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  • Armor
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am 14. Oktober 2002
Der englische Titel "Amor" ist Programm. Im ersten Handlungsstrang ist es dieser Kampfanzug, in dem die Hauptperson im Kampf gegen die insektenähnlichen Aliens auf deren, für Menschen lebensfeindlichen Planeten, zum Killer oder Helden - je nach Sichtweise - wird. Obwohl nicht besser oder schlechter ausgerüstet als seine Kameraden, schlägt er sämtliche Statistiken hinsichtlich Effektivität und der Wahrscheinlichkeit zu Überleben. Im zweiten Strang spielt dieser Anzug zunächst keine große Rolle, rückt aber nach einer etwas langatmigen Einleitung (oder kommt mir das nach dem furiosen und packenden Start nur so vor?) mehr und mehr ist Zentrum der Handlung. Da ich nicht zu viel über die Handlung verraten möchte, sei nur so viel gesagt, dass die beiden Handlungsstränge sehr geschickt miteinander verwoben werden. Was macht die hohe Wertung für diesen Roman aus? Die beeindruckende Schilderung der Kampfszenen ist wahrscheinlich das Herausragende. Der exzellente Aufbau der Story incl. Spannungsbögen und die überraschenden Wechsel der Erzählperspektiven tun ein übriges dazu. Am Anspruch hapert es ein wenig. Zwar wird die innere Zerrissenheit hinsichtlich der Grausamkeiten des Kampfes der eigentlichen Hauptperson sehr gut , die Handlung fördernd dargestellt, aber sonderlich in die Tiefe geht's nicht. D.h. an Strugatzki oder Lem kommt dieser Roman nicht heran. Macht auch nichts! Dafür ist es absolut gute und spannende Unterhaltung von der Klasse z.B. eines Orson Scott Gard (Enders Game), wenn auch deutlich mehr actionorientiert.
11 Kommentar|4 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 13. Juli 2000
I picked this novel up a couple of days ago and read it in one night. As a soldier I have to say that the story is very compelling in it's discription of battle, the fear, the hopelessness, the lack of faith in the chain of command and in one's self. This story through the eyes of Felix gives the reader a hint as to the fear of combat, the hate of doing what must be done, and the drive to survive when there is no reason to. I have read many reviews on this novel comparing it to a Starship Troopers rip off. The only thing that most of these people have to say is "gee it has power armor and bugs and that Heinlein did it first and better". Well as to that I have to say that I have read many sci-fi novels and the concept of power armor is neither new or that amazing nor does Heinlein hold the copyright to that idea. While Starship Troopers is a good novel and one of my favorites, this story about Felix goes about combat and the emotions involved with such while Heinlein spent alot of time talking about society, the military system and such. As to the part with Jack Crow, yes it is going to through you for a loop. It pops out of nowhere but is still a integral part of the story. With Jack Crow you take another man that will do anything to survive and you see him experience what Felix did during the war and you get another perspective on the man that is Felix and what he went through. All in all I have to say that is a very good story and definitely a something to pick up and read.
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 7. April 2000
While scrolling down past reviews of this book, it did not surprise me to see a few U.S. servicemen giving good reviews to Armor. The book effectively conveys the feelings and coping mechanisms (The Engine) that soldiers must face during battle. Two stories are told in the book: that of Felix, the armored soldier, and Jack Crow, a space outlaw. At first one feels as if one is reading two different books, but eventually the two storylines meet at the end.
Regarding the subject of wars against bugs, Armor attempts to portray war, warts and all, like the movie "Saving Private Ryan", whereas Starship Troopers tends to glorify war like the John Wayne classic "The Green Beret." (Don't take me wrong, I like Starship Troopers and "The Green Beret"!)
I recommend All Quiet on the Western Front and Johnny Got His Gun, both non-scifi books, yet excellent in portraying the realities of warfare.
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 6. Mai 1997
I can see why some people gave this book a "10", since it starts out terrifically. But, then it
founders badly and I can't rate this book overall much higher than a "4", since I don't think I
would buy it again.

The book is divided into five parts of different length and quality. The first part is a dark and
thrilling action adventure, centered on the armored scout named Felix. It is reminiscent of the
movie "Aliens", with the same violent kinetic energy and the terror of fighting against an
implacable horde of giant alien monsters. The pace of the action mixed with the battlefield
pathos and just the hint of humanization of its characters is a powerful combination and sweeps
you along, making you forget to stop and ask that one simple nagging question (as in the movie
"Aliens"): "why not just NUKE 'em all from orbit!!??"

Unfortunately, the book doesn't continue along the same path, and in the second and third
parts, the author switches gears into the first person narrative (as a different character), and tries
to get into more characterization, more chatty conversation, more human relationships, and
other Writing 101 stuff like that, which he just doesn't seem to have a good grip on because he
sure lost me there. He should have just stuck to what he was good at, which is writing about
action adventure and the pure terror of battle on an alien planet.

So I skipped over to the fourth section, which returns to the tale of Felix. This part was
decent, but got schmaltzy with the arrival of the Masao, and the partial explanation of Felix' past,
which all had a false and tired ring to it. Maybe I've just read too many sci-fi and fantasy stories
in which the central hero or anti-hero turns out in the end to be a prince or king or some other
kind of Superior Being all along. Deja vu all over again.

The fifth and last section returns to the first person narrative and has a definite deux ex-
machina, pasted together quality, as if the author ran out of ideas on to how to get everything to
end while still keeping his first person narrator alive.

Too bad. This book had potential.
0Kommentar|Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 9. Dezember 1997
After reading all these reviews, I have to admit that I'm pleasantly surprised! I had no idea that "Armor" was such a cult novel with such a huge following.
It's revealing how many veterans gave the book positive reviews. It seems to confirm something that I've felt for a long time: Steakley himself may be a veteran, and this book was a way for him to put his experiences of war (whichever one it was) down on paper. Why sci-fi? Why not?
I have to agree with those who say that the book slows down during the Jack Crow sections. It's sad but true. At least J.C. seems to undergo some sort of character development (more than one could say for many SF novels) but the dialogue especially was only so-so. I would have to say, nonetheless, that the scenes with Felix more than make up for those sections.
Comparing "Armor" with "Starship Troopers" does neither book justice. Heinlein seems more concerned with the military mind than he is with the actual experience of combat. We are never told what Earth society is like in "Armor," or at least it's only broadly described. "Troopers" was about why we need a military (and, IMHO, is much more ambiguous concerning warfare than some unsophisticated readers would think); "Armor" is about the deleterious effects of warfare on the mind and spirit. (Except for the JAck Crow stuff.)
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I would recommend it in turn, not as a great work of literature, or even great SF on the level of Poe, Wells, Clarke, Heinlein's best, Dick, Zelazny, Lem, etc. But it is a powerful book, with a lot to say, if we're willing to listen.
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am 16. Mai 2000
Armor is, I believe, my favorite science fiction novel ever. It follows to basic plotlines -- one is the story of a desperate soldier fighting an impossible war, the other from the point of view of an ex-pirate escaped from prison who joined up with the wrong crew. The two plots do intertwine, but the plots aren't the appeal of this novel.
The author's writing style is unique. On the battlefield, you get that feeling which is rarely accurately conveyed in words, the feeling of the rush, the confusion, the horror of combat (I've never been in a combat situation, but I like to pretend I can imagine what it is like). But it's more than that. Steakley questions the whole purpose of the war, the necessity and the making of heroes, and the humanity and desperation of the soldiers.
When you get to the the pirate's section, it switches over to a first person POV, but instead of using one of the usual first person styles (either normal third person with the word 'I' substited in a lot, or subtance-less with a lot of jokes,) you really get into the head of the character, into what makes him tick, and it's really a fantastic experience.
And even with all the fantastic points necessarily made, this book never lets up. There's nary a boring or dull moment, there are the obligatory plot-twists, action sequences, etc..
This is simply a must read novel.
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am 26. April 1997
I bought this book in 1984 for two reasons: (1) I was young, and it had a good dollar-to-page ratio (the more pages per dollar, the better for a 14 year old scrapping for pennies) and (2) it had the cheesiest cover I've ever seen. Imagine my shock at the gem within... The title of the book is lost on most readers, because (my feeling is that) it refers to the internal armor that people put on in order to deal with their own tragedies... not your basic plasteel war-suit.
I loved this book so much that I read it again immediately after I finished. Mr. Steakley's alternation between Crow and Felix challenges your allegiance to the current story line, and puts the pressure on the author to keep raising the bar with each switch... which he pulls off admirably. The printing of Vampire$ in 1990 freaked me out, and I'm still trying to figure out what it means. Anyway, Armor is my second favorite book of all time, second only to "Use of Weapons" by Iain M. Banks
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am 12. November 1998
The flaws in this book are incredible. In this military, soldiers don't rebel at repeated hopeless missions, (5 survivals makes a trusted hand, 10 a grizzled vetran, and 20 not believed). The officers seem to have no grasp that combat involves killing (possibly of themselves).
This military doesn't seem to have any bombs, though a powered armor suit can be made to malfunction and explode like a baby nuke. Too bad that only suits with living occupants seem to have this ability, especially with all the dead troopers laying around at this point in the book.
Running out of ammo is common, but nobody ever thinks to take swords, knives, or even a nightstick.
The author should have read Starship Troopers a little more closely before writing this book. There was more to Heinlein's book than powered armor.
I would have given this book zero stars, but it wasn't an option.
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am 4. August 1998
This is John Steakley's all-time classic contribution to military science fiction. I am very pleased to see that it has been re-released, although I do like to old cover better. However, covers aside, the content of the pages is a beautiful glimpse into the horror of war, the despair of the soldier, and the unconscious willingness of the human spirit to survive. I first read this book back in 1986, and have re-read it three times since then. Truly one of he best ten books I had read, and it has clearly shown through against a lot of competition. I am very pleased to see this great story and author get its due.
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am 25. Januar 2000
I first discovered Steakly from reading his other book Vampire$, and was so impressed by it, I went out and bought Armor. It is an amazing book. Hands down one of the best sci-fi books I've ever read. "Starship Troopers" by Robert Heinlein, is often regarded as the definitive science fiction book about war; Armor is better. Although Steakly gets a little wordy in his discriptions (often to the point of being confusing), it does not detract from the sheer wonder and awe one experiences from reading this book. My only problem with John Steakly is that he only has two books available.
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