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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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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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So that is the premise, and it's pretty intriguing, the problem I have is the main character (book is in first person). The main character is completely unlikable. He comes off as angry, arrogant, and self righteous, and all around bad combination. The other characters he encounters are basically cardboard cutouts, sure they have names, but they paper thin and just something new for the protagonist to rail against.
Ultimately I found the book disappointing. There were some really cool ideas that I would have liked to seen explored further, but I won't continue with the series. For a first person novel, it's really hard to continue if you don't like the person telling the story
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 [...] .
Obviously the most intriguing part of the whole novel is the idea behind it, the idea that an unknown alien species is trying to irradicate all terran life, and replace it with chtorran life without any casualties on the alien side. The chapters in the book that explained a lot about the chtorran species and where they may have come from was very interesting.
I think a unanimous con for most people was the fact that Jim McCarthy was so whiny and dare i say "bitchy" most of the time, even over stuff that made perfect since, he still complained and couldnt see the reasoning behind it. another character flaw ( a big and uncomfortable one for must of us) are the homesexual acts depicted in the book albeit not very bad, just kissing (one instance of mouth to penis), but i honestly couldn't see the imporatance of any of those scenes. They didn't advance the plot in any way, and served only to take up room and time, at one point i actually thought about stop reading because i had grown so tired of the all the man kissing. The other thing that got annoying (after a while) was McCarthy's highschool teacher mr.whitlaw. The whole whitlaw thing only served to push philosophy down the readers throat in between action when mr.gerrold couldnt think of anything else to write about.
I was really hoping this book would be the kind of thought provoking, and inspiring book I was looking for, but instead turned out to be just another ok book.
If the above is what your looking for then i would highly recomend the hyperion cantos (thats the first 2 books). On to the next book which is Anathem by neal stephenson, I'm sure I'll let you know what i think of that book when im finished.
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So why ONE STAR ???Read more