It doesn't matter if I read it from my old hard-back edition, or listen to it from Audible via my iPhone, "The book is the way the Movie should have been made".
There's very few books I care to go through twice, but this is one of those few.
A) My parents were mere pups in 1959.
B) I am not a person who is generally attracted to, what appears to be, sci-fi pulp.
C) The movie is enough to make any sensible person want to run screaming from this book.
D) Military stories tend to do very little for me.
All that said, I read this on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Personally, I liked the narrator's tone and cadence quite a bit.
On a few occasions, the author does do some Ayn Rand-esque philosophizing, using his characters as a mouthpiece for his philosophy. These moments are few and far between enough, that they are easily stomached. If you don't let them bother you, this is a great listen!
So the world is at war, a war of universal proportions and the reader is allowed to follow one soldier through training, through ground and officer school and in battle. The enemy has a hive mentality, they don't mind dying in mass numbers. Often living in fear, using amazing technical equipment and describing experiences in a way that make you feel as if you are there, this book does a great job of bringing the war to you. All the while, in the background, giving thoughtful discussion to society, our rules and our belief system.
I have read many books in my day and this one is my favorite. The 1997 movie and the book are completely different and unrelated. The movie is an embarrassment to this fantastic book. An interesting fact about the movie is that the director never even finished reading the book before he directed the movie.
I cannot believe the forsight this author had. I mean, a book this old where he forsaw infrared goggles and heads-up displays? Incredible calls on his part. Great action but, like all good Sci-Fi, the meat of this book focuses on society. This book takes a lot of pokes at 20th century America (from a conservative slant) through "history" from the far future. He explains a lot about the troopers' life in the future "Mobile Infantry". If you expect anything from the movie, you will not see it. Verhoeven made a satire of the future conservative world from a liberal viewpoint while this book goes to great lengths to show the author's conservative slant. The names are the same in the movie and some of the ideas of the war against the bugs are there as well, but that's about it. I really enjoyed this book, although the 1950's phrases such as "no foolin'?" and "golly" cracked me up a bit.
The "movie" is an insult who ever read the book or listened to it. A army-friend of mine, who actually refuses to read fiction "ate" it in two nights, loved it. My stepson, same thing, TV hog, and x-box damaged, read and loved it. And I.....don't ask I'm ready to read/listen to it again.
Lloyd James has done good work on other Heinlein books. He's a little wooden on this one, but it was recorded almost 15 years ago and suffers from its age. (It is hard to believe this recording was made the same year the movie was released.) The recording (even at level 4) has a grainy quality as though it was dubbed directly from tape cassettes. Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, and Neil Patrick Harris really stunk up the movie along with the lousy screenplay, but I thought Michael Ironside had a pretty good turn as Jean Rasczak. Great story, but I give the book only 3 stars due to the raspy recording quality.
The book and the movie are two entirely different animals. The movie is a parody of cheesy recruiting propaganda and the book is a sober reflection on the realities of war and the responsibilities of command. Duty, honor, and citizenship are examined in a clear, reasoned way. One can only wonder how, or by what shameful motivations, the revelations in this book got so corrupted by the dirty lens of Hollywood. This book is highly recommended... the pacing is perfect and the narrator is wonderful. It earns 5 stars as being one of the best that Audible has to offer.
A real thought provoker, some of the sections made me wish i had a written version so I could absorb it slower.
Still room for action fun though.
Shares virtually no similarities to the movie in content or tone.