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Old Man's War Audiobook

Old Man's War

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Publisher's Summary

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea of what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine. And what he will become is far stranger.

©2005 John Scalzi (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award nominee, Best Novel, 2006

"Scalzi's imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated." (The Washington Post)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 11-23-13
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 11-23-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Would you join the armed forces at age 75?"

    Would you do it if they could make you young again? In the future, the Colonial Defense Force recruits 75 year olds to fill their ranks. Rumor has it that if you sign up, they will make you young again, but since nobody that joins the CDF ever returns to Earth, it's hard to know for sure. It is a minimum 2 year commitment that can be extended for up to 10 years and many people decide to go for it. Are your next 10 years on Earth worth passing up for 10 years of combat in space? With the chance you might be young again many think it is.

    This interesting concept, and the technology behind it, forms the core of this futuristic tale. It starts with 75 year old John Perry, whose wife has recently passed away. It is John’s 75th birthday and after a visit to his wife’s grave he is off to the recruiting office, after all, what does he have to lose? I won't spoil any of the facts after that for you, but I will say that I enjoyed finding out what awaited John after he took the plunge. The book did have its ups and downs and I enjoyed the beginning and the end a lot more than the middle, but overall the future tech was interesting enough to carry the day.

    William Dufris is ok as the narrator, but I didn't think he was a great fit for this; however, the story was intriguing enough for me to give the second book a listen as well.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl Story 03-17-08
    Karl Story 03-17-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun and entertaining"

    A bit Starship Troopers, a bit Forever War and a big chunk of originality. Scalzi doesn't bury you with the science(not that I personally have a problem with that), he just writes a good book.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey odenton, MD, USA 02-20-08
    Casey odenton, MD, USA 02-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty good fare"

    No spoilers in this review. I was a little apprehensive about this book, but I took the plunge anyway. All in all it's not too bad.

    Here's a fair description of it: take one part Starship Troopers and mix with one part Tekeshi Kovacs (by Richard K Morgan). Shake well, making sure that the Kovacs isn't as grim and and bitter as the original.

    It's not overly original, but certainly not overly derivative. This book relies on a few standard scifi conventions (quantum physics...mumblemumble...behold! Warp Drive!) that are standby devices, but the characters are well developed, the story entertaining enough and the produciton value high enough that it all works. It's exactly what it looks like: light, entertaining space battle fiction.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to get the sequel as well.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Weston, CT, USA 08-14-08
    David Weston, CT, USA 08-14-08 Member Since 2009
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    "Best book in a while"

    I usually don't write reviews. I don't want to take the time, so I just post my rating (diligently) and move on to the next book.
    However, I felt compelled to write to say this is the best book I have come across in some time. It made me laugh out loud in sections, while still maintaining that sense of what's next. Very much worth the time, and the money.

    Cheers.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael S. Johnson 02-26-09 Member Since 2011
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    "Unique and entertaining"

    I've enjoyed a lot of sci-fi genre books recently that were only a variation on one familiar theme or another. This one was completely new to me and what a read (listen!) I found it funny and thought provoking and completely entertaining! Highly recommended - as a matter of fact this is the first time I've been moved to write a review and my library includes about 75 audiobooks.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY 02-22-17
    Dubi New York, NY 02-22-17
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    "The Right Way to Write"

    You start out with a character: an aging man who has lost his wife, with nothing to lose, so he enlists in a futuristic army of interstellar alien fighters, his reward a new young genetically enhanced body. He starts his new life with a bunch of other recruits, old folks with various reasons for leaving Earth behind and starting a new life as super-soldiers. They go into basic training and are taught how to fight, why they fight, who they're fighting, what technology is at their disposal, what kind of universe they live in.

    We learn all this through his interaction with the enlistment agent, his fellow recruits, their teachers and officers, and later a whole new class of warrior. All along, everyone is cracking wise. Character is developed, a world is built. And subtly hidden between the one-liners and cultural references are various layers of subtext, referring back to our own condition today -- there for the taking if you want it or easily glossed over if all you're looking for is a rousing space opera.

    This is textbook. This is the right way to write. You don't write this way because someone says it's right. You write this way because it works. Character, plot, humor, action, subtext, metaphor. It's all there. What you end up with is a perfect book. John Scalzi almost always pulls this feat off, his formula is tried and true, elevated by clever plotting and his relentless snark. The only real question is whether you like his brand of humor.

    Enjoy. I did. So much so that I'm diving right into The Ghost Brigade, the next entry in the series. And though I have yet to find a better duo than Wil Wheaton narrating Scalzi, William Dufris is the right choice for OMW -- he is pitch perfect for this material, which requires more military-style bark and military-style snark than you'd expect from Wil.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Snohomish WA 10-06-12
    Amazon Customer Snohomish WA 10-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Real science fiction, for a change"
    What made the experience of listening to Old Man's War the most enjoyable?

    It was nice to finally read a science fiction book that actually was science fiction, not science 'fantasy'. The science fiction was understandable science, not pulled out of nowhere fantasy stuff that all to often is passed off as science fiction in our largely scientifically barely literate population.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Richmond, TX, United States 11-02-11
    Kenneth Richmond, TX, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2010
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    "It was like an underdog sports movie."

    During the parts where you’re discovering the rest of the team and the training montage you’re pretty captivated. But once the team has gone through the montage the eventual outcome is inevitable. That's how this book was for me....Great until they were done training...then.....i don't remember what happens anymore....

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devin 10-20-09
    Devin 10-20-09 Member Since 2011
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    "Enjoyable Sci-fi Adventure"

    This book reminded me of the most interesting parts of Heinlein's star ship troopers with alot less political rambling and alot more excitement. The characters are very easy to like and you feel for their struggles. I wouldn't say that this is great literature but I really enjoyed the story. Its an exciting listen and the author created a very interesting universe.

    Check it out if your interested in a sci-fi adventure that is easy to follow and enjoy. The narrator William Dufris has always impressed me too. You'll probably want to download the sequel as well, it's just as good if not better.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Readalot SC USA 12-25-08
    Readalot SC USA 12-25-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    What a concept! Elders in young bodies for soldiers. Anybody who likes scifi/war stories at any age will enjoy this listen. Unless you don't want to hear 4 - letter words, but then you shouldn't be looking at any war stories. The narration of this book is also great, I really enjoyed the voice of the main character.

    Since I've listened to a number of audible books, I have realized that they have to have both a good plot and good narration. This book has both!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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