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Camouflage (Ace Science Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Aug 2005

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (1 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441012523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012527
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Haldeman trips through history wearing alien goggles but his message is all about human nature. ("Entertainment Weekly") An extremely intelligent thriller. ("Washington Post")

"Haldeman trips through history wearing alien goggles but his message is all about human nature." Entertainment Weekly

"An extremely intelligent thriller." Washington Post"

About the Author

Joe Haldeman is a Vietnam veteran whose classic novels "The Forever War" and "Forever Peace" both have the rare honor of winning the Hugo and Nebula Awards. He has served twice as president of the Science Fiction Writers of America and is currently an adjunct professor teaching writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With his last two novels - the very under-rated "The Coming" and his psuedo-alternate history "Guardian" - Joe Haldeman has taken the short but sweet approach to telling his story; a long and winding build-up which leads to the short, sharp ending/twist. I loathe to describe it as an long story or joke with a sharp punchline at the end, but the comparison seems apt. This approach has so far worked for Haldeman due to his strong approach in developing his characters through a time period based narrative. However, in "Camouflage", it seems that Haldeman is starting to get a bit lax.
The year is 2019 and marine biologist Russell Sutton is working in the Pacific with his company that specialises in deep-ocean salvaging (his crew achieved fame through their rising of The Titanic). Russell is approached by Jack, a retired naval officer who enlists him to retrieve a mysterious oval object lying off the coast of Samoa. In the second storyline, we follow the "Changeling", an alien that has been on Earth since the dawn of evolution. Having taken the form of marine animals for most of its time, the Changeling takes on a human form in the 1930's and begins its journey to learn about humans.
The secondary storyline of the alien's development over a period of a century is typical Haldeman - an entertaining memoir like account of events and happenings that brings us in to liking the character. However, problems arise when we jump back to the present with Russell and Jack. These characters are less developed than the Changeling and in the end they come across as one-dimensional characters. It is not a good thing when the alien character appears more human than the humans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best known for Forever war and his post apocalyptic Worlds Apart series Joe Haldeman was a prominent author in the 70's and 80's SF scene. This novel won a Nebula award in 2004.

Its a relatively recent work of Haldemans - like many of his recent works takes place in the present but the style of writing and the characters are very reminiscent of his 70's and 80's works.

Its an interesting read - very 80's sf - dealing with an immortal Alien shapeshifters struggle to come to terms with existence as a human being. Lots of sex and violence - most of which id say typified 'classic Haldeman' - very like -All my Sins remembered.

For new readers - go read his earlier works first - Worlds apart - is more poignant. Forever war has a better vision. Both have better characters and story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Joe Haldeman book I've read, and both I've found absolutely first-rate. (The other was the long habit of living). The foundation for me is that the `Science' in the `Fiction' has at least some thread of credibility to it. Although admittedly far fetched, the storey is structured to the point that you find yourself seriously thinking, `..well just maybe', which is surely what all good science fiction should do.

I found the the book gripping from start to finish, if you want to be critical, the book is maybe a little over the top old fashioned romance and sentimentality, but hey, I loved it! If the concept of a changeling, living as a great white shark, then a killer whale, a porpoise and finally emerging from the ocean in human form intrigues you at all, (and that's just the first few pages), then read it.
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Format: Hardcover
The story develops quite well though has its weak points. The interaction between the events to do with the artifact, the humans and the alien 'changeling' work quite well but the other alien, 'chameleon', does not fit well into the story.
The ending does not work with the chameleon apparently being one of the main human characters but to do that must have been in two places at the same time (not one of its abilities) and have discovered the artifact in a way unexplained and inexplicable.
Three stars might be a bit generous.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel held my attention throughout. Although it wasn't high-end SF the story engrossed and kept me reading late intot he night. Well worth a look.
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