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The Body Snatchers (S.F. MASTERWORKS) [Paperback]

Jack Finney
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Oct 2010 S.F. MASTERWORKS

Originally published in 1955 Jack Finney's sinister SF tale has outgrown the initial debate about whether it satirized Communism or the conformity of US society at the time, to become a classic of paranoia; an examination of our fear of 'the other'.

Most people know the story from seeing THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, the classic 1978 remake (one of the few Hollwood remakes said to better than the original, made in 1956) starring Donald Sutherland.

Here's your chance to read the original source; a story that has resonated with readers and viewers for more than 50 years.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575085312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575085312
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The classic novel of paranoia immortalised on film as THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS.

About the Author

Born in 1911, the American author Jack Finney wrote numerous SF novels, thrillers and mysteries, several of which were adapted to film. He was awarded the WORLD FANTASY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT in 1987. A long-time resident of California, he died in 1995.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't know about the film - but a great book 8 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
My purchase of this book was spurred by a curiosity to read the stimulus for one of my father's greatest films:'Invasion of The body Snatchers'a 1950's cult classic (he tells me.)

Finney's compelling narrative doesn't disappoint, he writes with a fluency and clarity of prose akin to that of Stephen King. Behind the curiously dated 1950's furniture and haze of cigarette smoke lies a gripping tale of us and them, good versus evil. Forget the over analytical assertions towards the free world v communism in post McCarthyist USA, this is the story of a desparate fight to escape and survive - basic instincts of all of us.It is a story convincingly crafted and very well told.

Finney's writing has even the most scientific and sceptical of readers thinking that there may be some truth in those newspaper tales of spontaneous human combustion, crop circles and alien abduction and do you know what it's liberating!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic... 24 Dec 2010
By M. Yon
Format:Paperback
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 through the films of his work, rather than the actual book.

So here's perhaps a good place to start, with a re-evaluation of one of his better-known writings.

The Body Snatchers you may know as the films The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both in 1956 and 1978) and The Invasion (2007). I say that with trepidation, in that knowing of the films perhaps devalues the book: many will say they know the book, having seen the film/s.

But, good though some of those films are, the book for me is subtler, and more refined work. Its apparent effortlessness as it unfolds and its rapid pace belies a work of deceptive power. This is perhaps partly due to the fact that the writer's background in advertising enables him to write with precision and effectiveness.

The story starts with what seems to be a 1950's idyll: August 1953 in small-town America, with a leisurely lifestyle and a homely nature. Our hero of the tale, told in the first person, is Doctor Miles Bennell, who lives a happy existence in Santa Mira (Mill Valley), California. When closing the surgery one night, Miles' childhood friend Becky Driscoll visits to ask about her cousin Wilma's strange behaviour. She doesn't believe that her Uncle Ira is really her Uncle Ira...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Body Snatchers 19 Jan 2011
By Kevski
Format:Paperback
I have been seeking this book for some time and now with the amazing facilities at Amazon I have located this work.

There are two aspects pertinent to readers with an interest in science fiction who have 1. seen the original movie from 1955 with Kevin McCarthy and 2. those who, incredibly, have not.

For those who have seen the movie, I can confirm that the movie is very true to the book, not surprisingly as Jack Finney created the screenplay. There are still many extras that the film had no time for - such as the delicious scene in the library, and many others. These scenes add to the movie and are worth the purchase costs in their own right. I was surprised that the scenes were excluded, as they would have enhanced the film.

If you have not seen the film, this is a must have book and a superb read, amongst the best of the stories in this genre - comparable to the great 'Who Goes There?' by John W Campbell. Both are stories I wish I had found years ago and I will read over and again!

Fascinatingly the book compliments the film AND VICE VERSA.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 8 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an excellent concept and also a gripping story/scifi chiller and I feel better than the films. I can't believe this was written half a century ago. It doesn't appear dated and feels fresh.
Having read the reviews of its original release and the analogy to the cold war / communist threat, I didn't feel that was relevant to this story. I suppose the cold war ended decades ago so is not in our subconscious any more.

Having read many of the Finney stories, he does have a thing about police brutality..is this an American thing or just from the era he grew up in? The other stories, including the classic "Time & Again" explore the idea of police corruption (inspector Thomas Byrnes NYPD). In this story its the (alien) police that are rounding up unsuspecting victims and those who have wandered into town.

An excellent story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remains a good read 2 Sep 2011
By Mr. G. Battle VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
For a sci-fi novel to still be entertaining and not feel particularly dated over fifty years later is definitely an achievement. The menace that The Body Snatchers builds is still palpable today. With interesting and entertaining leads the much imitated (and indeed re-released) Snatchers is a solid piece of history that should be in every readers to-do list. It's relatively short, although larger than a novella, and refuses to outstay its welcome by remaining sharp and to the point at all times. Go on, invest a couple of hours with it - it won't even feel like nostalgia.
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