Invasion of the Body Snatchers
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  10,689 ratings  ·  282 reviews
A pretty awesome piece of work - Abel Ferrera

When the local doctor in the sleepy town of Mill Valley in northern California hears a patient's strange complaint that her uncle isn't really her uncle anymore, it's just the start of a descent into a horrific nightmare. As the number of similar stories begins to multiply, Dr Miles Bennell discovers that aliens are silently tak...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published 1999 by Prion Books (first published 1955)
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Community Reviews

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Stephen
2.5 stars. Now before you think I am about to go all RANTBO on this SF classic, let me say almost mostly partially unequivocally, that I did not DISLIKE this book. I mean I don't recall ever having a meltdown moment like this while reading it:
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It’s just that.........WAIT.........back up, I have mispoken as the above is not exactly true. There was one point in the story where DoctorDanny Kauffman, amateur physicist and apparent moron, tells our narrator that the sunlight...SUNLIGHT...shining on...more
Jim
This is a real blast from the past & held up very well over the years. Sure, there are a few real liberties taken with science, but the doctor making house calls was more jarring to me. That was pretty much gone by the 1970's when this futuristic story was to take place, but otherwise it wasn't too dated. There were a few science elements that really strained my suspension of belief, but I found it easy enough to roll with them for the story's sake.

I've read this before, but it's been decade...more
Simon
Having not seen the film version though still having a vague idea what it was about, I was pleasantly surprised by this story. Thoroughly engaging and exciting right from the start, it is one of those books that draws you in, pulls you inexorably on and spits you out at the end.

This book tells of a kind of insidious horror that would leave us helpless, paranoid about our closest friends and family and questioning our own sanity. If someone you know looks the same, talks the same, remembers every...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
A pretty sinister book, this, containing some really creepy moments. It also happens to be written quite well, so, it goes without saying that I enjoyed it. Another forerunner of modern horror, The Body Snatchers, along with I Am Legend, pretty much set the stage for modern paranormal horror a la King, Koontz and co. Both of these books happen to be in the Science Fiction Masterworks series, as well.

There is some oddball science in here, but come on! It was written in the fifties, and still carr...more
Benjamin
Originally printed in Collier's in 1954 as The Body Snatchers (and rewritten in 1978 as Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Jack Finney's novel is more famous for its 3+ movie versions (1954, directed by Don Siegel, 1978, starring Donald Sutherland, 2007, as Invasion), and in those versions, famous for the ease with which people read into it: it's about the horrors of Communism!; it's about the conformity of the suburbs!; it's about the terrors of McCarthyism!

Honestly, I don't know if any of those...more
Eric
I recently got into some squabbles on the Internet Movie Database about the original, 1956 film adaptation of this novel (which was first known as simply "The Body Snatchers"), and decided I was way overdue to read the source. As a defender of the film I'm an increasingly lonely voice, especially since my contention is that most viewers interpret it as an "anti-communist allegory" simply because they've been told that's what it is by revisionist movie critics, who like to see such allegories in...more
Ben Winch
I love this story. In neither film nor book version is it perfect, but there's the kernal of something here that seems to me a modern archetype - something like Camus's The Plague but with the added intrigue that the plague in question is - or almost is - invisible. Add to this the nostalgic 50s Northern Californian small-town setting and the sense of a vanishing culture and you have something truly haunting. As to the book itself, it's workmanlike, well-crafted, warm-hearted and, though it empl...more
Aric Cushing
Fun, but a quick pulp novel on a Sunday afternoon. Reads like a Jim Thompson novel, with great flashes of horror. The idea here is what really persists, and very few great science fiction ideas are really ever perpetuated.
Tanabrus
La storia è interessante: Miles, il protagonista, è un medico in una cittadina piccola e sperduta dell'America.
I suoi problemi cominciano quando torna in città una sua vecchia compagna, Becky, che lo prega di visitare sua cugina. La donna infatti pare fermamente convinta che i suoi genitori non siano più loro. Riconosce che siano identici fisicamente fino in ogni minimo dettaglio, e che ricordino ogin cosa del passato. Ma c'è qualcosa che le ha fatto comprendere la tremenda verità, qualcosa che...more
Roberto
Sep 27, 2007 Roberto rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alexis and fans of Alien invasions
I loved the movies that came from this novel. I was curious of the roots and I decided to get the book.
It took a while but when I got it, I couldn't stop reading it. The readers see the relationship between Miles Bennell and Becky Driscoll grow. Oh yeah, there was also an alien invasion...
The idea of losing your humanity and feelings to an unseen force. The original black and white film was pretty accurate in most cases. The 1978 film with Donald Sutherland was more of a social commentary with m...more
Blake
When some questionable science stacks on top of some questionable(r) character motivation you soon have a tower of unbelievability, but before this one can topple over it manages to earn respect for its cozy setting, warm sensibilities and most of all for its vivid and clarified attention to the more minute and homely horrors that pervade its view.

Probably the most regretful criticism to lodge is that the message of the novel that claims to celebrate humanity can more properly be said to celebra...more
Max
It's difficult to understand what qualifies some novels as 'classics', either in their genre or as literature in general. Take Body Snatchers as an example, as literature it's definitely not up there with other contemporary classics due to its rather stunted characters and cheesy dialogue.
What I think qualifies this novel however, is that it perfectly captures the postwar feeling of unease and general distrust - of strangers and the unknown but also the possibility of ones' own peers having secr...more
Treplovski
Oct 13, 2008 Treplovski rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YOU! What are you waiting for, ya CHICKEN?
First of all, it was just "The Body Snatchers," short and punchy. Moviemakers tacked on "Invasion," in case there was any doubt.

And while the movie and its remakes have been campy low-rent horror, Finney's book is just plain terrifying.

A good companion piece, another book made into a far inferior movie, is John Wyndham's "Day of the Triffids." Read 'em back-to-back.

BWAhahahahaaaaaaa!
Mike (the Paladin)
Another great read form SFs past. I love this book (and admit part of that may be that it's from my youth and part of the reason I love SF today.)I'd say this one is not to be missed.

Oh, and if you see a movie based on this book, see the 1956 (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) avoid the later one with Donald Southerland (Like you would life stealing alien pods).
Missy
The Basics

There’s a mental epidemic going around Mill Valley. People are saying that their loved ones that they’ve known for years are not the genuine article. That they’re somehow fakes, copies. A frightening idea that becomes even more so when it’s discovered they’re right.

My Thoughts

This book was fun. It was pulpy, old school science fiction. Not a perfect story by any means, as there were a couple of hitches and the writing style wasn’t spectacular and it got cheesy in spots. Yet I enjoyed i...more
Kandice
I love the innocence of science fiction written from the late 40's to about the mid 60's. This was a perfect example of that style. Written in 1955, references were made to the early 70's as the future. It's so entertaining to see how the "future" looked to these writers. We're all familiar with the idea of "pods from space" replacing human beings with- well, who knows what, quietly, quickly, and without a lot of fuss. The whole premise is that someone "get's wise", and tries to stop it.

There we...more
Rita Monticelli
Scroll down for the English version.

Classico senza tempo

Si fa veramente fatica a credere che questo libro di fantascienza sia stato scritto negli anni ’50. Spesso nei romanzi un po’ datati di questo genere si nota il cosiddetto effetto scadenza, che colpisce sia la trama ricca di elementi anacronistici, ma anche e soprattutto lo stile dell’autore (o del traduttore, in questo caso), in cui sono evidenti espressioni che non appartengono alla nostra lingua di tutti i giorni. In maniera del tutto so...more
Alazzar
Everyone has a horror trope or two that scares them more than all the others. I've got a friend who would buy silver bullets if he could, and know an entire family that isn't going anywhere near The Exorcist without a cross and some holy water handy. Some people are afraid of vampires, and some don't like serial killers. Me? I don't like ghosts.

And also body snatchers.

Okay, I don't mean the body snatchers of this book specifically, but anytime a character (or small group of characters) is the la...more
Sandy Cox
The premise is simple - something is wrong with the people in Santa Mira, California. They look the same. They act the same. They even sound the same, but still something is definitely wrong the people of Santa Mira, California. Dr. Bennell, Becky and the Belicec’s are the only people who seem to notice.

So what do they do? How do they fight when they have no idea who the enemy is or what it looks like?

I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it...more
Gav Reads
Synopsis

Becky Driscoll turns up after hours at the consulting rooms of Dr Miles Bennell and tells him that her cousin Wilma doesn’t think that her Uncle Ira is really her Uncle Ira. From there Miles starts to see the sleepy town of Mill Valley differently. As the number of similar stories multiples Miles discovers the horrific truth. Aliens are taking over the bodies and minds of his friends and neighbours.

Comments/Thoughts/Analysis

This is the first book I’m reading as part of my SF Masterworks...more
Anita Rivera
When I first started reading this book I had already seen quite a few movies that were based on it from the original from the '56 and the '78 movies which I love, the '93 which was ok but enjoyable and the awful "Invasion of the Pod People" and "The Invasion" from '07. Each of these movies I think is entertaining in their own right I just prefer some over others and I know others would agree. Now to the book:

I enjoyed the beginning, it was interesting to read something that "started" such a clas...more
Neil
After watching the 1970s version again, I sat down to read this book. I thought I had read it previously, but it turns out I had not. I either read an abbreviated version of it or not the whole thing. Either way, it was an interesting read, although the ending was a bit abrupt. It felt like the book could go on for another chapter or two; maybe the author felt like he had written himself into a box, as it were, and decided to end it as he did.

It has been a quite a while since I watched the 1950s...more
Mark
Here’s another of those names that deserve to be better known, in my opinion. Though Jack Finney is a name you may have heard of, I doubt it’s one that immediately springs to mind in the SF canon, even though Jack was the recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1987, and Time and Again (1970) is often seen as one of the best time travel tales of all time, though not widely known.
And that’s a shame. Jack is one of those authors whose writing has been better well known throu...more
Brendon Schrodinger
I was really not that impressed by The Body Snathchers, which is quite suprising. I guess having watched the movies years ago I was a little immune to the horror of it.

The premise of a physician coming across an alien seed pod invasion in his home town in the 1950s sounds a bit like it might be a Wyndham novel. He would have done a damn better job at this.

The main character is a buffoon. He does not use his medical training or his scientific know-how to try to investigate the problem. He's too b...more
Angie
I know this is classic scifi and that is the problem. I had a really hard time getting through it and it was a fairly short book. I found it very repetitive and the characters dim. I guess that comes with the times. I've seen and read too many good scifi works to be surprised by things and I want my characters to be smart. I understand the 50s would be different. I don't know how many times I was frustrated by the fact that the same thing was said in five different ways one right after the other...more
Jennifer
The Good: I found the novel was better than the Donald Sutherland movie version in that Finney managed to create a increasing sense of tension and paranoia that didn't quite carry over to the big screen. As the story progressed I felt a definite buildup, a feeling of increased risk, that drove my need to finish the novel even though I already knew what happened.

The Bad: While the atmosphere was phenomenally construed, the aliens themselves were a little hard to grasp. Or at least in the way they...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I was desperate for a talking book, and this is what I found at the library, so I listened to it. Written in 1955, it seems so unsophisticated compared to modern sci-fi/horror---almost to the point of being laughable rather than scary. But it held my interest with the exception of a few philosophical meanderings in the dialogue. I did like the way they finally foiled the pod pushers at the end.

I kept thinking I'd seen this film way back in the 80's, but I figured out the one I saw was Night of...more
Jeff
This book completely surprised me. It was very well written and the audiobook was brilliantly narrated.

It completely held me from beginning to end. I mean this sincerely, this book is worthy of a Five Star rating. It's just as terrifying and suspenseful as any thriller such as Jaws or The Shining.

I've seen the 70's movie and it's one of my favorites. I have yet to see the 50's version. Now I must see it. I highly recommend this book, I loved it. It was a great escape and amazingly well written....more
Rafeeq O.
Jack Finney's 1955 The Body Snatchers is an exquisitely terrifying story of alien invasion which, despite the basics of its plot having become cultural tropes in the succeeding decades, remains as suspenseful as the day it was released.

Point of view, style, and setting here work together to make the unbelievable seem completely possible. First-person narrator Dr. Miles Bennell is the perfect character to deliver this story. The small-town doctor is well-educated, of course, and as a lifelong res...more
Estibaliz79
Un clásico del género que, como tal, se centra más en lo psicológico que en lo físico, y que, aunque hoy en día nos pueda parecer un tanto ingenuo y descafeinado en sus planteamientos (poca violencia, a pesar de lo desesperado de las situaciones), tiene el encanto de este tipo de historias pioneras.

Me esperaba algo mucho más 'gore', probablemente influida en mi prejuicio por la adaptación cinematográfica que Ferrara hizo en su día de la novela; una de tantas, por cierto... aunque vaya por delant...more
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Classic Trash: Companion Book: Invasion of the Body Snatchers 3 6 Nov 30, 2012 05:21PM  
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Mr. Finney specialized in thrillers and works of science fiction. Two of his novels, "The Body Snatchers" and "Good Neighbor Sam" became the basis of popular films, but it was "Time and Again" (1970) that won him a devoted following. The novel, about an advertising artist who travels back to the New York of the 1880's, quickly became a cult favorite, beloved especially by New Yorkers for its rich,...more
More about Jack Finney...
Time and Again (Time, #1) From Time to Time (Time, #2) About Time: 12 Short Stories Three by Finney The Third Level

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