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on 3 March 2017
This book was released in 1959, and as a piece of speculative fiction it is an incredible piece of work; even in its first few sentences describing a society that has reached its logical extreme, due in part to the discovery of a mathematically proveable moral calculus, a powerful command of science and psychology, and a military dictatorship imposed as the only way to restore order after a Liberal elite destroys democracy in the first world. Starship Troopers is an important piece of speculative fiction that, in the tradition of 1984 and a brave new world, demonstrates how easy it is for society to give up on the idea of personal freedom in exchange for a way of life that is much more structured and easy to understand.

If people stop writing speculative fiction for fear of being controversial, we could very easily fall into the sorts of traps that this fiction helps us identify.

In addition, if you have ever seen or heard of a heavily armoured space marine in any incarnation, it will have elements inspired by the science fiction elements contained in this very book. The influence this book has had on science fiction over the decades cannot be understated.
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on 1 May 2017
Parts of this seem a bit dated, which is to be expected as it was written a fair while ago. That said it is a good read, action and excitement. It is far superior to the film of the same name and has a very different tone. Apparently the director didn't read this book, just listened to a summary. The story follows Johnnie Rico from his decision to join up, through boot camp to fighting off world. There is a fair bit of philosophy from Heinlein as well which I found interesting. Well worth a read.
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on 21 April 2017
Always reading this author. This book can be read over and over, shame that no sequel was written as I would have liked to see how far Rico went!
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on 6 April 2017
a very good read...
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on 1 October 2015
It's just a classic. If you like SF, you have to read it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 February 2015
Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers has finally made it in ebook form to the kindle, i've been waiting for this for a while and having never read it before I can happily say it was worth the wait and I can see why to many it is a classic. Those of you who have seen the films (I love the first and detest the others) may have a vague idea of the plot but the films are a pale imitation missing so much the book has to offer.

The story follows the career of Johnnie Rico as a Trooper for the federation in a far off fascist future. Despite being a military sci-fi novel it has a surprising amount of political commentary running throughout adding an interesting layer of depth that a lot of modern military sci-fi novels really lack. In the future the only people that can vote have to have worked for the federation to earn citizenship, they have to have earned the right and put the good of the whole above the individual but it's not that simple as Johnnie finds out.

Though Rico's reason for joining started as a political choice it soon turns into the look at the life of a mobile infantry trooper, over half the book is about his training alone, about what really makes a soldier in the future. Most of the cadets don't make it through training, nevermind to serve their term to be citizens.

The way Starship Troopers is written from Johnnies point of view makes everything remarkably clear as the poor lad is as confused about events as the reader so nothing is left unexplained yet it never gets bogged down or feels slow, it's all pretty engrossing.

I think that's what was so good about it, yes the bug war is mentioned towards the end but there's no resolution. It's not a book about saving worlds, about good vs evil, there's no distinct point. Just a career view of a trooper in a politically different future. It's a fascinating read I recommend to any sci-fi fan.

+ Interesting political sub theme.
+ Rico's training is detailed.
+ Well written universe, clear and concise.
+ Interesting plot focus, a little different.
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on 21 June 2017
Reading this is a bit like being caught in a spider's web: not in itself painful but nevertheless completely terrifying. You're in the body of an averagely nice, averagely talented but highly privileged young man as he allows himself to be completely rebuilt - mind, body and spirit - as a soldier. Despite the futuristic setting, a huge chunk of the book describes a military training that could have taken place in the mid 20th century. Military values and culture are uncritically, indeed lovingly described: the professionally sadistic training sergeants are portrayed as sensitive, psychologically aware gurus. A "chewing out" by an officer reads like a scene from 50 Shades of Grey, such is the pornographic intensity of the militarist fantasy. It can become so compelling (despite occasional moments of unintended comedy) that you lose your moral bearings. Gasping for air, I kept reminding myself of Einstein's famous comment, which could have been a response to this novel: "He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice." I have to admit, the spider darn near ate my brain.
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on 28 March 2015
I felt like I was reading a 'boys own' comic book. But that's not a bad thing! The pace is fast, somewhat simple but very descriptive. The end is too abrupt and empty of a decent closure. I confess to having seen the film version first so my opinion is coloured... I fully expected more action and more character exploration, but that's subjective. This is more of a book to read on a long journey, than one to settle down to at home.
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on 12 January 2016
The difference between the book and the screenplay is remarkable, having said that, many military commanders are made to look like imbeciles in comparison to the observations made by Heinlein's theoreticians, his attention to detail is remarkable, and his use of language is a revelation !
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on 27 October 2016
I bought this book on the back of endlessly re-watching the movie (the less said about the sequels the better) and have now read it twice. It has an excellent story and it really makes you think, especially with the long classroom and training sections. These are interspersed with some briefer action passages and the two combine well - this is probably the opposite of the movie where most of the emphasis is on action.

Whilst the movie is based on the book, with many of the same characters (Jonny, Carl, Carmen and Zim), there are plenty of differences to the film - such as the length of time in training or the teacher not becoming Jonnys lieutenant in the Roughnecks - that mean that even if you could probably quote the film backwards, much of the plot is still able to throw up surprises.

The premise that sets up the rise of the world the characters in the book inhabit is, despite being a product of its time, clever and a conceivable future, particularly so when the book was written. The narrative flows and it is an easy read - much like the movie.

If I had one criticism to make, it's potentially the length of the book. I feel as though it maybe could have been extended slightly, but this really is trying to pick a fault with an otherwise excellent novel
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