Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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With Earth embroiled in a vast interplanetary war with the "Bugs, " a young recruit in the Federal Reserves relates his experiences training in boot camp and as a junior officer in the Terran Mobile Infantry.
Publisher: New York : Ace Books, c2006.
Edition: Ace trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780441014101
0441014100
Branch Call Number: SCIENCE FICTION HEI
Characteristics: 279 p. ; 23 cm.

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t
TheeAvebury
Jul 21, 2017

For all those who have only seen the movie, I urge you to stop reading this review right now and go out and buy the book and read it. Honestly, the movie does not do Starship Troopers justice. The book is not an action novel. It is not meant to entertain you with the endeavors of the Mobile Infantry as they battle the Bugs on various planets.
This book is one of the greatest political commentaries of all time.
Robert A. Heinlein expounds on controversial subjects throughout the work, from what it means to be a citizen to how the military functions (and its role in society), to how current political systems operate, to the effectiveness of our current judicial system and its attendant punishments. This book is one of my favorites of all time for the issues that it tackles through its storyline of following Johnny Rico through the end of high school and into the Mobile Infantry.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction political commentaries, or those who have seen the movie and wish to learn more about the political aspects mentioned in passing in the film (not all of which come from the book.)

m
mammothhawk229e
Jul 21, 2017

He's the guy who coined the powered armor suit predating Marvel comic's Iron Man. Marvel comics have better propaganda machine.

n
nw_writer
Jun 24, 2017

Love the movie. The book, not so much. The movie is a sharp, exciting, ultraviolent satire; the book is mostly a meditation on politics, philosophy, and the ups and downs of military life. More like a manual explaining how to survive in Heinlein's fictional army - which is fine if that's what you're into. Just don't expect the kind of humor or wall-to-wall action the movie features. Particularly disappointing to me: Rico's two friends (played by Neil Patrick Harris and Denise Richards in the film) and his tough commanding officer (Michael Ironside) barely show up in the book. Makes you appreciate what a great job director Paul Verhoeven did of taking Heinlein's original story from 1959 and crafting it into a compelling piece of modern cinema.

m
manfredpade
Jan 03, 2017

I actually really enjoyed this book, almost as much as I loved the movie. Some interesting ideas in here too and the story has held up pretty well considering when it was written.

t
tshelfer
Nov 17, 2016

Heinlein at his very best. SF just doesn't get much better than this.

s
sat7
Apr 26, 2016

1959 what an awesome work.

s
StarGladiator
Oct 07, 2015

When the director, Paul Verhoeven, made this movie after reading this book, he called Heinlein a // fascist \\ and thus he made the movie under that impression. Personally, I would describe Heinlein as a stereotypical // American exceptionalist \\ - - of limited intellect, but much creativity, who never really and truly grasped what America was about - - he believed the politicians and took them at face value. [Heinlein was a Goldwater supporter, but after LBJ won the election and proclaimed the Tonkin Gulf Incident, Heinlein believed LBJ and was furious with him for announcing a // counterattack \\ beforehand! Heinlein was ambivalent about JFK, which really blew my mind - - given that the Internet and NASA/Apollo Moon Project came from that administration.]
The positive philosophy about Starship Troopers, which really should be most obvious to one and all [but we do have, thanks to the oligarchs, a heavily dumbed down society today], is that it is based upon a MERITOCRACY, that citizenship is EARNED, granted by merit! Truly, the politicians - - neocons such as the Bush family, the Clintons and Obama and the rest - - work towards national standardized testing and charter schools, which - - without equal access for all to the same educational resources - - skews everything towards a select few! Thus, we have a capitalistic educational system, not a meritocratic one!
Understood?

t
tonyalanjeffers
Oct 06, 2015

If you think you already know the story of this book because you saw the movie, you couldn't be more wrong.
This book was actually written in the 1950s in spite of the 2010 date indicated in the inaccurate description which appears to be based on the plot of the movie rather than this original book.
This book was considered a Science Fiction Classic decades before the screen play of the movie was written. I was disappointed in the movie because the Starship Troopers don't use the incredible power suites they have in the book. Years before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Invincible Ironman kids could read about similar suits in Starship Troopers. To describe just how powerful these suites were Heinlein says that if a gorilla and a trooper wearing one of these suites had a bearhug contest it would be no match the gorilla would not just lose he would be crushed to a plup(only an example to try to illustrate the strength of the suit don't worry no gorillas are harmed in this story in fact there are not actually any gorillas in the story)!
There seems to be a lot of comments about this book. I am glad young readers are still reading it. I've read Robert A. Heinlein's commentaries and readers should not assume that he actually wanted to create a militaristic society. He always had one goal in mind and that was to cause his readers to THINK!
It has been over 40 years since I read this book and to this day the ideas put forward in it are still with me.
This book Starship Troopers was not just a SciFi war book. As indeed the first such book War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells was not.
The social purpose of STARSHIP TROOPERS was about the nature of Democracy! I have read shorter essays on this subject by Heinlein and he was concerned with a deterioration in the quality of American citizenship. This is commonly now referred to as "The Dumbing Down of America." He didn't think that necessarily only military veterans should have the Right to vote and participate in government but he and many others even to this day felt that people should have to do 'something' to become qualified for full citizenship. In the United States naturalised citizens have to earn their citizenship they have to be residents in good standing for 3 years then they have to pass a test to prove they are knowledgable about US History and understand how our government works. Then they have to take an oath swearing allegiance to their new nation. Even then they are still not the same as born citizens though they can now vote they can lose their citizenship for committing certain crimes and they can never hold the office of President of the United States. Born citizens on the other hand don't have to do anything they already did the only thing required: Be born inside the borders of the United States. On their 18th birthday they can register to vote all they have to do is prove they were born in the United States. They don't even have to take an oath!
Heinlein argues that EVERYONE should have to "EARN" the Right to be a citizen. In the distant future of STARSHIP TROOPERS the Earth is in an interstellar war and needs all the military personnel it can get. But the philosophy of these future people makes the idea of a draft unthinkable only people willing to do their part are worthy to be citizens.

In my opinion however I think Heinlein need not have worried since in our nation voting is not compulsory only those that want to vote, vote.
So it seems that only those willing to do their part are voting and participating in government after all Mr. Heinlein.

StarGladiator's comments are very good I hope you read them as well.

KateHillier Sep 01, 2014

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.

j
JihadiConservative
May 16, 2013

Very good book. However, it didn't catch my attention. Did not care for it much. However, people do say it is one of the best sic-fi books of all time. So, I guess it does not hurt to try.

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