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Starship Troopers Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 1987


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (May 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441783589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441783588
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Juan Rico signed up with the Federal Service on a lark, but despite the hardships and rigorous training, he finds himself determined to make it as a cap trooper. In boot camp he will learn how to become a soldier, but when he graduates and war comes (as it always does for soldiers), he will learn why he is a soldier. Many consider this Hugo Award winner to be Robert Heinlein's finest work, and with good reason. Forget the battle scenes and high-tech weapons (though this novel has them)--this is Heinlein at the top of his game talking people and politics.

Review

“Elegantly drawn battle scenes.”—Science Fiction Weekly



“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


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

I've read this book so may times over the years.
GRalph
I think Heinlein's vision was that of a better future where former soldiers would guide our society to a new morality and responsibility.
Adam Missner
As an action/adventure story, the book works quite very well.
Enjolras

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

393 of 419 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For me, Starship Troopers is all the proof you need in order to name Robert Heinlein science fiction's greatest writer. I am getting in the bad habit of naming specific Heinlein books to be his very best, only to find that the next novel I pick up is even better than the last one. This particular novel is fascinating on a number of levels. There is nothing really special about Johnnie Rico; he's a normal lad who decides to join the military, ostensibly at the time in order to gain citizenship. In this future Terran confederation, only those who serve in the military are awarded citizenship and granted the privilege to vote. The government actually discourages volunteers and makes boot camp so difficult that only men with proper soldier qualities get through it. On the broadest level, we see Rico's progression from harrowed recruit to active service in the Mobile Infantry to combat against the Klendathu. I have no military background at all, but I found Heinlein's descriptions of military life and actual combat to be detailed and thrilling. We watch Johnnie Rico become a soldier. Along the way, he figures out why he actually did volunteer, developing a whole new outlook on duty and responsibility.
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.
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129 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Hank Robbins on March 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those readers who may dismiss this book as a mere novelization of the action movie, please read on. This book was written in 1959 and is NOTHING like the movie. For me, it is one of the best novels that I have ever read in any genre. Starship Troopers tells the tale of a young man who decides to join earth's marine fighting force against a variety of alien enemies. However, the book spends little time actually in action scenes describing the various conflicts. Much of the book is all about the boot-camp of the future, the rigorous training that the men go through and the psychological state of not just the recruits but also of their commanders. This is a beautiful book, rooted in the American military traditions of World War II. It exudes the concepts of honor and courage in a poetic, easy-to-read manner. It discusses military and societal theory in such a way that the reader does not get bored, and much of the political commentary is interesting and insightful. The book is sophisticated in its critiques of modern society and of its view of the military and its place in society. It truly is infinitely more than the movie made it out to be. Heinlein has written a masterpiece that can live through the ages. Definately an great and entertaining read and a must for any sci-fi fan or military history buff. Check it out, and enjoy!
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182 of 205 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on February 25, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The screen version of this classic SF novel is less an adaptation than a counterargument. In a way that's appropriate; Heinlein was certainly trying (or at least expecting) to generate loads of controversy with this work. But if you're about to read _Starship Troopers_ for the first time, it's only fair to warn you that _whatever_ you think of the film, you'll be disappointed if you expect the book to resemble it very much.
(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.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By L. B. Hill on October 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yes, yes...everybody knows by now that the movie is in no way similar to the book. In fact, I'm surprised the Heinlein estate (he's dead, right??) allowed the name to be applied to the movie. The movie is an awkward action-adventure gore fest; the book is a (at times) delicate portrait of the transformation of young, spoiled and dull Everyman, Juan Rico, to an exuberant and accomplished warrior.
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.
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