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A Matter For Men (The War Against the Chtorr, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1989


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Mass Market Paperback, January 1, 1989
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Product Details

  • Series: War Against the Chtorr (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (January 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553277820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553277821
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Starship Troopers is a great, original thought read.
Michael Lynn Mcguire
I read these books when they were released and I was in 7th or 8th grade.
CD066
Tons of action, twists and turns, humor and deep thoughts too.
kwo1972

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
CONCEPT: Earth has been invaded by the Chtorr culture; a mix of especially nasty and powerful beings that make up this alien ecological chain. First, 75% or more of the humans were wiped out by the plagues and now gigantic worm like creatures are further slaying people while they infest the American lands.

SCORING: Superb (A), Excellent (A-), Very good (B+), Good (B) Fairly Good (B-) Above Average (C+), Mediocre (C ), Barely Passable (C-) Pretty Bad (D+), Dismal (D), Waste of Time (D-), Into the Trash (F)

DIALOGUE: A STRUCTURE: A HISTORY SETTING: A- CHARACTERS: A MONSTERS/ALIEN DEVELOPMENTS: A DEEP THOUGHTS: A EVIL SETUP/ANTAGONISTS: A EMOTIONAL IMPACT: A SURPRISES: A- TECHNOLOGY: A- PACING: A LITTLE THINGS: A OVERALL STYLE: A FLOW OF WORDS: A CHOICE OF FOCUS: A TRANSITIONS/FLASHBACKS/POV: A COMPLEXITY OF WORDS/SYMBOLISM/THEMES: A

OVERALL GRADE: A

WHY IT WORKED FOR ME: First off, I was drawn in and I usually don't go for sci fi books. That simple. The means of describing such a disastrous infestation would turn most people off who don't want to read such a gloom and doom story. I have to admit that at times things seem bleak when they think of coexisting rather than eradicating the Chtorrans. But the story kept driving forward and you're compelled to follow with it. Great characters, great dialogues and great writing style (see below for the latter point). This story works best for people who appreciate investigate stories and aren't afraid to read about the tumultuous emotions raging in this novel. A lot of these people are on the edge or still carrying anger around. For me, that was pretty fascinating. Gerrold revealed it no only from a scientific viewpoint (as most sci fi authors do), but also from an emotional viewpoint.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lynn Mcguire on January 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is very hard sci-fi. Do not pick up ths book without having many hours available to you to finish it. Once started, the book sucks you in gradually so that you say, "just one more chapter". When you finish the book at 5:50 am the next morning, you will be exhausted as if you had just run a 10K.

The above also applies to the three follow-on books.

I have read this book at least 5 times. Maybe 8. I lost count many years ago.

Gerrold's site, [...] , claims that there will be a fifth book and a sixth book and a seventh book. I will believe it when I see it. I suspect that these books are so strenuous to write that the man might not have the strength to finish them anymore. There is a taunting preview of book 5 at [...] .
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Schar VINE VOICE on March 10, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a novel standing on its own, A Matter for Men succeeds. The setup of the alien infestation of Earth is quite skilled, and is written in great depth in a realistic manner. Gerrold's future Earth, decimated by plague and beseiged by alien ecology, is believable and interesting; in other hands, it could easily come across as silly or boring. Although our protagonist McCarthy is flawed, so what? The perfect hero gets boring after a while. Having said that, his whining and drama get a little tedious after a while.

The reason this is a tough review to write is the steady decline in quality of the next three books in the series. As is common in (endemic to?) SF novel series, each successive novel tends to become more turgid, slow and self-indulgent. The War Against the Chtorr is no exception. In fact, the remaining novels in this series (particularly Book 3) set new standards in tedium.

Were this novel standing on its own, I wouldn't hesitate to give it 4 stars. However, after you read it, you'll want to read the others, and you will likely be disappointed. I have to knock off one star for the annoyance you will endure if you do so. Be forewarned!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
~A Matter for Men~ hits the ground running, and doesn't look back; I can't imagine anyone not being shocked by the end of the first chapter. Gerrold does an excellent job of depicting a world just barely surviving a series of plagues, only to be beset by attacks from the Chtorrans (think large pink worms that think *you're* lunch).
Jim McCarthy is an excellent protagonist, and he clearly develops over the course of the novel--while surviving numerous life-threatening encounters with the Chtorrans--becoming, to quote Coleridge, "a sadder and a wiser man" by the end.
The book did remind me of Heinlein's ~Starship Troopers~, although I think this book is an order of magnitude better: almost everything that happens in Gerrold's book is, if not likely, at least plausible. [The one notable exception would be the fate of Jim's friend Ted; I didn't quite understand the motivation for his actions late in the book.] In particular, the flashbacks and sidebars seem particularly well-placed and don't disrupt the narrative. [There are questions raised that aren't answered, but as there are six more books in the series (three of those not yet published), I suspect many of those questions will be answered later.]
Gerrold wrote this as the first book in a series of seven (so far, four have come out; fans have been waiting a decade for the fifth), and they're all out of print. Gerrold has said there are plans to bring the first four books back when the fifth comes out; I, and many others, eagerly await their re-release.
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