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am 3. Juli 2001
A very moving story about the tragedy and stupidity of war, a war that lasts over a thousand years for the people on Earth and only a couple of decades for the combatants, due to relativity. (Read the Synopsis above.)
If you liked 'Starship Troopers' -the book, not the film- you will most probably enjoy 'The Forever War'. It is easily and quickly read, still making you think about it, though. Don't misunderstand me, that the book is 'flat'; it delivers its message powerfully enough. The story has no more, no less than it needs to be good, gripping and provocative. It just probably doesn't go into enough details for people who only like epic stories such as 'Dune'.
This edition is the definitive version as originally written by the author, with a preface by him explaining a little about his intentions while writing the story.
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am 18. Juni 2001
After all my years of SF-reading The Forever War still belongs to my personal top five books, easily up there with Dune, Neuromancer and Hyperion. But while those all take the brainy approach, Haldeman goes straight to the guts. It's still very intelligent, mind you, but it's story doesn't flow a second slower because of that. It's pacifistic without being preachy, perhaps remotely comparable to Kubrick's approach in "Full Metal Jacket".
0Kommentar|7 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 23. Juni 1998
Amazingly enough, I first came across this book in 1984, when it was assigned by some enlightened member of the Dept. of English faculty at the United States Air Force Academy, of all places. Having previously read Starship Troopers and having frankly reveled in its portayal of interstellar war as a glorious pursuit, I was at first put off by the obvious Vietnam allusions and antiwar sentiments of this work. Upon further examination, gained mostly through age and perspective, I find this a far superior work (no disrespect intended to the late Mr. Heinlein). Prior to hearing the professor's lecture in which he recounted Haldeman's Vietnam experience, it was apparent that this book had been written by one who had been there and seen the horrors of war up close and personal (I, of course, had not). I was particularly impressed and touched by the use of relativity to unequivocally emphasize the fact that the few survivors of the war could (literally and figuratively) never go back home again and they must make the best of the life they build for themselves after. Finally, this version of the book, with the original restored middle section, merely improves on this unforgettable work of Mr. Haldeman's. The fact that it is the sole reading assignment I remember from my Air Force Academy days (along with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence) is faint praise. A true classic in the genre of science fiction and a masterpiece of cautionary literature.
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am 18. Januar 2000
"The Forever War" is authored by a Vietnam Veteran who uses the colorful setting of the future "Forever" War as an allegory for The 'Nam and the feelings of its vets. This powerful book grabs the reader quickly and throws him straight into the first-person world of William Mandela, would-be physics professor turned soldier by the Earth's military fight alien Taurans in a war with nebulous origins. Due to complications posed by relativity, each time the combatants engage, the battle is completely lopsided because one race will have the technological advantages endowed by time on their side. For example, if Earth sends a mission that takes 300 years for the mission to reach it's goal, the enemy already had 300 years to prepare and upgrade defenses, so the mission's tech is obsolete. Then, if the Taurans attack our outpost, the same thing happens. With no communication between the two races, no chance of winning, but the ever present chance of defeat, an eternal war is created. Halderman also captures the disorientation experienced by GIs who came back from horrific combat, and were expected to instantly adjust to 1960's "Ozzy and Harriet" American culture. The "Forever War" has a cynical ring that I instantly loved, as well as sublimely juxtaposing the positive and negative potentials of humans as individuals and a race. The military details are right on target, from the lingo and attitudes to soldiers' attitudes. Overall, I'd definitely recommend "The Forever War" to anyone with an interest in Sci-Fi. It'll also teach you about the motivations of warriors who turn peacemakers.
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am 27. Juli 2000
A science fiction classic. Haldeman's book chronicles a war between humankind and a race of aliens. Haldeman stays true to modern physics: since warriors must travel great distances (with the help of relativistic worm hole trickery), they age only a few years while hundreds of years elapse back on earth. Thus, soldiers find themselves returning from battle to earth generations after their families have passed away, and political changes have rendered their reasons for fighting moot. A tremendous story and very satisfying to the scientifically minded.
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am 12. Juli 2000
Most military science fiction novels are written as a series of books. Some, like Starship Troopers and The Forever War, are stand alones. The Forever War is a short book, but Haldeman is a brilliant storyteller. He gives it a depth most books need 400 to 900 to attain. Also, you actually care about the characters. Let me tell you people, there is not one part of this classic book that lets it's reader down. It completely blew me away. For more good military scifi, read David Feintuch's Hope novels, starting with Midshipman's Hope.
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am 11. Juni 2000
Everyone here says that it's a masterpiece with real depth to it etcetera , and I agree - as to this book being a masterpiece , but I think it's greatness is in it's simplisity.
There's no need to inflate the exitant story inorder to make it bigger-than-life.
"Forever war" is practically a perfect exemple of a simple-story , one protagonist , hard\military good science-fiction.
No real depth in plot - simply a story of full racial war , when the moving of forces in relativistic speeds causes Mandala (the protagonist) to age a couple of years (objectively) while the rest of the universe , and earth , age hundreds of years every time he goes into battle. Allthough it's interesting reading about social-changes on earth , the book's strong points are in Mandala's personality you will learn inevitably to like , and the hard sci-fi side , of advanced technolegy and combat descriptions. I believe that the book is so great because of the real-life , engaging writing style of Joe. No matter how flat some of the charecters may be , when he goes into an action-scene you can't put your eyes off the line.
And don't misunderstand me too - the book as a whole is'nt flat - I was just pointing out it has some flaws as great as it is. The only charecter which is'nt flat is Mandala but it does'nt effect the pleasure you'll derive from reading this EXCELLENT military sci-fi MASTERPIECE.
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am 21. März 1997
I first read this book as a teenager and stayed up all night, unable to put it down. I have reread it many times over the past 15 years and my appreciation for the work has only grown.
One of the remarkable aspects of the book is its incredibly realistic feel, doubtless the result of the fact that the author fought in Vietnam (the subject of his novel War Year). The book also has facinating parallels to Robert Heinlein's far inferior work, Starship Troopers, which is a rather obvious and heavy handed book about the battle against the "menace of communisim," (represented by Heinlein as a race of hive insects with no individual will). In contrast to Heinlein's worship of war, warriors, and their technology (in the form of battle armor in both books) in Forever War the war is pointless, the commanders venal, the soldiers dissatisfied and abused, and the technology faulty and overrated (sound familiar). In Forever War the enemy is a race of clones, sharing a group conciousness and a peaceful society (at least until they meet humanity). The cause of the war is the political leadership's lust for power. This is the exact opposite of Heinlein's utopian view of war and its leaders.
Forever war represents an extrordinary use of the Science Fiction genre to address universal issues.
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am 5. Juni 1998
I read The Forever War about seven years ago, when the 'original' material was still in the middle section. This material can be found comprising the graphic novel of The Forever War by Marvano. Instead of talking about how great Forever War is (both versions are) I'm goign to go out on a limb and dislike the new material. In making a more effective story that focusses on the changes to Earth throughout the course of the war, the new material succeeds. It comes as a much bigger hammer that hits the reader, much more directly showing how much has changed for Mandala. However, this tears the book in two. Forever War when I first read it was a war story, showing the horror of war and the humanity that gets violated over the course of what is perhaps the most tragic war one could fathom. The new material attempts to add another arc to the story, an arc that isn't explored at all once Mandala and Potter re-enlist in the army. I feel it detracts from the overall story, although I admit, as a story in and of itself, the new material does very well. Mr. Haldeman should have left the old material in, making the new material as it's own story, instead of the other way around. But that's just my two centavos!
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am 26. Juni 2000
This is an interesting dichotomy...the book is straightforward with simplistic writing. It's easy to understand and a joy to read. At the same time, I'd have to consider it a literary masterpiece. Haldeman's first person account of war (futuristic, galactic war) is an effective, emotional book that drags you in and won't let go. The first person approach lets you really sympathize with the main character and also illustrates the chaos of a battlefield. The tribulations that the main character goes through shows just how impersonal the military is. The army owns this man...he has no control over his ultimate destiny. He is a G.I.: Government Issue. The government/military issue him his life. It reminds me of a quote from Damon Wayans' MAJOR PAYNE: "If the Marines wanted me to have a wife, they'd'a issued me one."
I've heard that Haldeman wrote this book as an allegory for the Vietnam War. I never got the chance to study that period of time very well, but I can assume he hit the mark from what I do know.
Aside from the literary value of this book, it is a romping sci-fi novel that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn't let go. A very enjoyable read.
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