The Puppet Masters

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4 stars (2 reviews)

The Puppet Masters is a 1951 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, in which American secret agents battle parasitic invaders from outer space. It was originally serialized in Galaxy Science Fiction (September, October, and November 1951). The novel evokes a sense of paranoia and Heinlein repeatedly makes explicit the analogy between the mind-controlling parasites and the Communist Russians, echoing the prevailing Second Red Scare in the United States. George Stubbins noted "Two particularly disturbing scenes in The Puppet Masters—the one in which members of the President's privately created Security Service hold at gunpoint the entire membership of both Houses of Congress and proceed to search out the traitors among therm, and that in which armed vigilantes roam the streets in search of traitors and shoot to death with impunity anyone they suspect of being such. Both scenes make sense in the context of the book's Science Fictional …

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Standard Heinlein in a different package

4 stars

Heinlein is always an interesting read with some wacky ideas mixed in. Most of his books seem to revolve around finding some way to turn societal norms upside down, in this case by necessity. His main character's love interest is a typical Heinlein woman, at once impressively capable and submissive, complying with anything her man wants after some brief resistance. I took a long break in the middle of this book before coming back to finish it, so it wasn't as attention grabbing as other Heinlein books I've read.

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3 stars