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Publisher's Summary

Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

©1959 by Robert A. Heinlein (P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the critics say

  • Hugo Award, 1960

What listeners say about Starship Troopers

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

great book-bad audio

this is the first audiobook where I actually got so frustrated at the pacing. the narrator speaks at a fairly slow pace most of the time, often with long pauses in between, then will suddenly speed up to a normal pace for a paragraph, then switch back. also maybe once in a while it's acceptable to have bad edits (that were obviously recorded using different equipment) but this book had so many bad cuts and edits where the audio quality changed for a single word or sentence and it was not only annoying but actually sound so different I'd swear it's a whole other person.

like I said once or twice would be no big deal but this book had more bad cuts in a single chapter then I would consider acceptable in a 5 part series.

the book itself is great though, if your hoping for an action-packed sci-fi novel version of the starship troopers movie you'll be very disappointed, it is much too real to be 'exciting' for anybody without a genuine interest in all the work that goes in to training a preparing both a soldier, and eventually an officer.

I've heard alot of people claim this is the only sci-fi novel on the suggested reading list for westpoint students and I'm not surprised.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story but recording issues

Starship Troopers is a classic but the recording really bothered me. They had a different voice record over missing parts which was annoying and the censored some of the book which was irritating to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Audio wonky

This is one of my favourite novels of all time. It speaks about war and humanity and leadership. It’s still relevant today, maybe even more so than in the last few decades.

The only negative comment it have is that there are lots of spots where the dubbing doesn’t match and the narrator’s voice gets muffled and wonky. A re-recording would do a world of good.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you’ve only seen the movie...

...you don’t know the story.

Classic piece of military sci-fi.

Good performance, but the editing together of recordings from different sessions is a bit jarring.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

The way Heinlein weaves political theory into an intricate sci-fi story is masterful. Service guarantees citizenship.

On the comments about the inconsistent audio cut ins, yeah, they are a little off-putting but the performance otherwise was done extremely well. They aren't very prevalent and usually only last a couple of seconds.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book Bad audio

The story is very good as it gives a very detailed insight into the military. What it lacks is an audio to match. Inconsistent volume from the narrator made it jarring at times to follow the story. That said, soldier on as the story is worth it

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great listen, and a good story.

While I did thoroughly enjoy listening to this, and normally I would grant it 5 stars across the board. There were seemingly random quality changes throughout the story. The changes were only for a few sentences at a time, but its was very noticeable.

I do recommend this story to all those who who like space sci-fi, that's grounded in a bit of realism.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great story Little dated

you can tell the age of the book with some of the terminology used. stories a little anticlimactic at the end I expected a little bit more but really all in all a very well put together book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A thought provoking surprise.

having only ever watched the movie I was surprised at the depth of the book.
There is a TON more here, making the movie feel more like a cartoon and the book more like a discussion on the morality of a militarized society.
10/10 will fuel my conversations for a long time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book with some audio issues

This is an amazing book. Hands down my favourite book dealing with political science philosophy. The narration is good too, but there are areas where the audio has been dubbed over with a much lower quality reading and it's kind of annoying. It's like they redid parts of it and instead of using a studio mic he just said them over a cellphone.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2006-06-28

My favorite book ever

This is my favorite fiction book ever, and the only book that comes in a close second is Ender's Game. I loved "Starship Troopers" the first time that I read it at 13 years old, and I really loved listening to the audio recording 14 years later at 27. I drove around and wasted exhorbitant amounts of gas just so I could continue listening to it. It was nice. I reccommend this book to any person 13 years of age or above.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geoff
  • 2016-08-13

Book is awesome. Narration was MIND-NUMBING

This story is Heinlein's finest. The story that is written, is unlike the horrible Hollywood production. The book is so good. The movie not so much.
I wanted to love listening to it, HOWEVER, the narrator was one of the worst I've heard one audible. He has no emotion whatsoever in his reading. He pauses where there shouldn't be a pause. When there are moments you know it would be intense, he still just dribbles on in his boring-nonemotional-monotone voice. I had to shut it off because its basically unlistenable. If I could get a refund for this audio book I would.
So with that said, buy the book and read it yourself, don't get this audio version.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cather
  • 2005-11-18

A Science Fiction Classic

As other people have pointed out, the movie "based on" this book really wasn't. A few of the concepts made it into the movie, but only in passing. The real problem is that if you see the movie, you're expecting a sci-fi action movie of bugs and guns, and that's not what this book is.

This is a Heinlein novel, and he's doing here what he does best: take a concept, and explore it through fiction. Many people have assumed that Heinlein is a fascist because of the world he created here, but I don't think they got the point. Unlike many Heinlein novels, this is a book for adults, and it requires thinking about what's being said.

This only gets four stars because of the reading. I think Lloyd James does a pretty good job here, but the long pauses get annoying. I kept thinking I'd bumped my iPod. Still, I recommend it.

54 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • B. Cox
  • 2013-10-12

Bad overdubs

Any additional comments?

Recording was mostly good, except for occasional sentences or paragraphs that were overdubbed and sounded awful - muffled, and possibly even a different narrator.

63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2008-08-20

Well Aged Heinlein

I had not read Starship Troopers in many years. Many of Heinlein's books have not aged very well, but this has aged quite well. This book has quite a lot of moral philosophy and social commentary, and a bit of humor, science fiction and action adventure. The main character is well developed, and the events interesting and fun. I enjoyed this listen quite a bit. This has little in common with the very bad movie.

58 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • The Kindler
  • 2015-05-15

My favorite Heilein Book

Any additional comments?

This is just a great book. There are a lot of interesting points of view given and even if you don't agree with them they are still thought provoking ideas.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms Letty
  • 2004-12-06

Wonderful, but hold your fire on the narrator

I heartily agree with most of the comments above, but I'd disagree with the negative comments about the narrator. I've heard him read several things and he adapts himself - he's no raw youngster like Johnny Rico the supposed narrator, though he sounds exactly like one on this recording. So good was his reading of the book in this character that I really thought he was around 22. It was only when I heard him read other works that I realised how carefully he'd played the part, and that he is actually considerably older.

As for the book itself: wonderful. And the other comments are, IMHO, absolutely right - ie it knocks the film into a cocked hat. A very shallow cocked hat.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gerald
  • 2008-10-25

5 Star Story 1 Star Interpretation. 3 Overall

I love the story. It's well worth reading the actual book. But I cannot recommend the narrator for this one. And I was especially disappointed because the same narrator did such a GREAT job reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But for this book he had a very flat, unemotional voice. And he kept hesitating and pausing in the middle of reading when it was obviously uncalled for. It was almost like he was unsure of himself and kept pausing to figure out how to read the next part. It was very annoying. Read the book - it's full of great ideas. But don't listen to this one.

64 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 2008-03-30

Freedom, Power=Responsibility

A well written space war story told with realistic characters and plot. This is a story of a young man who discovers himself and his place in a free society during an alien race war. Great action and character development with moral lessons that still hit home in the present. Questions like: Should everyone vote even if they don't care? What is the price of freedom? Is our way to handle youth violence based on any reasonable philosophy? Read this to enjoy a good tale or read it to think about human societies? It's good both ways.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 2020-06-14

Better than Verhoeven flick, but still a few bugs!

“To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

A two-act army hard SF. Act 1: basic training. Act 2: war (see Full Metal Jacket). Interspersed is a bit of libertarian philosophy and theories of citizenship. The movie was probably better at plot, the book is better in message. Sometimes I enjoy Heinlein and other times I just like his books. Not his worst and not his best. Hell. Looks like I might have just reviewed the damn book. I'll look over it tomorrow and see what else I was missing. I'm not sure I buy the pro-fascism arguments, but the book is definitely pro-military (this I respond a lot better to Joe Haldeman's book (The Forever War and even a bit of the sexism, but the book came out in 59/60. This isn't exactly a period KNOWN for me writing great feminist genre writing (see Ian Fleming and John D. MacDonald) It isn't a perfect book (thus the 4 stars), but if you are into Hard SciFi, you probably need to read it to gain insight into what came after. I'd still take PKD any day.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • fu75
  • 2019-12-11

Great book but badly read

The story is captivating and very well written. However the reading gets a while to get used to. First of all the narrator is a bit too dispassionate. One can not read a drill sergeant yelling a recruit in the same voice s as dictating a shopping list. Second issue is that in many places the audio is patched in, changing pitch of the voice mid sentence.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Polkaroo
  • 2019-06-26

Interesting social analysis / WTF narration ?

Interesting albeit disturbing social essay.
What's not to love in tis techy SF full of manly humor and morals.
But GOD ! What happened with the narration ? At random, the voice changes completely.
My best guess was that the initial tape got damaged and another narrator had to path up the lost sequences.
That is extremely distracting and always snaps you back to reality.
This SF classic deserves much better.