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The Invasion of the Body Snatchers | [Jack Finney]

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovers an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms are taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loves, and the world as he knows it.
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Publisher's Summary

On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovers an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms are taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loves, and the world as he knows it.

This classic 1955 thriller of the triumph of the human spirit over an invisible enemy inspired the acclaimed 1956 film, directed by Don Siegel and named one of Time magazine's 100 Best Films. Blackstone's edition is read by Don Siegel's son, actor-director Kristoffer Tabori, an Emmy and Audie Award winner, and concludes with the narrator's insider reminiscences of his father's work on the film.

©1955, 1983 Jack Finney; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Science Fiction

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (368 )
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4.2 (198 )
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  •  
    Simone 03-09-13
    Simone 03-09-13 Member Since 2015

    Member Since 2006!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Thriller"

    I thought the story was great! Intriguing, suspenseful… and timeless! you wouldn’t necessarily conclude it was written in the 50s – it’s an ageless classic.

    I had vague recollections of the movie, but it didn’t spoil the story because I couldn’t remember the end, then again, the movie and the book don’t have the same ending anyway!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 07-29-11
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 07-29-11 Member Since 2015

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "As good, maybe better, than the 1978 film"

    I saw the 1978 version of this film when I was in my formative teen years. It scared the bejebus out of me. I have since seen both other versions of it (the original was too sedate and the remake had characters that were too bimbo-y).

    This is the first time I've read the original story and I have to say that I think I like it better than even my favorite film version. The narration was very good.

    The only negative thing I have to say about it is that it was a little bit moralizing - i.e. the "moral" of the story, hidden in alien effigies, was the withering-away of small town U.S.A. complete with people losing their humanity in the face of progress, etc... and it was none too subtle. I loved it as an alien-invasion end of the world type book, I didn't like it as a commentary on modernization.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Eggerschwiler Switzerland 11-16-07
    David Eggerschwiler Switzerland 11-16-07 Member Since 2004
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    "A thrilling listening experience"

    An eerie tale of a small town where people start behaving slightly different then they used to. At first this is attributed to a mass delusion, but soon the real threat to humanity reveals itself...
    A fascinating story written in 1955 about an alien invasion of a special kind. The plot is mostly dense and fast paced making it a thrilling listening experience.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gunther 03-09-15
    Gunther 03-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I loved the whole package"

    I knew the story from the movie adaptation from 1978.  Young as I was, it was a story that scared me. Now, almost 30 years later, I listened to this audible version of the book narrated by Kristoffer Tabori. The way the narrator tells this story is so good. It really gives character to the story and the characters. Sometimes my hair stood on end. 5 stars for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 02-26-15
    Calliope 02-26-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected, more sociological than horror"

    I have seen two of the movie versions of this book, and still there was an element to it that I didn't expect........Even though the author always claimed he had no political message in the book, I definitely heard more of it in the book than I ever saw in the movies.

    This version is more psychological horror and suspense than it is about a physical monstrosity - the "pod people" are physical duplicates, not any abhorrent visualized mess. They are not filled with inhuman rage, they don't eat living flesh, they don't make blood sacrifices. Visually it's a creepily calm but otherwise normal-looking situation. But, what Finney seems to mention again and again, the "pod people" (for lack of a better term) seem devoid of the human emotions, including the emotions that make people want to improve and change things. The real fear of changing is that the changed become stagnant emotionally and psychologically, doing only what is necessary but nothing that is desired since - without emotions - nothing is desired.

    To me, that's more than a "good read" as Finney said was his goal, that's a small-p political statement about the state of humanity.

    Yes, it's a sci fi thriller with good pacing, heroic characters, and a ticking clock of impending doom. But it's more than that, and not really what I'd expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary San Antonio, TX, United States 02-18-15
    mary San Antonio, TX, United States 02-18-15 Member Since 2015

    I was a 'readaholic' for most of my life. I started crochet and other hobbies. That took away from my reading time. I discovered audio books at the library. That set me off. now, that I am older my eyes make it too difficult to read. So I now am a very diligent audio book listener!

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    "Better than the movie"

    I saw the movie way back when. I had no idea it was based on a book. I was too young to bother with this fact. I saw this and got it in part because I remember how that movie scared my younger self. I was not disappointed. It is very well done. Kristoffer Tabori does a great job reading it. By his voice, I could picture myself running huffing and puffing through the woods in an attempt to get away. The frustration as our main characters try to get away is riveting. So nice to have a STORY surrounding a little sex instead of having SEX surrounding a little story. I really enjoyed this book glad to have discovered it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Toney, AL United States 01-17-15
    Mark Toney, AL United States 01-17-15 Member Since 2005
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    "Excellent Sci-Fi Thriller"

    While I was looking for a new book I stumbled across this one and I remembered seeing the old movie, so I took a chance - and I am glad I did. I cannot say enough about how excellent both the story and the narration were - I was completely absorbed from the first sentence all the way through to the end. Set sometime in the 20th century, a lot of the content seemed quaint, yet nevertheless intense. The length of the book was just right for this story - about 6 hours. If you enjoy Sci-Fi you will not be disappointed. Following the book there is a discussion with the narrator that is very interesting as well - he is the son of the director of the first movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Gesmer Dover, MA USA 07-05-14
    Lee Gesmer Dover, MA USA 07-05-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Agree with Jenna -"
    Where does The Invasion of the Body Snatchers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    "Do not start this audiobook unless you have 6hrs free to sit and listen!" Excellent novel, superb reading by Mr. Tabori. Really cannot praise this audiobook highly enough.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 05-14-13
    Amazon Customer MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 05-14-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Watch the movie"

    This book was entertaining but I thought it was one of those rare circumstances where the movie was better than the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-28-12
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    "Good Narration, Slow Story"

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers / B002VACTHE

    I bought this audiobook on the recommendation of a friend and I'm still uncertain how to rate it, especially as I haven't rated the book text itself elsewhere. I'll try to address both here, the book content and the quality of the audio book.

    The audiobook itself is quite good. The narration is strong and does a lot to flesh out the narration voice -- indeed, I think the narrator manages to make an otherwise forgettable or even unlikeable character very sympathetic. The wry humor and deep weariness of the narrative voice comes through loud and clear, and it does a lot towards creating the atmosphere that this book is trying to evoke: when a major plot point is that the weary heroes cannot sleep or all will be lost, it's a plus to have a weary-sounding narrator. And it works very well as a whole.

    The book itself I'm less enthused over. I recognize that this is a book from the 1950s and was revolutionary in its own way, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it has aged well. There's some casual misogyny here that may be distracting to the reader, and the heroes don't always face their apocalypse very sensibly. Readers will figure out major plot points long before the characters do, which makes them sometimes seem willfully obtuse. (This is one of the unfortunate side-effects of modern readers being genre-savvy to this form of literature, I suppose.)

    Early in the stages of the apocalypse, the reasons given for why the heroes can't go to the authorities for help seem sort of flimsy, culminating at a point where they manage to call someone in Washington in order to register concern only to be talked out of it because, meh, it all seems kind of silly so nevermind. I get that this is supposed to be a commentary on the inefficient authorities against internal threats, but you'd think once you got through the phone lines, you'd at least TRY to register that stuff is about to go very, very badly.

    Overall, if you already know you enjoy this book, I think you'll be pleased with the audiobook version. If you've heard of the book because it was groundbreaking for its time, and if you don't mind some of the usual flaws of 1950s science fiction -- genre-ignorant characters and sometimes very slow pacing -- then you may well enjoy this book. I give it 3 stars for the text and 5 stars for the narration itself.

    ~ Ana Mardoll

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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