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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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Damn it kept me awake!

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

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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.

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  • ben
  • 11-29-17

really really Good!

I'm not normally one for books read in an American accent but this is really very good. Well worth a listen.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • Árni
  • 10-14-17

Amagad

I faking lived it.. So. Pro
Space pew pew of the highest quality jizz jizz haha

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Martin Mears
  • 07-28-17

Brilliant, performance really kept me tuned in.

Great story, the concepts were well described and I easily fell into the 'universe of the story' , performance.was cool too. thanks

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  • 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.

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  • Martyn. R. Winters
  • 06-08-17

Scalzi is consistently good.

Imagine in the far flung future wars are fought by the elderly, given new bodies and a new lifespan, in a galaxy where a race for expansion and survival is carried out by a multitude of different races of mixed ability and levels of development.

Scalzi's ready wit, grim as it might be and his fast-paced prose make this eminently listenable. William Dufris's very able narration brings it all to life. I enjoyed it immensely.

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  • Gavin Jones
  • 04-16-17

A Top 100 Sci Fi Novel?

This book is often compared to Starship Troopers and/or The Forever War. Having just listened to the book I'd say that's like comparing Agadoo to Dancing Queen or Le Freak. The story does have its moments but the whole thing, for me anyway, was destroyed by an almost unbelievable level of unnecessary mawkishness.

Having said that, I am looking for another series to get into and enjoy so I will be giving the next one a go. Here's hoping.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • 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).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JohnAdel
  • 10-05-17

Tantalising but disappointing

The initial concept was quite engaging and I enjoyed the first third of the book as I got to know this quite bizarre but conceivable world. But as the story proceeded it became more and more apparent that the hero, John was actually a superhero who went from his past history as a writer to become an extraordinarily brilliant soldier-hero and a great lover of his long dead wife. There was one period where he became wracked with guilt about the lack of morality in what they did as soldiers, knocking off areas alien species but for the most part the laconic description of combat made it sound like a jolly good romp for a superhero.

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  • 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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  • 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)

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  • 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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  • 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

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  • 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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  • 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..

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  • 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.

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  • Sean
  • 04-06-17

Greatly enjoyed book!

It was a good story, with characters that sucked you in and became real in a universe you begin to love, as it is so similar to the world we live in.