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
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.
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 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.
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.
I like to read and listen to Science, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Military, History, and Thillers.
This is just a great book. There are a lot of interesting points of view given and even if you don't agree with them they are still thought provoking ideas.
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.
"A great take on a classic novel!"
This has always been one of my favourite stories from my youth, and Lloyd James has managed to present it perfectly *very much in the style of the original narrative*. Don't go expecting the movie - this is a far simpler story of a young soldier, in a futuristic setting, from his point of view. Heinlein had a lot to say about the society we are living in, and where we might be going. Listen with an open mind - and enjoy.
"An insight into discipline"
Having seem the film I wanted to read this book to see what the film missed. The film is very loosely based on the book and you can see why when you listen to it. I loved this book, even though the reader lacked expression the story made it all worth while. I think it is more about ideology than attacking bugs and I can see why it caused a stir when it was released. This book makes you consider how we bring up our children and why we do what we do. Very thought provoking.
Had always meant to pick up this book, after seeing the film a few years ago. I disagree with some of the other reviews, in terms of the narration. I enjoyed listening to this.
The story is great, and thought provoking in terms of the concepts presented.
"A truly terrible reading!"
I can't review the story because the reading is so unspeakably bad that I gave up on it after an hour and have no intention of putting myself through the rest of it. Lloyd James reads like he has never seen the words infront of him in his life before. He reads every sentence with EXACTLY THE SAME pattern and vocal inflections. He takes long pauses between mid sentence words and generally sounds like a total amateur. And most unforgivebly of all - you can hear rustling pages. BBC audio books this ain't! Please avoid this terrible reading.
I agree that the narration is certainly not the best you will find on Audible. The story, however, shines through! I completely enjoyed this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
The book melds an enjoyable sci-fi story with a very interesting political essay on government and society in general.
In short, enjoyable Sci-Fi!
Starship Troopers is a true classic, an enjoyable, epic read or listen.
Highly recommend it!
"Once more in the breach and damm those torpedoes"
Damm good book
The training of the Mobile Infantry.
When John Rico went over the hump, both physically and mentally.
It was hard going to read the book years ago but when John Rico went of the hump, both physically and mentally in his training I felt good as the main character felt. The way the military was treated and respected in the book is better than the military is treated today and I would disagree with anyone who say this book is rubbish for any reason.
"top sci fi story"
the book is great and i have read it a number of times, great characters in a well put together and interesting universe. the audio books is well read no down sides at all. please please download it and give it a listen.
"Ruined by a terible reader"
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein is one of the classics of Science Fiction. It is the forerunner of most if not all military sci-fi novels and I would recommend that anyone read it. Sadly I cannot recommend that anyone listen to this audiobook version. The reader manages to ruin a great book by droning steadily through everything; quiet times, training, the white heat of action.
"Great story poor politics"
The book describes a society with two classes. The 'citicens' who have served their term in the military and therefore have privileges, and the 'rest'. The author left me wondering if he really thinks this is a good solution or if he meant it as a warning.
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