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Old Man's War Paperback – Unabridged, 1 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Unabridged edition (1 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330452169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330452168
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and his debut novel Old Man's War was a finalist for the Hugo Award. His other novels include The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and The Android's Dream. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.


Product Description

Review

'Clever dialogue, fast-paced story and strong characters.' -- The Times

About the Author

John Scalzi is an author and online writer, known for his blog Whatever, at which he has written daily on a number of topics since 1998. Old Man's War, his first novel, was a finalist in the Hugo Awards.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 April 2011
Format: Paperback
It has taken me a long time to get round to reading this. It has an odd reputation, some regard it as a SF classic and yet others as piece of very superficial military SF. I fall between the two, I read it fairly quickly as it is a very easy and undemanding read with some interesting ideas. Having said that they are not necessarily fresh and it is not a pure classic like Forever War that has stuck in my head years after having read it.

So, here we have geriatrics being recruited to undertake some changes and regain their youth provided they become soldiers in wars being fought a long way from Earth, an Earth they will never return to.

It's easy to be critical because this does lack real depth, but it does remain an easy and entertaining read. It explores some issues about youth, love, marriage and policies of aggression but within a fast moving environment packed full of action.

So I quite enjoyed it and may pick up the sequals, but I am in no rush to do so,
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Format: Paperback
This was quite a mixed book for me. I found the writing to be fairly poor (actually, I find the writing of most science fiction to be poor). The style is very easy to read, but almost amateurish. The choice of names (Jane, John etc) and the informal style of writing grated on me a bit as did the vulgar names chosen by each person for their "brainpal" (a computer put into their brains).

The story is quite good fun, even if it does have strange fascist overtones. The basic ideas is that when people get to about 75, they are eligible to join the CDF (colonial defence force) who give them new bodies (with green skin and cat's eyes!) and then they go to fight lots of aliens to preserve the human colonies. I laughed out loud as the book then described how all the previously old people had non-stop sex for a fortnight after getting their new bodies! Very funny almost at the level of fantasty, but also quite cliched I think.

The interesting theme for me was the interweaving of the main character's relationship with his wife (new and old). This is definitely worth a follow up, and i'll probably check out the sequel just to follow that aspect.

The endless desctruction of alien empires worried me a bit. This is described in some detail, and reminded me a bit of starship troopers, but without the satirical elements. He does feel a bit guilty when he's crushing buildings created by aliens an inch high, so that's ok then...

An easy read with some fun ideas. Not great literature by any means, though.
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By L. R. Richardson on 28 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm conflicted about this book. On the one hand, it's a good science fiction adventure romp with some social commentary thrown in. I love the concept of old men and women enlisting in the army to have a new chance at a longer, if more violent life. On the other hand, it's a but too similar to The Forever War by Joe Haldeman and Starship Troopers by Heinlein, in my opinion. It follows the same basic plot and formula, but it's updated to issues 30 years that are (sort of) pertinent later. Also, while the characters and plot are well-done, the writing itself was sometimes mediocre and felt a little rushed. I found myself jarred out of the prose by a clunky sentence.

The novel started out a bit slow while the main characters were still elderly and crotchety, but it provided some much-needed set-up. Even once they're changed so that they are physically able to fight, I didn't find the story overly intriuging until John Perry, the protagonist, meets Jane Sagan. I don't wish to spoil any major plot points, but after that point I was hooked and read the rest of the book in one sitting. I plan to pick up the sequels at some point, for while although I didn't find the prose earth-shattering, it was great fun and provided some interesting ruminations on the future and the lengths humans will go for war.
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By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Sep 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, lets be honest here. When this book initially landed I though "Oh god, do I really fancy this" and put it on my "to be read" pile only for newer books to keep appearing above it. Suddenly out of options (my TBR pile was alas no more) and desperate for something to read I picked up this tale and began.

Not only was I proved wrong about my immediate supposition but it became a book I just couldn't put down. Hugely likeable characters, cracking stories and a non stop adventure among the planets and stars leaves this tale as something in wonderment. In fact I will even go so far as to say how much I loved this. My faith in the old clichéd to hell Sci-Fi universe has been restored to a certain degree and really did make me happy to discover what I feel could become a modern classic in the vein of Robert A Heinlien's Starship Troopers mixed with a touch of Rogue Trooper (if you're too young to remember he was a character in 2000AD) and you've gotten a book that will keep you not only amused but generate a feeling so deep the loss of any one of the characters is pretty damn hard. Complaint wise I have only one, it was a short story (around 250 pages) but that is made up in the fact that the second book in the series (Ghost Brigade) is already out. So that's a bonus.
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