The puppet masters

mass market paperback, 340 pages

English language

Published Sept. 27, 1990 by Ballantine.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (2 reviews)

First came the news that a flying saucer had landed in Iowa. Then came the announcement that the whole thing was a hoax. End of story. Case closed.

Except that two agents of the most secret intelligence agency in the U.S. government were on the scene and disappeared without reporting back. Then four more follow up agents also disappeared. So the head of the agency and his two top agents went in and managed to get out with their discovery: an invasion is underway by slug-like aliens who can touch a human and completely control his or her mind. What the humans know, they know. What the slugs want, no matter what, the human will do. And most of Iowa is already under their control.

Sam Cavanaugh was one of the agents who discovered the truth. Unfortunately, that was just before he was taken over by one of the aliens …

17 editions

Review of 'The Puppet Masters' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

One of his more popular, non-Future History books, this is a decent read (or listen, as I did). Heinlein plays on the common human fears of alien cultures, invasion and a sudden suspension of the ability to control one's own free will. The plot has been redone many times (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc.), but none as good as Heinlein's original.

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3 stars


  • Science fiction