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Well that was a classic bit of vintage SF Up there with Heinlein s best I would say Aliens are invading earth in a most insidious way and there s no room for compassion or understanding it s them or us For heaven s sake don t try to read anything allegorical into it or you re bound to find issue with itOkay the novel is undeniably dated but it shouldn t ar with most modern readers unless they are sensitive to these things It does feel like a novel jar with most modern readers unless they are particularly sensitive these things It does feel like a novel in the 50 s but it is set several decades in the future which might lead some to criticise Heinlein of failing to anticipate the direction socialtechnological development would take but I think that would be a distraction from the many ualities this book has to offerRead it for what it is a period SF piece full of excitement and suspense It was ust what I needed Alien invasion Fifties paranoia Mind controlAfter a visit to the British Library s Out of this World Exhibition in London I was suddenly reminded that I hadn t read this Heinlein for a long while And indeed I haven t read it in its uncensored #version which was published in 1990 with the tale increased from about 60 000 words to #which was published in 1990 with the tale increased from about 60 000 words to 000So it was time to revisitPuppet Masters is Heinlein s version of an alien invasion tale written at a time when such tales were popular in film and in prose The tale itself is uite simple Told in the first person Sam Nivens not his real name is working for the US secret service This means different names different places different faces as I find on the first page a blonde in bed with Sam who wasn t there in my original versionHe s assigned with a red headed woman currently named Mary and his boss the Old Man who go to investigate a report of a crashed saucer in Des Moines It is uickly claimed to be a hoax a schoolboy prank reported by an overenthusiastic local news station but there is clearly to it Mary being the typical Heinlein heroine notices she doesn t get a reaction from the adult males that she usually receives the drooling is pretty much left to SamThings develop as Sam and his colleagues uickly discover a secret invasion is going on that seems to suggest the future of the human race is at stake Sam s ob is to stop itThose of you who know Operation Annihilate from Star Trek the Original Series will get an idea of this story and realise how close these tales are I m surprised Heinlein didn t sue franklyBut back to the book What we have here though is a B movie plot written in the Heinlein way with all the good and bad points it entails There is the usual fabulous prose the honed wise cracking comments the drip feeding of all those little neat ideas that Heinlein does so well The plot moves along at a great pace and there s a lot of tension and suspense along the way There s also the use of a typical strong red headed Heinlein gal with all the Hey sister type comments that the Heinlein character usually has attached to it These still ar a little even allowing for the context of the times Though Mary is fast intelligent strong resourceful and than capable there is still a feeling that all she s there for is to serve the needs of our Hero Sam This is not by far the worst example of this by RAH later novels do it much but it is noticea. Ar tikrai šie ateiviai tokie žiaurūs ir kla. Ble in this souped up risu version This is perhaps where I see a transition between the uveniles and say Stranger in a Strange Land this still has the excitement and the pace of the uvies but the addition of the posturing lecture seen in later books such as Stranger #That and the need to get naked Sometimes can mean less and I m reminded of that as #and the need to get naked Sometimes can mean less and I m reminded of that as was when I read the longer version of Stranger in a Strange Land I m in two minds to decide whether this longer Puppet Masters is one of those examples Despite this the tale s an engaging one and must have shook things up a little when first published in 1951 60 years ago There are parts that are uite good for all of my complaints In summary though this is an interesting read an alien invasion story with some intelligence that shows many of Heinlein s strengths but a few of his weaknesses and sadly so in this longer version It is definitely worth reading though it has to be seen as a product of its time I have no problem with dated things I do not hold against a past time its inability to miraculously speak to my present I enjoy trying to crawl into the context of a different reader who may have lived decades or centuries ago and to imagine their responses to what I am readingor to imagine what rules the author tried to follow or break as the case may be I seek this kind of exercise in books art film musicit s one of the many reasons why I dig old stuff So regarding The Puppet Masters I feel compelled to observe that it is not its dated uality that specifically irks me As a work of early science fiction this novel earns a high rank for introducing about a thousand tropes that became par for the course in later scifi novels and films It must have seemed strikingly original to contemporary readers and the story stands up today It has much to recommend it But I will forget for a moment The Puppet Masters status as a science fiction novel and consider it in light of another genre to which it relatesThe Puppet Masters begs comparison not ust with other scifi novels but with the pulp novels that inspired film noir Heinlein portrays the Titanian slug invasion as a mystery to be solved and his characters as the confrontational go to hardboiled even individuals who will get to the bottom of the problem and resolve it come hell or high water It s got the wisecracks the unadorned yet coy dialogue the hero s ethical if not moral ambiguity and it s got a purportedly dangerous female protagonistand in the purportedly lies my beef with The Puppet Masters Mary its female protagonist seems subservient than dangerous and not even subservient in that spoiled brat woman child I m The Last Surrender just doing this to get my way sort of way Though no forward thinking in terms of rewriting the hackneyed gender map at least this latter behavior has some spirit in it for crying out loud I like a good detective novel and I love noir films genres which are riddled with female stereotypes so it s not the sexism of the novel per se that gets me I expect sexism from a novel straight from the 50s whence also many pulp novels and films and so try not to let it overly determine my feel for the work as a whole So it s not the sexism in The Puppet Masters that annoys meit s the kind of sexism What StingiOeigu ie vėl mus užpultų kas tuome. ,

Karšta Speigiračio saulė Tea for Three
The Puppet Masters

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Upsetting about Mary is that Heinlein describes her for the reader through the mouths of his other characters as a deadly assassin a smart cookie a femme fatal He leads us to expect a character of this ilkand then he offers us not Barbara Stanwyck but Donna Reed with an upsetting past Ok she s not uite that bad at least not in the beginning but by the novel s end she makes Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice look like a makes Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice look like a of independent spirit The yes dears and whatever you say dears made me pray Mary would get and stay hagridden as people who play host to a Titanian parasite are called One of the characteristics of pulp and noir that makes the genre so compelling is the uxtaposing of the male protagonist with a female who actually challenges him #she s often evil he usually has to #s often evil He usually has to her And of course those stories perpetuate the whorevirgin dichotomous view of the female gender that is no friend to women but at least these female characters possess agency and independent will They function as foils to the heroes and flesh out those male characters The spirited the female protagonist the stronger the hero That s how this euation works But despite Heinlein s early hints and implications that this is the kind of dynamic he s cultivating Mary does none of the above for Sam the hero of The Puppet Masters And conseuently her shortcomings become his He seems less formidable precisely because he finds no rival of any conseuence in her Heinlein promises this rivalry the first time he introduces her character but he never delivers Mary doesn t need to become host to an alien parasite because she s already hagridden by Sam Evil slug like aliens land on Earth They attach themselves to people and take over their minds After a while everyone has to walk around completely naked so that you can spot the ones who have a slug attached I ust can t understand why Paul Verhoeven didn t film this He could have comb Putting this book down I cannot help wondering if Bob wrote this for the excuse to see at least in his mind a nation wearing no clothesYou see this is about an invasion of body snatchers type event the aliens being large slug like creatures who affix themselves to the hosts skin So one method of finding the insidious creatures is an ordinance where everyone must be nudeClever You are a devil Bob HeinleinFirst published in 1951 this is a couple decades before he took the turnpike exit to weirdville and this is not bad at all but we may be seeing early glimpsesHeinlein took the concept of Invasion of the Body Snatchers Jack Finney s classic Cold War allegory was actually first published in 1955 AFTER Heinlein s continental nudist colony and tooled it to a SF alien invasion for a vehicle to espouse civil libertarian and free will doctrines No doubt Heinlein saw the metaphorical ualities of the concept and made many direct references to life behind the Iron Curtain but his narrative lacks the B movie cool of Finney s workPublished between Farmer in the Sky and The Rolling Stones this is bibliographically in his uvenile period but this has of an adult premise setting and tone Still filled with his inimitable Show Me state charm and his wise cracking similes this is a true Heinlein classic. T pralaimėtųAš ūs Visa vadinamoji žmonij. ,

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