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Starship Troopers

Heinlein, Robert A. (Book - 1997? )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Starship Troopers
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In one of Robert A. Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe--and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind's most frightening enemy. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Authors: Heinlein, Robert A. (Robert Anson), 1907-1988
Title: Starship troopers
Publisher: New York : Ace Books, [1997?], c1959
Characteristics: 204 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 1568654308
Branch Call Number: FICTION Hei
Statement of Responsibility: Robert A. Heinlein
Genre/Form: Science fiction
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Sep 01, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Second book I've read of Heinlein's and can't say I liked it as much. There's a lot to think about here, clearly either our protagonist or author has very strong opinions when it comes to military service, prisons, corporal punishment, and whole whack of other things. Some of it is questionable and some of it is quite dated - there's a bit in the beginning about women pilots which managed to stay under my skin for the entire book - but it is the product of its time after all.

There's a basic plot here. It's one man's story of life in the Mobile Infantry (or M.I.) fighting against some sort of communist space spiders. No, I have not seen the movie and I'm thinking it's nothing like this. He decides to join up almost on a whim and we follow him through boot camp and beyond. Very pro-militaristic but not in a climb down your throat sort of way. I really wanted to know more about the war and the reasons about what was going on but, then again, our protagonist really isn't overly concerned despite being shown as a deep thinker and the book really is all about military service and the honour and camaraderie involved. It does that part of its job quite well though, I must say.

Apr 23, 2014
  • StarGladiator rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

To put things in the proper context: years back, when this was written, Heinlein was one of the outstanding SF authors. I originally like his stuff because they were far more future-oriented, and progressive, than other such SF writing, especially his earliest stuff. With this book, Heinlein is making the point that the rights of citizenship (the right to vote, plus others) should be earned, not simply granted to everyone - - and that to earn that right, service in the military, to one's country, was required. (In other words, a form of meritocracy.) Heinlein, unfortunately, started out as a progressive, but after his second marriage to a conservative Jewish-American lady from a well-to-do background, he became increasingly rightwing/libertarian, ditching many of his earlier views. Not surprisingly, his predictions from this time were wildly off, tainted by his religious belief in American Exceptionalism. [I would hazard the thought that SF or future fiction writing has evolved from Heinlein to Iain Banks.] If anyone ever has the chance to read his earliest short stories, please avail yourself of a wonderful opportunity. [Wasn't his Puppet Masters the first actual secret agent story written in modern fiction, of any sort?]

Jul 23, 2013
  • 8114Lafcadio rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Done. This seems to be an extensive discourse on military philosophy and rationale for chain of command. The main character is likeable enough to follow him as he works his way through the ranks, figuring out why things are done a certain way as he goes, but that is the extent of the story. I've read and liked a lot of Heinlein, and this one currently sits at the bottom of the barrel.

2011 edit - I'm giving it another chance.
I'm about halfway through, and it's better than I would have been led to believe by my first few attempts. Good writing is keeping me interested, but the story is still kind of bland. Big things happen, but they happen too quickly to be too invested in the people they happen to, so I find myself not caring nearly as much as the narrator seems to. I'll add more when I finish.

Original review - Choke... sputter... I am admittedly a huge Heinlein fan. I can't get enough of the stuff. You'd think I would like them all. I can't for the life of me finish this one. I've tried several times. I even thought I should watch the movie and then I might be more into the book. Too bad the movie was absolute shit. I mean c'mon... of all the truly incredible masterworks of this brilliant man, you had to go and make a movie of the worst one I can think of, and on top of that, you had to make a TERRIBLE movie of it. Of all the murfin'... furfin'...

May 16, 2013
  • red_crocodile_191 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

i found this extremily boring
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Jun 20, 2012
  • hurst10 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I loved 75% of this book, and hated 25%. The plot and action are awesome. Heinlein's didactic ramblings are terrible.

Apr 21, 2012
  • unbalancedbutfair rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you glance at the comments here they are mixed, and for good reason. This was/is a controversial book, but putting aside the controversy it is a very good book that I heartily recommend.

The story itself is largely concerned with soldiers, not the generals or officers, but what military service means to the men in the trenches. That alone is a turnoff for many people, but I'd encourage even people who don't like the military to read it anyway. The worldview and experience that soldiers have is given short shrift by those who dismiss them as simpletons. That's part of why Heinlein wrote it.

And given its focus on the military one of the other main focuses is what is the relationship between the soldier and the government. His most controversial idea is that civilians are not necessarily citizens. You must give a portion of your life to service of the state in order to have a say in how the state is run. Again this was a huge point of controversy but one worth considering.

Heinlein wrote this novel blending adventure, growing up, and politics in a compelling and engrossing manner. It might infuriate you or you might be convinced by his arguments. Most likely you're somewhere in the middle (in nyc, you probably disagree with it more than anything else) but you should read it regardless.

The movie is a comedy, and not really related to the book except in the most artficial ways. The book is harder, more serious and has some interesting ideas about how a society should structure itself in a total war.

Oct 19, 2011
  • goglover rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Hugo Award Winner (1960)

A classic - still generates major critical and political discussion even though it was written 50 years ago. The book is still a good read with an interesting and accessible story (though espoused politics will turn many off.) This book originated many the themes of modern military SF and manga (the armour).

The book has very little similarity to the movie other than overall plot outline. The book is much richer and deeper than the movie in terms of ideas, character, plot and world building.

Apr 01, 2011
  • ArtexAnthony rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This is one of those very rare times when I feel the movie is better than the book. Save yourself some time - pop some popcorn and watch the movie instead.

Oct 02, 2010
  • jrj9 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I like Heinlein but found this to be repetitive, in character and moralistic content, of his other books. I'm going to buck the tide here and say that I actually liked the movie better. It had more action, irony and humor, fewer lectures and societal prescriptions, and an actual relationship or two. There, I said it.

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app03 Version tobio (tobio) Last updated 2014/09/24 12:25