The Wilk Are Among Us - Isidore Haiblum (1975)

The Wilk Are Among Us is the rather misleading, but funny and eye-catching, title of this rather eccentric but charming book by Isidore Haiblum. The "wilk" are just one of five different alien species that have members stranded on Earth by a bizarre "transmitter malfuction." One of them, the tentacled Leonard, must try to save the planet from the terrible threat of the "wilk," which look like humans, the "nill," and their fearsome mind control powers, the "hunter," with its ability to inflame violence in others, and a mysterious hairy being that no one can identify. Leonard takes on the shape of a wilk-like human and sets off to save the world. The problem is, or rather, one of the problems is, that Leonard's not a solider or even a good field agent, he's a sociologist.

The story plays out with a variety of action-adventure or spy-thriller scenes, with a veneer of science-fiction and some gently funny social commentary mixed in. Fish-out-of-water Leonard faces aliens on Earth and beauracrats with office politics back at "home base." And, of course, humand are disgusting to look at, which doesn't help.

Leonard is a very engaging character, an outer-space nebbishy type, doing what he can while griping about it the whole time. The writing is fast-paced, as is the story, and the whole book just whirls right along. It's not great literature, but it's certainly a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours.

Overall Grade: B

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