In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe--and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind's most frightening enemy.
For those of you with honorable tendencies I recommend "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius recorded the thoughts collected in this book while on campaign with the Roman legions. He was also emperor at the time. His ideas are morally courageous, well thought and grounded in practical experience.
I think the Bigest thing that Cought on me about this book was that its not telling the story about a guy that joins the millitary, and goes off to fight some aliens, It's telling you a story about how joining the millitary and going off to fight some aliens has changed from a once dumb civilian, into a soldier, and a citizen. It's about how Juan Rico, evolves from a boy to a man, and from a follower into a leader.
I particularly liked the use of technology, and how for as cool as it is, it's not even an issue in the book. The book didn't get all carried away with fancy weapons and armor, but instead gave you a basic outline and let your own imagination fill in the rest.
There were a lot of Socialistic idiologies, in this book, but I still liked how their govenment was set up, and I think it's too bad we couldn't make a system like that work in today's sociaty.
It's definatly a deep read, with a lot of questions that you may find you ask yourself, but that's part of the joy I found in reading it. so if your looking for some straight "balls to the walls" action like you saw in the movie, this might not be your book, but if your in for some real Sci-Fi that'll keep you woundering what'll happen next, and just who Rico will become in the end, this is your meal ticket!
Told from the perspective of Juan Rico, one of the Terran Federation's armored Mobile Infantrymen, Heinlein's novel follows Rico's journey from listless graduate to raw recruit to battle-hardened warrior. Along the way we are treated to numerous socio-political asides on why the story's right-wing form of government works and why previous ones failed. Rico's military training is explored in convincing detail, and is in fact the backbone of the book.
Therein is some of the problem--Heinlein's never-ending seminars tend to get repetitive toward the end of the book, and Rico himself seems to run out of anything new to say. Other characters, including Rico's would-be sweetheart, Carmen, are barely developed and are only rarely shown interracting with the narrator. Moreover, despite its billing as a first-rate adventure yarn, there are only a few battle scenes and what we do get are over quickly and often only vaguely described--except for the opening scene, easily the most exciting part of the book and after which everything else is a slow letdown.
None of which makes "Starship Troopers" a bad book. The military and political evaluations are genuinely interesting FOR AWHILE and the whole is leavened with Heinlein's inimitable quirky sense of humor. If only Heinlein had developed the plot and its characters a bit more, this would have been a truly fine novel. As it is, it's still worth a look as long as you know what to expect: this is a political commentary, not sci-fi excitement. At the very least, it's better than the movie.