This is my favorite fiction book ever, and the only book that comes in a close second is Ender's Game. I loved "Starship Troopers" the first time that I read it at 13 years old, and I really loved listening to the audio recording 14 years later at 27. I drove around and wasted exhorbitant amounts of gas just so I could continue listening to it. It was nice. I reccommend this book to any person 13 years of age or above.
I read this when I was in high school 16 years ago and loved it. Now older and having served in the Marine Corps, I adore and apreciate it the more. It is a wondrful commintary on civic duty.
Read it and then go thank a verteran for what he has done to make our society posssible.
First, as others have stated, the only thing this book has in common with the movie is the Title. This is a great sci-fi read which delves deep into ideas about the human condition, its ideals and its faults. If you have ever served in the armed forces - this is a must read! It will make you laugh and make you cry - the insights and believalbility of the main character are just that good.
Please don't think that this a purely "cerebral" book. There is plenty of action as well as character development to round out this story and make it a well rounded excellent piece of fiction - a true classic!
Anyone who cannot see the philosophical similarity between these two marvelous SF authors is working hard to keep the blinders in place. To be sure there were also differences -- of the two, Heinlein holds the prize for a sense of ethics. Nevertheless, they both suggested political systems that were later branded as fascist by unthinking zombies who resemble (at least intellectually) the lead toadies in each book. As I said with "Atlas Shrugged," I say with "Starship Troopers," I do not agree with what he says, but his points certainly resonate...
As to the second half of this review, though the book was worth listening to, it wasn't because of the narrator (whose name wasn't worth remembering). The man was almost lethargic in his reading, his pacing was off, and I got the sense that he really didn't feel the lead character, Juan Rico. Get this book, and listen to it, but be prepared to be disturbed; Heinlein does not pull punches when it comes to social commentary. Get this book and listen to it, but not because the narrator is worthy of praise; this audio book succeeds in spite of his lackluster performance.
This is a great book, however, the narration is terribly bad. The tone is flat, w/o any emotion, like that of a first grade student learning how to read.
What can I say? Not only did they take one of the great sci-fi pieces of all time, they got BEN STEIN to read it! Sure, the site claims it was this "Lloyd James" fellow, but I'd know that dead flat, utterly emotionless drawl anywhere! I assume it's a pseudonym.
The book is a pinnacle piece of Military Science Fiction, and should be enjoyed by anyone even vaguely interested in the genre. It literally defines much of what we think of the genre (and has absolutely nothing to do with the utter tripe they released as a movie). This is on the must-read list of anyone who claims to be a SF-aficionado.
But the reader... dear God.
Why they couldn't get L. J. Ganser, Marc Vietor, Stefan Rudnicki, or even Mark Boyett (all readers who not only do Sci-Fi well, but have a particular talent in military pieces) to do the reading escapes me. What do we, Heinlein's adoring public, have to do to get a decent multi-media treatment of this book!? The movie was garbage, the audio's miserable... please won't SOMEBODY do this right? Honestly, Heinlein himself would have been a better choice for reader, and he DIED TEN YEARS BEFORE THE RECORDING!
5 stars for the book. 1 star for the narrator. 3 average. Sorry Mr. H. It's not your fault.
If you've only seen the movie, read the book. It's totally different but fascinating and gives more perspective/content to some of the stuff from the movie.
This is an excellent story - thought provoking but amusing and engaging. It was also an excellent reading. The narrator did a great job with it. It is easy to listen to and appreciate.
When I first started listening to this book, I thought it was going to be as bad as the movie. I was greatly surprised by the philosophical and political agenda. It is almost as if the book and the movie have nothing in common, and for this I am greatful.
If there is one thing I have learned. If you like the movie you will love the book. This is the best book I have. Takes a little bit to get used to the narrator. I have had this title on my otis so many times I could not count. Cant wait till my 4 year old is old enough for this one.