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What Else Are You Reading? > Starship Troopers?

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message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike | 43 comments Anyone read Starship Troopers? When I was a teenager the movie came out and I loved it! Since then my tastes have matured and I heard the book is much better. After Lies I am looking for a laser read and thought I might try this one as my virgin kindle run...


message 2: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 192 comments i read it a while ago and it was enjoyable enough but i much preferred The Forever War which was very similar but had a bit more to it.

I still think Paul Verhoeven done a very good job with Starship Troopers and made a movie which was more 'popcorn' than the book but very enjoyable.


message 3: by Mike (new)

Mike | 43 comments Just looked up the The Forever War (never heard of it) and noticed it won a Hugo. Thanks for the tip, Pickle, I might look at getting that one instead!


message 4: by Martin (last edited Feb 27, 2012 04:01PM) (new)

Martin (martinc36au) | 80 comments ST is well worth a read. Don't expect the movie - as above, the book has a more serious message (anti-war).

FW has it's highpoints as well.

Read some Iain Banks (Culture) or David Brin (Startide Rising) for some excellent laser.


message 5: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments The beginning is really good. Then there's a lot of political debates in the middle. I should finish it.


message 6: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) ST is a good story though I like "Armor" by John Steakley better...


message 7: by Brad (new)

Brad | 21 comments Starship Troopers is a very good book, and a very good introduction to the works of Robert Heinlein. There's a lot of socio-political stuff in there, but that's who Heinlein was. His books are filled with political philosophy.

In my opinion the movie is a poor adaptation of the book, directed by someone who seems to hold Heinlein's themes in disdain. Just my two cents. :)


message 8: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Holmes | 20 comments Go for it. I really enjoyed the book, although I don't think I have been disappointed by any Heinlein yet.

"Armor" was a good read too, but I think I liked ST more.


message 9: by John (new)

John Ping | 2 comments ST is a quick read, and definitely better than the movie. If you haven't read much military Sci Fi, it's an easy start. Definitely follow it with Armor.

Beyond that, start digging into Baen Publishing - they publish a lot of military SF. I enjoyed the Hammer's Slammers series a lot.

I'll have to add The Forever War to my wishlist.


message 10: by Almira (new)

Almira (Imbre) | 17 comments Starship Troopers is a terrific book...much more personal and internal than the movie. A fairly quick read, too.


message 11: by running_target (new)

running_target (running_t4rg3t) | 52 comments Whether you end up liking it or not it is certainly worth reading, as is Forever War. As stated both are short and both have had an impact on SCI-FI (not Syfy). read it and love it, or hate it, either way you win.

I liked Armor too.


message 12: by Andy (new)

Andy (andy_m) | 311 comments I read Starship Troopers a LONG time ago and I thought that it was a book about how to wage a future war than a coherent story. At least that is what I remember from it. I agree with Kris above that Armor is a much better story about war, alienation, and running from the past. Armor is haunting.


message 13: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments running_target wrote: "Whether you end up liking it or not it is certainly worth reading, as is Forever War. As stated both are short and both have had an impact on SCI-FI (not Syfy). read it and love it, or hate it, eit..."

Sword n' Laser did Forever War a while ago.


message 14: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 185 comments Great book. Confused, but not unenjoyable movie.


message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles | 248 comments It was okay for me.

More like a long, training montage, rather than action adventure. Obviously very different from the movie.


message 16: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 185 comments Yeah. That's because the movie is a two-time misinterpretation of the book. The script misinterpreted it and the director misinterpreted the script.


message 17: by P. Aaron (last edited Jul 21, 2012 03:44PM) (new)

P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments ST may be Heinlein's most problematic book. Amidst a lifetime of libertarian political thought comes this rather cold bit of lifeboat-style statism ("we have to trust the authorities or we all die" etc.) Verhoeven's film read the text as satire, which was a disservice to the original, but maybe the only possible take on what otherwise comes across as a lot of chest-thumping hoo-rah childishness.


message 18: by Alan (new)

Alan | 5 comments Heinlein did a lot of 'what if.' I think that too many people read Starship Troopers, and thought he was saying 'I wish.' Never mistake the statements of a character for the thoughts of an author. After all, this is the guy who wrote Stranger in a Strange Land, and also Moon is a Harsh Mistress, two of the most subversive books around.


message 19: by Michael (last edited Jul 25, 2012 09:09AM) (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments I really like Verhoeven's film. It's a great satire on fascism and militarism, and a welcome counterpart to the blockbuster movies made with military cooperation. The deliberate use of bad actors makes it even more hilarious.
I started listening to the "Starship Troopers" audiobook but stopped after about two hours and went to wikipedia to check up on the themes and topics of the book. Since I didn't really enjoy "Stranger in a Strange Land", I decided to Lem it for now.
("I, Robot" on the other hand was a very pleasant surprise compared to the dismal movie with The Fresh Prince.)


message 20: by P. Aaron (new)

P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Alan wrote: "Heinlein did a lot of 'what if.' I think that too many people read Starship Troopers, and thought he was saying 'I wish.' Never mistake the statements of a character for the thoughts of an author..."


If you read Heinlein's infamous speech in which he advocated preparations for war with communist Russia, or his non-fiction prose on the military, you can find a lot of conflict between his supposed libertarianism and his almost slavish idolatryof the military. It's awfully hard to find a Heinlein protagonist who isn't a professional soldier.

Stranger in a Strange Land is definitely the oddball in his ouvre, I grant you that.


message 21: by Drew (new)

Drew Perry (drewperry) | 9 comments I actually really enjoyed both the book and the film. Although you truthfully have to view them as completely separate works. On the DVD commentary, Paul Verhoeven actually admits to not finishing the book.

Like many folks, I went backwards, seeing the film in my youth and only experiencing the novel once my tastes had matured. (Hey, the movie has a lot going for a teenage boy.) I had known the movie wasn't a true recreation, but it wasn't until I actually read the novel (and LOVED it) that I realized that sentiment wasn't just an understatement, it was a lie. So to me, they are entirely separate entities that I love on their own merit. Starship Troopers 2 and 3, however, are complete and utter drek. I never say "Don't watch that film." But I will say, if you do, I told you so.

Of course the Starship Troopers cartoon was AWESOME! (Really wish they'd finished the last few episodes.) I do have high hopes for the upcoming CGI film, although the first few trailers look to be expansions on Verhoeven's film rather than Heinlein's. /fingers crossed.

TRIVIA! The phrase uttered by both Raczak and Rico throughout the film, and parrotted in each film since, "Come on, you apes! You wanta live forever?" was never spoken by either in the novel. Sure, everyone gets called an ape throughout, but that phrase is the first line of the novel quoting an "unknown platoon sergeant" in 1918, and is never spoken again. "The more you know!"


message 22: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1152 comments I agree with Drew. I enjoyed both the book and movie but they're 2 completely different things. The book is fairly serious while I view the movie as an action/comedy. There's also no female characters in the book other than a quick mention of Rico's mother and a girl that that got raped outside the bootcamp.


message 23: by Alan (new)

Alan | 5 comments No female characters, Phil? What about the female officers on the troop transport? Because women were better suited for piloting duties? And his friend Carmen, who became a pilot, was part of the book and not just the movie, although the two of them did not meet again in combat, like they did in the movie. The idea of women pilots was very progressive idea for its time, when it was thought that women could not be warriors. Heinlein made a point that women might not have the body strength to make good infantrymen, but that didn't mean they couldn't perform any military duties. Just like his reveal at the end that Johnny Rico was Juan, and a Phillipino. The only role for Phillipinos in the Navy when Heinlein served was as cooks and stewards, and he made a point of showing how one could be a superb trooper and then officer. Again, it might not be apparent to those who are familiar with today's fully integrated military, but Heinlein had some ideas that were thought very subversive at the time.


message 24: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1152 comments Alan wrote: "No female characters, Phil? What about the female officers on the troop transport? Because women were better suited for piloting duties? And his friend Carmen, who became a pilot, was part of th..."

Sorry, I must have misremembered. Damn my old brain


message 25: by Peter (last edited Aug 05, 2012 01:22AM) (new)

Peter | 142 comments I believe they are remaking the movie closer to Heinlein's book. but I could be wrong.


I loved the book, I too read it years after seeing the movie. Kept hearing how much different and not true to the concepts in the book so I had to read it.


message 26: by Fresno Bob (new)

Fresno Bob | 584 comments If you had watched the movie, they made it a lot easier to remember that there were female troops.....after every mission i kept mentioning how dirty they had gotten and that they needed to hit the showers again


message 27: by Ulmer Ian (last edited Aug 20, 2012 04:16AM) (new)

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments I just loved the Fascist commercials in the movie. Which I guess is the part folks don't like? Since it was making fun of Fascism instead of supporting it?

The rest of the movie was very forgettable, as evidenced by the fact that I don't remember the rest. :)


message 28: by Rik (new)

Rik | 777 comments I really liked the movie.

I think I liked the book but all I really remember at this point is that it was much different than the movie.


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