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Publisher's Summary

The artifact is found seven miles below the surface of the sea and beneath 40 more feet of sand. The Navy's efforts to raise a wrecked submarine uncover it - and set in motion a scientific race to retrieve it, to discover just what it is and where it came from.

Denser than any substance known to man, it has broken every drill bit they've tried on it and will not budge an inch. It resists every effort to breach it - or communicate with it. So the government turns to marine biologist Russell Sutton for help.

Meanwhile, unknown to any of them, two creatures have wandered the earth for generations. The aliens have no knowledge of each other, but possess a residual memory of the artifact - and an affinity for deep water. One, which calls itself the changeling, has survived by adaptation, by taking on many different forms: man, woman, snake, shark. The other, which calls itself the chameleon, has survived solely by destroying anything or anyone that threatens it.

Now, finally brought up from the bottom of the sea, the artifact calls to them come home. For all these generations there have been two invincible creatures on Earth. But the chameleon has decided there's only room for one.

A novel of human and inhuman nature, Camouflage will take you to the depths of the sea, to the limit of man's imagination - and beyond.

©2005 Joe Haldeman; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Nebula Award, Best Novel, 2005

"Haldeman trips through history wearing alien goggles but his message is all about human nature." (Entertainment Weekly)
An extremely intelligent thriller." (Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Grows on you

Little by little as the main character becomes more human and interacts more with humans, so does the listener's interest in the story grows. There are some very sexually frank scenes as well as some gruesome spots. However, the author does involve us in the protagonist's story and the listener is rooting hard for the welfare and love life of the Changeling by the end of the book.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • christine
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 12-21-10

Better than The Forever War

I liked this book very much, more than The Forever War. Other reviewers are correct: there is sexual content. Parents giving the book a poor review are revealing their inability to be responsible adults themselves by relying on Audible to tell them what is good for their kids. The sexual issues are not the focus of the book; the main character lives many lives, and therefore experiences many things - including murder. The narrator has a great voice. Joe Haldeman is amazing. Science fiction written for adults, and I am in the target audience. If you want something else, I suggest going to your local library to the "youth" section, and familiarize yourself with authors that are more appropriate for your young ones.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amy
  • Flourtown, PA, USA
  • 01-24-10

Interesting, good listen

Very good story, interesting, kept my attention. Only criticism is that it wrapped up to quickly. Built to a final confrontation and then...
Still would definitely recommend this audiobook

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved it!

This is one that I picked up on a whim as frankly I had a ton of credits and none of my norms was grabbing my interest.

This is very well written and narrated and simply a lot of fun to listen to. From the beginning to a little more than halfway into the book they jump back and forth in time from chapter to chapter which really adds a lot of fun to this booth.

First chapter will be about them finding the object at the bottom of the Ocean in 2019 and setting the plot for the current time line of the book. Next chapter is about the Changeling out of the Ocean in 1932 and becoming human. It jumps back and forth like that giving you a glimpse of what 'made' the Changeling what it is 'today' and also introducing the protagonist the Chameleon in this manner as well. Makes for some fun listening.

Take a chance like I did, I think you'll very much enjoy it.

36 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story


This is enjoyable in parts, it is not great and not one of Hadleman's best. I felt it could have been better had it not been so disjointed. Joe has some good concepts about aliens and how they may differ from us and why. The lack of flow and the parts of the story that go off on weird boring tangents, keeps me form recommending the book. It is also one of those books where a week after you read it, you will have trouble remembering it.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fast paced...intriguing story

I tried this book as an "audible recommends" suggestion. What a pleasant surprise. I like the way the author was able to comment on the last century of history using the aliens as his impartial observers. I'm eager to listen to more from this author.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barna
  • Elkridge, MD, United States
  • 01-01-10

Another Joe Haldeman winner

This was a great listen that I saved until I was making a long car trip. Kept bouncing back between the past and the present, which was a bit offputting at first, until both stories converge in a great climax. I won't give anything away, but if you have enjoyed other books by this author like Forever War, this is for you. There is no war in this one, however. Get it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not deep, but entertaining

The first part of the story moved along really well. I was interested by the aliens. They reminded me of the creature in John Carpenter's movie "The Thing", without really horrifying bits. The ending is a little sudden, but it's a logical end and makes sense in the context of the story.

If I were describing a print book, I'd say this one was a good page-turner. Light, but keeps your attention and interest.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 04-05-14

Not Awful...

I'm trying to decide who might enjoy this novel. It's not really boring nor totally predictable. It helps if some one character in a story is in some way interesting enough to capture my attention. There wasn't one here. The mystery's thinner than bouillon boiled into a quart jar from half a cube. Perhaps the challenge any of us face in socializing ourselves as we move through different clots of people over a lifetime… perhaps that cultural thing might interest anyone who actually enjoyed Sociology 101. Maybe a 12 year old who'd never seen StartTrek might enjoy this. Is there such a 12 year old?

Tell you what… keep your credit and find something else to listen to. Wish I had.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good book but...

This was a good story although I wasn't sure if I was reading an erotic novel or a sci-fi book at times. This book isn't for the young readers it deals with some adult situations that wasn't mentioned. But in the end the story was very good I highly recommend.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Mark
  • 04-30-09

Nice Easy Listen

Quite a good reader and a good story line made for a relaxed listen. Suspend credibility and enjoy.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Garage Audiblekins
  • 12-06-16

Very good.

It's not as good as Forever War, but not much is. It is very gripping though, and entertaining.

I listened to the audio book and was hooked. I understand what another comment says about 'Abyss meets Species', but I contend that it is 'in a good way'. I really enjoyed this story. The ending was somewhat abrupt though, hence the lower than perfect rating.

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  • Mr. S. C. Fadhley
  • 07-22-15

Preposterous cliched rubbish

It's all action, it's a war story, its a love story. It's utter drivel.

The most dissapointing thing about this story is it's ending: Telegraphed from a mile away the juxtaposition of a clumsy love story with the inevitable reconciliation of bad and good is fraught with sci-fi cliche. Save your money, above all save your time by not buying this text.

Kudos to the narrator who makes the very best of the mateiral avaialble, proving that you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful