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Puppet Masters [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 1999
Earth was being invaded by aliens and the top security agencies were helpless: the aliens were controlling the mind of every person they encountered. So it was up to Sam Cavanaugh, secret agent for a powerful and deadly spy network, to find a way to stop them--which meant he had to be invaded himself!


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; Reissue edition (1 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345330145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345330147
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein was the greatest science fiction writer who ever lived. His novels have been translated into every literate language on the globe--over 25 million Heinlein books are in print in this country alone. For five decades, young readers of science fiction discovered Heinlein, then gone on to voraciously devour every Heinlein book they can get their hands on. His now-legendary "Stranger in a Strange Land" was the first hardcover bestseller by a science fiction writer. From 1975 on, every new Heinlein novel made the "New York Times" best-seller list and shipped a million copies, including "The Number of the Beast," "Friday," "Job: A Comedy of Justice," "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls," and "To Sail Beyond the Sunset." In a career spanning half a century, he wrote over forty books, and four of his novels won Hugo Awards, an unequalled record for almost four decades. For the last three generations of readers, Heinlein "is" science fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How does it feel to be a puppet master? 18 Mar 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Were they truly intelligent? By themselves, that is? I don't know and I don't know how we can ever find out..."

While the idea of alien parasites infiltrating humanity is pretty much standard sci-fi now (from Jack Finney to "Stargate SG-1"), Robert Heinlein was pretty early on the concept. And "The Puppet Masters" remains a chilling story to this day -- he wove together some brilliantly vivid writing, some climatic twists, and an intelligent look at how the threat of alien slugs would change our society almost overnight.

Sam (an agent for a top-top-top-secret government organization) accompanies the Old Man and his new partner Mary to a site where a UFO supposedly crashed in rural Iowa. Unfortunately, they soon encounter bizarre gloppy alien creatures that attach themselves to a host's back -- and it turns out that one of them sneaked along with the Old Man's team, back to Washington.

With Iowa completely possessed and the government threatened by alien manipulation, all of humanity suddenly is in danger -- countries start bickering, people become hysterical, and almost everybody is practically naked. As the United States tries to keep the aliens contained, Sam and Mary must find a weakness in the puppet-masters that won't kill the host as well. And the answer may lie long ago in Mary's half-forgotten past...

"The Puppet Masters" is a true classic -- it spawned "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The Faculty" and even a "Star Trek" episode. Not only is a chilling look at a quiet alien invasion via "body-snatching" slugs, it's also a pretty intelligent look at the societal changes that might come from alien parasites -- clothes aren't worn, pets become lethal, and an atmosphere of distrust where anyone may become a possessed killer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How does it feel to be a puppet master? 1 May 2011
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Were they truly intelligent? By themselves, that is? I don't know and I don't know how we can ever find out..."

While the idea of alien parasites infiltrating humanity is pretty much standard sci-fi now (from Jack Finney to "Stargate SG-1"), Robert Heinlein was pretty early on the concept. And "The Puppet Masters" remains a chilling story to this day -- he wove together some brilliantly vivid writing, some climatic twists, and an intelligent look at how the threat of alien slugs would change our society almost overnight.

Sam (an agent for a top-top-top-secret government organization) accompanies the Old Man and his new partner Mary to a site where a UFO supposedly crashed in rural Iowa. Unfortunately, they soon encounter bizarre gloppy alien creatures that attach themselves to a host's back -- and it turns out that one of them sneaked along with the Old Man's team, back to Washington.

With Iowa completely possessed and the government threatened by alien manipulation, all of humanity suddenly is in danger -- countries start bickering, people become hysterical, and almost everybody is practically naked. As the United States tries to keep the aliens contained, Sam and Mary must find a weakness in the puppet-masters that won't kill the host as well. And the answer may lie long ago in Mary's half-forgotten past...

"The Puppet Masters" is a true classic -- it spawned "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The Faculty" and even a "Star Trek" episode. Not only is a chilling look at a quiet alien invasion via "body-snatching" slugs, it's also a pretty intelligent look at the societal changes that might come from alien parasites -- clothes aren't worn, pets become lethal, and an atmosphere of distrust where anyone may become a possessed killer.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifties paranoia at its most sublime 18 Mar 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book exemplifies all that is good about mainstream SF of the Nineteen Fifties and suffers only from minor political incorrectness in terms of male and female stereotyping, and the rather irritating remark made about gay men by the US President; ‘There have always been such unfortunates.’
But then, it was the Fifties and Heinlein was rather on the right wing of the SF stalwarts of the time.
Our hero, Sam Nivens, is a square-jawed All American type who would willingly die to preserve the liberty of America and whose laconic monologue tells the tale of the invasion of the Puppet Masters.
Heinlein’s aliens, a perfect metaphor for what America believed typified the evils of Communism, are a kind of gestalt entity; grey slugs which attach themselves to the backs of humans and take over the mind and body of their hosts. They are sexless, appear to have no individual personalities and exchange information by some form of physical transference when in direct contact with each other.
Just as in Jack Finney's ‘The Body Snatchers’ the aliens ‘infect’ humans by stealth, reinforcing the idea of communism as a plague, contagious, insidious and more than anything else, invisible.
The hosts are literally enslaved by their masters (‘Master’ actually being a term which Sam uses to describe them). Heinlein takes these threats of loss of individuality, the natural fear of disease and the rather disturbing concept of slavery (which is as alive and well today in the guilty American consciousness as it was in Nineteen Fifty One) and parcels them up into a chilling tale of what is essentially a war of ideologies.
The book might well have been stronger if there had at least been some benefit, or purpose to the aliens’ invasion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Entertainment
Heinlein's work falls into several distinct groups, categorised not so much as to what's the book about, but rather how the writer set about trying to achieve his ends. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jon Rosenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting a classic from my youth
As a youngster I devoured all sorts of sci-fi including loads of Heinlein's works, and I was almost certainly too naive then to pick up on a lot of his slightly dodgy world views... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. D. J. Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and on time
I am very happy with this purchase. The book is in great shape and it arrived verry quickly : D
Great product for a great price.
Published 18 months ago by Sara
2.0 out of 5 stars Please Avoid
It's true that nothing dates like science fiction, but some sci fi (such as Pohl and Kornbluth, Philip K Dick and Asimov) can date charmingly. Read more
Published on 29 May 2012 by M. Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars An alien parasite leads us to nirvana, and death
The Puppet Masters by Robert A Heinlein is an intriguing look at possession and the moral arguments for and against slavery, and is written with his usual enlightened-self-interest... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2010 by R. F. Stevens
4.0 out of 5 stars How does it feel... to be a puppet master?
"Were they truly intelligent? By themselves, that is? I don't know and I don't know how we can ever find out... Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2009 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book good film
this book is great its about aliens coming to earth and taking over human bodies. the film stars donald sutherland and that is good too. Read more
Published on 20 May 2003 by "baljitk49"
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