OCTOBER READ - SPOILERS - Old Man's War

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OCTOBER READ - SPOILERS - Old Man's War

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1Morphidae
okt 2, 2014, 2:14pm

Here be spoilers for Old Man's War by John Scalzi.

2Jim53
okt 2, 2014, 3:08pm

My one enduring recollection from this book was the jelly beans. What a great small detail.

3tottman
okt 11, 2014, 11:22am

One of the strengths of Scalzi's writing is the characters. I know when I started reading this book, I immediately liked John Perry. I couldn't wait to see how they used 75 year olds in the army. Once they got to the facility, I thought the process was brilliant, and even more so, the reaction and emotions of all the people in their new bodies. I just love reading and rereading this book.

4Morphidae
okt 11, 2014, 12:17pm

I loved reading it to and will be looking into other books by Scalzi, including the sequel to this one.

5reading_fox
okt 14, 2014, 10:39am

I enjoyed it. Mostly. But I'm not quite sure what point Scalzi was intending to make- something that I've had with a couple of his books. He writes as if he is making a point, but when you sit back and think about it, it's not clear what that is, or whether it's a point you agree with.

"Enjoyable, well written, but hardly, epic literature, the balance between glorifying mankind's innate superiority of fighting over the aliens and the harshness of actual war is just about drawn well enough. But I always feel a little uneasy at any kind of glorification of war, and this isn't an anti-war screed." from my review. - here

6DugsBooks
okt 17, 2014, 11:15pm

I might be typing out of turn as I read the book long ago but I liked the first book Old Man's War but not so much the sequels in which he relates the same events through another person's point of view. The first book had a nice "Golden Age" kick to it which I enjoyed plus the SF stuff with the plausible sounding {to me} genetic body tweaks.

7MrsLee
okt 21, 2014, 1:29am

Hmm, my reactions are not as positive as some of you. I think I may be suffering from what >5 reading_fox: described. I did NOT connect with John Perry, or really any of the other characters. I did like the world and the imagination though. I enjoyed the description of the process and the movement of the story. I just didn't really get the point.

For the first part of the book, until they received their new bodies, I was worried that the story would be some version of the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man." I think there was some disappointment on my part that there was nothing more to the universe than one species trying to wipe out the others so theirs could survive. Unless you count the ones who were hoping to wipe them all out because of their religious fervor. Nothing really developed. I suppose this is understandable if you realize that this book is the first in a series, but I didn't realize that until the end of the book.

Still, not sorry I read it, and intend to make my OH at least give it a try.

8nhlsecord
okt 21, 2014, 2:50am

I agree with you, MrsLee about the reasons for being at war. I suppose it's what has happened throughout history but I still don't much like reading about it, especially when these people are so cheerfully looking forward to it. The book seemed more like a long, joke filled conversation than a story. I did enjoy the imagination behind the science of everything.

This is my second try at Scalzi. I can see why people like him, but I think I'd like his humour more in a TV show than in a book.

9MrsLee
okt 21, 2014, 11:32am

>8 nhlsecord: I frequently felt he was trying to write for the visual media.

10RowanTribe
okt 21, 2014, 7:46pm

On that note, Old Man's War has actually been optioned for a TV show, as has his Star Trek parody/homage Redshirts.

11Sakerfalcon
okt 24, 2014, 8:50am

I found this book to be a compelling read, and I liked John Perry as a character and enjoyed his narration. However, I think I'd expected the book to subvert the "Man's duty is to kill the aliens who will otherwise kill us" message, but instead it really does seem to justify slaughtering them in order to take their planets. I did appreciate the points made about how impossible it is to communicate with most of the species, and the sheer physical variety of aliens out there - far from just humanoid types. I was pleased to see several good female characters who are as responsible and heroic as the men, and thought that Scalzi conveyed the camaraderie between characters very well. I'll look out for the sequels.

12sandragon
dec 4, 2014, 6:18pm

I enjoyed this when I read it over two years ago. I think of most Scalzi as action-filled fluff, with interesting what-if scenarios and sciency bits. But still fluff that doesn't take a lot of mind power. I'm always eager to read the latest Scalzi, but I don't consider it a must-buy and I'm happy to borrow it from the library. If I remember correctly, the later books in this series glorify war less and start to question the necessity of war and deals with some of the morally ambiguous actions that result during war.