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The Forever War | [Joe Haldeman]

The Forever War

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?
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Publisher's 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

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1976
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1975

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1662 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (1068 )
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Story
4.1 (1054 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    John Steere Wichita, KS USA 03-11-14
    John Steere Wichita, KS USA 03-11-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very dated"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kiwi Gee New Zealand 02-17-14
    Kiwi Gee New Zealand 02-17-14 Member Since 2013

    Kiwi-Gee

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read - not overly long"
    Would you listen to The Forever War again? Why?

    Probably not - too many books, not enough time - why repeat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Easy listening. Unlike other fantasy stories it is not necessary to remember large number of peripheral characters in this one.


    Which character – as performed by George Wilson – was your favorite?

    The hero and his SO.


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

    nup !


    Any additional comments?

    nup !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 01-21-11
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 01-21-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    170
    96
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent story."

    It was a very good book the narator was excellent very good voice. A must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard 11-16-10
    Howard 11-16-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    2
    Overall
    "Great Listen"

    This book still has the same power it had when I read it in paper back ages ago. The narrator was fabulous!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 10-12-10
    David Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 10-12-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
    ratings
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    144
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Aging, but still enjoyable"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dale Palmer Lake, CO, USA 11-10-09
    Dale Palmer Lake, CO, USA 11-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Entertaining but the ending was a little trite"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Westminster, CA, United States 10-09-09
    Mark Westminster, CA, United States 10-09-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "A great listen."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Troy, MI, United States 06-04-09
    Aaron Troy, MI, United States 06-04-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    143
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Good Listen"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Mellor Anchorage, AK 06-27-08
    M. Mellor Anchorage, AK 06-27-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Well read, liked the original version better"

    The book is well read, very enjoyable. I just prefer the original version of the book (1974 release) to this one.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arjen 12-24-11
    Arjen 12-24-11

    NaknAKNaKNaK

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    9
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    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible sppoiler in opening credits"
    Any additional comments?

    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:

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 51-60 of 70 results PREVIOUS1567NEXT
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  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    1/7/09
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • steve
    droitwich, United Kingdom
    3/27/13
    Overall
    "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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    Leamside, United Kingdom
    9/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Diane
    Hannover, Germany
    3/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr M Letch
    1/27/11
    Overall
    "Superb ...But..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jamie
    BATHGATE, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

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