Calico Reaction (calico_reaction) wrote in bookish,
Calico Reaction

Haldeman, Joe: The Forever War

The Forever War (1974)
Written by: Joe Haldeman
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 278

The premise: William Mandella never wanted to be a part of a war, but he's there, training and fighting against an alien race all for the sake of protecting colonist's ships as well as the collapsars that allow those ships to travel great distances. War is no picnic, but as Mandella will find out, neither is his homecoming.

My Rating

Give It Away: while I feel it's a must-read (not a must-have, there's a difference!) for SF enthusiasts and writers, really, this isn't the kind of book that I'd read again and want around. It's just familiar ground for me, and that's not the book's fault; rather, it's that I'm a product of dozens of films, television shows, and books that've done the same thing, if not better in some regards (this happens to me every time I read something that's classic SF or Fantasy). Scalzi fans who haven't yet read Haldeman might get a kick out of this, but may feel in the end that Scalzi does it better (but that's me). I'll give credit where credit is due: the SF of this book was interesting, and I can see where this book has been the inspiration for countless things (I couldn't help but giggle every time I saw the phrase "Stargate 1"). Haldeman crafts an interesting alternative history and future, and the voice of the narrator makes this book a relative fast read. I wouldn't call this book action-packed though: despite the fact it's a book about war, we hear about things happening more than we actually experience them. The book's more telling than showing, but the stuff it does show is pretty solid. I'm glad I read this, and while I won't read anything else in this universe, I won't hesitate to give Haldeman's work another shot later.

Review style: this one's going to be pretty easy to discuss in general terms. Plus, the book's so old that spoilers, in my mind, are a moot point. This is a stream-of-conscious review, but I keep plot-specific spoilers to a minimum. The full review, which has no spoilers of any consequence, may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading!

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