• A Matter for Men

  • The War Against the Chtorr, Book 1
  • By: David Gerrold
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (182 ratings)

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A Matter for Men  By  cover art

A Matter for Men

By: David Gerrold
Narrated by: John Pruden
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Publisher's Summary

With the human population ravaged by a series of devastating plagues, the alien Chtorr arrive to begin the final phase of their invasion. Even as many on Earth deny their existence, the giant wormlike carnivores prepare the world for the ultimate violation - the enslavement of humanity for food!

©1983, 1989 David Gerrold (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about A Matter for Men

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great Courses, NOT!!

GOOD WORRING IS NEVER WASTED
As mentioned by another reviewer this is written in a 60ish style. Early on we have several lectures by a guy who thinks he is God's gift to intelligence. The lectures are very political, long and boring. He spends quite a bit of time telling his students how mean and tough he is. I find that real tough guys don't have to announce there toughness. When he asks a student a question, you know whatever the answer is, it will be wrong. The student will also be humiliated in the process, such as the girl he calls a whore. A reviewer mentions that this is straight out of Heinlein's Starship Troopers Universe. In the hard back copy, he acknowledges Robert and Ginny Heinlein among others.

Our hero, as mentioned by another reviewer , is stupid. He survives because of his stupidness.

I will not continue this series. When Harlie was One, is Gerrold's most famous novel. That one I will try.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great books- but know it was never finished.

I absolutely loved this book and its 3 sequels. Good, gritty post apocalyptic alien invasion storyline. Interesting and tormented main character. Not much to not like. In the later books the author goes to some dark places and touches on subjects you may wish he would have avoided - but everything feels true to the character and the world the author has created.

You need to know one thing before buying : book 4 ends with an extreme cliffhanger... and fans have been waiting since the early 1990's for a resolution. Mr. Gerrold still says he's working on it - but the fairly imminent release of book 5 has been promised repeatedly, and for about 20 years. The series is supposed to end with a total of 7 books - but again after book 4 there has been nothing.

I still highly recommend the series - but only start it if you can accept the story as unfinished and sadly very likely to remain so.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

20 years and no book 5, be warned

Yes this is an alien invasion post apocalyptic book. However, its not about flying saucers and heat rays. The invader is an alien Eco-system. The concept is know as the Panspermia Theory. So it's less about fighting greys with lasers and more about fighting a deadly invasive ecology. Product of alien evolution or bio engineered? /shrug Join the fun and listen to the book.

The part of the book that might turn some of you off as was mentioned by other reviewers is a main character who is really smart but is also an annoying putz. I don't mind that so much; not all my heroes need be flawless demi gods. And he also goes into some weird interpersonal adventures over the 4 books that can be cringe worthy for some listeners. Being an open-minded sort helps.

Also, in Jim's America, the government is modeled straight out of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It's an idealized version of Fascism. Individual wants come second to the "states" needs all in the name of efficiency and proper resource allocation. If you watched the movie Starship troopers or read the book, you'll remember the classroom scene where the politic philosophy of this kinder and gentler fascism is explained. Gerrold recreates this for the reader so you'll understand the history, world, and political system Jim must navigate. Also the third world (called the forth world) is portrayed as irrational, greedy, and constantly playing the colonial victim card .

Its fiction, take it for what it is, don't make it personal.

I really loved reading (and now lsitening, thank you, thank you, thank you, Audible Studios) to this and the others over time.

Books 1 through 4 have been a strange and crazy ride through Jim's world. But I don't regret reading the series even if it never is finished.

If you must have closure, you may want to pass. If you believe, like the Great Pumpkin, that fifth book is coming. Then you'll want to catch up with the series and be good to go when the fifth book/audiobook gets released.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love the paperback version. Hate the audio book.

The Chtorr series is one of my all time favourite series. I've read the paperback books way too many times.
Sadly, in my opinion, the audio book production is just so bad that I cannot get past the first few pages despite numerous attempts. I could probably live with the narrator ( I am not familiar with him) but the audio quality makes me think it was recorded over a tin can telephone with static playing in the background.
Oh, what would I give to have them re-record the four books in the series with a better narrator with modern sound quality.
I suggest Luke Daniels, Ray Porter, or MacLeod Andrews for narrator - they never fail to deliver believable characters.
But, really, the failure is with the audio quality. Insert sad face here... :(

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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good enuf that I have waited 2 decades for them

The War Against the Chtorr series is one of my all time favorites. I don't always agree with his opinions or politics , but this series is amazing at many levels . The first book is the slowest in the series and it is still ten times better than almost any other sci-fi book. Do yourself a favor and try it out . It's not just another bug hunt .

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome

Glad to see these titles out on audio. A splendid read and an awesome listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Great Beginning!

I've read A Matter for Men 3 times before listening to this version so obviously, I'm a fan. This book and the rest of the still unfinished War Against the Chtorr series owe a debt to the work of Robert Heinlein (and Starship Troopers in particular) but Gerrold's take on alien invasion is fresh and original (even though this novel first appeared decades ago). The great twist of these novels is that the very nature of the invasion itself is a mystery. There are no massive spaceships hovering over cities. There's no advanced weaponry wielded by a hi-tech alien civilization, no contact or negotiation with an intelligent, technologically advanced alien race. Instead, Earth is being invaded by an alien ecology that slowly reveals itself and grows more complex. It's source is unknown but it is voracious and dangerous.

Much of the groundwork for subsequent entries in the series is laid in this first novel but A Matter for Men tells a satisfying story on it's own too. The main character, Jim, goes through an emotional and psychological grinder almost from the very beginning and is well-developed. Some of the more philosophical and political aspects of the book may put a few readers off but they're an important part of the character development and they help explain the form humanity's response to the invasion takes. There's even a nod to a memorable scene in King Kong!

The audio version is well-narrated by John Pruden.

I can't recommend this series enough. It remains unfinished to this day but Mr. Gerrold is still working on the rest of the series. Hopefully, those books will see print soon but even if they don't, The War Against the Chtorr is worth your time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Audio points out the highs and lows in this title

I've read "A Matter for Men" several times, and always loved it.

.... In listening to it? I think I didn't realize how much of it I must have skipped through a bit.

I thought John Pruden did a fine job, tho maybe not really wading into the emotions as much as could have been done. His voice choice for James the MC was lovely, a nice blend of cocky and clueless.

The thing I did notice is that Gerrold really wrote this one in a very 1960's concept style.

"A Matter For Men"... is SLOW at times, preachy frequently, and I think the narrative and protagonist self-discovery suffer a bit from a desire to be more Orwellian, and also Heinleinian... the result, especially when listening to an audio performance, is times when I really just wished the book would GET ON WITH IT already.

Production values were excellent, Audible Studios did a nice job on this one. Clean, clear and easy to listen to.

Definitely worth a credit, probably won't do a re-listen unless I'm stuck in an airport at some point tho.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Holden Caulfield in Space

Fun story wrapped around an amazing pragmatic philosophical treatise. I read this around 25 years ago and recently listened to the audiobook. It was more meaningful now that I've had time to reflect on what Whitlaw taught and how it actually held up to my experience and it surprised me how insightful Mr. Gerrold was.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Stop listening at the gay sex scene

The story was interesting, the characters related, everything was fine. Then the main character is drunk in the bathhouse committing sodomy.

At this point I deleted the book. There was no reason this in a science fiction book of invading aliens and PTSD suffering soldiers.

This book is degenerate and is made worse by having a good story with believable characters.

I only bought this book on a recommendation that it was the spiritual successor to “Starship Troopers”, an amazing book filled with civic virtue and firm morality. I am disheartened to think this is cobsider