- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Old Man's War Paperback – Bargain Price, December 27, 2005
|New from||Used from|
50% off featured Fantasy books
Select Fantasy books are up to 50% off for a limited time. Learn More
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
At any rate, I really like the book -- and on its own merits, not just because it reminds me of Heinlein. (Nor is it just because the hero, John Nicholas Perry, hails from the county seat of Darke County in my home state of Ohio, where Scalzi now lives.) Scalzi is a fine writer and his ideas sparkle off the page.
I won't spoil anything for you; just keep your eyes peeled for at least one really cool idea every three or four pages. (And if Scalzi hasn't blown your mind within the first couple hundred pages, it'll happen when Alan Rosenthal explains how the skip drive works.) I can't really tell you anything specific without giving away something better left for you to discover as you read.
I can say in general, though, that Scalzi has a pretty healthy sense of what it will take for human beings to colonize other planets in a universe that contains other sentient species. (And I think he has a better appreciation of moral ambiguity than Heinlein did even on his best day.) He's also got a knack for thinking up clever and gruesome ways for people to die. Oh, and there's a lot of nicely handled bittersweet stuff that may bring tears to your eyes if you're inclined to that sort of thing.
All in all, a fine first novel; I'll look forward to reading his next (_Agent to the Stars_) as well as what appears to be a sequel currently in the works (_The Ghost Brigades_). And welcome to Ohio, John.
This novel begins superbly. The main character is a 75-year old man who has volunteered for military service. He is very likable person, and the story begins with his enlistment and his transformation into a fighting machine. All of this is fun, imaginative and very well done. I had great hopes for the rest of this novel as a result.
Unfortunately, OLD MAN'S WAR takes a bit of a tumble after the first third. This book essentially becomes a military war story, and Scalzi does a subpar job of supplying any of the supporting characters with a distinct personality. To a large degree, I found most of them rather boring and interchangeable. There is a lot of action in this book, and a fair number of characters die, but I couldn't care less because I never really got to know any of them. The result is a less than compelling read.
There is also a ton of jokey dialogue in OLD MAN'S WAR, which I found rather jarring, given the serious themes that Scalzi seemed interesting in exploring. I enjoy humor in a book, but not the sort of endless wisecracking that I found here. As another reviewer commented, it's hard to believe any of these characters is 75 years old. They sound more like a group of smart-alecky college kids, each trying to one-up the other in the joke department.
That being said, Scalzi has a first-rate creative mind, and I enjoyed the world-building he did for OLD MAN'S WAR. He also writes in a smooth style that's pretty easy to read, and the story moves at a fast clip. Many of the fight scenes are well done.Read more ›
No spoilers here, so my discussion of the story will be limited. The essential premise and storyline is that in the near future, Earth/humankind have discovered the "skip drive" which is a method of interstellar space travel. Mankind quickly learns that valuable planets are a scarce commodity and there are several intelligent races in our neck of the Galaxy that as a matter of routine try to use military force to take planets away from other races. Including, of course, human colonial planets. Accordingly, to protect Earth and also to protect colony worlds, the "Colonial Defense Force" enlists elderly human beings on Earth as soldiers to protect the colony worlds. The protagonist in the novel is such a one.
The novel includes pretty strong character development. It manages to make some of the characters both lifelike and alien. This is no small feat and a task that most science fiction authors struggle with. Here, the author succeeds.
The author's speculations about what interaction between mankind and aliens will be like are startling. The reader can decide for him or her self whether they are plausible. I was not able to say that they were implausible, at any rate.
The novel contains dazzling speculation about the future destiny of humanity in space and technology in general. This, combined with a fast-moving storyline and solid plot, earns this one five stars in my opinion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! I really liked the concept...somewhat like Avatar yet totally different. Characters were deep and I felt like I connected with them. Thanks John for the escape!Published 22 hours ago by Schaef!
The premise is fresh, the action fast paced and the characters are very engaging. I can't wait to continue the series. A recommended read for sci-fi fansPublished 1 day ago by ThomasGS
This was a great way to start a new series. I loved the idea of " old" soldiers, and what they bring to the CDF.... Experience, and memories of being part of something. Read morePublished 1 day ago by David Bush
Story moves very smoothly and characters well defined. Plot is great. Si go at its best. I enjoyed it and will order the next in the serious.Published 5 days ago by Joyce B.
A truly incredible story.. it's dark, twisted, beautiful, sad and funny all at the same time, often in the same sentence.Published 8 days ago by Kyle A Weems
I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone! Keeps you entertained from the beginning till the end! You will not be disappointed.Published 10 days ago by Kara Brady
I've been told by a few people to read this series. I finally got around to it and I have to say, the only regret is waiting as long as I did to read it. What a great book.Published 11 days ago by Scott Hulett