HomeGroupsTalkExplore
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Forever War (1974)

by Joe Haldeman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Forever War (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,816236804 (4.03)2 / 342
Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself -- a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit, and propelled through space and time to fight in a distant thousand-year conflict. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth have drawn a line in the interstellar sand -- despite the fact that their fierce alien enemy is unknowable, unconquerable, and very far away. So Mandella will perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through the military's ranks . . . if he survives. But the true test of his mettle will come when he returns to Earth. Because of the time dilation caused by space travel the loyal soldier is aging months, while his home planet is aging centuries -- and the difference will prove the saying: you never can go home.… (more)
  1. 214
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (infiniteletters, goodiegoodie)
  2. 80
    Old Man's War by John Scalzi (JulesJones)
    JulesJones: Two books which examine in different ways what happens to the recruits in an interstellar war who by the very nature of their service can never go back to their home culture.
  3. 10
    Armor by John Steakley (amysisson, RASinfo)
    RASinfo: Perfect read for the story and ideas of the same theme.
  4. 10
    The Ethos Effect by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (thejazzmonger)
    thejazzmonger: Good characters and a story with intelligence and action. It makes you think, like every Haldeman book does.
  5. 11
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (sturlington)
  6. 22
    Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman (sturlington)
    sturlington: Forever Peace is a thematic sequel to The Forever War.
  7. 01
    The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: The Forever War was inspired by Haldemans experiences in Vietnam, Scarborough writes about her experiences in Vietnam directly.
  8. 14
    Dauntless by Jack Campbell (amysisson)
    amysisson: First in a series of thoughtful military SF with great FTL tactical details.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Science Fiction Fans: The Forever War? Ugh.113 unread / 113Tobbi73, August 2016
 Book talk: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman10 unread / 10jldarden, March 2013

» See also 342 mentions

English (229)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (235)
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
I really wanted to enjoy The Forever War more, I really did. Joe Haldeman explores brilliant concepts, from the meaning of war and being soldier, the impact of time dilation on the development of human colonization and society, to being, in essence, a foreigner among your own people. I really love these concepts and Haldeman does a good job in putting forth hypothetical outcomes, but in actually making them narratively interesting, he falls flat. The man character and narrator, William Mandella, comes across as incredibly bland and one dimensional. Despite the whole book being written from his perspective, very little of his personality ever comes forth. Perhaps that's the side effect of constantly jumping forward in time and having to constantly adjust your concepts of society-appropriate behavior, or perhaps its just because the narrator serves more as vehicle to tell the story of a millennia spanning war. Either way, I was frustrated by being unable to care about his thoughts or well being, and inability to better explore the new cultures he was thrust into.

What the book does do well is demonstrating just how confusing, destructive, and pointless war can be. The war is very plainly an allegory for the Vietnam War, with Haldeman being a Purple Heart veteran of that war himself. The war is begun after a mysterious and hazy incident involving an enemy we don't understand, and the war seems to have very little purpose, with the goal posts shifting constantly. The soldiers who sacrifice their bodies and spirits to fight the war often return to a country/planet that is very different from what they left behind, and find that the glory/honor/respect/status promised to them is no longer true.

The Forever War is a book whose premise is brilliant and the concepts explored deserve so, but is let down by an unoriginal narrator. It still holds up as a foundation work for much of the military space opera sub-genre of sci-fi that has produced so much solid work. ( )
  James_Knupp | Jan 20, 2023 |
Great and easy read, Haldeman does a great job translating concepts of relativity and physics to the reader, making the story easy to follow. ( )
  wuh19 | Jan 1, 2023 |
Three stars for the number of authors this book has influenced. ( )
  readersmith | Dec 24, 2022 |
Won the 1975 Nebula Award.
Won the 1976 Hugo Award. ( )
  Canuq | Dec 23, 2022 |
Interesting concept, time dilation messing with a man who essentially spent a few years in a century war.

I'm just happy to finally read a book with a happy ending. Thank god! ( )
  zenseiii | Dec 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 229 (next | show all)
I got to re-reading it last night (for the first time in nearly 20 years) and couldn't put it down.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Mar 30, 2003)
 

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Haldemanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craig, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dalton, BrendonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, Peter F.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reß-Bohusch, BirgitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scalzi, JohnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targete, Jean PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tikulin, TomislavCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tinkleman, MurrayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, DorianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vrana, MichelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Ben and, always, for Gay
First words
"Tonight we're going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man."
Quotations
Relativity propped it up, at least gave it the illusion of being there...the way all reality becomes illusory and observer-oriented when you study general relativity. Or Buddhism. Or get drafted.
I feel asleep and dreamed that I was a machine, mimicking the functions of life, creaking and clanking my clumsy way through a world, people too polite to say anything but giggling behind my back, and the little man who sat inside my head pulling the levers and clutches and watching the dials, he was hopelessly mad and storing up hurts for the day--
"One cannot make command decisions simply by assessing the tactical situation and going ahead with whatever course of action will do the most harm to the enemy with a minimum of death and damage to your own men and materiel. Modern warfare has become very complex, especially during the last century. Wars are won not by a simple series of battles won, but by a complex interrelationship among military victory, economic pressures, logistic maneuvering, access to the enemy's information, political postures--dozens, literally dozens of factors."
The most important fact about the war to most people was that if it ended suddenly, Earth's economy would collapse.
Heaven was a lovely, unspoiled Earth-like world; what Earth might have been if men had treated her with compassion instead of lust.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Private William Mandella is a hero in spite of himself -- a reluctant conscript drafted into an elite military unit, and propelled through space and time to fight in a distant thousand-year conflict. He never wanted to go to war, but the leaders on Earth have drawn a line in the interstellar sand -- despite the fact that their fierce alien enemy is unknowable, unconquerable, and very far away. So Mandella will perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through the military's ranks . . . if he survives. But the true test of his mettle will come when he returns to Earth. Because of the time dilation caused by space travel the loyal soldier is aging months, while his home planet is aging centuries -- and the difference will prove the saying: you never can go home.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Time dilation

Interstellar war is hell

Vietnam in space

(amweb)

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.03)
0.5
1 30
1.5 4
2 86
2.5 30
3 478
3.5 144
4 1130
4.5 140
5 870

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 182,948,947 books! | Top bar: Always visible