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Invasion of the Body Snatchers Paperback – April 6, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Admittedly other reviewers summed this book up better than I, which I attribute partly to my not wanting to give any plot away (for those Amazonians that have not had the pleasure of reading this book yet), and partly because as one reviewer pointed out the alien invasion plot was hardly original even at the time of this title's publication. Writers of Finney's era seemed to thrive on metaphorically writing about the "red" threat of communism.
Finney may not have been the first or last to write on the theme but he did an exceptional job re-visiting other author's alien plots and using his unique style and imagination to write perhaps the seminal novel on the subject. From the opening pages I was scared. Reading each paragraph with a mounting sense of dread as Finney did an excellent job pacing his novel.
Certain scenes jumped out in this relatively thin tome(compared to some horror novels Body Snatchers is almost a novella with an economy of words to do the job of scaring readers) placed within the story for maximum effect. When Miles, and Jack discovered the "blank" slate of a body in Jack's basement I thought "oh sh*t" presumably as Finney intended I should.
As stated this isn't longest horror novel ever and there was no need for it to have been. Finney uses the perfect amount of words to tell his open ended tale of alien takeover elegently and with such an influx of paranoia in the text I reflected upone completion "they sure don't write them like that anymore but I wish they did."
In summation a classic in the genre in the purest sense of the phrase.
This story has been retold many times (the 50's serial, book, and movie; the retellings of both in the 70's; and that God-awful 1992 movie). The pure HORROR of its concept is so universal that the term "body snatcher" is used worldwide. Beware the pods: there are places in YOUR house they might hide.
This novel is one of the best I've read. It combines decent (though sometimes stereotypical) characters with unbelievably tense action and story twists (not plot twists, though you might not be able to predict this one). The characters are believably human and the important loose ends are explained; Mr. Finney himself tells you that not all of them will be, which makes for an even better story.
If you haven't seen the 1978 movie with Donald Sutherland:
1. You MUST see it. Don't drink much beforehand.
2. Don't expect the same story as the book; in fact, they're two opposed tellings of a wonderful horror concept.
Dr. Miles Bennell receives an odd patient from his old ex-girlfriend Becky: Her cousin Wilma is making bizarre claims about her relatives. She claims that while they look, talk, dress and act just like Uncle Ira and Aunt Aleda, they are fakes. Miles talks with Wilma, but she doesn't show any typical signs of insanity. What's more, other people are insisting similar things about their friends and family -- that they seem just the same, but that they aren't themselves.
Then things get more complicated. Miles's pal Jack and his wife Theodora have an "unfinished" person in their basement, a never-been-alive-and-not-living-now human being that is slowly turning into a duplicate of the real person. Growing out of alien pods that have migrated to our planet, the pod people are slowly and seductively working over the town -- and they will soon have the entire world.
This now-classic SF book was published in the 1950s, before the advent of space opera and Star Wars. (It also has a noteworthy resemblance to Robert Heinlein's "Puppet Masters," a similar book published four years before) Finney's book can be a bit dated in places -- for example the female characters are kind of wimpy -- they tend to get hysterical and follow the level-headed manly men. Fortunately these flaws are few and far between.
The writing and dialogue are solid, not outstanding, but pretty good.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author loosely develops a fascinating concept that later provided a veritable sandbox of inspirations and interpretations for years of analysis. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ryan Sean O'Reilly
I don't know why I waited so long!!! Even better then the movie. And a great forward by Dean Koontz! Can't beat that!Published 1 month ago by HAR
Nice writing style. Interesting story. I loved the explanation given for the arrival of the aliens.Published 1 month ago by h5x988p
Actual rating 3.5 stars.
‘The Body Snatchers’ has stood the test of time, from being written in 1955, it still managed to draw me in with its creepiness. Read more
A fun read if you love the classics! Great because it is a bit different from the movie...Published 4 months ago by Kim DeFrance