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The Forver War: time to read it again

08:30 PM ET (US)
I Stumbled across this topic, and I was surprised. I borrowed this book from a friend, and never gave it back to him. I'm ashamed about it, but...this is the book out of many books (the old Robin Williams-ish cover)that I have read and re-read at least twice a year for at least 20 years. I can't count how many times I've read it, and it's fresh every time. I can't explain why I love it so much, but it strikes a deep chord in me that resonates long after the back page has finished. Thank you, Mr. Haldeman. Maybe it's the inherent absurdity of the war over it's thousands of years, or the honest portrayal of an ordinary person dazed at his sheer luck for surviving the brutality of the war. I'm 45 now, and I can't see myself stopping this book anytime soon, regardless of all the countless others I've read.
JohnRPerson was signed in when posted
09:27 AM ET (US)
Has always been a fave of mine, one of the few SF titles I'll go out of my way to re-read.
DogzillaPerson was signed in when posted
03:52 AM ET (US)

Seriously, forme this was a seminal read. It was one of the first books I ever got a hold of that actually presented a future with negative consequences to technology. Up to then I'd mostly read Asimov, Del Rey, and Heinlein, and even their distopias have this weird "Better Life Through Technology" subtext to them. After Haldeman, I started reading Phillip K. Dick, David Brin, and then Gibson came out.

On a related note - I'd also really like to see a movie treatment of this book. "Forever War" and "Moon is a Harsh Mistress" could easily be the two most subversive movies ever made, in terms of our current society.
Young FreudPerson was signed in when posted
10:07 PM ET (US)
Soylentsoma, I think in the new version of the book, Haldeman refers to the book covers. He makes a derisive comment about the first book cover of a spaceman carrying some wierd gun and a sword and who looks a bit like Robin Williams. The book cover for the new edition looks very much like what I would think a UNEF military medal would look like.

There's times when I would like to see a film treatment of the book, but then, I think that it would get handed to a hack director like Michael Bay or Brett Ratner and the message of the book would be completely ruined.

The thing that gets me about that book is that, even with all that futuristic high-tech equipment and weaponry, the last battle still ends with people and aliens battling each other with swords and clubs. Kinda like how all this satellite imagery is being defeated by smokescreens. Who'd thunk that?
gmerinPerson was signed in when posted
06:47 PM ET (US)
I passed my original copy of this to my high school engish lit. teacher (ok, now you also know I'm an old fart) in 1973. It became an alternate choice for the English Regents exam for 1974. Very progressive education system in NY back then..
SoylentsomaPerson was signed in when posted
05:12 PM ET (US)
This ties with a previous post on book cover art. I read Haldemen's intended version in Millenium's recent classics reprint, on the cover it had such a generic peice of space battle air brush art.
  Now don't get me wrong, scratch my surface and you'll find a twelve year old boy who gets a little bit of a stirring everytime he hears that thunderous Dolby sound Star Destroyer blast away at the fleeing Republic corvette in deep dark far ago space.

  But the Forever War is so much more than that, using a science fictional idea to express a powerful truth about a soldier's experience of war, in a way that just couldn't be done in any other genre. (Note: that's not to say no other writer or genre has tackled the subject of war as well, just that Haldeman's SF'nal approach is valubale and unique).

  That said, as one of the great gospels that I hand out to my decidly non-SF reading friends, so few are able to get past the space battle front cover.
BorzoiPerson was signed in when posted
02:12 PM ET (US)
YES....a friend had loaned it to me and it had been floating around the house for a while, but the first day of the war, I picked it up and read it in one sitting. Great book, right for our times- it really got under my skin.
Edited 03-30-2003 02:12 PM
doggoPerson was signed in when posted
01:04 PM ET (US)
Man, one of my favorite books ever. I read his online diary here:
cypherpunksPerson was signed in when posted
01:01 PM ET (US)
Could you say what the differences there are between the previously published and the restored edition? What section was re-written?

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