January 11, 2005
Another review of Old Man's War here (also posted on the Amazon page for the book, as the reviewer, Harriet Klausner, is apparently the #1 ranked Amazon reviewer, in terms of volume); a more detailed version of the reviews (with stats) is here. It calls the book "a terrific tale of a belligerent future in space," which is nice, and also says it is "a tense anti-war military science fiction thriller that will leave fans pondering what is war good for."
I certainly hope the latter part of that last sentence is true, although I don't know that I subscribe wholly to the book being anti-war. I would say that it is anti-stupid, in that at least a couple of people acting stupidly in the performance of war in the book reap the consequences of their actions. This also happens to be my general opinion of war: Use only when absolutely necessary; try not to use stupidly or wantonly; be prepared for the consequences.
However, I don't want to say the review is wrong. I think the "anti-war" assessment falls into that interesting gray area of legitimate textual interpretation based on the reader's personal perspectives. As an author I think I get to set some boundaries regarding what the book says or is about; if you were to, say, tell me the book advocates genocide (as there is some discussion of the subject in the book), I think I'm within my rights as the author to say "well, no, it doesn't." But if you tell me it's anti-war, I'll be interested to see your line of reasoning. I like that people see my work in different ways than I do.
Posted by john at January 11, 2005 05:33 AM
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I've just finished Old Man's War, a first novel by journalist, nonfiction author, blogger (!) John Scalzi. I was absolutely blown away; it literally was one of those [Read More]
Tracked on January 11, 2005 07:08 PM
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