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.
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!
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.
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.
My two favorite topics are Baseball and Military History. But my favorite books of all time are Starship Troopers and Ready Player One.
So this book has been an annual (at minimum) read for me for 20+ years. The philosophy contained within this story surpasses that of the great philosophers of all time. I actually read a lot of classical philosophy, but none (other than Plato's The Republic, and Allegory of the Cave, as well as all of Ayn Rand's work) compare - and none surpass. Simply, this book is about becoming a man (or woman, 'what's good for the goose') and a leader of Soldiers.
I have this book (as well as all of the Military Service Academies) as required reading for my Soldiers. In fact just this past week, while counseling one of my Soldiers, I had him review the story (parable in this case) of Private Hendrick and report back to me the lesson in that short excerpt. The entirety of this book is rife with examples of personal moral philosophy that Rico must learn (sometimes the hard way, but often just via epiphany after a lesson from Mr. (Colonel) Dubois (including several years after the class (e.g., "teaching me 'why' to fight, long after I had decided to fight anyhow").
My favorite part (biased perhaps because I'm a Master Sergeant myself) is the admonishment given to Rico and two other 3rd Lieutenants prior to their final assessment (a live mission inserted in the chain of command). The Officer Candidate School Commandant explains how each of them could be suddenly thrust into command (via KIAs of more senior officers) despite only being the lowest of lows of commissioned officers and asks...
"What will you do..."
"...consult your leading Sergeant."
"Obviously. He's probably older than you are, more drops under his belt, and he certainly knows his team better than you do... ask his advice. It won't decrease his confidence... If you don't he'll decide you are a fool... and he'll be right. You don't have to take his advice. Whether you use his ideas, or they spark some different plan - make your decision and snap out orders. The one thing that can strike terror in the heart of a good platoon sergeant is to find that he's working for a boss who can't make up his mind. There's never been an outfit in which officers and men were more dependent on each other than they are in the MI.I. and Sergeants are the glue that holds us together... Never forget it."
However, Heinlein's discourse on why they have the system they have and why it's better than any in history is in and of itself, inimitable.
I enjoyed the narrator, but there are several dubbed in segments laced throughout the book, at first I thought my wireless headphones were going out, but after listening to it again (as well as other books) it's definitely the recording. I usually listen at 3x speed and had no problem with this book.
I own the kindle edition and most of the printed editions (minus the first edition). It's nice to review all of the stories in print and I really like the whisper link between audible and kindle.
Starship Troopers was significantly better than the movie of the same name. It romanticizes the military and the strife required to move forward as a recruit in an exciting, action packed, science fiction setting. The only downside is that it ends too soon.
I enjoyed the story and I thought that the use of a separate class of citizens, who had taken personally responsibility for the body politic, most intriguing. Heinlein always seem to point out a likely what-if grounded in the hard facts of history and the current trajectory of civilization. I found myself with a few key takeaways from the story, both philosophical and educational. I recommend this book for anyone searching for further understanding of the military and for aspiring leaders.
seriously this book is one of my favorite sci-fi adventures that truly challenges you to think and consider some really interesting political concepts.