Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.
©1959 by Robert A. Heinlein; (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
At first when I watched the movie of the same name I thought, "Wow, Hollywood just didn't get this book."
But now I'm convinced that Hollywood did understand what Heinlein was saying, but are so opposed to his ideas that they decided to create a spoof to discourage people from reading this book.
Don't be discouraged. Read this book.
Both the book and the movie have soldiers, bugs and guns. But that is where the similarities end.
This book is a soldier's tale. Johnny Rico is a reluctant soldier. As we follow him though his training and battles we learn about him and the society that has helped to produce him.
One has to keep reminding oneself that Heinlein wrote this novel in the 1950s because the way he describes the "chaos of the past" (which is our present and his future) is incredibly accurate. When he talks about how people were afraid to go into a public park at night for fear that they would be robbed, beaten or killed by gangs of juvenile criminals, it was only speculation from Heinlein's point of view. But few of us today would venture into a public park after dark for fear of exactly what Heinlein described.
The world of Johnny Rico is much different from ours today. Heinlein paints a world that has conquered most of the social problems that we experience by a simple premise: There are civilians and citizens. Civilians enjoy all the benefits of society except they may not hold elected office or vote. Only those that have proven themselves worthy though military service can become citizens, hold elected office or vote.
Why? Well you'll have to read the book to find out. But I will say this, when you understand why a "juvenile" can never be a "delinquent", you'll be well on your way to understanding what Heinlein was trying to convey.
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.
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.
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