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Inhuman Beings [Mass Market Paperback]

Jerry Carroll
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 12 2012
Private eye Goodwin Armstrong doesn't need a psychic to tell him that when the whole population of a city turns into something else, the gun in his pocket and the brain in his head won't be enough to fight them.

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From Amazon

Jerry Jay Carroll's second novel, Inhuman Beings, is a cynical, hilarious blend of Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick. Former cop Goodwin Armstrong finds his detective agency getting mysteriously muscled out of business, and his only lead is a wacky dame who calls herself Princess Dulay. The princess has detected psychic vibrations indicating that aliens--in a ship the size of a bowling ball--have invaded Earth. It's no joke to Armstrong, as first his fleabag hotel mysteriously explodes, and then his contacts begin to disappear--or worse, start acting very unlike themselves. He can't trust anyone, or anything, as elevators plummet, security cameras swivel to watch his movements, and kamikaze seagulls plunge through skylights to attack him. Carroll's dialogue is witty, his hero engaging, and his story swift-paced. Altogether, Inhuman Beings is a satisfying science fiction adventure that proves to be just as entertaining as Carroll's first novel, the lighthearted fantasy Top Dog. --Blaise Selby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Former cop Goodwin Armstrong, 44, is a divorced San Francisco PI battling the forces of a chain franchise detective agency, Security Concerns, when psychic Ronda Rabin, aka Princess Dulay, hires him. She claims aliens have invaded the U.S. and are planning a hostile takeover. The rest of Carroll's second novel (after Top Dog) is a by-the-numbers run that uncovers the aliens among us in the San Francisco police chief and mayor and their missing wives. Mysterious communication failures, blackouts, a plunging elevator, a seagull attack and assorted arsons preceded by blue flashes bring Armstrong to reporter Gilmore Ford, who steps in to help when it appears the alien takeover is rapidly moving to the White House. Despite a few visually interesting scenes at a Renaissance Fair, and an exciting missile launching into the Atlanta headquarters of Security Concerns, Carroll's narrative loses energy long before its explosive conclusion. Moreover, too many echoes of cinematic/TV models?including Men in Black, Independence Day and The X-Files?drain the originality from this SF mystery/adventure.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book June 4 2004
By Matt
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up a copy of "Inhuman Beings" at a used book store after reading the back cover description. I was expecting a paranoid, gritty, detective story with paranormal tendencies. Instead, it turned out to be a third-rate science fiction / detective story that overused every cliché attached to the genres. I won't bore you with a plot summary, but I will tell you why this book didn't work. The main character is two dimensional and predictable. The plot is thin and full of holes. Clichés run from "the down on his luck detective" to "the all-American, gun wielding president" to "the kindly old man who sacrifices himself for the greater good". The book is mainly dialog driven which gets annoying and scenes jump around faster than a music video. There is nothing original about the dialog and the story (which was stripped straight out of "Invaders of the Body Snatchers") is unrealistic, patronizing, and immature (ex: the main protagonist is given free decision making over military actions because he knew of the "alien menace" first). The author makes excuses for his character's shortcomings through first-person narrative which leads the reader to believe he knew from the start this was a bad venture. I normally don't write bad reviews, but it was the only way I could feel satisfied for the part of my life wasted by reading this. For good hard-boiled sci-fi stories, do yourself a favor and check out some Philip K. Dick or 1940s-60s Sci-Fi short story collections.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Fun July 6 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jerry Jay Carroll's "Inhuman Beings" is a nicely written and highly entertaining novel that moves swiftly from start to finish, despite the fact that the plot is very familiar. It's your basic down and out hero encounters aliens "body snatching" human beings and taking them over as part of a large scale invasion of the planet. I particularly enjoyed the early and middle stages of this novel but was somewhat disappointed with the late stages, as in many ways it degenerated into an "Independence Day"-like finale. But it's lots of fun and if you enjoy this sort of storyline it's worth reading. Certainly better books with basically identical themes are Jack Finney's classic "Body Snatchers" (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) or Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters". Or, if you're looking for a horror twist where a down and out P.I. encounters demons and satanic forces (instead of aliens), William Hjortsberg's "Falling Angel" (the novel on which the film "Angel Heart" was based), or Greg F. Gifune's "Drago Descending" are also terrific reads. Overall, Carroll's "Inhuman Beings" is a fine novel and is certainly worth reading, but if you're looking for the definitive novel of this kind, read Jack Finney's "Body Snatchers" first.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unoriginal. Jan. 28 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read the other two books of Jerry Jay Carroll ("Top Dog", "Dog Eat Dog"), which were far superior. It's not a bad book, really, but if you've read Heinlein's "The puppet masters", or seen the movie "The Arrival", this book will really be a waste of time. It's quite well written and witty as well, but come on - it feels as if I have already read this book - and more than once! It's almost a copy of the mentioned works.. The story? Aliens try to conquer Earth by possessing humans, and our hero, the private investigator Goodwin Armstrong is the only person who is able to stop them. If it sounds familiar, then you're not imagining things.. if it doesn't, then this will be a reasonably amusing book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Top Dog it isn't Sept. 19 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jerry Jay Carroll was a new author to me; so I ordered Top Dog and Inhumam Beings at the same time. I'm glad I read Top Dog first. Inhuman Beings is just another so-so "alien's have landed" yarn. A couple of the characters are interesting; but funny, this book is not. I kept thinking that this is just a book written to catch the eye of Hollywood.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Author of TOP DOG takes on noir & aliens May 22 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author of Top Dog - "Wall Street" meets "The Lord of the Rings" - this time blends film noir with an alien conspiracy theory. Again, he spices things up with a flashy manipulation of sarcasm. Goodwin Armstrong is a typical ex-cop/gumshoe, down on his luck. Just when he thought things could any worse, a survivor of a brutal divorce, Security Concerns, a "Private-Eyes-R-Us," begins to kill his business. His financial situation forces him to take on a case involving a psychic, Princess Dulay. She believes that aliens have invaded, and are taking over people in the San Francisco are. Also, they are killing psychics because they can sense the aliens' presence. Armstrong takes on the case, and through a long and painful process becomes a believer and fighter for the cause.
Carroll manages to take many elements and genres and skillfully blends them into an entertaining plot. Driving his tale is some strong and well-developed characters. Carroll's narrative has the traditional feel of a quest, but with modern dressings. His real strength lies in his ability to create substantial, believable characters that a reader can sink his teeth into. The story elements are not anything new, but he plays them off each other in a clever and invigorating style. Grounding his characters in reality allows his to take the reader deeper into reality. He structures the tale so that it unfolds as memories from Armstrong, whom they are holding in a government type facility. This device allows him to create mystery and build suspense. The result is a fast and fulfilling read.
Jerry Jay Carroll is the reining master of recombinative fiction, a refreshing voice. He not only makes everything old new again, but knows how to plot, develop characters and heat things up.
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