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Publisher's Summary

With the human population ravaged by a series of devastating plagues, the alien Chtorr arrive to begin the final phase of their invasion. Even as many on Earth deny their existence, the giant wormlike carnivores prepare the world for the ultimate violation - the enslavement of humanity for food!

©1983, 1989 David Gerrold (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shane
  • United States
  • 09-18-14

20 years and no book 5, be warned

Yes this is an alien invasion post apocalyptic book. However, its not about flying saucers and heat rays. The invader is an alien Eco-system. The concept is know as the Panspermia Theory. So it's less about fighting greys with lasers and more about fighting a deadly invasive ecology. Product of alien evolution or bio engineered? /shrug Join the fun and listen to the book.

The part of the book that might turn some of you off as was mentioned by other reviewers is a main character who is really smart but is also an annoying putz. I don't mind that so much; not all my heroes need be flawless demi gods. And he also goes into some weird interpersonal adventures over the 4 books that can be cringe worthy for some listeners. Being an open-minded sort helps.

Also, in Jim's America, the government is modeled straight out of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It's an idealized version of Fascism. Individual wants come second to the "states" needs all in the name of efficiency and proper resource allocation. If you watched the movie Starship troopers or read the book, you'll remember the classroom scene where the politic philosophy of this kinder and gentler fascism is explained. Gerrold recreates this for the reader so you'll understand the history, world, and political system Jim must navigate. Also the third world (called the forth world) is portrayed as irrational, greedy, and constantly playing the colonial victim card .

Its fiction, take it for what it is, don't make it personal.

I really loved reading (and now lsitening, thank you, thank you, thank you, Audible Studios) to this and the others over time.

Books 1 through 4 have been a strange and crazy ride through Jim's world. But I don't regret reading the series even if it never is finished.

If you must have closure, you may want to pass. If you believe, like the Great Pumpkin, that fifth book is coming. Then you'll want to catch up with the series and be good to go when the fifth book/audiobook gets released.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick
  • Evergreen, CO, United States
  • 09-17-14

Great books- but know it was never finished.

I absolutely loved this book and its 3 sequels. Good, gritty post apocalyptic alien invasion storyline. Interesting and tormented main character. Not much to not like. In the later books the author goes to some dark places and touches on subjects you may wish he would have avoided - but everything feels true to the character and the world the author has created.

You need to know one thing before buying : book 4 ends with an extreme cliffhanger... and fans have been waiting since the early 1990's for a resolution. Mr. Gerrold still says he's working on it - but the fairly imminent release of book 5 has been promised repeatedly, and for about 20 years. The series is supposed to end with a total of 7 books - but again after book 4 there has been nothing.

I still highly recommend the series - but only start it if you can accept the story as unfinished and sadly very likely to remain so.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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good enuf that I have waited 2 decades for them

The War Against the Chtorr series is one of my all time favorites. I don't always agree with his opinions or politics , but this series is amazing at many levels . The first book is the slowest in the series and it is still ten times better than almost any other sci-fi book. Do yourself a favor and try it out . It's not just another bug hunt .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome

Glad to see these titles out on audio. A splendid read and an awesome listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Courses, NOT!!

GOOD WORRING IS NEVER WASTED
As mentioned by another reviewer this is written in a 60ish style. Early on we have several lectures by a guy who thinks he is God's gift to intelligence. The lectures are very political, long and boring. He spends quite a bit of time telling his students how mean and tough he is. I find that real tough guys don't have to announce there toughness. When he asks a student a question, you know whatever the answer is, it will be wrong. The student will also be humiliated in the process, such as the girl he calls a whore. A reviewer mentions that this is straight out of Heinlein's Starship Troopers Universe. In the hard back copy, he acknowledges Robert and Ginny Heinlein among others.

Our hero, as mentioned by another reviewer , is stupid. He survives because of his stupidness.

I will not continue this series. When Harlie was One, is Gerrold's most famous novel. That one I will try.

16 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 07-29-18

A Great Beginning!

I've read A Matter for Men 3 times before listening to this version so obviously, I'm a fan. This book and the rest of the still unfinished War Against the Chtorr series owe a debt to the work of Robert Heinlein (and Starship Troopers in particular) but Gerrold's take on alien invasion is fresh and original (even though this novel first appeared decades ago). The great twist of these novels is that the very nature of the invasion itself is a mystery. There are no massive spaceships hovering over cities. There's no advanced weaponry wielded by a hi-tech alien civilization, no contact or negotiation with an intelligent, technologically advanced alien race. Instead, Earth is being invaded by an alien ecology that slowly reveals itself and grows more complex. It's source is unknown but it is voracious and dangerous.

Much of the groundwork for subsequent entries in the series is laid in this first novel but A Matter for Men tells a satisfying story on it's own too. The main character, Jim, goes through an emotional and psychological grinder almost from the very beginning and is well-developed. Some of the more philosophical and political aspects of the book may put a few readers off but they're an important part of the character development and they help explain the form humanity's response to the invasion takes. There's even a nod to a memorable scene in King Kong!

The audio version is well-narrated by John Pruden.

I can't recommend this series enough. It remains unfinished to this day but Mr. Gerrold is still working on the rest of the series. Hopefully, those books will see print soon but even if they don't, The War Against the Chtorr is worth your time.

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A pulpy romp with unnecessary lectures

Humans fighting giant worms in a post-apocalyptic setting is a premise that leads you to expect certain things from a book: action, monsters and macho humor. It's all here, but surprisingly there are also some fairly progressive values and unusual character choices, which put this tome way ahead of its times (1983).

The writing is mostly solid, but the author has a soft spot for endless libertarian screeds, which take up such a wide swathe of the book that they can no longer be considered world building. They hold up the plot and are left to hang like some strange, randian appendix from the rest of the story.

Outside of those this is an interesting, pulpy adventure with a solid reader.

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Great philosophy lessons by his professor.

Decent science fiction story. Good narration. Leaves questions to be answered in sequels. Plan to get next book.

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Not a hit

So I expected so much more from this book and was left disappointed. The story takes place in two time frames but this is not clear depicted by the narrator. This make be because all of his interpretations sound like the same person. Also his style of narration sound like the dictation of an Astro physics lecture. Very hard to get through this book because there was so much information was oddly placed and in needed. For example we spent a whole chapter or two talking about life on a nudest colony and there was even a very weird homosexual interaction that happen. I don't care about it being in the book but it just didn't lend to the story line. Just like the part about telepathy being install into the brain of one of the characters. It was like several book ideas being shot out like buckshots. Very unsettlingly very confusing very unnecessary. Like the book was trying to meet the word requirement by using random thoughts and situations. Recommended for free but I would waste the credit.

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A Book for Philosophy Major

Just not my cup of tea. I am not saying he is wrong, but I did not find the psychology interesting enough to continue the series.