Ron Arden's Reviews > The Puppet Masters

The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein
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's review
Jul 26, 2011

Another interesting Heinlein book that reminded me a bit of "Friday". This one centers around a top secret spy organization that's part of the US government. The head of the group, known as the Boss, is a wily old man who has the ear of the US president and is very smart.

He and two of his agents, Sam and Mary, go under cover to investigate reports of a flying saucer landing. It's true, but the invaders have covered it up. It turns out the invaders are slugs from Saturn's moon Titan. They are large parasites that attach themselves to the top of the spine on a victim's back. The people, and later animals, are the hosts for the new "masters". The masters control the humans and give them a feeling of euphoria as they manipulate the hosts.

Fighting the masters is a challenging job that creates some rather interesting new rules of etiquette. The US president through a series of congressional actions require everyone to first show a bare back, so that everyone knows if a person is infected. The masters adapt and eventually these orders require people to strip naked.

The story and action kept me interested, but at points I was just waiting for the inevitable overthrow of the slugs. The last few chapters made me think of what might really be out there, especially with Stephen Hawking's recent statements that humans shouldn't go searching for aliens. They might not be very friendly.

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