The Forever War

by Joe Haldeman
Reviewed date: 2004 Dec 6
Rating: 4
230 pages
cover art

Private William Mandella is drafted to fight in the interstellar war against the Taurans. Training is brutal and deadly; war even more so. But worse than the war are the cold hard facts of interstellar travel: the relativistic speeds of travel mean Mandella ages more slowly than does Earth. The cumulative time dilation means that Mandella can go back to Earth, but he can never go home. Earth as he knows it is the past. Everyone he knows is long dead.

The Forever War has been called the antidote to Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Heinlein glorifies war; Haldeman shows its brutality and senselessness. The Forever War is as much about William Mandella's struggle to regain his lost past than it is about war. But the world to which Mandella returns after the war is one in which he can never find a home.

The Forever War has all the best aspects of science fiction. A good, scientific basis. Plenty of action. Enough philosophy to challenge the mind. And even a love interest.

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