|Submitted by Christopher Ware|
(May 15, 2001)
This is an interesting dichotomy...the book is straightforward with simplistic writing. It's easy to understand and a joy to read. At the same time, I'd have to consider it a literary masterpiece. Haldeman's first person account of war (futuristic, galactic war) is an effective, emotional book that drags you in and won't let go. The first person approach lets you really sympathize with the main character and also illustrates the chaos of a battlefield. The tribulations that the main character goes through shows just how impersonal the military is. The army owns this man...he has no control over his ultimate destiny. He is a G.I.: Government Issue. The government/military issue him his life. It reminds me of a quote from Damon Wayans' MAJOR PAYNE: "If the Marines wanted me to have a wife, they'd'a issued me one." I've heard that Haldeman wrote this book as an allegory for the Vietnam War. I never got the chance to study that period of time very well, but I can assume he hit the mark from what I do know. Aside from the literary value of this book, it is a romping sci-fi novel that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn't let go. A very enjoyable read.