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Publisher's Summary

When it was first published over 20 years ago, Joe Haldeman's novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards and was chosen Best Novel in several countries. Today, it is hailed a classic of science fiction that foreshadowed many of the futuristic themes of the 1990s: bionics, sensory manipulation, and time distortion.

William Mandella is a soldier in Earth's elite brigade. As the war against the Taurans sends him from galaxy to galaxy, he learns to use protective body shells and sophisticated weapons. He adapts to the cultures and terrains of distant outposts. But with each month in space, years are passing on Earth. Where will he call home when (and if) the Forever War ends?

Narrator George Wilson's performance conveys all the imaginative technology and human drama of The Forever War. Set against a backdrop of vivid battle scenes, this absorbing work asks provocative questions about the very nature of war.

©1974 Joe W. Haldeman; (P)1999 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1976
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1975

"A vastly entertaining trip." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,739
  • 4 Stars
    1,394
  • 3 Stars
    555
  • 2 Stars
    123
  • 1 Stars
    51

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,445
  • 4 Stars
    1,128
  • 3 Stars
    401
  • 2 Stars
    71
  • 1 Stars
    31

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,523
  • 4 Stars
    997
  • 3 Stars
    435
  • 2 Stars
    99
  • 1 Stars
    41
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Any scifi fan will love this. Especially the physics inclined ones

Story was 4.2/5 for most part, but I probably would have cried like a bitch at the end, were it not for the fact I was too busy trying not to cry like s bitch. Narrator sounds funny when he impersonates professional type people, but brought the protagonist alive quite well. And story is worth a full read through. The concept is amazing. And when you think about it. The hero is one unique dude.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Story

I loved listening to this sci-fi classic, the narration was excellent and I enjoyed the story.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Listen

If you could sum up The Forever War in three words, what would they be?

Thought provoking, entertaining

What did you like best about this story?

The authors careful attention to detail and interesting yet believable future worlds.

Which scene was your favorite?

The returns to the Earth with grand seperations in time.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me think.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Facinating

Any additional comments?

An absolute joy ride through time! The concepts, the machines, and the changing culture were not only facinating, but I think maybe a little prophetic.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • roy
  • basildon, United Kingdom
  • 10-12-11

Still cool even at this age

I read this book many years ago and fell in love with it, still now it holds that wow element.
George Wilson is perfect narrator for this book - his way of reading made returning to this book that little bit more special.
I remember the first time i read it and how mind boggled i was trying to understand the concept of distant travel and the effects it would have on earth, and now im still thinking about it.
Joe Haldeman made a true classic scifi book here, if you love scifi then you have to give this book a listen,
I just wish they would record the third in the series - forever free

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 10-02-11

Classic, in the good way

Quite often when reading scifi from the golden era it feels a bit off - some of the visions of the future have become things of the past, or just feel dated. Not so here - if I didn't know the original publication date I would not have guessed it from the content.

The story follows a soldier traversing through an interstellar war, where due to time dilation he sees a thousand year pass in the 'normal' time while only a score of years passes for him. This is where the real meat of the story is - see how the future pans out of humanity and earth at large through the eyes of a person from the 20th century.

The story flows smoothly, keeping up the main story of the war in the background while concentrating on describing the various futures and the personal voyage of the main characters. This is pure gold, moving from dystopian to utopian premises, each as interesting as the next.The premise is scifi, but the narrative is not - you are never bored with endless descriptions of how this or that tech is supposed to work.

The narrator uses a voice that I can only describe as a dry british gentleman, though without the british accent. It fits the the book perfectly, as the main character views the world(s) through a filter of dry resignation.

If you are fan of science fiction, get this book. If you are not, but you do enjoy movies such as 'Gattaca', there is a very good chance that you'll like this book as well.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dale
  • goring, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 06-24-11

Awesome Book

I love this book, I bought its omnibus edition a few years ago (yea I know printed on paper and everything!) I loved the story and the book had a great rhythm to it. The book is narrated very well in this version and I've listened to it a number of times which is great as reading real books these days is a struggle because I have trouble finding the time.

The book also shows very little signs of age unlike some so futuristic vision still holds its own.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Justin
  • United States
  • 02-15-11

excellent

This was a great book on several levels. I really enjoyed the though provoking concepts related to relativistic space travel. Also I noticed a few references to Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (by calling lunar citizens anarchists for example) and thought it was a nice tie-in to some other classic sci-fi. All around great book and would easily recommend it for everyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Timothy
  • El Paso, TX, United States
  • 09-24-10

Very good listen

The only problem I had with the book itself was the foul language. These recruits were taken from persons that scored 150 or above IQs. I would think they would be a little more refined. I know they were drafted into the military and their indoctrination probably rubbed off on them, but still. Anyway, the contrast between military life and returning to civilian life was artfully done. This was enhanced by the time dilation involved with space travel. I can't even imagine how we could logistically make war in space with those restrictions. How would we know whether we were gaining or losing territory? The generals have to wait lifetimes to hear the results of every battle. There are some thought provoking suppositions about our near future, however. Homosexuality, food wars, violence as a way of life and human cloning are all on the horizon. Hopefully, our fiction may never become widespread fact.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Original Concept - great story

I liked this story a lot. I even took time to listen to it when I wasn't driving and I went through this audio book far faster than usual. The book answers the question what happens to a person who occasionally leaps forwards in time but not backwards. And then wrap the concept around a real alien war and see where that leads.I also found it the subplot about sexual mores of the future extremely topical to this very day (Aug 2010). Haldeman's cultural predictions were very eerie, especially considering what is going on in California today. Excellent sci fi but the ending may have been a tad too tidy considering all the other unique story concepts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful