The Forever War Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Forever War

Private William Mandella finds himself fighting to defend an earth which has become more alien than the extra-terrestrial foe he fights.
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Deep space flight, wormholes and relativity, mean that for every tour of duty he survives, although only months long to him, centuries pass on earth. Forced by circumstances to continue fighting, Mandella becomes detached from humanity in every way; emotionally, culturally and even sexually, until, the oldest man alive, he is transformed into a figure of ridicule and disgust by the next generation of soldiers joining the conflict - soldiers which he now must lead!

The review of this Book prepared by Gavin J. Carr

An intelligent nice guy, is conscripted into an intergalactic war (not unlike vietnam in style). From a grunts point of view, the protaganist comments on a 1000 years in war (due to time dilation)
The review of this Book prepared by Andrew Banks

Earth is at war with a race known only as the Taurans, for no other reason that a human ship was destroyed in Tauran space. With no effective method of communication between the two races, a war known as the Forever War (because of the huge subjective time jumps through collapsars) begins. The antagonist is William Mandella, a young physicist drafted into the Elite Special Forces for his brains and athletic ability. The book chronicles the Forever War through Mandella's eyes, allowing Haldeman to paint a cynical quasi-satire of the Vietnam War that was raging when this title was written.
The review of this Book prepared by Kelly Affannato

Chapter Analysis of The Forever 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 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Training/Apprent.    -   Yes Working up the ranks of...    -   armed forces If an invasion, from Earth/human POV:    -   fighting overt invasion (attacking aliens) War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   lasers Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one person from different culture of other persons Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Planet surface, need spacesuit A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   unfriendly aliens Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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