Michael's Reviews > Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
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May 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 1950s, fiction-that-speculates
Read from May 07 to 13, 2010


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 people like you wouldn't believe, then they can leave without a single casualty. This is who is gonna fuck up the big spiders. AMERICA, FUCK YEAH! COMING TO SAVE THE MOTHERFUCKING DAYAY!

That's yer plot, other than experiencing the trials and tribulations of boot camp through the eyes of a protagonist who spends quite a bit of time philosophising about society and politics and all that good stuff. And this MIGHT make it sound like I DIDN'T like the book. That would be entirely wrong.

This book is so vivid, and so passionate, in its description of what it is like to be in this army that I couldn't help but be sucked in completely. It's an easy, quick, fun read, and it's passionate in its monologues about how society should be. I loved the sections where he's explaining his moral sentiments since I've never understood how someone could join an army and go kill people without questioning the motives of the war itself. Personally, whenever I kill someone, I like to know the reason I'm doing it.

But it truly is a different way of looking at ethics, isn't it? Mr. Protagonist believes that only those who have fought and risked everything for their nation should be considered full citizens, because they were willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of their nation*. I can see how someone with a fairly black and white view of reality might think this makes sense. But. By fighting in a war you are condoning a war. This means that if the war is ethically wrong, you are doing something ethically reprehensible. So shouldn't it matter what the war is about? (I know. I'm arguing with a dead guy. It's my review, and I'll argue with a dead guy if I want to.)

Heinlein's protagonist also makes an argument about the prison system and how it doesn't actually reform those who do time. I totally agree with him here. Somehow he tries to equate this with an argument that you MUST spank children for them to have a sense of responsibility. Uhh, yeah, back to symbolic logic class with you, Bob.

But moving on...I found it quite interesting how dualistic our protagonist's thinking is when it comes to ALL PEOPLE. F'rinstance, you can't trust a civilian to do a job that requires "fighting spirit;" women are good pilots, all seem to have great smiles, and they're "the reason men fight" (gay men apparently don't exist in this world), but women don't get to fight Bugs wearing those cool spacesuits because, well, they're all sexy and small and fragile and stuff. Then, within the military, the guys who haven't made a jump are lesser than those who have, Protagonist's peeps look down on the Navy and get in fights with them, etc. (He does have a name, but it's a boring one. I prefer calling him Protagonist.)

But then I started wondering if this kind of attitude is necessary for the military to function. I'm too skeptical to EVER join the military, and that has nothing to do with fighting spirit. But maybe, in order to do what they do, soldiers HAVE to feel like they're the best of the best, doing the best thing that could ever be done with their life. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to motivate themselves to jump out of the spaceship and kill the spiders, or guard the border against Mexicans, or defuse bombs in Baghdad, or whatever else might get them killed.

So, reading this book got me thinking about the mindset of this protagonist, and thinking about the soldiers and marines I've known, and...well...maybe as much as I disagree with this mindset, perhaps it's a necessary mindset for someone in the military. And we need a military. So maybe we need some people who think in this dualistic way.

Anyway, this is what Starship Troopers got me thinking about. Part of this Heinlein can take credit for: if this book is any indication, he was more than willing to speak his mind, and he clearly had a lot of ideas. These rambling monologues where Heinlein was channeled through his protagonist were just as entertaining, if not moreso, than the soldiers vs. bugs part of the story. Then again, I'm horribly entertained by Sarah Palin's "political" career, and occasionally read snippets of Ann Coulter's books because her anger is funny. If that doesn't sound like you, you might just find Heinlein's politics annoying.

But I was quite diverted, and I'll be reading more Heinlein soon.

*: (There's some contention on Goodreads about whether or not this is the case, but the way I interpreted the book is that you can only vote if you've joined the military--although you might not have seen combat depending on the job you ended up with. But you were WILLING to go into combat since the military assigned you your job and you didn't get to choose. So you must've been WILLING to be a soldier if you want to vote. So pthbthbthbth!)
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Reading Progress

05/10 page 130
62.5% "I'm loving the book's pace. And, surprisingly, I'm loving Heinlein's crotchety philosophising. Surprisingly entertaining." 1 comment
05/22 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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message 1: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Is this your first Heinlein? I'd recommend sticking to his earlier stuff (The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, The Puppet Masters, Stranger In A Strange Land for pure WTF value). He got crazier as he got older, and not in a good way. Whatever you do, stay far far away from Time Enough For Love and its sequels...


Michael I've heard very good things about The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, so that one will be next if I can find a used copy. Thanks for the advice about his early stuff; I'll start my reading there. I remember your review of Time Enough For Love and thought the book sounded senile/bizarre/insane from your review...honestly, Aerin, I may just have to read it. Or at least one of those crazy Lazarus Long books...you know, the whole principle about slowing down to see a car wreck.

But I'll definitely start with his earlier stuff and save Lazarus for later. Then you can say "I told you so."


message 3: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Well, the Lazarus Long books are certainly... something. I don't blame you for your curiosity, but they're pretty long and may necessitate some brain-bleach at the end. ;)


Michael Ick, I didn't know they were long as well...that might be enough of a deterrant. Unless I can track down a short one in the series. Long, drawn-out, senile books about incest are much less entertaining than short ones.


message 5: by Aerin (new)

Aerin I agree. It's unfortunate that senile people tend to ramble. Time Enough for Love was a good 600 pages. I'd send it your way so at least you wouldn't have to pay for it, but I totally put it in the recycle bin. I figured that paper could go to better uses.


Michael Uh oh, I hope no Heinlein apologists heard that...who knows what kind of crazy shit they'll say!

Yep, that one I'll probably just go to the library for. No use wasting more paper. I have a feeling I'll only want to read it once...unless my affinity for libertarianism and incest is greater than I suspect it is.


message 7: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Meh, it was falling apart anyway. Normally, I'd have given it away, but it seemed to be begging to be put out of its misery. I am sure the hardcore Heinlein fans would consider that no excuse, though. They're scary!

unless my affinity for libertarianism and incest is greater than I suspect it is.

You never know... Heinlein can be oddly convincing. :P


Kat Kennedy Ha! Great review, I feel the same. It's so funny for a story with such little plot - how enjoyable it can be! Even when you disagree with almost every sentiment in there. Explain the incest part to me though - because I really don't recall that coming into the story!


message 9: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Kat - The incest is from another Heinlein book, Time Enough For Love. Written much later, when he was a pervy old man. I've got a review of it here, which explains some of the ick: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Michael Just read your review of Wyrms, Aerin...human-on-wyrm sex? Ol' school sci fi is kinkier than I realized. And full of a lot of people who went batshit.

Yep, Kat, no incest in this one...which is probably because the mom never came into the storyline. The dad was there for a while, but...well, I don't know if Heinlein was into THAT kind of free love.


message 11: by Aerin (new)

Aerin well, I don't know if Heinlein was into THAT kind of free love.

Ha! Now you mention it, I can't remember if he ever discussed homosexuality even in his ode to free love, Stranger in a Strange Land. He certainly discussed everything else. In detail.

And yeah, Wyrms. Card's always been kinky, though. There's some crazy shit in Songmaster too, and some of his short stories are... well, interesting. Oh, and the Gacy-like pedophile in Lost Boys. He's not nearly as bad as late-era Heinlein, though...


Michael I don't know that much about Heinlein, but I expect he'd support the rights of homosexuals...I mean, he was cool with people of all races and religions from what I've read. I imagine he just wasn't as excited by the potential of free love with guys.

Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, though...I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I've only read Ender's Game by Card which lacked kinkiness, but I believe you. Those Mormons are kinky bastards. Just think about Twilight: sixteen year old girl, 150-year old guy. That's dirty. (Twilight fans, please don't correct me on the ages. I'm guesstimating.)


message 13: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Those Mormons are kinky bastards.

At least the ones who write sci-fi/fantasy! Which is possibly just the two of them...


Kat Kennedy Michael not to mention the bestiality (human and werewolf), the incest (those Cullens were all supposed to be brothers and sisters) and the Necrophilia (he's a corpse after all...)


message 15: by Aerin (new)

Aerin And the cross-species pedophilia between the werewolf and baby Cullen!


Kat Kennedy *shudders* PLEASE, Aerin, I'm trying to forget I ever read that...

*Kat heads back to the cupboard where she rocks and cries and tries to mentally recover*


message 17: by Aerin (new)

Aerin I didn't even read it and I still know all the sordid details! (I'm forwarding all my therapy bills to my sister, who told me way more than I'd ever want to know about those books.)


Michael Wow, my mind is blown. Cross-species pedophilia? A werewolf molests a baby? Freud would've had a field day with Meyers.

Which raises the question of why so many people think the story is romantic...Pale old dead guy stalks high school girl, high school girl falls for pale old dead guy, but gets confused when a hot young werewolf enters the picture...that's pretty much as far as I've gone into the story (until the next movie comes out).

I can't wait for the werewolf-on-baby scene. Is that coming up in Eclipse, or will we have to wait for Breaking Dawn?

I'd never thought about the necrophilia angle, actually. Are the vampires supposed to be cold to the touch, or do they magically retain heat? Do they have blood? Ah! I know so little about vampires!


message 19: by Aerin (new)

Aerin I can't wait for the werewolf-on-baby scene. Is that coming up in Eclipse, or will we have to wait for Breaking Dawn?

I believe it's Breaking Dawn. And the werewolf apparently sees the baby, FALLS DESPERATELY IN LOVE, and "imprints" on her which makes sure she will love only him all her life. Hopefully Hollywood will have the good sense to leave this whole horrifying thing out of the movie.

Are the vampires supposed to be cold to the touch, or do they magically retain heat? Do they have blood? Ah! I know so little about vampires!

The vampires in Twilight are cold to the touch and have skin like marble. They're basically walking statues. Which is apparently the sort of thing Bella goes for.


Michael The imprinting thing is hilarious! Wow.

Cold to the touch and skin like marble, huh? I guess different aesthetics appeal to different people, but that really doesn't sound hot to me.

Okay, I'm in the Jacob camp now.

Oh, wait, he fell in love with the baby. Shit.

Maybe she should date humans. I'm in the Bella dating humans from now on camp.


message 21: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Maybe she should date humans. I'm in the Bella dating humans from now on camp.

For serious. Edward and Jacob BOTH sound uber-creepy.


Kat Kennedy Aerin wrote:

For serious. Edward and Jacob BOTH sound uber-creepy."


Yeah - it is. I suppose Edward brings new meaning to "rock hard" but... ew, no.

All this suddenly makes Heinlein's rambling about civilian vs citizen rights so much more realistic. When you compare it to mutant spawn dating a pedobear version of a Werewolf.

Just can't wait for the part in Breaking Dawn where Edward tears the unborn Mutant Spawn out of Bella's womb WITH HIS TEETH! Now that's going to be super awesome to watch...


Michael "Yeah - it is. I suppose Edward brings new meaning to "rock hard" but... ew, no."


Thanks a lot, Kat, I just shot water out my nose at work.


message 24: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "By fighting in a war you are condoning a war. This means that if the war is ethically wrong, you are doing something ethically reprehensible."

I can't agree. Consider (1) someone who has been drafted, and (2) someone who volunteered to serve in a standing peacetime army, then before his/her service concludes, the country engages in war and orders him/her to the front. In neither case is the individual's consent to fight sought, nor is the individual's opinion of the war solicited. My father was in the first category; he was drafted and forced to fight in Vietnam. I find much about the Vietnam war ethically objectionable, but I don't find my father ethically objectionable for having fought, when he wasn't given a choice in the matter.

Additionally, consider the case of someone who volunteers to serve during wartime, believing the war to be just based upon the facts available to that individual. If those facts later turn out to be incomplete and/or inaccurate, has the individual engaged in a ethically reprehensible act?

"...then I started wondering if this kind of attitude is necessary for the military to function. I'm too skeptical to EVER join the military, and that has nothing to do with fighting spirit."

I completely get you there, however. I would wash out of boot camp in a week for asking too many questions and saying things like: "actually, sir, I'm not a maggot and a loser. I'm pretty successful, so from my point of view you are the loser." Upon which the drill sergeant breaks my nose and perhaps other pieces of my anatomy, and I'm sent to the infirmary to the sound of cheers and jeers.

"But maybe, in order to do what they do, soldiers HAVE to feel like they're the best of the best, doing the best thing that could ever be done with their life."

That's probably the case. It's certainly the case with every soldier and ex-soldier I've known. (Except my father. He resents the military for setting his life back several years. But, again, he was drafted.) It's also the case with ALL of the cops and ex-cops I've met. But my opinion of the type of personality that tends to join local law enforcement in disproportionate numbers is a subject for another time.


Michael Good points all around, Ian.

"Consider (1) someone who has been drafted..."

Your father's situation is definitely different than the ones I was thinking about because he didn't choose to become involved in the military. He can't be faulted for getting dragged into the situation against his will.

"(2) someone who volunteered to serve in a standing peacetime army, then before his/her service concludes, the country engages in war and orders him/her to the front."

This one I don't think the person involved is off the hook. The purpose of the army is to engage in combat, and if someone joins when no combat is taking place, they don't have the right to complain about getting called in for duty if war breaks out. The goal of the army is to defend and/or attack whenever asked to do either, not just to send people through boot camp and then pay for their college.

To me, this is the equivalent of accepting any job under the assumption that you won't be called on to ACTUALLY DO the job.

"consider the case of someone who volunteers to serve during wartime, believing the war to be just based upon the facts available to that individual. If those facts later turn out to be incomplete and/or inaccurate, has the individual engaged in a ethically reprehensible act?"

Well, this is also a good point, and I'm sure this happens a lot. I think this really depends on your take on how ethics works: does good come from the motivation behind the action (as Kant would argue) or is an action objectively positive or negative? (It's obviously not this black and white, but for the sake of argument.) I think both are important factors, and I would never go up to person number 3 and say "What you did was evil" or anything...but, from an objective standpoint, is it reprehensible that we have missiles accidentally hitting residential parts of Baghdad? Well, yes. And someone fired them, and someone else built them, and someone sent the soldiers there, and someone else voted for the guy who sent them there.

A lot of people signed up for the Iraq war before all the info was in on what it was about and why we were there. Are they responsible for their actions? Yes. Is it a shame they can't leave the military when they decide we shouldn't be there? Well, yes, that's horrible, and I wish they could. Doing something negative because of ignorance is understandable, but I wouldn't go as far as saying they're exempt from any responsibility. The guys who crashed the planes into the towers also felt they were doing something positive, and they sure as fuck aren't off the hook in my book.

So, in two of these situations you've listed, Ian, these people are still responsible for being there because they made that choice freely. Perhaps they signed up before any war was on, and they expected they'd be called on to defend the nation from real threats. I don't think many people would say they are bad for doing what they're required to do, but I still think they're responsible for their actions. In politics and war, it's pretty easy to shrug the responsibility off on someone else. But I think we ALL are a little accountable for what this country does, even those of us who go about our normal lives and don't think about the fact that we're currently at war on two different fronts with neither of these wars showing any sign of ending.


Ronald Great review Michael! I find myself agreeing with all of your points. My main contention with the book (and jingoism in general) is the whole "Do your duty, the only way to prove you care about your nation/race/whatever is to join the army and maim and kill in whatever war happens to be underway right now!". The Nazis did the same thing and we all know how that turned out, both for the world AND for them, they inadvertently whacked up their whole country for quite a long time. Sometimes the responsible thing to do is to say "NO, I will NOT support this". If the Germans of the early 20th century had said as much, then Hitler would have been only one powerless man, spouting off at passersby in the street.

Then again as you said, a military is usually necessary (simply because even if we were enlightened, we can't count on everyone else to be the same way, unfortunately), and perhaps, as you said, it does take a certain degree of belief that what you are doing is always the right thing (trusting in politicians, basically), for better or worse. This seems like a rather large gamble to me though; like you I can't bring myself to kill without being certain beyond a shadow of a doubt why I'm doing it (I could have soldiered in say, WW2, when the plot was pretty obvious, but many wars are not so cut-and-dry).

Anyway, it is still a good book and certainly food for thought.

Heinlein did present some interesting ideas here and I always find myself respecting his opinions even if I don't always agree with all of them. He at least fleshes his ideas out and makes convincing arguments, which is more than can be said for many. The funny thing is that many of his writings contradict Starship Troopers; the character of Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land certainly would not agree with Johnny Rico on most points, and yet they both seem to be mouthpieces for Heinlein, and the books were published within a couple of years of one another. Makes me wonder if sometimes he just felt like playing devil's advocate and arguing for multiple ideologies, if so, he did a heck of a good job. Happy trails!


Michael Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Ronald!

Stranger in a Strange Land is one I still need to read, but somewhere I heard Heinlein say the politics of SIASL were supposed to parody the late-sixties hippie counterculture. Since I haven't read it, this might contradict the book itself--you can't always trust authors to remember their true intentions--but it might indicate why the two ideologies are so different.

When I was a teenager, I actually thought about joining the army because things still seemed very black and white to me. I can remember my mentality at that point, and thinking of wars we were involved in as being waged to truly defend our freedom. (Looking back, it's unfortunate I wasn't taught about Vietnam in such a way to illustrate how fucked up our wars often are.) I was probably more naive than a lot of people because it took until I was in college and started learning about atrocities we were involved in as late as the fifties and sixties on our own citizens that I started realizing how thick a layer of wool had been covering my eyes.

Have you read Job: A Comedy of Justice? That one was his first book, even though it was published much later, and he said it was his expression of his own personal philosophy. He's a very philosophical writer, and like you, I think it's entertaining to think about even though I agree on very few points.


message 28: by Ronald (last edited Aug 07, 2011 11:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ronald I have not read Job, but I will add it to my wishlist on Amazon so as not to forget about it, thank you!

As for Stranger in a Strange Land, it's actually the reverse situation (interestingly enough). It was first published in 1961 and he had been writing it for a good number of years prior to that. If anything it's likely that the late '60s counterculture was loosely based on SIASL (for better or worse, more or less). Granted, from what little I understand of it the hippy era was far from an exact replication of the goings-on in the book (and I mean pretty far -- I don't remember anyone getting stoned in SIASL, and while a "free love" system was practiced in the book, there was a high barrier for entry and it was taken pretty seriously), but apparently much of the base inspiration came from no other than Heinlein himself; the same man who less than 2 years prior had published Starship Troopers.

That's what I found so darned interesting about him, and why I wonder if he didn't just enjoy flip-flopping ideologies between books as a means to provoke open thought. Granted, I'm new to him and still have only read a few of his books (hey, I'm young), but I have more on order and look forward to devouring them. Having read both books though, it annoys me to no end when I see reviewers (whose only exposure to Heinlein is Starship Troopers) rating the book 1 star and calling Heinlein a militaristic fascist, which I find very hard to swallow in light of his other works.

Taken from the Wikipedia article on SIASL:
"While initially a success among science fiction readers, over the following six years word-of-mouth caused sales to build, requiring numerous subsequent printings of the first Putnam edition. The novel has never been out of print. Eventually Stranger in a Strange Land became a cult classic, attracting many readers who would not ordinarily read a work of science fiction. The late-1960s counterculture, popularized by the hippie movement, was influenced by its themes of individual liberty, self-responsibility, sexual freedom, and the influence of organized religion on human culture and government, and adopted the book as something of a manifesto."


Michael Actually, I've still only read a handful of his books, and I don't have the defense of being young :) Other than Starship Troopers, I've read a few of his earlier books--Double Star is a really fun one, by the way--and NONE of his later books. I've owned a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land for a while now, but I still haven't picked it up. I was intensely into Heinlein until I read his first published book, Rocket Ship Galileo, and that one kind of derailed my momentum. I suggest holding off on that one for a while!

I hope you're right about the ideology flip-flopping, although I haven't read enough of his work to see anything presented other than a fairly intense libertarianism. The friends I have who are Heinlein fans consider him a hardcore libertarian...but, this doesn't really say anything about his real views on the military, which I don't see as horribly connected to ideas of personal freedom.

This puts him in a new context for me! Perhaps it's time to read something else by him.


message 30: by Ronald (last edited Aug 11, 2011 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ronald Hehe, well again I don't really know so take anything I say with a grain of salt. Like I said I've only read a couple of his books, so maybe Starship Troopers was the only one that seemed more government-centric and I just haven't realized it yet. In any case many of his books seem to be love 'em or hate 'em. Especially his later work, from what I hear most of it gets kind of whacky and tends to have a polarizing effect on people.


message 31: by Joseph (new) - added it

Joseph I hate to butt in on this circle jerk, but are you fucking kidding me? In most other instances it would be easy (if not also pretentious) to look at the past 50 years with the benefit of hindsight and try to judge as if you were in a position to do so. But at the time communism very much was a threat, and guess what? They viewed us the same way. I'm sure we could turn this into some debate about the Vietnam War or the McCarthy era (interesting side note, 1/3 to 1/2 of key positions in Washing D.C. were infiltrated by the K.G.B. during and after this time), but as internet arguments are a waste of time, let's not.

Anyway, back to this amazing work of political commentary (and by that I mean masturbatory train-wreck). I loved how you tried to work racism into it (killing "brown people" I believe it was), because hey, no anti-american rant would be complete without mentioning how they hate everyone who isn't white, despite being one of the few countries (if not the only) that allows people of color to actually become millionaires and even billionaires (or doctors, lawyers, teachers of every level, politicians and, oh yeah, FUCKING PRESIDENT [Yes, I know there are other countries that allow that last part, but that was more about EQUALITY, just in case you're feeling especially smart-assed]). How many black, brown, red or yellow presidents has Russia had? Just in case, that was rhetorical, they haven't.
Damn it, there it is. Against my original wishes, I've ended up sounding as bitter as you. No stopping it now I guess.

I don't expect this to get through to you. In fact, I'm entirely anticipating some long winded defense that will include:

1. how I'm close-minded and/or a bigot/conservative/republican (I'm not, just so you know; not that it will matter mind you.)

2. I'm wrong and that the US is actually this racist machine that oppresses the poor and minorities. (You get extra points if it's ONLY the US/UK or their allies that are doing it and all the human rights violations and/or atrocities that happen in communist/terrorist/etc. countries is all propaganda.)

3. (And of the three, this is the preferred option) You blow this off entirely and dismiss it because, that just how right you are.

Anyway, do what you want. If you're into getting the last word, it's all yours. Like I said, internet arguments aren't really my thing, though I'm sure if you respond you'll have some quip about that being wrong as well, but whatever. Later.


Michael Instead of doing any of your suggested methods for long-winded defense, I will instead just say I have no fucking idea why you believe anything in your first paragraph is relevant to my review. I am making the point that this book is pro-military, and I don't think you are disputing that. You claim internet arguments aren't your thing, yet you initiated one. I prefer the word "discussion" to "argument," since argument has some negative connotations, but either one works in this context.

I will openly admit the brown people comment was nothing but a joke, riffing on a Bill Hicks joke, who happened to be a Libertarian, not a socialist of any kind. I thought it was funny, but I also didn't expect someone to make such grand assumptions about my beliefs based on one over-the-top review that finally concludes that "we need the military."

If making it clear that I am not a big supporter of the military-industrial complex makes me "anti-American" in your book, then I'm certain you have a very limited view of what constitutes American, and that it would not include many of the positions and beliefs held by people who are citizens of the U.S. I think this is a shame, since terms like "anti-American" shut down debates before they can even begin. But if you'd rather make assumptions about my positions and beliefs and defenses without actually trying to engage me in rational discussion, that's not going to bother me in the least. Have fun trolling.


message 33: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Oh man. How have I never commented on this, one of my all-time favorite reviews, and thereby almost missed a comment that makes it even better?

Big nasty reviewers are attacking our books! Who is to save us?


Michael I dunno, but I certainly hope they have space suits and biceps the size of grapefruits! Or at least tangelos.

I'm going to repost this, just in case yet another commenter gets delete-happy:

I hate to butt in on this circle jerk, but are you fucking kidding me? In most other instances it would be easy (if not also pretentious) to look at the past 50 years with the benefit of hindsight and try to judge as if you were in a position to do so. But at the time communism very much was a threat, and guess what? They viewed us the same way. I'm sure we could turn this into some debate about the Vietnam War or the McCarthy era (interesting side note, 1/3 to 1/2 of key positions in Washing D.C. were infiltrated by the K.G.B. during and after this time), but as internet arguments are a waste of time, let's not.

Anyway, back to this amazing work of political commentary (and by that I mean masturbatory train-wreck). I loved how you tried to work racism into it (killing "brown people" I believe it was), because hey, no anti-american rant would be complete without mentioning how they hate everyone who isn't white, despite being one of the few countries (if not the only) that allows people of color to actually become millionaires and even billionaires (or doctors, lawyers, teachers of every level, politicians and, oh yeah, FUCKING PRESIDENT [Yes, I know there are other countries that allow that last part, but that was more about EQUALITY, just in case you're feeling especially smart-assed]). How many black, brown, red or yellow presidents has Russia had? Just in case, that was rhetorical, they haven't.
Damn it, there it is. Against my original wishes, I've ended up sounding as bitter as you. No stopping it now I guess.

I don't expect this to get through to you. In fact, I'm entirely anticipating some long winded defense that will include:

1. how I'm close-minded and/or a bigot/conservative/republican (I'm not, just so you know; not that it will matter mind you.)

2. I'm wrong and that the US is actually this racist machine that oppresses the poor and minorities. (You get extra points if it's ONLY the US/UK or their allies that are doing it and all the human rights violations and/or atrocities that happen in communist/terrorist/etc. countries is all propaganda.)

3. (And of the three, this is the preferred option) You blow this off entirely and dismiss it because, that just how right you are.

Anyway, do what you want. If you're into getting the last word, it's all yours. Like I said, internet arguments aren't really my thing, though I'm sure if you respond you'll have some quip about that being wrong as well, but whatever. Later.



message 35: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow good call.

I also hope they have big fucking guns. Not the bicep kind.


Michael Well, that goes without saying. Big nasty reviewers can only be killed by shots to the head.


message 37: by Kay (new)

Kay Prell Michael wrote: "Ick, I didn't know they were long as well...that might be enough of a deterrant. Unless I can track down a short one in the series. Long, drawn-out, senile books about incest are much less entert..."

I note that the date on this is 2010, so presumably you've either found the shorter (earlier) Lazarus Long works - or just weren't interested. However, for what it's worth - I believe Lazarus Long makes his first appearance in one of the earlier (squeaky cleaner) novellas entitled "Methuselah's Children."

I think he also appears in another novel under one of Lazarus Long's other names (you live that long, you have to adopt different names); but a quick search of Heinlein's works isn't revealing that one to me.


Michael That's interesting, Kay. I think at one point I even owned that book, although it might've been sold in one of many book purges.

I finally read Stranger in a Strange Land recently, which I enjoyed in some ways and disliked in others. Perhaps that is how I am destined to feel about Heinlein?

Up to this point, I have yet to review it. However, it might be worth it if it earns me another "I hate to butt in on this circle jerk" comment. I've been using that line to start conversations ever since!


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