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‘Starship Troopers’ was not a book that one had any intention to read.
The blurb made it abundantly clear it was about boot camp and killing insectoid aliens in great quantities and the antithesis of everything that represents fine literature. To one, such as oneself, raised upon more the most sophisticated themes and rarified tomes by She Whose Name One Is Unfit To Mention, it seemed like being asked to enter into a rugby scrum only after ensuring two weeks of torrential rain have softened the pitch.
So why would I do such a thing? One hears the single nonplused warble resonating from my myriad readers. You can be sure, gentle people, it was through no choice of oneself.
This is a cautionary tale that tells how karma always finds a way.
Last month I was prevailed upon to join the local literati gathering – or ‘Ben’s Book Club’ as it is is listed on the Community Centre noticeboard. Mumsie had declared that it would be of great value to my own written words were I to take more time to peruse those of others. She also threatened to evict me from my writing sanctuary and turn it into a hell-hole brewery for her own vile alcoholic distillations if I refused.
So, perforce, enforced by force majeur, I went. The torrid event occupies an entire afternoon each week, filled with in-depth and avid discussion and dissection. Then, once the local gossip is dealt with, the group spends a few minutes at the end considering whatever book Ben has chosen for the week and being assigned one to read for the next. The first week I went it was Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein.
A young man goes to boot camp and learns how to fight insectoid aliens so he can vote. The rest of the book describes the fighting. Spoiler: he doesn’t vote at the end of the book.
Stars: Four – for allowing me to learn sufficient juicy gossip from Ben’s Book Club members to blackmail Mumsie into letting me keep my writing sanctuary.