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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  15,821 Ratings  ·  559 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
Paperback, 212 pages
Published 1999 by Prion Books (first published 1955)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jason Koivu
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
Wow, this was waaay better than I expected it to be! Hurray for pleasant surprises!

I expected pure pulp. I figured this was a toss-off, dime-store sci-fi novel that benefited from the success of two film versions. I haven't actually sat down and watched either the 1956 or '78 movies (though I have seen The World's End, the Wright/Pegg loose take on it), so the plot hadn't been fully spoiled and reading the book would provide some surprises and a bit of entertainment. I got that and more!

If Invas
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:
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
When my son called last night and asked what I was doing, I told him I had just finished reading Invasion of the Body Snatchers and was thinking of going down the basement to look for seed pods......(he cracked up)

I think everyone pretty much knows this story, and oh what a blast it was reading this sci-fi novel from the past. This super fast-paced work was so much better than I thought it would be and had a far different ending from the movie version I remember. If I was not already familiar wi

4.5 stars!

An excellent story and this narrator, Kristoffer Tabori did it justice.
Joe Valdez
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Invasion of the Body Snatchers landed in the bi-weekly fiction magazine Collier's, which published Jack Finney's story as a three-part serial over consecutive issues beginning in November 1954. Finney had already seen thirty of his short stories run in Good Housekeeping or Collier's, but the response to what was at that time titled The Body Snatchers was huge. At no point since has the "pod person" not been a part of our vernacular, with four feature films and countless spoofs and homages to rem ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, horror, 1audio
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
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
Ben Winch
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: american, pulp, anglo
I love this story. In neither film nor book version is it perfect, but there's the kernel 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
The Behrg
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If we believe that we are just animals, without immortal souls, we are already but one step removed from pod people.”
― Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was one of the first "scary" films I can remember seeing in my youth. It's always been one of my favorites, from concept to story arc to not knowing 'who's good' or 'who's bad,' there's so much to enjoy here. As such, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to read the actual novel.

First off, the writing i
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read 10/23/14
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended for the campy fun of it
Pages: 216
Publisher: Touchstone
Released: originally published in 1955

The other night, I was standing in front of my bookshelves looking for a quick read to curl up with. Something seasonally appropriate that wouldn't mush my brain or try my patience too much. And that's when I saw the yellow and white spine of Invasion of the Body Snatchers staring out at me. To be honest, I'd forgotten that I even had this book. But suddenly, it
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, horror, sf
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
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Small-town Californians, divorced psychologists, pod people
Another one of those classic novels that inspired multiple cult-classic films, but have rarely been read by the people who saw the movie(s).

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a classic "B" movie, and this book is a classic "B" novel. I was not blown away by it, but it's a decent page-turner. Also, it gets extra credit for creating many of the tropes that are now old hat in sci-fi.

Set in Mill Valley, California, the protagonist is a psychologist, recently divorced, who sees several patients in suc
Considering that this book has been filmed no less than four times since its publication in 1955, it is surprising that the original isn't better known. Certainly most people will be aware of the gist of the story - alien space plants come down to Earth and start replicating people with a view to taking over the planet - but many people will be vague on the details.

The story is simply and tensely told from the point of view of a local doctor in a small town in Northern California. There is a mo
Bill Lynas
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the years I think that I have seen every film version of this sci fi story and they range from the superb (1956 & 1978) to the good (1993) to the poor (2007). Finally I've read Jack Finney's original story & I am amazed at how great it turned out to be. The tension he creates is incredible & the dialogue between the characters pulls the reader into the story & makes an unbelievable situation seem very credible. What a classic.
Larry Bassett
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listen to this as an audible book which was delightfully and excellently read. It is the story from the 1950s that is far as I can remember I have never experienced. Probably because there is maybe no moral to the story other than man is able to solve any problems that he faces. Or maybe that you should never give up. I loved listening to it.
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although Don Siegel's 1956 film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" has long been a favorite of this viewer--it is, most assuredly, one of the genuine sci-fi champs of the 1950s--it was only very recently that I finally got around to reading Jack Finney's source novel. The occasion was Simon & Schuster's 2015 release of the book's 60th anniversary edition, with a most interesting foreword by author Dean Koontz. Actually, Finney's novel had originally appeared serially in 1954 in "Collier's," a ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Robert Greenberger
The book is set in 1976, 20 years into Jack Finney's future and it's remarkably unchanged. The story of space seeds infesting the Earth and, in order to survive, merge with human hosts, is a chilling concept especially as it is learned that humans are robbed of their imagination and heightened emotions. Narrated by a California doctor, its a gripping, slowly unfolding story.

The editor in me notes that the characters could have done things differently in order to alert the general public but thes
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this as an October Audible deal of the day, I remembered that one of my Goodreads friends had recently given it a great review. So I snatched it up. Thank you, Carol!

What a fast, gripping read! The creepiness and suspense starts right up in the beginning and builds and builds until we can finally exhale at the conclusion. Great sci fi, with an interesting imagining of alien invasion. (Don't fall asleep!)

The social commentary in the book is not overbearing. But this quote really made m
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.
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
Stephen Curran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Lennon
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was a great read. I've seen lots of the movie adaptations so I had an idea of what was going to happen anyway, but that didn't take anything away from the story.
I was concerned that the book was going to feel dated, with it being written in 1955. It's not. This guy was well ahead of his time! Reading this felt the same as reading something written now a days.
Really good read. I know Finney hasn't written much more than this but I will be taking a look at his other stuff.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun fact I learned at the end of this audiobook is that the narrator's father was the director of the original film in 1956. There's an interview with the narrator at the end of the audiobook, discussing his father's experience.

Even though this book was dated in parts, it was still creepy and suspenseful. It made walking the dog a lot more interesting.
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2016
I don't know why I waited so long to read this book! It's much better than the movie.
Khadijah Lautaha
That was interesting. I read this for Book Club and alrhough I don't think I'll ever read it again (just cause it's not really my favorite genre)- I thought it was pretty good. At some points there was a lot of dialogue and I honestly skimmed over a bunch of it, but it was creepy in a way that made me want to keep reading and I appreciated the struggle of the 4 main characters. The struggle was surprisingly easy going; pod people not being aggressive, nothing really happened to Jack and his wife ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this will done but I did have a problem with the pod people and their existence. Any good parasite does not eradicate the host population because that will kill itself as well.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney is a classic horror novel set in 1950’s small town America about strange things in basements with lashings of paranoia.

The story starts off with the doctor of a stereotypical (by today's standards) ‘small town America’. Doctor Miles Bennell gets a patient called Becky Driscoll, who is a former childhood sweetheart, who proceeds to tell him about her cousin Wilma’s belief that her uncle Ira is not actually uncle Ira; he’s some kind of imposter or something equall
I feel kind of silly that I'm blaming a book that inspired a cheesy B movie for being a cheesy B novel.

But... It's cheesy. And the science is lame.

When it started out with a doctor main character, I had hopes that he would heroically try to understand the alien infestation. However, he didn't so much as dissect a dead body. The sum total of his examination was to LOOK at one body - without touching it, no less, not even to turn it over! What's the point of him being a doctor then? It's such a wa
Veramente carino questo breve romanzo di fantascienza, di cui sono sicura di aver visto anche, tanti anni fa, il film che ne è stato tratto, benché non me lo ricordi molto. Non ci sono effetti speciali, né mirabolanti invenzioni tecnologiche, bensì è tutto giocato sui sentimenti di ansia, timore e incertezza di fronte all’ignoto.
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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
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“The human mind searches for cause and effect, always; and we all prefer the weird and thrilling to the dull and commonplace as an answer.” 4 likes
“If we believe that we are just animals, without immortal souls, we are already but one step removed from pod people.” 3 likes
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