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 merely name, and the reader discovers this through this narrative.
For those of you who have seen the
film incarnation of this story, simply forget it. It won't aid you in
understanding or predicting the outcome of this book. The tempo,
messages, and level of seriousness are completely different. Most of
you know the pitfalls of watching the movie first, so I implore you to
read this book before seeing the movie. If you have already seen the
movie, as I stated before, forget it.
There is one thing I would
mention that is perhaps the fault of this book. Heinlein shapes a
militaristic, possibly even oppressive society, out of the remaining
nations on earth. He touts the virtues of citizenry only being earned
through dedicated service. At the same time, he manages to skirt by
some of the more practical and realistic attitudes of people. The
society could very well work if it was implemented exactly in the
fashion it is described in his novel, but the transition from our
current societal structure to this system of government is EXTREMELY
unlikely. It takes the edge off of the bold concepts, making this book
only a 4 star.
To end on a positive note I'll say this. When I
finally finished this novel I had a brief spark inside of me. For once
in my entire career, I felt a sense of pride in being a soldier. No
military training, no officer, and certainly no civilian has ever made
me feel as proud of my profession as that novel ha