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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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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  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

2 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
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Badbestfriend
  • 08-06-18

brilliant

this is a great start to what I hope will be a fantastic series of books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • WarwickStudent
  • 07-28-18

Great but not laugh out loud comedy as advertised.

This book has a good story, solid opening, slightly meandering middle and a great ending. There are so many adversaries that you lose the sense of victory a bit when they are beaten by the protagonist because you know there are hundreds of similar antagonists in future chapters but that doesn't dertract from this being a short, fast-paced, space military sci-fi book.

I'll admit that some of the reviews by people who had to pull over because they were laughing so hard inclined me toward purchasing but there were no moments like that. I think they must have been reviewing the wrong book. I might have chuckled once. There is some very cheap humour about bowel movements and calling things by naughty words but nothing hilarious nor was it written as a comedy IMHO.

The narration is good and the voices are nicely distinct. Even though this wasn't super fun I think I'll give book 2 a go as the story was decent and I did enjoy listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dunnyseven
  • 06-15-18

Adventure with humour

A story that resonated with me since I am the same age as the principle character. I am sure it would be a big hit as a a film or series. There is a lot of us about.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • G. S.
  • 06-12-18

Hmmmm

Not really sure what the point of this was .. Pretty directionless .. Protagonist sort of reminded me of Super Mario - collecting rings of experiences for no particular reason and with no discernable end in sight .. And then it ends ...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bobble
  • 05-09-18

amazing loved reading the real book!!

best book series around it inspired me to read all over again! looking forward to listen to the rest

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Aileen
  • 06-18-18

The Narration annoys me

I’m only on chapter one, and fervently hoping that the narrator does not persist with his choice to play the main character as a folksy old fart, some awful combination of Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne. It’s driving me nuts!
I sincerely hope that, when the main character goes through his physical transformation, his voice will be ‘youngified’. If not, I don’t think I can keep listening to this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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