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The Monitors

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A Voice From the Sky

Even after the set had been turned off, the T.V. blared the announcement: "Citizens of Earth, I am Tersh Jetterax. It is my pleasure to announce to you that a new government has now taken over the conduct of all public affairs."

And thus the U.S. was in the hands of the Monitors, the strangely polite yellow clad bings whose powers were such that they
Mass Market Paperback, Berkley Medallion X1340, 160 pages
Published December 1966 by Berkley Publishing Company - A Berkley Medallion Book (first published 1966)
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Average rating 3.19  · 
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 ·  84 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Keith Laumer's The Monitors
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 26, 2013

How many people start off their day w/ the intention of writing 3 reviews of SF novels written in the '60s by one author? Knowing that there's no pay involved, knowing that money is going to be very scarce in their life very soon. & listening to the music of Arthur Berger & Edward Burlingame Hill on a CBS Special Service Records Collectors', Modern American Music, Series. Only a fool, someone might say.
Gary Holt
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was not what I was expecting given the jacket summary or the cover. It's pure, hilarious, laugh-out-loud satire--reminiscent of his Retief stories, but in my opinion more funny throughout. (The Retief stories were often funny satire at the beginning, then turned into so-so action-adventures, then back into great satire.) Also unlike the Retief stories, The Monitors is about the United States--slightly dated, now, since it was written in 1966, but most of the stuff he's making fun of ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I was a teenager, years before cable TV, the local TV channels would play old movies all day during the weekend. Those "Flint' movies with James Coburn would show up now and then, old Hammer horror films, Doris Day - Rock Hudson movies, Jerry Lewis movies, Elvis movies, Godzilla, Westerns. All sorts of B movies. Every now and then they would play 'The Monitors', based on this book. I remember it as a very odd movie, though often very funny. I don't think I was old enough to really ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember thinking Laumer's novels were pretty funny back when I was in high school, but even then I was aware that the Cold War politics that formed the basis for most of his satire might date them a bit upon revisiting. Well, the bad news is that, yeah, they do come off as rather dated, but on the other hand that gives them a sort of period charm that's hard to resist. This novel in particular (adapted into a cult film by a bunch of Second City vets in the 70s) fares better than most, and ...more
Al "Tank"
Another of Laumer's "everyone is dumber than a rock" books. It's his usual style, so if you're a Laumer fan, you won't be disappointed. The end is a surprise which was satisfying for me.

Worth a read if you can get hold of a copy.
Muhammad Alfaro
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Old fashioned and lightweight, but still relevant, since the humour focuses on unchanging stereotypes and human stupidity, as exhibited daily in news sources and entertainment media.

It would have been better suited to a short story format than 150+ pages (long novella?) and I am not sure that Harlan Ellison was overly-delighted at it being dedicated to him; Philip K Dick might have beenmore appropriate, in my view.

[Hmmm, I just noticed that a movie was made of this, and is available online - I
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The Monitors is a novel typical of Laumer in the '60s; humorous and opinionated observations of society and politics. It's a very non-serious tale of alien invasion. It hasn't aged as well as much of his other work, and many people would now find some of his race and gender beliefs offensive.
This was fairly typical for Laumer, but a little different. He wrote what you'd expect from 1960s action sci-fi -- lots of fight and chase scenes, stereotyping that is still occasionally funny, and an ever moving plot. Laumer wasn't big on character development, instead focusing on commentary on governments and the general population.

What was different this time around was the overlap in style with his Retief stories -- the "friends" of the good guys are as bad as the baddies. Aliens have
I.F. Adams
Strange. It held my interest, though was very (very) shallow. Follows around a guy who is (sort of) spying on super-humans (sort of on the human part) who just want everyone to get along. Has a few laughs. Dated writing style. Quick read.
May 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, sciencefiction
In spite of the excellently surreal cover, the book itself was a largely dated and unfunny alien invasion comedy and a slow read. If you like Laumer's Bolo stories, this isn't like those at all.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1983 grade C
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John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and a U.S. diplomat. His brother March Laumer was also a writer, known for his adult reinterpretations of the Land of Oz (also mentioned in Keith's The Other Side of Time).

Keith Laumer (aka J.K Laumer, J. Keith Laumer) is best known for his Bolo stories and his
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