Three word summation: Smoke and mirrors...Maybe that's what "reality" actually is.
Robert Heinlein wrote the classic "Stranger In A Strange Land" as well as a later work, "Job", and I could see thematic elements of both these later novels in "The Unpleasent Profession Of Jonathan Hoag." I started reading sci fi by reading some of my dad's collection of '40's/'50's pulp magazines such "Astounding Stores", "Worlds Of If", "Analog" etc. and this novel was reminiscent of many of those old stores. As I listened to this story unfold, I was picturing an old black and white movie shot in the late 1940's. I always enjoyed those old mysteries! The revelation of what Mr. Hoag actually was up to immediately brought to mind an episode of The Twilight Zone, and a certain Stephen King story which shall remain unnamed because if I named it, you'd have the mystery solved before you read the the book!
My favorite scene was when Ted Randall is brought before The Son's Of The Bird and warned against have any dealings with Mr. Hoag. And of course the last few scenes where what Mr. Hoag has been up to is finally revealed were also very enjoyable.
Having read this book decades ago, my main reaction was the pleasure of rediscovering a good old Robert Heinlein yarn as only R.H. can spin them.
For my money, there are few authors of speculative fiction, living or dead, who have written such a thoroughly enjoyable body of work as Robert Heinlein. I look forward to listening to them all again!
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