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Starship Troopers

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  132,528 Ratings  ·  3,612 Reviews
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.
Mass Market Paperback, 335 pages
Published May 15th 1987 by Ace Book (first published December 1st 1959)
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Ryan Lew What a pathetic fucking question that reeks of condescension. Now I'm sure you'll make some dumb snide remark about using bad language but let's get…moreWhat a pathetic fucking question that reeks of condescension. Now I'm sure you'll make some dumb snide remark about using bad language but let's get into it.

Why do you assume that someone who likes a book would be militaristic, or subscribe to any type of politics? Does someone who watches Breaking Bad make them supportive of the meth industry? No. People will read things, and people will enjoy things despite what their world views may be. The fact that you would even suggest that one's enjoyment of a book is contingent on their world view is incredibly simplistic. (less)
Kendall Moore Well, that depends. If your expecting a slam-bang SF actioner you'll be disappointed because the story deals with the political implications of…moreWell, that depends. If your expecting a slam-bang SF actioner you'll be disappointed because the story deals with the political implications of individual responsibility in a philosophical tone. Basically, a lot of intellectual discussion and very little action. Don't let this dissuade you though because the themes are profound and the setting is interesting. Besides, when it does show action it puts the Awe in awesome. Read it. (less)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
27th out of 5,620 books — 18,728 voters
Old Man's War by John ScalziStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinDune by Frank HerbertPandora's Star by Peter F. HamiltonLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Excellent Space Opera
2nd out of 402 books — 2,119 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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My first impulse is to dismiss it as an appalling piece of militaristic propaganda, whose one saving grace is that it's at least much better than the movie. But that wouldn't be doing the book justice. With all its faults, I simply loved it as a 14 year old, and I'm in no way alone there. Why is it so fascinating?

Let me start by dismissing a couple of possible theories. One reviewer wonders if it's deadpan satire. I suppose, when you see some of Heinlein's later books (Stranger in a Strange Land
Paul Dura
Apr 18, 2008 Paul Dura rated it really liked it
Starship Troopers is listed amongst the recommended books by the United States Air Force for a reason. For those who plan on pursuing a military career, this book exhibits the very ideals upon which our current military standards are based. Camaraderie, Sacrifice, and Responsibility are more than mere words to the protagonist. The distinction between a fighting man and a soldier is made. The distinction between a superior rank and a true officer is made. Johnny Rico is a soldier in more than mer ...more
Aug 04, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
I first read this back in early high school, maybe 26-30 years ago, and over time my memory of the book had been diluted by memories of the film and by thoughts of a similar Hugo award winning novel, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

I’m glad that I re-visited this one, because in the 30 years since I first read it, I changed. I became a husband and a father, and significant to my appreciation of this work, went to boot camp, OCS, and Iraq. From this new perspective, I think I understand and valu
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain.”

Since NPH is one of the reasons Starship Troopers remains a favorite film of mine, I think I’ll let him express my sentiments on the paper version . . .

Houston commercial photography

I need to realize that sometimes it’s okay to not read the book. Starship Troopers is such a cult classic – it’s just soooooo bad that it somehow became great. The book, on
Mike (the Paladin)
I enjoyed this book greatly. While I certainly can't be said to agree with Heinlein on every aspect of life, politics, or theology...I do appreciate where he's coming from in this book. (Remember it's a 1959 book, before the idiotic handling of Vietnam became apparent). There are thought provoking ideas in this book even if it is considered a YA book. Agree or disagree, it's a good read.

By the way, I must say this. It's often (actually more often than not) true that a movie doesn't live up to t
May 13, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Big nasty communist spiders are attacking Earth and all the planets it has colonized! It's a battle between man and bug, and who is to save us?

I'll tell you who! Guys with really fucking big guns, that's who! With spacesuits that make it so they can jump over buildings, and deflect bullets, and drop from spaceships to the surface of planets without getting hurt! That's who!

These guys get dropped onto planets with their spacesuits and their big guns, and they can incinerate some little brown peo
Apr 08, 2009 Lucas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Where do I even begin? For starters, I should let the reader know that I'm not basing my score on the politics of the book (as laughable as I think they are) but on the plot of the book, or rather the complete lack of a plot in the book. While things do happen, some of them pretty big, Mr. Heinlein has seen fit that we should not be party to any of those things. Instead, he saves the most loving descriptions for daily life at boot camp. Seventy, yes seventy, pages of a two hundred-odd page book ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I first read Starship Troopers as an impressionable teenager. My dad had a lot of SF books around the house, particularly Heinlein's, and I read most of them (except the especially sexy ones that he hid from me). And I have vague memories of liking this book -- a lot.

So when I decided to reread it as an adult, I was expecting some old-fashioned shoot-up-the-aliens classic SF, like, say, The Puppet Masters.

What I got was a lot of this:

Not much of this:

And you can forget about this:

Basically it'
Aug 13, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
"What do you mean 'They' cut the power? How could they cut the power man they're animals!"

Aliens (sure it's the wrong movie, but a cool quote nevertheless)

The book has very little in common with the movie. The film is something that is ubiquitous on cable. You can probably see the entire thing in snippets just by changing the channels over the course of a year.

In both the film and book, the soldiers battle big bug thingies. The book is only bookended with battle sequences, the rest is training
Apr 21, 2007 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Chock-a-block full of gung-ho jingoism, narrow minded fascist pipe dreams, and casual descriptions of institutional dehumanization as well as violence...basically everything you would expect from a book written in the perspective of a futuristic jarhead. I have never read a book in which I agreed with so little, but loved so much.

Jan 17, 2008 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have seen the movie- forget it. Besides the names, it shares very little with RAH's study on why free men subject themselves to a loss of freedom in order to ensure freedom for others.
This book greatly influenced me when I was a boy- and it still colors my thinking today- 35 years later.
This should be on the reading lists of every high school.


I would like to correct what appears to be a common misconception about the society described in Heinlein's book:


Sep 19, 2012 Jenny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This was terrible and not interesting at all. This book is for people who are interested in the nuances of military training and organization and did not feel like classic science fiction to me. I guess technically it takes place in the future and in space but this is such a minor part of the book that it shouldn't really fall into the sci-fi category. As I entered the last 50 pages, I seriously considered stopping reading. I was confused by the military ranks and didn't care about any of the ch ...more
Dan Schwent
Against his family's wishes, Juan "Johnnie" Rico joins the Mobile Infantry and the war against the Bugs. Will he make it out alive?

Yeah, I don't really know what to think about this book. I picked it up solely because it was an inspiration for one of my favorite books, Old Man's War by John Scalzi. While the writing was very good, there was never an "I can't put it down" moment. I'd say ninety percent of the book was Juan Rico's military life. There wasn't a lot of action until the end.

I liked t
Dec 02, 2014 Apatt rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, pre-80s-sf
I started reading sci-fi quite intensively in the 80s (as if my life depended on it) and if you had asked me at the time who my favorite of the Big Three of Science Fiction is I would have said Robert A. Heinlein. He was, I thought, the funniest, the liveliest, the least dry, and basically the most badass of the Three. In recent years have been re-reading a lot of classic sci-fi and my answer today would be different. I would place Isaac Asimov first then Arthur C. Clarke and Heinlein would be t ...more
Dec 23, 2013 TK421 rated it really liked it
No doubt that if you're looking at this review, you have probably seen the movie of the same name...not a bad movie, but not a good one either. I read this one in high school after having seen a green placard on I-90 that said "Movie Location: STARSHIP TROOPERS."

I thought that was pretty cool...not many cool things happen in South Dakota, so having a pretty descent (I thought at the time) movie shot in our Badlands made me even more interested in the book. Sometime later, I bought a copy at a us
Ivana Split
Aug 10, 2016 Ivana Split rated it it was amazing
When I say that Starship Troppers is a novel that has had a profound influence on me, most people look at me like I'm crazy. If they haven't read it themselves, I can see why it might not seem too promising, especially if one isn't a SF fan to start with. Nevertheless, I must stand my ground here. I’ve read this novel a number of times now and one doesn’t reread a novel that many times for no reason. This novel functions wonderfully on many levels. In my opinion that is what makes it so great. I ...more
Mr. Matt
Nov 16, 2015 Mr. Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2015, military, aliens
Starship Troopers is a Military Science Fiction classic. It is also a cheesy movie. I watched the movie on Netflix, and then read the book. I'm happy to report that the book is much, much better than the movie.

The story follows Rico, a generic soldier in the Terran Infantry in the lead up to and the full fledged explosion of war against the alien "bug" species. The aliens are kind of like ants in that there is a Queen and a vast army or soldier and worker bugs dedicated to a specific role. These
Melissa Rudder
Sep 23, 2008 Melissa Rudder rated it did not like it
Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers did nothing for me. Its cover advertises controversy and boasts of the exciting journey of Johnnie Rico through the intergalactic military camp of the future. It sounded promising; unfortunately, I was not awed or entertained. If anything, I was pleased the novel was a quick read so that I could more readily set it aside.

To follow a character through the ups and downs of boot camp and warfare and to revel in his victories and sympathize with his failings, i
Mar 21, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: A must for sci-fi fans
I had been meaning to read this for a while, and am glad I finally got around to it. I have a bunch of unrelated thoughts, which I'll just list below in no particular order of importance.

- I'm sure I am not the first to note this, but Starship Troopers is nothing like the '90s movie that shares its name -- not in plot, tone, or any other respect, other than a few of the main characters' names being left unchanged. The book is far, far superior.

- This book was very far ahead of its time, in terms
Jul 17, 2008 Jesse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
If you're expecting a carbon copy of the movie in print form, you're in for a bit of a surprise. Heinlein was one of the greatest science fiction writers of his time, possibly one of the best ever - not the sort to write the cheesy jokes and poor dialogue the Hollywood version spouts. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the film, as an action-adventure film, but the novel from which it derives is a much better piece of work.

The writing in this book is very technical. Though told from a first-
Aug 31, 2015 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Well, goodness, this was nothing like the movie *at all*. I came here for Diz!

And I came here for giant bugs!

Technically, both those things were in the book, albeit briefly, and I'm not totally hating on it for not being the movie. There were good things about the book, but I think the movie did a better job of streamlining it and pulling out the parts that are important to me--namely, character development.

Heinlein's story follows Juan (Johnnie) Rico as he joins and trains for the mobile infa
Mar 18, 2010 Chris rated it it was ok
This book is controversial. Says so right there on the cover - "The Controversial Classic of Military Adventure!" A quick look at its Wikipedia page seems to support this, claiming that the book has been criticized for its literary merit, its support of the military, up to and including fascism, racism, utopianism, and gods knows what else. What is certainly true is that it's a book that is guaranteed to make someone, somewhere very angry.

In the unspecified future, humanity has taken to the star
Kat Kennedy
Feb 14, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it really liked it
I watched Starship Troopers first. I found it amusing, gory, action based and fluffy. When I read the book I wondered if the directer/script writer had read the same one I had. Turns out that he never finished this book and made the story up as he saw fit. Suddenly everything made sense to me.

As far as pacing and plot go, you won't find any of that here. There isn't much of a plot to this book and the story arc, so to speak, is more like a low lying limbo poll. Straight and short.

What I absolut
Ahmad Sharabiani
Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
عنوان: جنگاوران اختر ناو؛ رابرت انسن هاین لاین؛ مترجم: پیمان اسماعیلیان خامنه؛ تهران، نشر گل آرا؛ 1376؛ در 272 ص؛ شابک: 9649080406؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نشر قطره، 1392، در 399 ص؛ شابک: 9786001191732؛
Sarah Anne
I enjoyed this and I'm really glad I read it. It was light and fun :)
Sorry, I just didn't like it. I'm not knocking Heinlein's skills as a writer. The one thing he does very, very well here is to make the main character's voice realistic. Reading this book feels exactly like sitting down to several long conversations with a combat veteran. The way he describes military service is likewise very realistic. That said, I found myself bored by the near total lack of action. The vast majority of this book is nothing by military training, which in most ways are absolute ...more
Feb 03, 2008 Andrew rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2016 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is technically a re-read, but I was a freshman in high school when I first read Starship Troopers (a quarter century ago), so this was almost like a first read for me. A lot has happened to the reputation of this book since its publication in 1959, and also since I first read it in '90 or '91 - namely the film adaptation that interpreted it as the fascist romp it was often accused of being.
The problem with accusations of fascism, in most cases, is that when people accuse something of being
Jan 26, 2016 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Without a doubt. ‘Starship Troopers’ is immersive. The book takes you deep inside its subject matter and over-loading you with minutiae and the day to day. It’s just that the world it immersed me in was one I really didn’t want to be in.

Essentially a love letter to soldiering and the soldier, with space marines representing all that is good about Man and Mankind in the most gung-ho, no compromise fashion imaginable. If you’re someone who buys military magazines each month (or even ‘Commando’ com
Apr 05, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, war
I liked the movie better. And how often can you say that with a straight face?

Here's what the movie has going for it:

1. It's fun and watchable.
2. It has pretty people in it.
3. Horrible things happen to those pretty people.
4. It takes parts of this book and ignores the rest.
5. It completely subverts the pro-military message of the book into a satire.
6. It has Neil Patrick Harris in it as a psychic.
7. It's cheesy and violent and tries to make you believe Denise Richards is good at math.
8. Whil
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Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
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