BookList – Entry 4: Starship Troopers

I know it’s been quite some time since I did my last review.  It’s not that I haven’t been reading, quite the opposite in fact. My wife and I have been enjoying access to a great library system. I told a friend that going online and requesting holds was like Amazon only I had go to pick them up, a relatively short drive, rather then having them delivered.

I think the reason is that I either read too fast, and move on to the next book too quickly to write a review. Or if I’m in one of my slogging phases (whether I’m busy with other things or reading a difficult book) where it just drags out too long to complete.

I’ll of course try to be better but I’d rather have a gap in my reviews and still be reading then the alternative.

So why this book, why now? Well I won’t get into the reasons that I decided to read Starship Troopers. I’ve read a few Heinlein books before and the way in which he uses “language” as a scientific concept is really interesting. However, my only exposure to this book is from the movie, and while I knew they made a second and third movie, I didn’t expect the volume of such film would reflect highly on the quality of the novel itself.

Let me assure you, this is still every bit the quick read you’d expect it would be. I finished it with just a few nights of effort. However, what I really enjoyed is that it’s much more like one of those thrash out “dialogues” you’d have in a class like “Religion and Moral Philosophy” then some sort of bug zapping hack and smash.

My minor in college allowed me to take a lot of philosophy classes, and I wouldn’t claim to be great at such abstract thinking (it’s really the act of conveying a thought that I find most difficult) but I do love the introspection and the insights you can gain from a good teacher. I happen to have had one at a Summer Scholar’s session I attended and this book brought me back to those sessions.

I think the movie does a good job of conveying the content, though the campy nature of the movie, which I enjoyed, seems opposite of the book’s flow. If you’re looking for an entertaining story which will take you back to the debating days of school then this is the one.

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I'm trying to build something interactive where I can learn from others and hopefully share useful knowledge too.
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2 Responses to BookList – Entry 4: Starship Troopers

  1. jay says:

    Hey Owen,
    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed it. I’ve got a 2 yr old puppy who’s about as close to a neodog as I’d like! She’s already too smart for my own good and I’d still be devastated if something happened to her!

    There’s another Heinlein “book” I read that I can’t think of the name. It was two short stories “back to back” (you literally had to flip the book over and around to read the second). The first one was “meh” but the second was about a woman who gets called in to decipher a code.

    Turns out the code is another language and by just thinking in it she gets “super powers”. It’s hard to describe but just like the rumor that Eskimos have all these words for “snow” or the sad fact that English has only one word for “love”.

    This language was so “dense” in meaning “room” might be “11’x10’x14’x16′ blue square room with two doors at opposing corners” but it didn’t take all those characters to say it. So in effect it speed up her thought processes and just be naming something she would understand it.

    Anyway, that’s really my favorite story of his that I’ve read!

    I’ll have two more reviews for your shortly !

  2. Owen says:

    I’ve got this one sitting on my shelf…. Got it as a gift from some one who’s going to school for philosophy. Was a good read, took me a couple of nights to read it and it wasn’t actually that bad. I do want a neo dog though.

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