I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I had not read Starship Troopers in many years. Many of Heinlein's books have not aged very well, but this has aged quite well. This book has quite a lot of moral philosophy and social commentary, and a bit of humor, science fiction and action adventure. The main character is well developed, and the events interesting and fun. I enjoyed this listen quite a bit. This has little in common with the very bad movie.
I heartily agree with most of the comments above, but I'd disagree with the negative comments about the narrator. I've heard him read several things and he adapts himself - he's no raw youngster like Johnny Rico the supposed narrator, though he sounds exactly like one on this recording. So good was his reading of the book in this character that I really thought he was around 22. It was only when I heard him read other works that I realised how carefully he'd played the part, and that he is actually considerably older.
As for the book itself: wonderful. And the other comments are, IMHO, absolutely right - ie it knocks the film into a cocked hat. A very shallow cocked hat.
I love the story. It's well worth reading the actual book. But I cannot recommend the narrator for this one. And I was especially disappointed because the same narrator did such a GREAT job reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But for this book he had a very flat, unemotional voice. And he kept hesitating and pausing in the middle of reading when it was obviously uncalled for. It was almost like he was unsure of himself and kept pausing to figure out how to read the next part. It was very annoying. Read the book - it's full of great ideas. But don't listen to this one.
A well written space war story told with realistic characters and plot. This is a story of a young man who discovers himself and his place in a free society during an alien race war. Great action and character development with moral lessons that still hit home in the present. Questions like: Should everyone vote even if they don't care? What is the price of freedom? Is our way to handle youth violence based on any reasonable philosophy? Read this to enjoy a good tale or read it to think about human societies? It's good both ways.
One of the crimes of this past century is the movie that was based on this classic novel. Someone ought to go to jail over that.
But this Blackstone audio production does real justice to this interesting novel. Don't get too caught up in the military aspect of it's plot. It's really a coming-of-age story. It's also a remarkably adult story. And of course, Heinlein gets on his soap box and finds space to put forward his rather unique conservative political positions. Agree with him or not, at least he will get you thinking.
If you are looking to share an audio book with a teenage son, this might be a good one. My 15 year old loved it, and it made for some interesting conversations.
If you've seen the movie, you NEED to read/listen to the ORIGINAL Starship Troopers, which is only loosely based on this book. This book is so much better than the movie. Enter a world that could easily be ours.
This story is both thought-provoking and highly entertaining. After almost 50 years, it is still an amazingly visionary piece. Although some reviews didn't like the narration, I thought it was perfect. It sounded to me exactly like a Soldier relating his tale.
As other people have pointed out, the movie "based on" this book really wasn't. A few of the concepts made it into the movie, but only in passing. The real problem is that if you see the movie, you're expecting a sci-fi action movie of bugs and guns, and that's not what this book is.
This is a Heinlein novel, and he's doing here what he does best: take a concept, and explore it through fiction. Many people have assumed that Heinlein is a fascist because of the world he created here, but I don't think they got the point. Unlike many Heinlein novels, this is a book for adults, and it requires thinking about what's being said.
This only gets four stars because of the reading. I think Lloyd James does a pretty good job here, but the long pauses get annoying. I kept thinking I'd bumped my iPod. Still, I recommend it.
Recording was mostly good, except for occasional sentences or paragraphs that were overdubbed and sounded awful - muffled, and possibly even a different narrator.
This book is much less a military tale than a treatise on military life and related social philosophies. In between lengths describing a young man's reshaping from newly graduated civilian into a veteran military officer, Heinlein gives a number of views, ideas, and commentary on social/political setups, including voting, evolution, and military service in general. Putting this book's viewpoints side by side with "Stranger in a Strange Land" leads to interesting thoughts about our modern society.
The reading is excellent. There are a few mis-pronounced words here and there in the first half, but the vocal tone is varied and engaging. Recommended reading/listening!