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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Film Ink) Paperback – 17 May 1999

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Paperback, 17 May 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Prion Books Ltd; New edition edition (17 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853753408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853753404
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,604,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully inventive story that has spawned three films. Well written sci-fi, the book tells the tale of a small town through the eyes of its young doctor, Miles Bennell. It seems the town is undergoing a drastic change which is as subtle as it is deadly. It seems that all the townspeople are not what they seem. They look the same. They sound the same. Their memories are intact. Still, they are just not the same.
Those who have noticed this, suddenly end up retracting their concerns days later. Something is not right in the town of Mills Valley, and Dr, Bennell knows it. Those large seed pods that are suddenly showing up every where are at the root of it. Their unearthly presence is connected to the profound changes that the people of Mills Valley are undergoing, and Dr. Bennell will stop at nothing to save his beloved town and the world from the invasion of the body snatchers.
This is a great story by a wonderfully inventive writer. Jack Finney is a masterful story teller. He expertly weaves a tale that will keep the reader riveted to the pages of this book. It is no wonder that three films based upon this book have been made, "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), and Body Snatchers (1994). All three are worth watching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Magrath on 25 July 2002
Format: Paperback
It was years ago that I read this book, but it deserves a review nevertheless. I don't recall The Body Snatchers having the same metaphorical underpinnings as the films (the '56 one supposedly being a communist allegory, the '78 film about urban isolation & dehumanisation) but Finney tackles his legendary plot with what can only be described as gusto. All the intricacies of the subject are explored: is it just a paranoid fantasy? how far could the conspiracy have spread? how much danger are we really in? and, of course, the philosophical problem raised by the pod-people themselves - wouldn't mankind be better off if we just gave into them? - making this quite a thoughtful novel, really.
What makes it entertaining though is Finney's ability to express various levels of creeping fear & paranoia, momentary relief and even excitement - Finney's written account of THAT classic scene in the films, the denoument I mean, is as exhilirating as any motion picture.
All in all, good solid science fiction full of thought and thrills, and I am surprised that it is not held in higher esteem. Not a forgotten classic (hence the four stars) but a book worth any SF fan's time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
This was written when sci-fi was basking in the light of it's golden age. While post war America took consumerism and the desire to conform to new heights & communism was the next big threat the sci-fi writers were lifting the rock of society and reporting what they saw, albeit in allegorical tales, but their gaze was both piercing & unflinching.
Jack Finney was in no way the greatest artist amongst them nor was he as inventive as many of his contemporaries but with his classic 'invasion of the body snatchers' he wrote not merely of the political situation of his day, (the mid 1950's), but about those deeply embedded fears and nightmares that haunt us all. Invasion, isolation, transformation & change and above all else death.
The simple premise is of a small town doctor who notices things are not quite as they should be and has his suspicions confirmed by a series of odd complaints by patients and friends. Before long the reason for his unease is revealed and he and his friends are pulled into a nightmarish world of changelings and alien invasion.
The writing see's our hero as the all American hero, square of jaw and irresistible to the ladies. At least that's how it seems at first but as things begin to spiral out of control so Miles loses both confidence and ability to act as his long held beliefs are stripped away from him. His failure in marriage, his trust in science and the notion that just beneath the surface of every red blooded American male there's a hero just waiting for an opportunity to burst forth and perform the impossible.
With these foundations removed he ends up needing to, shock & horror, rely upon a woman to support him in his efforts to survive. Maybe no big deal today but nearly 60 years ago this would have been pretty revolutionary stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 19 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr Miles Bennell is a doctor in this future America of 1976, although has Finney hasn’t really envisaged any social changes looking ahead from his 1954 viewpoint we might just as well consider it the Nineteen Fifties.
Miles works in Mill Valley, California, a typical American small town where, unaccountably, his patients are beginning to suffer from a common delusion; namely that their closest relatives are not their closest relatives, that they are, in fact, impostors.
Miles is ready to write this off as a case of mass-hysteria, until he is called out by his friend Jack Belicec who has discovered a body in his cellar, a body which could be Jack but which lacks the fine detail in the skin of wrinkles and fingerprints.
It transpires that alien seedpods have drifted to Earth and their survival mechanism is to copy living tissue, destroying the original in the process.
By the time Miles and his girlfriend Becky discover the truth, most of the town has been taken over, and it is here that the novel cranks up the suspense, where Miles and Becky are trapped in his surgery, watching the emotionless copies of locals rounding up the uninfected.
Although relatively unknown as a novel it has spawned three major motion pictures. The first, in black and white, is set in a contemporary Fifties US. the second updates the story to a US of the 1980s and thereby, to my mind, loses the essence of the novel which is so rooted in the paranoia of the Fifties that, along with The Puppet Masters, it is a benchmark of the American consciousness of the time. Again, as in Heinlein’s novel, we see the fearful concept of members of one’s own family actually being ‘something else’ thinking different thoughts and adopting different social values.
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