Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and well-crafted but a bit dated..., 25 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Forever War (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
The genius of this book is the way in which it captures the pointlessness of war and the impotence of the soldiers fighting it to exercise any control over their lives. The science is often sketchy and the social ideas only vaguely explored, but this is a book about one person and how he is caught up in the whirl of it all. The general impression is of being given just enough detail to understand what the protagonist, William Mandella, is thinking. It's not a social commentary or a close allegory of Vietnam, but in common with Starship Troopers it shows that high technology does not change the fundamental brutality of war. It also uses huge changes in society to show the dislocation suffered by soldiers. Personally, I feel that shorter time spans between Mandella's visits home, and therefore more subtle changes in earth society, could have been more effective, but then again I haven't written a best selling novel so I'll bow to Joe Haldeman's expertise.
All in all, this is worth a read because it is a well-written book and very much of its time in its perceptions of war and of how soldiers live and die.
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