Regular price: £24.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

When it was first published over 20 years ago, Joe Haldeman's novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards and was chosen Best Novel in several countries. Today, it is hailed a classic of science fiction that foreshadowed many of the futuristic themes of the 1990s: bionics, sensory manipulation, and time distortion.

William Mandella is a soldier in Earth's elite brigade. As the war against the Taurans sends him from galaxy to galaxy, he learns to use protective body shells and sophisticated weapons. He adapts to the cultures and terrains of distant outposts. But with each month in space, years are passing on Earth. Where will he call home when (and if) the Forever War ends?

Narrator George Wilson's performance conveys all the imaginative technology and human drama of The Forever War. Set against a backdrop of vivid battle scenes, this absorbing work asks provocative questions about the very nature of war.

©1974 Joe W. Haldeman (P)1999 Recorded Books

Critic reviews

"A vastly entertaining trip." ( The New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    199
  • 4 Stars
    119
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    160
  • 4 Stars
    77
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
  • 07-01-09

Loved it.

Having always wanted to read this book, I took the opportunity of a long commute to listen to it instead. it is slightly dated, but if you cannot rise above the tide of time, you shouldn't read any book older than a couple of years old, which rules out rather a lot of good books - "That Treasure Island, it's sooo dated!"

The narration is good, and the story itself, despite having travelled in strange directions as far as predicting a future world is concerned, is charming with believable characters and plays with interesting ideas. Not sure how it won the Hugo and Nebula, as I can think of better books, but still well worth listening to.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Forever?- This went pretty quickly!

What did you like best about this story?

This has been one of my favourite books in a 'best sci-fi' list that I have been working through lately. The structure is great as it keeps the pace of the story motoring along and alternates between the action based military campaign, and a more thoughtful reflection on the society that has been left behind. It's not a dumb book, but it remains completely unpretentious at all times which is not always the case with the old sci-fi. Pleased I came across this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • steve
  • droitwich, United Kingdom
  • 27-03-13

A classic tale- needs an updated narration

Still a great story after all these years, i read it when it first came out and it has stood the test of time.

However the narration is dated, it sounds old, tired and lacks any passion, it could really do with being redone in a more lively modern context and then it would be nudging 5 stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Quite good after a bit

A weird one for me. The whole book "reads" like a list of what-ifs and some that don't really make a lot of sense. Some of the physics don't make sense and it's not part of what the book puts as suspension of disbelief, but are easilly excusable due to the books age. Similarly there are issues in other aspects. The book tries a lot to sound futuristic and tolerant, but its age shows there too.

However, even with the points above, it grows on you quite a bit ending up to be a quite enjoyable listen. Overall I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars rounded up since audible does not allow half stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best sci-fi book I've read...heard! in ages!

Great story, characters and development throughout. Fantastic narration too. Can't wait to get my hands on the next in the series!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story. Average narrator

I loved the story from the first to the last page. The narrator, however, could have made a little more of an effort in differentiating the various characters

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

classic Sci fi

Really enjoyed this classic Sci fi novel. I loved the time shifting and resulting culture shifts. Great nerdy dialogue, with some good battles, but the story lacks tension and a feeling of "being there" to make it 5 stars for me. Would recommend this book still tho

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • PL
  • 06-08-17

another great sci-fi classic

easy to listen to. not too much details but enough to keep it a little cool and a little nerdy. enjoy it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic storey, well read.

I think this ius a great story and now thanks to this audio book I've experienced it again, with out have to fund the time to read it.

If you're into SciFi and you've not read this before it's a must.

If you have read it before, go on enjoy it again!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow. Just Wow.

I bought this because of reviews saying how much of a seminal piece of science fiction it was but was delighted to find it was that AND an incredibly good read. So many ideas from this book have gone on to become reality it's almost unbelievable to think the author didn't have a time machine. Could not recommend more highly.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 24-09-08

A classic.

The Forever War is science fiction at its best: A commentary on war cast in a science fiction motif.

Haldeman wrote this specifically as a reaction to the Vietnam War, of which he was a veteran. It is dated a bit, given that it posits the availability of collapsar jump technology in the 1990s, but that's just an interesting plot device, not the point of the book.

One reviewer suggests Starship Troopers as a better alternative. I strongly disagree and believe she has missed the point of The Forever War entirely. Starship Troopers is a lot more like Heinlein's version of Plato's Republic, especially clear if you've read his non-science fiction works. The Forever War is no such animal.

In short, I put The Forever War beside Stranger in a Strange Land and Foundation as the best examples of the science fiction genre and well worth your time to listen. Pure and simple.

59 of 61 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing really matters
  • 27-03-15

The Terrans vs the Taurans, + lots of weird stuff

A fun read. It takes a realistic-feeling approach to the physics of war in space. The politics as well. The characters are refreshingly down-to-earth (no apologies, pun-haters), instead of someone's fantasy of what a cool and macho space warrior should be like.

It's really an amazing book if you take into account that it was written in the 1970s. Until I finished reading it and checked, I had assumed it was written later.

Final note: at double speed, which is how I often listen to fiction, the narrator sounded like Peter Parker from the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon. Funny. I kept waiting to hear him say, 'Wallopping web-snappers!'

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SAMA
  • 27-11-13

Relevant Today

Written in the 1970s, this sci-fi novel is one of the greatest visualizations of space warfare you could find, period. It provides plenty of thought provoking themes, some of which are controversial to most people. Just avoid the sequels, they're rubbish.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 22-11-10

Still one of the best,and well narrated.

Many years have passed since I have read this excellent book, it still rates for me as one of the best sci-fi reads. Not too much battle action, just enough romance and for a story, spread as the name suggests, over many centuries, it is entirely believable.
The main characters are entirely believable as well.
Written before many of our 2010 incarnations of technology, the authors mind picture of the immediate future is very close to reality but also much that he describes as happening in the far off future is real today.
Joe's depictions of society and his assumption that homosexuality would become more accepted prove very close to actuality, although happening earlier than Joe anticipated.
Altogether a great listen, well narrated.
If you missed this and like Heinlein, Moorecock, Aldiss, Asimov and the like, give it a go you wont be disappointed... Brian

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • 04-01-10

Holds up very well

I have been rereading some classic science fiction and have found that a lot of it has not aged well. Not the case with this book. It is still fresh and relevant, and does not feel dated at all.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brenden Zapp
  • 05-04-13

Anti-War?...Might be...

"Back in the 20th century they had established-to everyone's satisfaction-that "I was just following orders" was an inadequate excuse for inhuman conduct". But what can you do when the orders come from deep down in that puppet master of the unconscious?"

A story that goes beyond stories. Is what Forever War is.

Homosexuality is used as a means of birth control. Currency takes the form of "Kilo-calories" (K) as the world-at that time-has become dependent upon food consumption and inadequate regulation. Frivolous excursions with accumulated capital. Injury and regeneration. Loss of love. The last campaign of the over 1300 year Forever War; successful due to a "stasis field".

Understandably, there are some very strong insinuations in the novel. But the writing and story are one, how do you say...for the books. I highly recommend this novel, no matter your stance on military actions.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Augusto
  • 26-03-12

Neat story, Emotionless narrator.

What didn’t you like about George Wilson’s performance?

Lack of emotion, weird inflections. Struggled to finish the story due to the narration.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 08-10-12

A good read

What did you love best about The Forever War?

Time travel has always been a fascination of mine.

Who was your favorite character and why?

William Mandella of course

What about George Wilson’s performance did you like?

He did a very good job not being mono toned, kept it interesting

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It could have been, you really didn't need a break.

Any additional comments?

Very good SiFi.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Jackson
  • 22-07-15

Great listen.

Amazing story. Narration was excellent. Kept me glued from start to finish. I highly recommend it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jolly_0yster
  • 16-06-15

Ahead of its time...

A very enjoyable book... Very different than other space infantry books I've read. Futuristic topics were detailed, and handles superbly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful