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Starship Troopers [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (541 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 11 2002
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.

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Starship Troopers + The Forever War + Hyperion
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Juan Rico signed up with the Federal Reserve on a lark, but despite the hardships and rigorous training, he finds himself determined to make it as a cap trooper. In boot camp he will learn how to become a soldier, but when he graduates and war comes (as it always does for soldiers), he will learn why he is a soldier. Many consider this Hugo Award winner to be Robert Heinlein's finest work, and with good reason. Forget the battle scenes and high-tech weapons (though this novel has them)--this is Heinlein at the top of his game talking people and politics.


“Elegantly drawn battle scenes.”—Science Fiction Weekly

“A book that continues to resonate and influence to this day, and one whose popularity and luster hasn’t been dimmed despite decades of imitations.”—SF Reviews

“Heinlein’s genius is at its height in this timeless classic that is as meaningful today as when it was written...a fast-paced novel that never gets preachy. This is a definite must-have, must-read book.”—SF Site

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
As with any good sci-fi the story and descriptions of the latest gadget are important; however this is just the window dressing or vehicle to carry a message or concept to you with out sounding too preachy.

Basically this book is not fascist like the movie. It suggests that people should be responsible for their actions and have a stake in what they make decisions on. Never did it say that these people were smarter or better, just that when you have a vested interest your decisions tend to work or you will pay.

I was intrigued in the process that Johnny Rico was going through in the story. The movie does not phase me as it looks like cartoon hype. But the book was too close to home. I hope my memory is flawed as I remember every one of the people types that he described. Actually I think with the volunteer Army today it is closer to the book than was Vietnam where conscripts looked on it this as slightly preferable to prison. I know that this story is not about the military but it is too real to be ignored as just the story.

You could have floored me with I found out there were no naked women in the book. Dizzy Flores must have had a great Swedish doctor. This could have been a genuine attempt to update the story; however it distracted from the original purpose.

Basically after school Johnny Rico is whisked into the military by peer pressure and to finds out if he is more than just the factory owner's son. While going through boot camp he learns of different cultures and the intricacies of military life. Naturally he makes mistakes and learns from others mistakes. As he grows he learns what make the world the way it is. I will not contrast this book with the movie because I think you enjoy the story more if you find out what happens as it unfolds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Movie April 11 2004
By Cas
Format:Audio Cassette
I must admit that I did not get around to reading this book until after I'd seen the movie. I liked the movie, and so I figured "why not read the book" well... the Book, aside form being dang near a compleatly diffrent story from the movie, was, in my humble oppinion, way better. I am a big fan of the war based sience fiction type books.
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STARSHIP TROOPERS Aug. 22 2002
By K. Jump
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Less a slam-bang action-fest than a gutsy personal analysis of what makes for a realistic and attainable utopia, Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" fails to achieve great heights not because of the author's political agenda (the reason this book is continually labelled controversial), but simply due to poor pacing and a less than fully developed plot.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Johnny Goes Marching
Juan Rico graduates from high school and goes off to war, where he learns how to fight, sees some of his friends get killed, and finds out that his high school history teacher was... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John M. Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
I was pleasantly surprised by how great the story was. I could not put it down once I started reading.
Published 10 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars MI
I am reading this now. I bought a set of futuristic books for my sons to read but since they didn't jump on iy I took this one up and anyone that has spent time in a boot camp... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Allen Patterson
1.0 out of 5 stars Has nothing to do with the movie
I am a great fan of ST and its action, but this book has barely a few pages of combat. I understand now that the movie was inspired by this book and nothing more. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2012 by Bennyboy1909
3.0 out of 5 stars Good science fiction, flawed philosophy
Heinlein's Starship Troopers is fast paced, easy to read science fiction novel. The story follows Johnnie Rico as he enlists into the global government's mobile infantry. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2012 by Carl
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Work - Not Like The Movie
As I'm sure you've seen in other reviews - if you're looking for a novelization of the movie, look elsewhere. Read more
Published on April 18 2011 by IDGS
2.0 out of 5 stars More padding than a 14 inch mattress.
I finally had a chance to read this book. I had heard a lot of hype about it being a Seminole Sci Fi book. Do yourself a favour and skip it. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2010 by Doc Madsen
3.0 out of 5 stars A book about life in the military
I enjoyed the book but it isn't the masterpiece I expected. You follow the main character through his military career and see how he adapts, makes mistakes and becomes a... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2007 by Raphael Lesage
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting experiment (look up Rodger W. Young) on the net.
As with any good sci-fi the story and descriptions of the latest gadget are important; however this is just the window dressing or vehicle to carry a message or concept to you with... Read more
Published on March 16 2007 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good, thought-provocating story
This science-fiction story is a masterpiece. It's extremely well-written and talks about different aspects of history (such as violence, politics, juvenile delinquincy, ect... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2006 by Edgar
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