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Old Man's War Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Old Man's War



Tor, Jan 2005, 23.95, 316 pp.
ISBN: 0765309408

When he turned seventy-five, earthling John Perry visits the grave site of his wife of forty-two years Kathy interred in an Arizona cemetery. He reflects how much he misses her, how he hates coming here, and that her last words dealt with finding vanilla as she was making pancakes when she died of a stroke. With nothing to keep him here, John abruptly decides to join the Colonial Defense Force struggling to defend or annex other worlds in deadly competition with alien races for control of a few hospitable planets.

As a recruit, John receives standard gear to include a much younger healthier body that is beyond the ability of most non government citizens to buy except the affluent. He makes buddies with his fellow soldiers. As his comrades die and collateral damage devastate civilian population, John begins questioning the war which enables a few to economically gain a lot at the cost of others even as he begins to ponder whether he is still human.

John Scalzi provides a tense anti-war military science fiction thriller that will leave fans pondering what is war good for. Readers will also wonder about who benefits from scientific advances and military operations and what actually a human is.

Harriet Klausner

This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Old Man's War

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   lasers Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Given added abilities Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   long lived adults

Setting

Spaceship setting:    -   really, really giant spaceship/station Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Old Man's War

John Scalzi Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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