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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

I want to go home!!

Camouflage was an excellent tale about a couple of beings just trying to get home one will use any means nessecary and the other just wants to go home and not hurt anyone. Highly recommended!

posted by Anonymous on May 18, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The E.T. Perspective by Gage

I first read Camouflage by Joe Haldeman in an AP English class. It was my first-choice novel because I have always been an avid sci-fi reader. As such, this book was nothing new to me. The novel revolves around two aliens who arrived on Earth at the beginning of history...
I first read Camouflage by Joe Haldeman in an AP English class. It was my first-choice novel because I have always been an avid sci-fi reader. As such, this book was nothing new to me. The novel revolves around two aliens who arrived on Earth at the beginning of history and a group of human researchers who have discovered an extraterrestrial artifact that may be tied to the two aliens. The Changeling has an adaptive ability that allows it to take the shape of any creature or object it encounters and who has a passion for knowledge. The other alien is the Chameleon, who only takes the shape of humans, and is infinitely more ruthless.
The book essentially contains three parts, one to describe Changeling, another for the Chameleon and a third that revolves around the human research team. This often makes the passage of events a little difficult to follow as the human scientists are operating in the `present¿ while the two aliens¿ stories begin back at the dawn of time and the two stories are intermeshed. Often times you will have to reread the last installment in either story before continuing to the next in order to recall what led each character to the present circumstances.

The upcoming confrontation between the Changeling, the Chameleon and the humans is also painfully obvious. It is quite apparent that the three stories will soon become enter twined. Indeed, the most interesting part of the novel occurs toward the conclusion, were it is obvious that the three parties are in close proximity. As the dates of the entries in each of the separate stories become closer together, the suspense grows.
Another annoyance about the novel was that it was so stereotypical of science fiction. If you have read as many sci-fi books as I have you have probably actually read one very similar to this. Its plot and characters are very common among that genre and have little in the way of individuality. All of the humans are remarkably alike. They are all hyper-intelligent scientists with an identical dry sense of humor, a professional thirst for knowledge and are not very well written. A little individuality would be exactly the right ingredient to throw into the mix.
I actually enjoyed the overall reading. While the plot and characters may lack some originality, there is a sublime twist to the novel. As our two alien friends roam the Earth they have some very enlightening experiences. It is particularly interesting to see the world through the Changeling¿s eyes. The observations of the Changeling are refreshingly detached, allowing the reader to view human society from a distance, to see the good and the bad through an unbiased eye. It is infinitely fascinating to watch as the Changeling develops the skills and traits necessary to, in essence, become human. I marvel at the writing style Haldeman uses, and how much the diction differs from the human characters and their alien counterparts.
On the whole, Camouflage is a good read that would interest a large group of readers, not just the science fiction base, for it becomes so much more then that. It is also a philosophical novel, a love story and even contains elements of the ever-popular spy novel. It is not, from what I have gathered from reviews of other works, Haldeman¿s crowning achievement. So, if another of Haldeman¿s books becomes available to you, I recommend you read it over this one. However, if you are looking for a medium-length, entertaining read look no further then Camouflage.

posted by Gage on October 27, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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