One of my favourite guilty pleasure movies is Starship Troopers. It is big dumb fun and something that I have seen countless times. Despite all that, I never knew that it was actually based on a book, let alone a book written in 1959!
The fact of the matter though is that beyond the title and basic premise (humans vs alien bugs) there is not a lot that is similar. They are very different, and to be honest, I think I enjoyed the movie more.
I found the book to be quite disjointed, and it jumped in time several times without clearly explaining that that was what it was doing. I have heard of others describing the book as going deep on things like Social Darwinism, but I dunno, maybe I’m dumb, but it was just flat out boring in places. Maybe the Darwinism was filtering out a simpleton like me from understanding some real or perceived subtext. Many parts of the book are taken up with with long discussions or conversations on war and country and militaristic philosophy, and these parts made my eyes gloss over – not because this doesn’t interest me, but because these parts seemed so different from scenes just a page or so before. It was like a fictional sci-novel had been printed and mixed up by accident in a philosophical non-fiction book. But then again, maybe having only had the movie as my point of reference for many years affected some deeper unknown preconception for me.
Maybe I was expecting a rollicking action novel, but it is definitely not that.