awesome sociopolitical commentary. NOT the same as the movie! some of the characters are the same, but this is much deeper than just kill the bugs
This is one of Heinlein's best "juveniles", although the treatment of war, and why humans fight, were very grown-up indeed. If you have seen the movie and find it somewhat off-putting, don't avoid the book on that account. I have not seen the movie (except for a few scenes), but I don't think it "tracks" the book very well. There is lots of action in the book and a little romance. But it is most of all an exploration of why war, as hideous as it is, may be more acceptable than some alternatives.
This is one of my all-time favorite books! I guess it is due to the time I spent in the Marines. Most of this book is about training in the Mobile Infantry when the hero is in boot camp, and later when the hero is in officer training. This book is about developing leadership and assuming responsibility: to yourself, to your comrades and to society at large. Only a few chapters are concerned with fighting the "Bugs," the aliens seeking to destroy Earth.
Good leadership is a precious commodity, not everyone has it. So I naturally like books about leadership, due to my experience in the service.
The movie of the same name that was supposedly based on this book is a disaster. In fact, if Heinlein had still been alive he would have sued the movie studio for depicting women the way it did and for destroying the characters he so lovingly developed.
This book was one of Heinlein's best. If you read it and like it, then get a copy of "A Citizen of the Galaxy" immediately, as it has a similar premise regarding responsibility to others.
I have read a couple Heinlein books now. I love his writing style. Having seen the movie, I expected the book to be similar but better. This went leaps and bounds beyond my expectations! Heinlein had a lot more to say than "Kill the bugs!"
Really enjoyable and thoughtful.