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Old Man's War

Old Man's War, Book 1
Narrated by: William Dufris
Series: Old Man's War, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (187 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At 75 years old, John Perry is after a fresh start - so, naturally, he joins the army. Earth's military machine can transform elderly recruits, restoring their lost youth. But in return, its Colonial Defence Force demands two years of hazardous service in space. This is how Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA. A genetically enhanced and upgraded new body, ready for battle. But upgrades alone won't keep Perry safe. He'll be fighting for his life on the front line as he defends humanity's colonies from hostile aliens. He'll pay the price for his choices, and he'll discover the universe is even more dangerous than he imagined.

©2007 Audio Renaissance (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Clever dialogue, fast-paced story and strong characters." ( The Times)
"Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master.... This virtuoso debut pays tribute to SF's past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they're approached with ingenuity." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Solid...[Scalzi] sidesteps most of the cliches of military science fiction, delivers fast-paced scenes of combat and pays attention to the science underpinning his premise." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
"Thought-provoking!" ( Entertainment Weekly)
"Smartly conceived and thoroughly entertaining, Old Man's War is a splendid novel." ( Cleveland Plain Dealer)
"Gripping and surpassingly original. It's Starship Troopers without the lectures. It's The Forever War with better sex. It's funny, it's sad, and it's true." (Cory Doctorow)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Awesome beyond words

I’m fairly new to sci-fi and have been able to figure out what type of sci-fi I enjoy or am interested in. This was originally not the type of sci-fi I thought I would enjoy but I have been most absolutely blown away by this book and William Dufris’s performance. I have listened to him before reading cryptonomicon, which was probably one of the best books I’ve ever ‘read’, so that’s why I decided to get this book. I now I have 13 years of John Scalzi to catch up on. Thank you universe!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Damn it kept me awake!

I use audio books to help me sleep by distracting from overthinking. This engrossed me.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great book

Something between Starship Troopers and Avatar. It was my kind of taste. Looking forward for the rest of serie.

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Nothing interesting really happened in the story.

There was a light commentary on pointlessness of war and it was quickly brushed away.
The side characters deaths are pointless as they are not really fleshed out to make me care in the slightless.
The main protagonist feels flat and is somehow good at everything and will survive anything universe will throw at him.
Apart from few things it's just a boring go there and shot things plot.

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Great start to a series

If you like The Expanse or Columbus Day series you should like this.

Starts off a bit slow but towards the end you really buy into the characters and story line. Well worth the investment.

More comedy than The Expanse and at least has some sex in it which is more than I can say for some books. Excited to read the next one in the series.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Ben G
  • Ben G
  • 11-27-17

Great Naration

Having read 3 chapters, but struggling to find the time to read the rest, I hesitantly signed up to audible so I could listen to this on my daily commute. All I can say is the story was great as expected, but the narration that I was worried about doesn't disappoint either.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Andy
  • Andy
  • 10-26-17

Unnexpectedly funny, new take on Sci Fi Cliche

At first when the book began I thought the story was going to be a slow, drab affair, but about 10 minutes in my mind was changed. I am currently 6 hours in, and think its worth writing a review already. I was listening to this in my car on a long journey home from Scotland, and at times it had me crying with laughter, particularly the drill sergeant scenes. William Dufris does a fantastic job, a minor quibble may be his grasp of the female voice for those characters, somebody else said he said like a drag queen, that's a spot on description, but it doesn't in any way detract from his excellent narration of the story, clear, concise, with a great ability at bringing home the jokes like they were meant to be read.
The story itself is a great change from the standard sci fi fayre, its not all about the tech, although it is of course mentioned and in some cases explained, its more about the characters, who are engaging and memorable. This really is worth a listen, can't recommend it enough.

Top marks. Good fun, certainly made my drive down the motorway fly by!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Esmeralda
  • Esmeralda
  • 09-14-17

Loved it

I loved the book and the narration.

For me the story was something new and there was enough sci fi and personal touches in it to make it very enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Grazzer
  • Grazzer
  • 07-31-17

Excellent read

One of the best stories I have listened to. Very entertaining and funny in the first quarter. Maybe as I approach 75 I can relate to the old farts and the problems of an aging body. Then a bit more seriousness enters the mix, not too much, but enough to add variety to the story. A most enjoyable read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for matt hall
  • matt hall
  • 07-19-17

Good fun

Scalzi does a great job of world building with some accessible characters. People compare this to starship troopers and the forever war but for me the closest comparison is bill the galactic hero. As usual with scalzi there's more going on under the surface and I'm looking forward to returning to this world to learn more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Nathaniel
  • Nathaniel
  • 08-20-19

Wow awesome.

Ive owned the book for years and never had the time to read it. With audible it's awesome

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-28-19

brilliantly narrated story of friendship

this was brilliantly narrated, with good pace, w good balance of humour mixed with visceral imagery of space soldiers battling aliens in space. it is also a story of comradeship, friendship and love. highly recommended.

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Profile Image for A R H
  • A R H
  • 07-25-19

A fantastic emotional and action packed romp.

I have tried reading this book three or four times with no success. But I am glad I listened to it on Audible. It is a great story, sometimes funny, sometimes sad; the a good dose of action and drama thrown in.

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Profile Image for Barwickian
  • Barwickian
  • 06-14-19

Excellent military SF

5horoughly enjoyed this reading.. Sufrie acts the first-person story rather than narrates it.

the books itself is reminiscent of Starship Troopers (without the aoapbox) with touches of the Forever War = no mean feat to blend both pro and anti-war SF, and come up with a new twist.

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Profile Image for SuzyDiamond
  • SuzyDiamond
  • 06-06-19

War from a completely different perspective

Great characters, great concept and definitely interesting and enjoyable listening. A couple of interesting twists thrown in and what you get is well worth a listen.

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Profile Image for Angus L.
  • Angus L.
  • 08-02-17

A good first audible book

the story is way out there, space aliens combat and some strange SciFi themes
what initially attracted me to it was the voice acting. I don't normally listen to books so I've moderated my score to 4 / 5 to compensate for the fact I haven't listened to a novel in 5 years and have nothing to compare it to. but I feel as if it deserves a 5/5 for making me listen to the end. keeping a non novel readers attention for 10 hours isn't easy
good work John (Y)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for catwomanOz
  • catwomanOz
  • 10-10-17

Excellent

Devoured the whole series (except Zoe’s Tale which retells the previous book from the perspective of a teenager - skip it).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-19

Brilliant

Brilliant novel. No other words for it. Action, comedy, drama it has it all. Great world building. looking forward to the next one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-13-19

HFY !

I've been looking for a good HFY series for a long time. This does the trick, and then some.
Cant wait to get in to the rest of the books.

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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-26-19

Entertaining as usual. :)

John Scalzoi always delivers an original and thought provoking story. Another one that's worth a read.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-19

Great Concept but Execution Not at All Much

A bit dated feels like a 1970s Vietnam war movie with a twist featured in space ~Starship Troopers~ but without the blantant sarcasm and fun - There's not much realism, technologically and in characters and world building. It's a very bland stereotypical style book.

The book is lacking refinement and nuances.

As other reviews have state they have headaches from rolling their eyes too often.

Though there will be Netflix show of this book...???


4points: that I've noticed so far:
1) Characters are way too one dimensional. Aliens are weird in a bad non imaginative way. maybe they are suppose to symbolise 'Terrorist'.

2) War is by sending old avg. joe 20thC Americans in space to be riflemen warriors - the reason is a bit; iffy - and they have a little over a dozen weeks to be fully trained haha... to make an old man think like a young alien killer - not much mental game concept written... and nearly everyone seems to make it and embrace a hunter killer instinct.

3) The Colonials are from India but I see nothing Indian about them - No caste system, there's practically no mention of seeing Indians or Hinduism - the Colonials act like Americans.
Eg. would they have the same way of warlike thinking as Americans military... mmm.

4) not a world building book at all. it's more of a filler. So don't expect fleshed out spends or world's.

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Profile Image for Michael Thurlow
  • Michael Thurlow
  • 07-11-18

enjoyable book

i enjoyed the story well enough. The narrator did a good job of making various voice types for the different characters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for JBoucher
  • JBoucher
  • 06-13-18

A classic, revisited

I read this classic sci-fi book in paperback a decade ago and really enjoyed it. Listening to it again as an Audible book confirms my enjoyment. The voice performance was also very good and not distracting at all.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Michael Cartwright
  • Michael Cartwright
  • 01-30-18

Great book!

Would you listen to Old Man's War again? Why?

Yes i would, the humor is dark, the characters have depth, the plot suspends disbelief and i'm not going to spoil the story for you! :)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Old Man's War?

A believable story line.

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

Nope, i always break my books up.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Steven bryant
  • Steven bryant
  • 01-22-18

Not the best, but perfect.

Engaging, entertaining, humorous and most of all, somewhat believable. Well reccomended especially as something to enjoy while working or exercising.