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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

on August 31, 2016
I read this the first time in the 80s. It has stuck with me that long. I couldn't remember the name of it but with some help found it again. While it is a sci-fi book it is more about people than tech. What would people do with the tech? How would people treat others because of the tech? This explores those questions. I am about 30 years older now than when I first read this and it really stands up. I would put this as must read book. I have very few of those.
3 people found this helpful
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on January 28, 2012
The Eternity Brigade's anti-hero, Hawker, is one of the most interesting characters I've come across in a long time. Despite this being an action-oriented book with fantastical sex scenes (not too dirty, so if that's not your cup of tea, don't let this deter you from an amazing book), Hawker is not a James Bond knock off. He's not a dumb army guy with a heart of gold. He's not... any of the cliches that I expected. He's a very flawed, surprisingly normal, slow-witted man who doesn't fit in and never really has.

Hawker isn't exactly likeable, but I still wanted him to be alright. Even when he puts himself in the terrible situation of being reborn again and again and again to fight wars in which he has no personal interest - for centuries, with no end in sight - the decisions that led him to that fate are understandable. This is a real person doing the best with what he's been given.

This awesome protagonist isn't the only positive in the book. The supporting characters are fully fleshed out, as is the unfolding situation of multiple lives that Hawker is forced to live through. A celebrated war hero hoping for a better future, who ends up with the same no-way-out life-after-life as convicts: his fate is bitter, and you can taste it through the pages.

The only reason I didn't give this a full five stars is that it felt a bit... rushed. There are some truly imaginative, fantastic elements that intrigued me, and I wanted to see more, learn more, experience more. Mostly, I wanted to get a better idea of how we get from here to there, and what the ramifications are. There is a short, stunted exploration of the sociology surrounding the new technologies that fuel the plot, but little else. Hawker is a prisoner of these technologies, and we are shown others who benefit from them. But it just didn't quite feel like enough.

Still, I really liked this book and I would definitely recommend it to a friend.
4 people found this helpful
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on May 14, 2015
I read through this book in a day, right after it was published. I passed this book around so others could read it - and I got it back in tatters because SO MANY had read it. Over the course of the next two years, I had to buy multiple copies because so many people were reading it and wearing it out. Now, all these years later, it remains one of my favorite books of all time.
2 people found this helpful
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on August 29, 2013
I am sorta into Scifi. In fact Scifi is about the ONLY fiction I will read. I was talking to a friend I work with about different books. I told him that my first and so far one of my favorites was STARSHIP TROOPERS. He suggested THE ETERNITY BRIGADE to me.
I don't do book reports, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe not as much as SST but it was really good.
Man, I wish they would make movies about some of these books, don't you?
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on March 19, 2015
This updated version could have been written yesterday. Like the original, it presents a frightening possibility and how a hero loves with this reality. It was nice to read it again. It was even more surprising to have it changed to be a modern remake. I should have dug out my paperback and compared it will I read, but that would have taken the joy out of reading a great story for what seemed like the first time. Well done Mr. Goldin.
One person found this helpful
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on November 9, 2012
"Stephen Goldin's scifi novel The Eternity Brigade is much, much more than a retread of a Ringo or Weber "combat action-adventure in the stars" tale. It is a philosophical novel that looks deeply into the heart of why men fight wars, how men in combat bond with each other, and why the "command" of any war force is always way behind any of the frontline troops in understanding the nature of a particular war. There is blood, combat in space and on Earth and other planets, plenty of sex and an amazing amount of "soldierly loneliness" in this tale of Hawker and his buddies Green and Symington. Goldin makes outstanding extrapolations from current society so that soldiers at first are cryogenically frozen so as to "save money and combat expertise" for future wars, but that process is soon abandoned for recording of a person's whole personality and memories on a crystal similar to how music is recorded. In short, this novel takes the Star Trek "transporter" concept to its ultimate conclusion--immortality. But what happens to a fighter's soul? Strangely, it is those who control the tech for copying people, objects and tech over and over who totally lose their souls in the process of "cost savings." But human stubbornness also comes along with combat tricks, and Hawker eventually finds a way to escape this flawless "merry go round" of slave-like immortality, all the while staying true to his buddies and teaching high command a lesson in what they are really dealing with. This is as good as The Red Badge of Courage or any war novel to come out of the Civil War, WWI, WWII or Vietnam. In fact, it is scarily prescient because what Goldin describes is within the reach of conceivable technology. Sooner rather than later, we will have "recorded soldiers" ready to do the bidding of politicians. But they will still possess the essence of their humanity. A conundrum that few authors of combat scifi explore today. A must read."
3 people found this helpful
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on December 28, 2016
One of the best sci fi stories I ever read, and I've read a LOT of them! It's actually rather prophetic when you think about where the worlds armies are headed when it comes to technology these days. Ahead of its time.
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on October 16, 2015
Great Book
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on January 3, 2014
I bought this book for my boyfriend, he'd been looking for it for years, so when I found it I bought it. It didn't look beat up and was delivered fast. It was the best present he's ever received.
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on May 12, 2013
Just a good sci fi book I read in my youth and lost my original copy, it's really great to find it again!
Thanks Amazon!
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