One Year, 100 Books: Starship Troopers
Lonks is officially 25% done with her quest! HOORAH!—Sparkitors
Book #25: Starship Troopers
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Reason for Reading: I wanted to read some Sci-Fi, and this is what my older brother picked out for me.
Quote: I couldn’t chose between two for this book, so I’m just including them both.
“Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can 'pursue happiness' as long as my brain lives—but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it.”
“Let's skip [Mobile Infantry] tradition for a moment. Can you think of anything sillier than being fired out of a spaceship with nothing but mayhem and sudden death at the other end? However, if someone must do this idiotic stunt, do you know a surer way to keep a man keyed up to the point where he is willing than by keeping him constantly reminded that the only good reason why men fight is a living, breathing reality? In a mixed ship [men and women] the last thing a trooper hears before a drop (maybe the last word he ever hears) is a woman's voice, wishing him luck. If you don't think this is important you've probably resigned from the human race.”
Copyright Date: 1958
Length: 263 pages
Genre: Science Fiction War (Does this exist? If it doesn’t, I’m making it up.)
Rating (out of 10 stars): 6 stars
Summary: Juan “Johnnie” Rico never intended to enlist. He simply went along with his best friend as moral support, but suddenly he finds himself being shipped out to the toughest boot camp in Terra: Camp Currie. This book follows the path of a young solider during “The Third Interstellar War” or “The First Interstellar War” or “The Bug War” (historians can’t seem to decide).
Review: Starship Troopers is a phenomenally written piece of literature, but it just wasn’t for me. I don’t read war books. Every time I try, I get lost in utter confusion during the battle scenes and the book becomes more a jumble of words than an actual story. Then things happen like: someone dies and I miss it, the main character’s side wins an important battle and I miss it, or the main character’s side loses an important battle and I miss it. Hence the reason I don’t read war books.
However, there was one thing I really liked about Starship Troopers. The book takes place in a socialist futuristic society that… works! The little World History nerd inside of me was fascinated by the extremely complex system of government Heinlein created for this book. I’m itching to write a paper on the Starship Troopers views on voting and capital punishment, but I’m just going to leave you all with this: there is a reason this book was extremely controversial when it was published in the 1950s.
Recommendation: If you like war books (I’m assuming that there must be at least some of you, since the genre is so big), you need it read Starship Troopers right now. Same instructions if you like to look at different forms of government. Other than that, I don’t know. The book can drag at some bits, make no sense somewhere else, and be fantastic elsewhere. It just depends on whether or not you’re willing to fight for the good stuff.
Sounds pretty interesting to us! Have you read it?
Related post: One Year, 100 Books