.
It projects a "failed pacifist" as its hero and the plot is driven by a colossal and willful misjudgment made by war-loving men.
I suppose the story holds some small value inasmuch as it creatively presents FTL travel and the effects of time-dilation. But that is scant redemption.
Don't listen to this novel. Instead, try Heinlein's _Starship Troopers_.
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