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Puppet Masters Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (October 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345330145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345330147
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''(Audiobook narrator) James's voice helps build the drama, tension and suspense . . . This is a good scare for horror and science fiction aficionados and young adults.'' --AudioFile --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Like many people, I go way, way back with Heinlein. My very favorite book (and one that stands out in my mind--and with much affection--to this day) is Tunnel in the Sky. I really, really wanted to go off to explore new worlds with a covered wagon and horses, like the hero does at the very end of the book. But one of the nice things about Robert Heinlein is that he's got something for everyone. One of my best friends has a different favorite: Podkayne of Mars. Go figure.
                        --Shelly Shapiro, Executive Editor

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Customer Reviews

I was that invested in the characters and plot, that intrigued by the suspense.
Marina Shankle
Out of all the RAH's I have read I think this one would make the best movie (actually, there is a movie of it, but I've never been able to find it).
Bill R. Moore
The Puppet Masters is classic science fiction from one of the genre's great masters.
Bill Mac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 3, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Aliens take over human minds" was the plot of more than one Star Trek episode -- and of nearly every episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea -- but the concept was still fresh when Heinlein wrote The Puppet Masters. Rarely has it been employed more successfully. Heinlein was a great believer in the rugged individualist's desire and ability to fight for freedom, a feeling he captured brilliantly in The Puppet Masters.

Published in 1951, during the time Heinlein was busy turning out juvenile novels, The Puppet Masters is very much an adult novel. The hero (using the cover name "Sam") openly lusts after a fellow agent, comments upon her physical attributes, considers calling an escort agency, and takes pills to wake up or to sharpen his wits or to extend his sense of time (and enjoys the high). Heinlein had some fun with the obvious way to make sure your neighbor isn't hosting an alien on his back: by presidential order, nudity becomes the required fashion. Daring stuff for 1951!

The story moves quickly, Sam's reluctantly heroic actions are plausible, and Heinlein invests Sam with a full personality -- and an opinionated one, as one expects from a Heinlein hero. The Puppet Masters has more of a thriller feel than some of Heinlein's more cerebral novels. Ignoring the fact that Russia seems less a threat now than it did six decades ago, the novel has aged well, and should retain its appeal to the modern reader.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Baird VINE VOICE on December 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Going in to this book I was skeptical because I had only read one of Heinlein's other books (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) and absolutely hated it. But from the very first chapter "Puppet Masters" had me hooked. The idea - aliens taking over the world by controlling human beings - is by now a cliche, what with Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Faculty and other similar tales out there. But even if the idea seems tired I know that you can like this book, because I thought I was tired of it too. As I said, you get hooked early. It really was hard for me to put this book down in a lot of parts. But what is truly scary about the subject matter is how realistically Heinlein portrays it. The way the aliens move their forces outward, how the characters react, and even the final resolution are all reasonably plausible enough to make you paranoid about crowds of people (but then perhaps I'm just gullible). Outside of the story itself, "Puppet Masters" makes a lot of intelligent statements about our fear of assimilation, and ties in to the Cold War effortlessly. Being far too young to know firsthand the paranoia and fear that people must have lived in, "Puppet Masters" becomes all the more intriguing because it helps show the reader the hysteria that our nation must have felt.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Puppet Masters is one of Heinlein's most entertaining novels. A fairly quick read, it provides a wealth of enjoyment for both young and old alike. The earth is being invaded by hostile alien forces, but few people recognize this fact or choose to believe it for this is no typical invasion. These extraterrestrials are slugs who attach themselves to human hosts, thereby controlling them and giving the appearance of normalcy to those around them (and, more importantly, to typically slow-witted politicians). Our protagonists, mysterious agents of some murky, top-secret government agency in the early 21st century, enter the fray when a flying saucer supposedly lands in Iowa and is quickly proclaimed a hoax. They are soon able to figure out what is actually going on, though, and they manage to convince a reluctant President of the seriousness of the matter. Soon Schedule Bare Back is in force, requiring all citizens to wear nothing (or next to nothing in the case of women) above their waists--slug-invaded hosts bear a discernible hump on their backs where the aliens imbed themselves. These aliens are smart, though, and the government is typically naïve and slow to respond, so eventually the fate of the nation depends on the work of our three heroes.
The protagonists are typically peculiar Heinlein characters. The hard to read Old Man runs the show, while "Sam" and "Mary" conduct much of the field and security work, Mary is a beautiful, mysterious female agent, and naturally Sam immediately falls head over heels in love with her. Together, they identify the means by which the slugs propagate, eventually developing first-hand knowledge of the slugs despite their best intentions and precautions.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was about 13 years old when I read this book in its' first issued paperback form in the late 1950's. The original book cost 35 cents and the cover showed a man making a call from a phone booth while on the background behind him was a flying saucer that had landed. To this day I consider it one of the best science fiction books written. So many concepts were introduced in it, including organ donor banks (which are now reality). The plot built up nicely and held your interest and attention. The characters in it were quite believable and the action exciting. For some reason the "Pass Christian Saucer" line always stuck in my head. Probably since I didn't know where it was until I looked it up. To sum it up briefly, it's a GOOD read!
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