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They Walked Like Men
By Clifford D. Simak

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They Walked Like Men

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They Walked Like Men
By Clifford D. Simak
Thorndike Press - Large Print, (2003)
ISBN: 0-7862-5157-3
Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - May 25, 2003

They walked like men, and at first no one recognized them for whom they really were. That is until they revealed themselves to Parker Graves by trying to kill him - and failing...

For an ace newsman like Parker, and despite the fact that he was extremely drunk, it was obvious that something was wrong the moment he noticed the steel-toothed bear trap hidden under the floor outside his apartment door. Had he stepped on the trap, this charming story would have ended before it began. Luckily for us, he dropped his keys and noticed the trap before stepping on it, an event which propelled him into an investigation to discover who was trying to kill him.

Parker's investigation is complicated by a series of seemingly unrelated events that range from a group of teenagers seeing a bunch of bowling ball looking 'things' rolling down the road to a sudden absence of available housing. As Parker soon discovers, a mysterious 'buyer' is buying up all the real estate in the area, and leaving the properties and buildings vacant. Even Parker is not immune, as the mysterious 'buyer' buys up his apartment building and terminates his lease. Where do you go when there is no place vacant, and nothing available to buy at any price?

It soon becomes apparent to Parker that the sinister buyer is an alien conspiracy to legally buy the Earth! The aliens look just like humans, and they appear to have unlimited wealth. Yet, worst of all, no one believes Parker when he uncovers the truth. They think that his 'aliens' are merely the fabrications of a mind that has been all too often exposed to excessive amounts of alcohol. Aided by his girl friend and fellow reporter, Joy Kane, and a talking dog, Parker must wage a one man fight to save to the Earth before the humans unwittingly sell it! The talking dog, by the way, happens to be an alien realtor who feels that the practices being used by his competitors, in regard to how they are buying the Earth, is unethical and he wants them stopped.

They Walked Like Men is a classic work by Clifford D. Simak. The story is well-paced and the unending innovative and unexpected - but very effective! Almost immediately, you will understand what is going on in the story, but you don't know how it is going to end until the - well, the very end. They Walked Like Men is a fun and relaxing book to read. Simak has developed a unique means of conducting an alien invasion, one that is very plausible (assuming you believe that aliens might try to invade the Earth) and one that could very easily succeed if it was ever attempted. They Walked Like Men is an all-around great soft (i.e., nontechnical) science fiction story. It will be especially appreciated by fans of the pulp science fiction stories that were popular in the 1940's and 1950's.


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