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Starship Troopers Paperback – May 15, 1987
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“A book that continues to resonate and influence to this day, and one whose popularity and luster hasn’t been dimmed despite decades of imitations.”—SF Reviews
“Heinlein’s genius is at its height in this timeless classic that is as meaningful today as when it was written...a fast-paced novel that never gets preachy. This is a definite must-have, must-read book.”—SF Site
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't want to delve too deeply into the politics of this novel. Some have pinned a fascist connotation on it, but I try to examine this future society philosophically. Only those who serve in the military can vote, but the vast majority of people choose not to serve and live happy lives as civilians, so I don't see anything fascist about this society. What intrigues me most, and it is this that sets this book apart from the vast majority of science fiction, is Heinlein's thought-provoking ideas about ethics, morality, duty, responsibility, etc. Mr.Read more ›
(Director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Ed Neumeier took incredible liberties with, and sometimes even directly contradicted, the book on which their film is 'based'. It's a fine film on its own terms and I think it's been unjustly maligned. But it's not this novel; it's the next round in an ongoing dispute with this novel. And whatever else the movie has going for it, its _military_ action is incompetent to the point of silliness.)
I've been reading Heinlein for nearly forty years now. I don't think this is one of his best three or four novels, and it's never going to be one of my personal favorites either. Nevertheless, it _is_ a genuinely great work of SF and raises issues that genuinely deserve to be raised.
Whether you buy Heinlein's own _answers_ is a different matter. The 'arguments' presented by the characters in the novel are mostly aimed at straw men. ('My mother says violence never settles anything', indeed.) This is perhaps forgivable since so much of Heinlein's positive case is so good. But I'm not persuaded that the society he imagines in this novel would be as functional as he seems to think.
At any rate, its essential socio-political point -- that authority and responsibility are a coordinated yin-yang pair and an imbalance between them puts the world out of whack -- is extremely well taken. (It applies more broadly, too.Read more ›
This novel is usually portrayed as an anti-war treatise. However, that's not how I saw it. It is a treatise, for sure, but one that concerns itself with government's purpose in regard to the individual. Heinlein paints a strangely subtle portrait of modern democracy, with fascinating embellishments. By doing so, he spurs thought from his reader concerning the duties inherent in living in a democracy. The most intriguing question he asks is, do modern citizens of democracies have any right to them if they choose not to participate? To what degree is this participation in a democracy necessary? Is it true that "the best things in life are free"? What is moral in a just society?
What is most striking about this fictional society is that it is a limited democracy, modeled after Classical society, perhaps. Only those who enroll in and complete a "Term of Federal Service" (and all residents in the world culture may attempt it, though few succeed) are allowed citizenship and the right to decide the future of the society. The rationale of this is that only in the stress of Federal Service can a person learn the community virtue of placing the needs of the society above the needs of onesself. Although this idea may be impossible to speculate on, it is worthy of thought from all members of democratic societies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't even think about the movie of the same name - the book goes way deeper and offers a far more thoughtful experience. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Zoe Hawkins
This is a classic story which follows the main character's introduction to the military, and how his career progresses during an interstellar conflict. Read morePublished 6 days ago by LCKansas
If you saw the movie, please know that it is only very loosely based on this book. The movie maximizes the action, but perverts the philosophy. Read morePublished 10 days ago by L Carpenter
The tale of Johnnie Rico a civilian turned Federal Service Mobile Infantry soldier. This is his story and his encounter with the bugs. cpl. Zim is still a hero in this version. Read morePublished 11 days ago by J. V. Mills
Heinlein's juveniles tend to be my favorites, and I often don't like his more "adult" books. Even now that I'm in my forties. But I do love Starship Troopers. Read morePublished 14 days ago by David
I only wish the movie had been even LOOSELY based on the book. I'm a huge Heinlein fan, and I think this book is his best.Published 16 days ago by CM