Customer Reviews


242 Reviews
5 star:
 (173)
4 star:
 (35)
3 star:
 (19)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
This book was originally published in 1977 as an allegory to the Vietnam War. A reluctant soldier comes home from a never ending war without winning to a changed world he no longer recognizes. For this alone, this book is worth reading. However, the story stands on its own feet and he does a remarkable job. This book is part "Starship Troopers" and part...
Published on July 15 2004 by papaphilly

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Space dude
Very cool concept for a book. Things took a turn for the weird about half way and the enemy was never given much time to shine. But it was a really cool book and I dont regret buying it, hope that helps.
Published 3 months ago by Sleezy mcleezy


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, July 15 2004
By 
This review is from: The Forever War (Paperback)
This book was originally published in 1977 as an allegory to the Vietnam War. A reluctant soldier comes home from a never ending war without winning to a changed world he no longer recognizes. For this alone, this book is worth reading. However, the story stands on its own feet and he does a remarkable job. This book is part "Starship Troopers" and part "Armor". The reader actually feels for the soldiers who survive an unsurvivorable war only to find their world they left has changed and not for the better in their eyes. Much of the change has to do with worm holes and time dialation. Haldeman does a good job explaining the concept without getting to lost in the science which is not needed here. The enemy is not expanded upon and left shadowy except to explain that they are tough fighters and their tactics make no sense. This helps heighten the frustration of the soldiers and is a nice touch. The end of the story is rather abrupt, although ingenious and it certainly left itself open to a sequel. Highly Recommended
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent exploration of the futility of interstellar war, July 17 2014
This review is from: The Forever War (Paperback)
In the late 1990s, Earth starts an interstellar war against the alien Taurans after human colony ships in Tauran space were destroyed. The United Nations Exploratory Force (UNEF) begins conscripting the Earth's intellectual elite, the only humans smart enough to handle burgeoning space combat technologies. Among the conscripts is William Mandella, an MSc in physics and our protagonist.

After intense, deadly training on Charon, Mandella's company is ordered to attack a Tauran outpost. The outpost, however, is lightyears away, and the only way to traverse that distance quickly is to fly into a "collapsar"—essentially a wormhole created by the collapse of a star—and emerge out of another collapsar at relativistic speeds. Following their successful collapsar jump, Mandella's company arrives at the Tauran outpost planet, lands, and after making face-to-face contact with alien life for the first time in human history, proceeds to slaughter the Taurans stationed there.

The key to the novel becomes apparent on their return to UNEF's space headquarters. En route, they are intercepted by a Tauran patrol stationed nearby. Because of the time dilation at relativistic speeds, Mandella's company has only aged two years over the course of the campaign, but the Tauran patrol has had decades to research advanced technology and tactics. Mandella's ship is attacked and nearly destroyed by the advanced Tauran technology, but manages to make it back to HQ. Injured in the attack, Mandella is given shore leave to Earth, which is now 20 years in his subjective future.

Appalled at the deterioration he finds back at Earth (intense overpopulation and scarcity of resources, for example), Mandella reluctantly re-enlists, and is promoted to an officer. After surviving several more campaigns, he is eventually promoted to Major and is given the command of a company. His new recruits, from hundreds of years in his subjective future, speak an unrecognizable form of English and are bred to be exclusively homosexual. Faced with ever-mounting future shock apparent in the cultural differences from his soldiers, the rapidly-advancing weaponry, and the huge strides in physics rendering his education obsolete, Mandella struggles to understand the strange humanity he fights for and the point of the thousand-year conflict altogether.

Long plot summary aside, The Forever War is entirely about the Vietnam War. The oldest UNEF officers at the beginning of the novel are veterans of "that Indochina thing [that] had fizzled out before [Mandella] was born." Soldiers conscripted to fight agonize over losses incurred in a war with no clear goal or end in sight. Finally, Haldeman himself was injured fighting in Vietnam, and upon returning home, faced alienation by a culture removed from the actual fighting; the time dilation in the novel is just an alternative and more direct means of accomplishing this disconnect.

The Forever War is #1 in the SF Masterworks series, and for once I can probably endorse that rating. Five stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Forever War' examines what will life be like when the human race takes to the stars, July 23 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Forever War (Kindle Edition)
'The Forever War' examines what will life be like when the human race takes to the stars. Don't be mislead by the word 'war'. There's fighting, but it's secondary to the examination of how a human being might be affected by travelling at sub light speeds for extended periods of time.

Haldeman takes a stab at making futures that might not be anything like you might imagine Earth's prospects to be, but that is the point. He makes the future so foreign, it makes the story that much more enveloping and fascinating. It would be impossible to really communicate how much time has passed, otherwise.

Whoever's reading this review should read this book. It's not long, but it will give you lots to think about.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible sci-fi, Sept. 1 2013
By 
Rose (Saint John, NB, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Forever War (Kindle Edition)
I put off reading this book for a long time. It sounded interesting but I hate having to read page after page of fighting. I was assured that this book wasn't just about war so I relented and got it.

This is science fiction at it's finest. It starts with Mandala, a private in the army, beginning his career. This war takes place in space and the main means of traversing space is through wormholes they called collapsars. True to science, when you speed through anything in space, time jumps forward for you relative to others living in normal spacetime. After Mandala's first tour of duty, which for him was only two years, he got to go back to Earth but it had changed after all the real-time had passed. Things were so bad on Earth, he reenlisted - so did his girlfriend. Again, they were sent off on missions lasting in reality hundreds of years. In the end, the war had gone on for 1,143 years but for Mandala it had only been about a decade.

One of the things that was happening at the beginning of the story, and it was something that I thought came from the author as how he thought the world was going to be (as it was published in 1974) was that there was a lot of casual sex in this army. In fact, it even stated that it was law to have sex. My first thought was that it was a sexist book written for men, but as the story went on this too changed. People's attitudes towards sex changed until it was almost gone. This war was a backdrop for a much larger story. How people change. How customs change. How soldiers don't always fit back into society when they come home. The scientific advancements over time. Finding love...and losing it. The ending tells how the war began and why it stopped. Fantastic concept. How perfectly plausible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Just plain amazing, July 19 2014
This review is from: The Forever War (Paperback)
Wow. If you love science fiction you are going to love this. When you think about when it was written ( the 70's ) and the concept the author comes up with, just wow. Don't think military, think pure time spanning science fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic and I can't believe it took ..., July 2 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Forever War (Kindle Edition)
This is a classic and I can't believe it took me so long to get this onto my reading list.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars William Gibson is an ignorant jealous prick, June 28 2014
By 
This review is from: The Forever War (Kindle Edition)
William Gibson was shocked to see blade runner, he said they did it better than he ever could. he has issues. i have seen his interviews on a show by tvo called prisoners of gravity. its very sad that some authors can not embrace a fellow genius.
i read the original paper back over 20 years ago, it was one of the most amazing stories i ever read, period. and i love the classic 40s 50s 60s 70s books, like planet x or the replicators, andrea norton wrote amazing stories that center around pets and plagues, she was at one time curator of the library of congress! read 'plague ship' i highly recommend it!
time dialation, relativity, technolgy were an inspiration, hand to hand combat in the stasis feilds were incredible! with the technology available, they were using SWORDS because in the stasis feilds at absolute zero energy and chemical weapons did not work! and to scratch in the dirt, to hard wire the nuke at the edge of the feild and pick up the feild generator and MOVE it so it would go off outside of the feild, where did this guy get these ideas?? i was born in 1965 and grew up watching star trek and sci-fi theater and absolutely love the original pilot 'the cage' that was never shown on tv because it was deemed to 'cerebral' for the public. to think this man worked on this story during down-time on his tour of duty is amazing, if he had died in combat we would not have it today! it is such a shame how we send our young to die in needless wars. your just a gru
this is an amazing story of how everytime he came back to earth it had changed so much he could not deal with it and re-enlisted, and an amazingly romantic ending meeting up with his old girl-freind that had returned to earth 50 yrs before he did, and spoiler alert, the last time he came back, the war was already over before he fought it, and humans had become clones just like the alien species, both men and women were very beautiful, but they were all alike, because the aliens could not deal with the variation in the human species. when his girl-freind had returned 50yrs before him and the war was over, the crew pooled their pensions to buy their ship, and lapped the solar system at light speed to burn up time till he got back, and then went to find another planet to colonize.
William Gibson does not give this guy the credit that he deserves!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, June 25 2014
By 
Andy (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Forever War (Kindle Edition)
Characters were realistic and vulnerable, plot was fascinating and well developed. Great ending and no strange science fiction premises. Very readable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Space dude, April 1 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Forever War (Paperback)
Very cool concept for a book. Things took a turn for the weird about half way and the enemy was never given much time to shine. But it was a really cool book and I dont regret buying it, hope that helps.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A definite must read, March 11 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Forever War (Kindle Edition)
This was an amazing book. I didnt want to put this book down and I was sad that the story ended. I typically dont care about the relationships a character has in a story, but I found myself rooting for it to end well. It is a well thought out story that takes you on different rides. I will be recommending this to anyone that has more than 2 brain cells!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Forever War
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (Paperback - Feb. 17 2009)
CDN$ 16.99 CDN$ 12.26
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews