enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters

I read this book about 17-Nov-2014. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1951. This note was last modified Tuesday, 19-May-2015 01:48:11 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


I'm not surprised I haven't re-read this since I started logging. It's never been a strong favorite; not so much because of faults, as because it just hasn't ever connected for me. Possibly the protagonist's complex relationship with his father makes no sense to me, or something.

The version I read is the "uncut" edition. Having read all of them, and read discussions of them, it sounds like Heinlein applied his own final polish in the same pass as he applied editorial revisions, so any "uncut" books lack that. And mostly the editors were right, or not too badly wrong. I have heard people suggest that the difference is biggest in this book, which I suppose means I need to read the cut version soon for comparison purposes (since I certainly can't do it just from memory).

There is, I think, an intention to associate the Titanian slugs with slaveowners generally. "Fundamentally the slugs must be too stupid to keep slaves." That would fit Heinlein's attitudes on the subject of slavery! And, despite the property being valuable, they don't take very good care of it.

The slugs make no sense, of course. That an alien species could so easily invade our bodies and control us, while being able to use our memories...just, no. Can't happen. That's the mark of a closely-evolved parasite, not believable for an alien. Of course our "beliefs" about how similar or different species from different planets would be are completely arbitrary, since we have no actual experience. But there needs to be something pretty strong in play to make them that compatible.


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David Dyer-Bennet