Customer Reviews


541 Reviews
5 star:
 (371)
4 star:
 (77)
3 star:
 (47)
2 star:
 (26)
1 star:
 (20)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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 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...
Published on Oct. 2 2006 by bernie

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STARSHIP TROOPERS
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...
Published on Aug. 22 2002 by K. Jump


‹ Previous | 153 54 55 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget the movie!, May 18 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
If you thought you knew what Starship Troopers was about because you saw Verhoven's horrible abomination of a movie, forget everything you think you know.
Starship Troopers is a thoughtful exposition of Heinlein's views regarding freedom, natural rights, social responsibility, and the necessity of violence in defense of civilization. Whether you agree with his positions or not, this book forces you to at least confront them. Thinking about them is your responsibility.
In addition to the exposition, Starship Troopers is a slam-bang action novel that hovers on the more realistic fringe of space opera, and is responsible for introducing some of the things we now consider standard concepts, like personal battlesuits.
If you're into military SF action, you'll enjoy this book. If you're into political exposition, you'll enjoy this book. If you like both, you'll be ecstatic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Good science fiction, flawed philosophy, Jan. 3 2012
By 
Carl (U.K. & U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
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. We follow Rico through his gruelling months at boot camp, turning from a naïve youngster into well trained soldier of an elite fighting force. Soon war between humanity and the "bugs" breaks out, resulting in Rico, and his comrades, being deployed into battles across the galaxy. We follow the course of the war, from humanity being on the verge of defeat to turning the tide, while following Rico's rise through the ranks. The battle scenes are well told and gripping and Heinlein even manages to make the mundane life of his soldiers between battles equally gripping to read.

While the story is well told, in places feeling like Rico is writing a letter to explain how life in the army is, most of the characters, with the exception of the protagonist, feel two-dimensional and I don't feel like they are developed as well as they could have been. At several points the author opts not to provide sufficient detail: the reader is basically left to make up their own mind on what the armour, the infantry use, looks like (although ironically Heinlein provides an overly complicated account of how the armour works), and the officer training school Rico goes to feels like a rehash of the high school sections as both only focus on the one class: `history and moral philosophy'.

While the type of government that rules over humanity seems to get a lot of attention, appearing to be militaristic and created out of the ashes of the collapsed twentieth century societies, I do not see why it still creates so much debate today. On its release in the aftermath of Second World War, the discussion of a utopia created by a militaristic society would of course appear shocking, however today it just seems fantasy, and dare I say it pure science fiction. The Russian Revolution is alluded to during the work and the creation story of the federation seems to be an imaginative retelling of such events, and similar ones throughout history: collapse and/or revolution against the existing order resulting in the creation of a new way of ruling people.

The author makes several points throughout the work aimed at the apparent inadequacies of the military forces of the "past" and the superiority of the mobile infantry over them. All these comments seem to be aimed at the military the author was part of, the Second World War and the Korean War and the armies that fought them. However my impression is that morality and universal suffrage are the central theme of the book. During the flashbacks to Rico's time in high school, and later during his time in the military, the `history and moral philosophy' classes that he takes are used as a vessel by the author to discuss the difference between being a civilian and a citizen, and the benefits of being the latter. A citizen is someone who has enrolled for `federal service', to serve the central government in some format (not just in a military capacity, yet this is the route our hero ends up going down) and on completion of that service is granted citizenship and the right to vote. Having undertaken this service the person has gained the responsibility, and moral superiority, needed to make a qualified decision when it comes to voting whereas the civilian is essentially unqualified to make such a decision. On completion of his service, Rico should be ethnically and morally superior to a civilian. However here lays the greatest irony of the work. By the time Rico finishes basic training he been turned into a professional killer ready to follow whatever order he is given, he is no longer the individual he started as. He goes to war were he indiscriminately kills warrior and worker bugs, before learning the difference between the two, he is remorseless, destroys private-civilian property and sets out to destroy key civilian infrastructure such as a waterworks, and has no objection to the use of biological warfare. The war between the humans and the bugs, and their short-term allies, is one of total-war and in it Rico losses any moral or ethically superiority he is supposed to gained during his service, over a civilian. In all this I think perhaps the author is mostly looking back to his wartime service and hinting that the men who fought the war hold no superiority over the rest of us. The question raised from all this but not answered by the author, is how this service, all this violence, the complete change from a naïve individual to trained killer, one among many, closer to the bug hive mind and warrior mentality, makes Rico any more responsible to make an informed decision in voting when it comes to the civilian who is untouched by these horrors, unchanged, still an individual. The central theme is contradictory: the citizens are not demonstrated to better qualified, due to having served and gaining superior morality, to vote than complete universal suffrage.

A gripping read, which is not without its flaws but at the same time is thought provoking. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars it was good, March 30 1999
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
it was very goo
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Baaaaad hardcover, Jan. 11 2001
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Hardcover)
I bought the hardcover because I thought it would be nice to have in my collection. However, the one I bought was an "econoclad" book which seems to mean a paperback with a poorly glued on card-board cover. Hardly what anyone would consider a real hardcover. Still a good story if you are not judging it by its cover... but not for the collector looking for a real hardcover.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars it is a very good and entertaining book+the price is good, Feb. 14 1999
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
It's grea
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars It is good, Feb. 14 1999
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
very goo
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More padding than a 14 inch mattress., Nov. 12 2010
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
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. I have read a number of other good Sci Fi books, not a ton, but most of them are far more entertaining. Dune, Rendezvous with Rama, Gap Series(highly recommend that one), Hitchhikers Guild, Do Androids..., 1984, etc. But this book is short and boring. Halfway through the book and all you have been told is military jargon about his boot camp, and Heinleins views on how great the Military is. Even his description of the combat suits was only OK but nothing incredible. Perhaps for when it was written but passe in our time. The word 'Bounce' is in this so much it gets very tiresome. It is a multiuse word. Action is nearly non existent in the first half, unless you consider several pages about how he was "chewed out again" as action.

Heinleins views on philosophy in this book are tragic at best. A world where militarism is the only way to having a democratic vote. Most notable was also a very american world view, even if parts are set in Canada. His Quotes are from american generals and presidents and the feel of only the Terran Federation(America is implicate as the source of it military might even if not stated outright)Military as capable of taking on the threats of other worlders. Xenophobia is certainly rampant in the writers mind. You are nothing if you aren't a soldier is the main theme derived from the book. Despite the fact the writer never served during a wartime period.

All of which could be forgiven if the book went somewhere or did something. I couldn't even be hooked long enough to read more than 30 pages at a time. Perhaps that is the worst sin of this book. Its too boring for too long. If you liked the first 25 minutes of Full Metal Jacket but want every action described in minute detail spanning 150 pages this may be the book for you. Its 1st person as if reading Juan "Johnnie" Ricos Diary of everything down to exactly what he ate. When the moral of the story in the book takes over from plot and character development you know its not enjoyable. You don't really know or care about the character. The plot is nearly bare, more like a check list of things the military does.

To be fair it was probably imaginative for its time. The suits are interesting and you can see them in books, films and games(Elementals in Battletech, or Space Marines in Warhammer) But it leaves you wanting. It was like watching a poorly made movie where you don't really care if anyone dies. They are all teenagers that deserve to be chainsawed for wandering into the old deserted house at the end of the dirt road. Maybe a quick shag before getting offed by the bad guy wah wah.

If you want a good technical Sci Fi try Rendezvous with Rama. If you want one with interesting(even disturbing) characters and an interesting plot, try Stephan R Donaldsons Gap Series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, May 15 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
Just plain great. The commentary on society is much better than the actual war story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Classic Heinlein - interesting ideas, bad writing, Jan. 28 1998
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
Okay, after reading every one of the reviews posted here, I'm going to write my own review of this book and try not to repeat what others have said already.
I have to start by saying that although I don't particularly like Robert Heinlein's works, I also disagree with the Amazon.com review for "Starship Troopers", which smacks of simplistic knee-jerk liberalism.
When I was a teenager, I loved to read science fiction. Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke were my favorite authors, and I read every work of science fiction that the two of them had ever written. Robert Heinlein's works were there on the same bookshelves at the local libraries, and I read about a half a dozen of them, such as "A Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Orphans in the Sky", and "Stranger in a Strange Land". Once I became familiar with Heinlein's writing style, I skimmed through his other books at the libraries, and then basically avoided them. I chose not to read "Starship Troopers" at the time.
Recently, I went and saw the movie "Starship Troopers" and was entertained enough to take another look at the book (I'm not saying that this was a good movie - many other reviews have already addressed the flaws in this movie, and I agree with them). Reading the book immediately brought back to me the memories of why I chose not to read the book some twenty-five years ago.
Heinlein's writings all pretty much share this one fatal flaw, in that many of his leading characters fit the mold of this stylized nearly perfect human - selfless, noble, all-wise, and all-knowing. Seeing these characters appear time after time in his works basically ruined the stories for me. One of the underlying premises of science fiction writing is that the author is creating a fantasy world with certain parameters changed, but the people in them (unless they are specified to be a new breed of humans) still behave like real contemporary human beings. Heinlein would try to pass off these perfect Heinlein-beings (a special race of mankind?) as normal people, and of course they would always do just the right thing, for themselves, and for the people around them. They would also get very preachy and launch into these long-winded monologues on various topics such as free love, cannibalism, the meaning of TANSTAAFL, etc., etc. "Starship Trooper" is just packed full of these perfect Heinlein-beings, always doing the right thing, at just the right moment. GGAAAAAGGHH!!!
That is basically why a world like that created in "Starship Troopers" could not function as Heinlein intended unless human beings were somehow first genetically engineered to become perfect, like angels in Heaven. The neat and perfect behavior demanded of the ruling class in this world would quickly disintegrate into the usual self-seeking greed which is still one of the strongest forces underlying all human behavior. The ruling elite would inevitably use their power to increase their advantages in society over those not in the ruling elite, thus undermining Heinlein's simplistic assumption that the non-citizens of his future world could maintain all of their rights and privileges in society while constantly lacking the power to vote. The ultimate expression of this class division would be the development of a slave class in such a society. It is worth noting that the quasi-democracies of the Greek city-states, the Roman Republic, and the early United States (in which only land-owning males had the power to vote) all maintained a slave class.
I want to also address the various comments on freedom, democracy, fascism, and communism/socialism, which have been brought into this discussion of "Starship Troopers". The terms have been rather carelessly thrown about in these various reviews. I don't believe that ANY of these forms of government are perfect. They exist mainly because of a combination of prevailing economic or social forces at work within a country. All of these forms of government have an inherent tendency to favor certain classes or certain types of people within their societies.
Democracy certainly is not the best form of government under all situations. At its very worst, democracies can be highly chaotic, inefficient, and prone to producing either imbalances or compromises in society that could ultimately result in chaos and the destruction of that society. The freedom of a pure democracy works best for those people that have the discipline, talent, and wherewithal to find a place for themselves in society. People without this ability tend to drop into the lower classes and suffer.
In times of societal chaos, or the presence of an external threat to society, fascism is far more efficient in terms of its ability to organize and solve immediate problems. Fascism has an inherent appeal to the upper classes, and sometimes the middle classes, in its promise of providing stability and order in times of chaos. Ultimately, however, fascist societies become corrupt, since it is humanly impossible to have total control of the economy without also succumbing to the temptation of extracting a fortune from those that need government to do business. These "control points" of a fascist society can become serious economic bottlenecks, since no government authority can have the wisdom to accurately predict the success or failure of any particular enterprise, and yet, in a fascist society, the government will be called on to make these sort of decisions.
Communism/Socialism has its greatest appeal for the downtrodden and the lower classes, since it promises to provide for their most pressing needs. The obvious exchange is that people under these governments have to allow the state to make all the decisions for them and therefore give up much of their freedom. For someone starving to death, freedom might not be the most pressing need, and communism would seem to be an ideal form of government. The ideals of communism have never meshed with the reality, however. Under communism, the worker or peasant classes are supposed to be the ones in charge of society, but in fact what always happens is that only a ruling elite emerges. As a result, communism always devolves into a mirror image of fascism. Socialism is the milder strain of communism, and most democracies have inoculated themselves with a version of socialism in order to take care of the suffering of their lower classes; in this way the democracies are protected against a full-scale attack of communism.
As we approach the next Millenium, democracy is breaking out everywhere, and fascism and communism are in serious retreat. Why? The rise of democracy as a superior form of government has basically coincided with the onset of rapid technological changes first started by the Industrial Revolution about two hundred years ago. It has also coincided with the emerging dominance of capitalism and market forces as the main economic engines driving all industrially advanced societies. Technological changes have been so rapid and so unpredictable, that only a free and flexible system, in which bad ideas are allowed to fail quickly, and new ideas are allowed to see the light of day rapidly, could have accommodated such a rapid advance of technology. Joseph Schumpeter, in his classic work "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy" describes this constant cycle of destruction and creation of companies, ideas, and laws.
No real-life ruling elite could ever be so wise and all-knowing, as the Heinlein-beings were, to accurately predict the societal changes brought on by any particular technological advance and to anticipate what the appropriate laws and other societal adjustments would be needed. Under a true democracy, the widest possible numbers of people in society have access to their government in order to address these needs. Under a democracy, ideas or laws that fail are exposed as failures, and those in charge either have to make the appropriate adjustment or are ousted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Science Fiction., June 23 2004
By 
C D. McLeod (McKinney, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Starship Troopers (Mass Market Paperback)
Like many of the readers here, I'd seen the over-the-top movie adaptation of Starship Troopers before reading the book. Originally I thought the movie was just corny fluff to fill the theatre in Summertime. In retrospect, the movie does touch on many of the important themes of the book, although shallowly (and it's still corny). I was suprised to find that the idea of fighting bugs is only a platform for a larger exposition on the responsibility required to successfully run a democratic government. I know, I know, it sounds really boring, but there's plenty of shoot-em-up action to keep you enthralled in between Heinlein's political essays. For me, it had the best of both ingredients of sci-fi: Troopers was both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. Plus it's a short read, so give it a try - even if you don't like it (unlikely), it will take less time than watching all 476 Star Trek movies again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 153 54 55 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 11 2002)
CDN$ 12.50 CDN$ 10.80
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews