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The Forever War (1974 original; edició 2009)
de Joe Haldeman
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The Forever War de Joe Haldeman (1974)
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A very good novel that seems to have lasted the test of time. It really well considered the impact of time dilation on returning soldiers and used that to explore possible social evolution. Plus the impact of leap frogging in military technology and tactics was interesting. But… I wish there had been a bit more character development. Still, i thoroughly enjoyed it.
I really wanted to enjoy The Forever War more, I really did. Joe Haldeman explores brilliant concepts, from the meaning of war and being soldier, the impact of time dilation on the development of human colonization and society, to being, in essence, a foreigner among your own people. I really love these concepts and Haldeman does a good job in putting forth hypothetical outcomes, but in actually making them narratively interesting, he falls flat. The man character and narrator, William Mandella, comes across as incredibly bland and one dimensional. Despite the whole book being written from his perspective, very little of his personality ever comes forth. Perhaps that's the side effect of constantly jumping forward in time and having to constantly adjust your concepts of society-appropriate behavior, or perhaps its just because the narrator serves more as vehicle to tell the story of a millennia spanning war. Either way, I was frustrated by being unable to care about his thoughts or well being, and inability to better explore the new cultures he was thrust into.
What the book does do well is demonstrating just how confusing, destructive, and pointless war can be. The war is very plainly an allegory for the Vietnam War, with Haldeman being a Purple Heart veteran of that war himself. The war is begun after a mysterious and hazy incident involving an enemy we don't understand, and the war seems to have very little purpose, with the goal posts shifting constantly. The soldiers who sacrifice their bodies and spirits to fight the war often return to a country/planet that is very different from what they left behind, and find that the glory/honor/respect/status promised to them is no longer true.
The Forever War is a book whose premise is brilliant and the concepts explored deserve so, but is let down by an unoriginal narrator. It still holds up as a foundation work for much of the military space opera sub-genre of sci-fi that has produced so much solid work.
Great and easy read, Haldeman does a great job translating concepts of relativity and physics to the reader, making the story easy to follow.
Three stars for the number of authors this book has influenced.
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I got to re-reading it last night (for the first time in nearly 20 years) and couldn't put it down.
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Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards: A futuristic masterpiece, "perhaps the most important war novel written since Vietnam" (Junot Díaz). In this novel, a landmark of science fiction that began as an MFA thesis for the Iowa Writers' Workshop and went on to become an award-winning classic--inspiring a play, a graphic novel, and most recently an in-development film--man has taken to the stars, and soldiers fighting the wars of the future return to Earth forever alienated from their home. Conscripted into service for the United Nations Exploratory Force, a highly trained unit built for revenge, physics student William Mandella fights for his planet light years away against the alien force known as the Taurans. "Mandella's attempt to survive and remain human in the face of an absurd, almost endless war is harrowing, hilarious, heartbreaking, and true," says Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz--and because of the relative passage of time when one travels at incredibly high speed, the Earth Mandella returns to after his two-year experience has progressed decades and is foreign to him in disturbing ways. Based in part on the author's experiences in Vietnam, The Forever War is regarded as one of the greatest military science fiction novels ever written, capturing the alienation that servicemen and women experience even now upon returning home from battle. It shines a light not only on the culture of the 1970s in which it was written, but also on our potential future. "To say that The Forever War is the best science fiction war novel ever written is to damn it with faint praise. It is . . . as fine and woundingly genuine a war story as any I've read" (William Gibson). This ebook features an illustrated biography of Joe Haldeman including rare images from the author's personal collection.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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It reads like a heavily abridged version of the original book, but somehow manages to remain faithful in tone and impact. At first I was worried that it might spoil my memory of the book with its visuals, but quite on the contrary, the art style matched my vision of The Forever War perfectly. A beautiful companion to a true classic of sci-fi. ( )