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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Damn it kept me awake!

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

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Craig Holyoak
  • Craig Holyoak
  • 04-06-18

Pretty good and a different spin on the aged.

Started off good and got better. loved the humour not over the top and quite dry.

The only gripe I would have is too much of the "I said" "he/she said"

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for rasmus
  • rasmus
  • 03-01-18

Very interesting universe

Good performance, nothing bad to say about it.

The story was very hard-scifi with its technical explanations of things, that was what kept me going.
The characters weren't very interesting. The "old people" angle felt more like a unique selling point and less like something that had any affect in anything real. The characters behaved and acted as if they were normal people and never could I really feel that this was a person with a whole life lived behind them.
The main character also felt a little bland, outshining everybody else by just doing the obvious.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Xander Toulson Hampshire
  • Xander Toulson Hampshire
  • 01-20-18

light sci-fi action--just what I needed

A fun solid and sometimes gruesome story, looking forward to listening to the next installment, will be interesting to see if the past lifetimes of the characters play a greater future role.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for lima
  • lima
  • 01-17-18

Absolutely Brilliant

My second read through...I 've listened to the whole series. You don't have to like sci-fi to like this. It's very funny, tragic and frightening. Just a brilliant work of fiction, I dare you not to get hooked.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Nick
  • Nick
  • 01-13-18

Clichéd story with interesting SF concepts.

I was referred this book by one of my favourite podcasts who gushed about the interesting ideas it contained. That much is true and I did enjoy those aspects.

The actual plot, however, is comprised mainly of tropes. A number of the plot points were flagged in advance and almost always realised the trope in full. No real surprises.

The performance isn't bad in the audio book and is easy enough to listen to.

If you want a generic space battle story to listen to while you're at the gym this is fine. If you want something that keeps you hooked and makes you occasionally rewind to not miss any details, this isn't it.

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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Michael De Aston
  • Michael De Aston
  • 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for B0bbyMac
  • B0bbyMac
  • 08-24-17

Fantastic!

scalzi had a descriptive and inventive writing style, 3rd book of his I have read. thoroughly enjoyed. William dufris is a pleasure to listen to, very talented. thoroughly recommend.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-26-17

Good concept, poor writing

Scalzi has a pretty interesting concept for a sci fi universe. The organisation of the government is fairly unusual.
Which is a shame, because his writing is rather poor and dialogue dull. The performance of the reader is quite good though.
I recommend this if you have already read all the other scifi stuff you want to read and don't have anything else left. Even then I'd rather go back and re-read a classic

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for uta nachkebia
  • uta nachkebia
  • 07-15-17

the most satisfying series of all time!!!

such a well written and thought out book. the narration is top notch!! highly recommend it

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lily Sealey
  • Lily Sealey
  • 06-18-17

Worth listening

Fantastic narrator and passable story - felt like the story fell somewhat short. worth listening.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter
  • Peter
  • 04-25-17

Interesting Yarn..

Free flowing narrative with some interesting sifi concepts.. The basic story leaves one wondering about the pitfalls of rejuvenation..

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Craig
  • Craig
  • 04-24-17

Captivating and philosophical topics.

This book has a captivating concept and some philosophical topics for discussion. I held my interest well and stands out from the dozens of space dramas theses days.
It would probably be better if the fantastic pairing of Scalzi and Wheaton were here, but Dufris does a good job.

Give it a go. I'm about to head into the second book now.