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Peace and War (The Forever War #1-3)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  587 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Together in one volume for the first time ever; his classic novel of epic future conflict, The Forever War, its sequel Forever Free, and the companion novel, Forever Peace.

William Mandella is a reluctant hero, drafted to fight in a distant interstellar war against unknowable and unconquerable aliens. But his greatest test will come when he returns to Earth. Relativity
Paperback, Omnibus Edition, 697 pages
Published November 2006 by Gollancz
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Community Reviews

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This is an omnibus - the first book 'Forever War' was written in 1973 after lots of rejections - but I enjoyed this the most. The sequel written in the late 90's was OK but the 'companion' book written a couple of years after the sequel was disappointing.
The first book was ingenious and relatively compelling and the sequel had some good ideas especially when the main characters return to Earth - Disney gets everywhere! However, the last book lacks substance and the narrative is limited, concentr
I own this omnibus, having read each book inside across my holidays. For the most part the science fiction elements are excellent, but the human drama and religious discussion are bland, inane and at times far too obviously pointed in certain directions. Joe Haldeman lacks the subtlety to fully engage the audience in his second and third books and therefore loses some of the brilliance of the very first.

The Forever War:

Forever Free: https://www.goodreads.
This is very much a book of three thirds. The first, written at the time of the Vietnam War, is a hard sci-fi tale of soldiers fighting a pointless war. Without faster-than-light travel, their alienation is accentuated by the effects of relativistic time dilation. The novel has strong character development and good dialogue, and explores several possible futures over a span of hundreds of years. It's influence on later authors seems clear, particularly Alan Moore's The Ballad of Halo Jones and e ...more
Mark Cheverton
Picked this up because I heard there was a movie due.

The first of the three books - Forever War - is the meat of the story and is by far the best of the three, putting the issues of fighting a relativistic war front and centre, and the effect this has on the soldiers involved. Obviously it has dated a little in places (or alternatively has become a 'classic') but it still reads well and hasn't aged badly at all being comparatively well written (not like re-reading Asimov for example).

The second
I read this book years ago, and loved it. Having bought it as a gift for someone I just finished re-reading it, and was reminded of why I enjoyed it so very much.

This book, this series, is enjoyable as a far-reaching sci-fi adventure, and also as a military adventure, and further as a philosophical look at the human race in general, with our politics, economies, social constructs. I won't summarise the plot here, it has been done in a hundred other reviews. But this book serves an important plac
Ethan I. Solomon
I recently needed something to go to the bathroom with and pulled the first book I decided I could bear to reread again off the shelf. Almost 500 pages later and I remember exactly why this omnibus is no trifling matter. Herein lies the true masterpiece that has influenced every work of religious oriented fiction that has come after it.

Most people don't need to have The Forever War recommended to them, it is the second, less regarded Forever Free that shines as more than the sum of its parts. W
Theo Rogers
This is a collection of three novels bound into a single volume. Unfortunately, whatever imbecile wrote the back cover "blurb" gave away virtually the entire ending to the first novel. And yes, even more besides. I really hope whoever was responsible lost their job over this.

So if you do wind up with this edition, STAY AWAY FROM THE BACK COVER!!!

Please understand that this is truly the only reason why I gave this collection a 1 star review: I just wanted my warning to leap out at people so that
Anmerkung: Diese Gesamtausgabe beinhaltet den Roman "Der ewige Krieg", einen der Klassiker der Science Fiction und seine beiden Fortsetzungen "Am Ende des Krieges" und "Der ewige Frieden". Zwar behandeln alle drei Romane das Thema Zukunftskrieg und seine Folgen, aber zeitlich und thematisch (und qualitativ) liegen „Welten“ zwischen den Einzelteilen.
Ich gehe deshalb in meiner Review nur auf "Der ewige Krieg" ein, den ich im September 1978 in einem Taschenbuch der Heyne SF-Reihe (#3572) gelesen h
Angus Mcfarlane
This is an omnibus edition of three Haldeman books, the first two of which are strongly connected and the third only partially so. The first, the forever war, satirizes the Vietnam war as human forces do battle in space with a largely unseen and unknown enemy, whilst relativistic travel leaves the soldiers facing the uncertainty of whether they will be ahead or behind technological advances of the enemy each time they approach a battle. Meanwhile, human society undergoes significant change each ...more
neko cam
Forever War was brilliant on several levels - as speculative war fiction, as an exploration of the personal impact of warfare, and as nuanced parable for the Vietnam war. It was interesting from beginning to end, with a dip in my enjoyment only when Mandella first returned to earth, (relatively) shortly after the Ration War. The concepts surrounding that setting were interesting, but the picture of society itself seemed shallow. It's possible that this dissociation comes from Mandella's own feel ...more
'The Forever War' describes a future in which Earth has discovered interstellar travel, and their first encounter with an alien species results in war. Contrary to what you would expect from the title, there is very little if any, description of fighting going on - things are remote and very surreal. The most detailed description of fighting relates what is happening when space vessels are travelling at relativistic speeds so the results that the main characters in the story are experiencing hav ...more
Alex Hammond
The Forever War:
I think there are several ways to read this book. The first would be in the context of the socio-political environment and literary tradition in which it was written, a 'if I read this in 1974' type scenario. The second would be reading this today with all the baggage that comes with it as a Hugo/Nebula winning 'major work of SF'...

Although, having written that, I have to admit to reading it with all these concerns playing through my mind.

It is a very ideas heavy book in the cl
Chris Lynch
One of the things I like about Joe Haldeman is that his work doesn't submit readily to classification within any particular era of science fiction writing.

The Forever War, published in 1975, feels like a throwback to the Golden Age of the 50's and 60's in terms of writing style but Haldeman's view of space warfare is definitely coloured by the more cynical approach of the 70's New Wave (not to mention his own experiences in Vietnam).

This was my second reading and I enjoyed it every bit as much
I gave 4 stars to The Forever War, which I really enjoyed, but only 2 for the other stories of this edition, so that's a generous 3 stars for the whole book.
I already reviewed Forever War, so I'll just review here the other two stories.

Right after The Forever War, I happily went on with reading Forever Free, where we're back with the main characters of the previous story, which is great in the beginning, but something is missing. Things almost happen, but get delayed or cancelled, so that we wai
N.B. This review is just for The Forever War: I haven't yet read the two sequels that are also included in the omnibus.

I must confess that I found it very difficult to get into this novel. We follow the adventures of one William Mandella as he becomes a soldier and goes to fight the enemy, an alien race that humanity is fighting. The first half of his story is dull and not at all fulfilling: in this way it mirrors the futility of the battles that the soldiers are fighting and the situations in w
Finished The Forever War on 12/04/13 *****
Finished Forever Free on 18/04/13 ****
Finished Forever Peace on 28/04/13 **

The Forever War and its sequel, Forever Free, form a very satisfying futuristic sci-fi narrative, packed with intriguing notions about the future of humanity. Haldeman's prose is a joy to read, and the whole thing moves at a furious pace from 1997 to 3143 and beyond. I particularly liked how the world came to see homosexuality as the norm, since it kept the population down to mana
Steve Wales
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart Lutzenhiser
An omnibus edition with the Forever War, Forever Free, and Forever Peace. The first written in the '70s as a look towards post-Vietnam vets and how they were affected by war. Specifically that the world around them continued moving forward while they were "stuck" in war with no real perceived changes (other than war and death). The world that the soldiers return to is never the same one that they left. He tells that story by the time dilation of travelling at near relativistic speeds and thousan ...more
Billy Young
The first of the three stories in this book does show its age, but I found it easy to look past this asthe story itself was very interesting. In the first two books we follow the life, as a soldier in the Forever War, of William Mandella. He has been drafted to fight an alien that seems at times unprepared to go to war, and we find out that this is because the war was started by man towards the end of the first book. Because of the laws of relativity William finds that he gets a birds eye view o ...more
Tomas Martin
The Forever War is one of my favourite books, a brilliant space opera/war epic far ahead of its time. Forever Peace, the latest addition to this trilogy, is also excellent, a near-future battle of robot warriors and their pilots in south america, which is a very nice counterpoint to the original taking into account how war has changed since The Forever War was first read.

The middle book, Forever Free, is rubbish, however. Following on from the Forever War with no real need for it, the book meand
Matthew Lloyd
The Forever War - 26th May 2010 (5*) SF Masterwork
Forever Free - 5th July 2010 (3*)
Forever Peace - 7th September 2010 (4*)
Book 1-2 var jättebra men bok 3 drog ner mitt betyg från fyra till tre.
This is all three "Forever" books in one volume. Forever War is an absolute science fiction classic. I remember reading it not long after it was originally published and being blown away. Its sequel, Forever Free, is probably the weakest of the three novels. A deus ex machina ending, literally. On the other hand, Forever Peace is another strong novel, exploring individuality and the group mind concept with a healthy dose of hard science thrown in.

All three are worth your reading time.
Read "The Forever War" decades ago and recently my brother gave me this omnibus edition. Having now read it again I am amazed at how well it stands up against today's military sci-fi. I didn't feel that it was dated at all; a couple of minor problems only. Enjoyed the protagonist and the story and look forward to reading #2 and #3. Made me wonder how David Weber, my favourite modern military sci-fi writer, is getting away without the time dilation effects of relativity. Hmm. 4Feb12

Jul 28, 2011 Daragh added it
This was an omnibus of three books: The Forever War, Forever Free and Forever Peace. The Forever War )soon to be a Ridley Scott movie - hoo yaa!) was excellent and concise. Forever Free was a non-conventional sequel, still quite enjoyable. Forever Peace was very good - part Matrix (the use of 'jacks' no, not the scatological types) and part anti-war, like most of his stories.
All in all - very good read and nice price - three books for the price of one!
This has been on my top shelf for well over a year now and just yesterday I started reading and like all the reviews always say 'i couldnt put it down'. i could really but i read The Forever War and can't wait to read on through the next two. It takes balls to write about future technology concepts in so much detail. I also like the fact the chapters are considerably short because i feel a sense of achievement when i finish a chapter and so more the merrier :)
May 18, 2012 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: space
Mixed. I enjoyed War, which was well written and innovative. But both Free and Peace were slightly silly. Also, both implied a moral acceptibility to forced mass conversion of humanity to some altered state for its own benefit. Possibly a reasonable conclusion for a Vietnam survivor, but not a philosophy that works for me. Sheri S. Tepper uses similar solutions and I'm never comfortable with them either.
Brilliant Sci-Fi, nice "hard" concepts especially with the FTL travel in the first books. The Forever War is one of the best stories/books I've ever read and is highly recommended for sci-fi enthusiasts. Forever Peace similarly brilliant. The final book in this omnibus edition is only the weakest of these three - still very well written, engaging and great to read.

Highly recommended.
Evan Leybourn
- I can see why The Forever War was a Hugo/Nebula winner. This was a great story and kept me engaged throughout. 5/5

- I really didn't like Forever Free. I thought the plot was ridiculous and didn't live up to the first book. 1/5

- Forever Peace started strongly but, like Forever Free, had plotlines that didn't help the overall story and was quite ridiculous by the end. 2/5
Robert Brownsmith
This edition contains three books. The first two are directly related and contain enough entertainment and new ideas to explore to keep you interested, but you may draw similarities to any other storytelling that booleans space AND marine. I was far more taken with the 3rd part of this book. Some truly original thinking that the matrix was probably abstractedly born of.
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Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres
More about Joe Haldeman...

Other Books in the Series

The Forever War (3 books)
  • The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
  • Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2)
  • Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)
The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2) The Accidental Time Machine Camouflage Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)

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