An excellent sci-fi war novel from the viewpoint of a grunt. This novel has very little in common with the movie of the same name. This book is more akin to "Platoon" in space than anything else. The reason is because it's essentially Heinlein retelling his experiences island-hopping during WWII with a futuristic twist. One of his best books.
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!"
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.
One of Heinlein's better books in my opinion. Heinlein was excellent at describing future societies and making them seem logical and this book is no exception. It follows the life of Johnny (Juan) Rico as he enrolls in the armed services, which is the only way for anyone to earn a franchis; the right to vote or hold political office. Fascinating glimpses into how that society works with a few pithy comments on why our current society failed. He makes it sound very logical. An excellent story, a real page-turner. Heinlein is truly a Grand-Master of Sci-Fi.
As many others have mentioned this book bears only a passing resemblance to the movie of the same name. Set in the future where citizenship is earned through military service and Earth is under attack from a far off world. What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a soldier? What's it like to be a foot soldier in the military of the future? The social and political commentary make this a fascinating read and Heinlein presents an extraordinary view of what the future military might look like.
Please don't let a horrible movie stop you from reading an excellent book. The book is true to Heinlein's style and addresses the concepts of patriotism, duty, and responsibility, as well as what they mean to different people. Of note is the books take on wars in general and specifically the bug war around which the events of the book are centered; who were the aggressors? Why does the war happen? How does the war affect each of the central characters? Worth reading twice.
Vintage Heinlein - much, much, much better than the stupid movie that came out. Did I say much? Heinlein was a patriot, and very pro-military - but he was never for using the young men and women of the military as cannon fodder, or for putting them through the meat grinder. He makes some real interesting statements here. A must read.
I find it interesting that upon entering the ISBN for this book, I see the cover art has been changed to an image from the movie. Yet the book I'm listing is the original story, not the travesty the movie was. What made the book so much better wasn't necessarily the power suits, though they were sorely missed in the movie. It was the details of the political environment that the Mobile Infantry was defending. Without the political commentary, the movie was just a shell of Heinlein's vision.
It is worth re-emphasizing that this book has almost nothing to do with the movie of the same name, other than a few of the most basic plot points. It is really primarily an exploration of military training and philosophy, with a thin veneer of science fiction. If that interests you, I think you will enjoy the book. I myself found it short on action and long on talk. I've enjoyed other Heinlein books (from his early period, such as The Puppet Masters or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) much more.
Very different from the movie. THe basic premise of a distant war with some intelligent bug race is used as a vehicle by Heinlein to question and explore the concepts of war and the need for a military.
Great read for making you think.
In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe--and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind' most alarming enemy.
This book has been made into a movie recently.