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The Body Snatchers (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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...Read more ›
The protagonist is a local doctor who is approached by townsfolk claiming that their loved ones have been replaced by an identical clone. At first the doctor thinks it's some kind of hysteria, but he then learns that it's actually true - aliens are invading Earth and cloning the inhabitants one by one.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was familiar with two movie adaptations but had never read the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this fifties - set SF.Published 18 days ago by Kindle Customer
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. Read morePublished 10 months ago by andylennon
Very enjoyable. Only seen the film before so not sure if disapointed by ending or not as it was different from the film.Published 12 months ago by Gus
This is one of Jack Finney's Masterpieces. Not knowing who to trust anymore. Finding a pod in your potting shed...to big for garden peas...so what do they contain??? Read morePublished 19 months ago by Tony
It's really hard to believe that this science fiction book was written in the 50s. Often in novels of this genre that are a bit dated you notice the so-called expiration effect,... Read morePublished on 11 July 2014 by Anakina
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