I'll be honest, I only read this book to the halfway point and then called it quits. The beginning was engaging, with its physics-based interstellar combat, but that was over too quickly. Once the protagonist returns to Earth (20 years into the future because of time dilation) the book switches to making predictions about the future. Considering the book was written and set in the 1970s, the future for them was our, the readers', past. So, a lot of the predictions didn't come true. At first it was fun to read about the dystopia the author imagined, but the novelty wore off before too long. That's when I became bored and stopped reading.
I skimmed through the rest and it seems like there is a return to space combat, but once a book loses me I move on; there's only so many books a person can read in their lifetime and I don't think the phrase "suffering through it" should describe the act of reading.
Fantastic book. Obviously meant as commentary on the Vietnam War, but works equally well with today's wars. Fascinating and scary predictions about the future of humanity, but utterly believable at the same time. I am sorry I had not heard about this book until recently.
A few years ago, I read "Forever Peace," by Joe Haldeman. I enjoyed it, and was intrigued by what I thought was its prequel: "The Forever War". So let me start of by saying: This is NOT a prequel to "Forever Peace". The two novels are independent.
This book is a high quality space battle story. "Forever" has more to do with the time period over which this war transpired; relativistic time dilation tends to stretch things out when you've got interstellar battles going on.
It's not the best space-marine story I've read, but is better than most of them. It feels like it's part of the time in which it was written, as well (Vietnam era), so there's a bit of a "history-of-sf" feel going on.
4 of 5 stars.