The Body-Snatcher (Fantasy and Horror Classics)
The lack of warmth Miles feels from people reminds him of one particular poignant memory, back years ago when he overheard the always friendly Billy the shoeshine boy: ""That's all I want, Colonel, just to handle people's shoes. Le'me kiss 'em! Please le'me kiss your feet. And them, for a full minute perhaps, standing there on the sidewalk of the slum he lived in, Billy went on with this quietly hysterical parody of himself.
Fortunately for Dr. Miles Bennell, he has his once old flame, now new flame, beautiful, resourceful Becky right by his side. An outstanding, highly original novel not to be missed. View all 19 comments. May 30, Jason Koivu rated it really liked it 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 got that and more! If Invas Wow, this was waaay better than I expected it to be! There's a natural flow to this book. The main character, a doctor who knows all the people in his small Bay Area town, narrates in a marvelously conversational manner. You'll probably like the doc right off and find it as easy to root for him as I did.
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And the plot is similarly well-constructed in a way that you immediately are drawn into the story and are pulling for the protagonist and his posse I just realized that I'm writing this review in a cagey manner, trying my best to avoid spoilers, such as mentioning that alien beings invade Earth in order to obtain individuals, a sort of invasion of body snatchers, if you will. Yeah , I wouldn't want to give anything away!
Even if you're quite aware of the plot, and how can you not be, you will nonetheless probably find this an enjoyable read.
I know I'm quite glad I picked it up! View all 5 comments. Human emotions is very central to the story. I love that the invasion had already started before the first chapter, Uncle Ira inhumanity had already starts alarm bells ringing, with similar stories surfacing is the human race to late to stop the alien plan? View 1 comment. Oct 25, Stephen rated it it was ok Shelves: horror-classic , science-fiction , easton-press , horror , audiobook , There was one point in the story where Doctor Danny Kauffman, amateur physicist and apparent moron, tells our narrator that the sunlight After reading the passage again But apart from that, I thought it was okay Okay, now that one did have me feeling a tad However, I do need to give the story props for the pacing and ever increasing sense of dread that the narrator is able to bring to the story.
On that level, the story did a pretty good job. I liked that and think that the author did a very good job with that aspect of the story. Shit, they went in there. I know it probably feels like I am bashing on this, but I really did not dislike it. I probably would have even rounded up to 3 stars, but I absolutely HATED the ending and thought the explanation for the ending was flat out stupid. I must go back under the cone of silence to explain. They are spreading out to the neighboring towns and it is only a matter of time.
I don't buy it. Thus, overall it was better than okay but a few major problems keep me from awarding it a third star. Oh yeah, I almost forgot View all 11 comments. Kyla Hilarious review!! I wanted to love this book because the films, especially the 70s remake, are favourites of mine. I was hoping the novel would be as Hilarious review!! I was hoping the novel would be as good but without the book, there wouldn't be the 70s film which I think is a masterpiece.
Rebecca I really enjoyed the book, but your complaint about the endingI'm going to entirely agree with that. Jun 23, PM. If there are any aliens reading this who are looking for a body to take over, hmu. Living is hard and I am ready to hand over that responsibility to some other life form.
I will not repeat: NOT attempt to save the world through any self-destructive means necessary like these buffoons. Just let me know. Anyway this book was mildly entertaining but had a really awful boring female character read: love interest who almost never did anything except to cling to Our Hero's elbow and, like, make him If there are any aliens reading this who are looking for a body to take over, hmu.
Hated it. Bottom line: No thank you, s gender roles!!!!!!! I'm not interested bye!!!! But to the aliens: I definitely am interested still please message me for my contact info my inbox is open kthanksbye. View all 6 comments. 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 If I was not already familiar wi 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 View all 4 comments.
One of the most original SF novels I have ever read - the undercurrent commentary on socialization and identification of 'otherness' should put this book on the shelf of anyone studying social science. An excellent story and this narrator, Kristoffer Tabori did it justice. Nov 20, Joe Valdez rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fi-apocalyptic. 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 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 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 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 remind each generation.
Finney's source material bears passing resemblance to the classic B-movie directed by Don Siegel and distributed by the Allied Artists Picture Corporation in In a small Northern Californian town, twenty-eight year old general practitioner Dr. Miles Bennell is reunited with a close friend, Becky Driscoll, who's returned to town following her divorce. Though mutually attracted to each other, Becky's visit to Miles is not purely social.
She's come to ask him to see her cousin Wilma Lentz, who's suffering a delusion that her Uncle Ira is an imposter who only looks like her uncle. Says Wilma, "Miles, he looks, sounds, acts, and remembers exactly like Ira. On the outside. But inside he's different. His responses"--she stopped, hunting for the word--"aren't emotionally right, if I can explain that.
He remembers the past, in detail, and he'll smile and say, 'You were sure a cute youngster, Willy. Bright one, too,' just the way Uncle Ira did. But there's something missing, and the same thing is true of Aunt Aleda, lately. Mannie confides that nine patients have come to him with fears of loved ones who are imposters; his opinion is that none of these patients are suffering from neuroses but dealing with something external and real. Miles' friend Jack Belicec, a writer, pulls Miles out of a movie theater during a date with Becky to bring him to his house, where his wife Theodora keeps watch on something Jack discovered under the basement stairs.
The strange corpse, which the Belicecs have laid out on a billiard table, shows no wounds or signs of death. It has no scar tissue and Miles notes the face looks He also determines the corpse has no fingerprints. Connecting the corpse with the imposter stories spreading through town, Miles suggests that Theodora keep watch on the body while her husband sleeps, waking him if she notices any changes in the corpse.
Realizing that Becky might be in danger, Miles dashes to her home, where she lives with her father. Breaking into their basement and poking around with a pen light, he sees nothing out of the ordinary, at first. Then Miles opens a pair of cupboards. There it lay, on that unpainted pine shelf, flat on its back, eyes wide open, arms motionless at its sides; and I got down on my knees beside it.
I think it must actually be possible to lose your mind in an instant, and that perhaps I came very close to it. And now I knew why Theodora Belicec lay on a bed in my house in a state of drugged shock, and I closed my eyes tight, fighting to hold on to control myself. Then I opened them again and looked, holding my mind, by sheer force, in a state of cold and artificial calm. Miles runs upstairs, grabs Becky and before she even wakes up, has carried her halfway to his house. Miles phones Mannie, but when he returns to the Belicec's basement with Jack, the corpse has disappeared.
The psychiatrist launches into a measured thesis of what the men might be experiencing: mass delusion, latching onto the story circulating through town about "imposters" and seeing exactly what their imaginations expected to see in those basements. Later, Miles realizes that mass delusion doesn't account for the blank fingerprints, or the fact that the Mannie he knows never used to make his mind up so quickly. Miles and his friends determine that the seed pods popping up in basements first appeared near a farm outside of town, visitors from outer space, of course.
Confronted by one of the imposters, they learn that the pods are a desperate form of parasite, traveling across the universe on light energy. They seek new worlds to thrive in, absorbing the atomic particles of their hosts and their memories while they're most vulnerable, during sleep, reducing the hosts to dust with a perfect imitation, perfect except for emotion or free will. Finney retooled his three-part magazine serial twice, first as a novel published in as The Body Snatchers and again in , to take advantage of a major motion picture being released by United Artists.
The version I read was the ' Finney made changes here, altering the title to Invasion of the Body Snatchers to exploit the popularity of the movies, setting the story in and updating references he felt were antiquated. The author also drops a reference to his novel Time and Again , though only fans will spot it. I have to rate Invasion of the Body Snatchers on two scales, the legacy of the material and the material itself.
The Body Snatcher
As legacy, this is five stars. Finney always maintained he wanted to write a good read and nothing more, but like a magic mirror, his story has the power to morph into a commentary on whatever cultural or social conformity is in the air. In the '50s, it was the threat of Communism, or Red hysteria running rampant the United States.
In the '70s, there was urban malaise and Me Decade pop psychiatry to be wary of. Today, political correctness or technology might indicate pod activity. As a story, this is three stars at best. Even Finney's retooled version is exactly what it always was: a magazine serial published in Becky Driscoll is little more than a doll and frequently appraised by the well-intentioned and gentlemanly Miles by her physical attributes only.
She's an accessory to the protagonist and almost seems like a pod person herself. There is a mildly eerie vibe throughout, but Finney lets off the gas too often when it comes to suspense. The plot lists, and much about the biology of the seed pods and their dispersal doesn't make a lot of sense.
Without giving much away, Finney's source material lacks the doomsday pulse of the and film versions. As such, the writing feels far more disposable. I'm enamored by Finney's wild imagination and how his tale has spread like ivy over the last sixty years, but would mostly recommend the novel to the author's fans. The film version directed by Philip Kaufman that relocated the action to San Francisco with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright and Leonard Nimoy is the definite version of this material: offbeat, intensely creepy and monumentally tragic.
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View all 12 comments. Oct 25, Apatt rated it really liked it Shelves: pres-sf , horror. There was nothing there now, in that gaze, nothing in common with me; a fish in the sea had more kinship with me than this staring thing before me. For my month of spooky reading, it is nice to be able to include a sci-fi horror title among the supernatural shenanigans.
Off the top of my head, I can think of very few sci-fi horror books, the recent Bird Box , I Am Legend , Watchers , The Tommyknockers and several other Stephen King titles , that is about it, please feel free to add more in the comments. The movie adaptations of Invasion of the Body Snatchers are better known than the source material by Jack Finney. More on them later. One day Dr. Miles Bennell has a visit from Wilma, a lady friend who reckons her Uncle Ira is no longer her Uncle Ira, he has gone all weird.
The doctor goes to visit Uncle Ira and finds nothing unusual and prescribe a good night sleep for Wilma or something along that line. If I have not seen three movie versions of this book before it I would probably have rated it 5 stars in spite of a couple of issues. The story is just fantastic, eerie, well-paced and thrilling. The idea of people you have known all your life suddenly becoming emotionless weirdoes is all too easy to imagine. The description of the still developing, incomplete pod people is also effectively vivid.
The distribution of the pods by the townspeople is also an oddly disquieting scene. Unfortunately, these excellent features are a little offset by a few issues. The writing is unexceptional and even becomes clunky at times, the characterization is rather bland, and the female characters generally have no agency to speak of except in one scene where Dr. Without going into details Invasion of the Body Snatchers has a similarly disappointing denouement, a bit of a damp squib after all the preceding thrills.
Still, if you are unfamiliar with the story I absolutely recommend this book for its vastly entertaining thrills and creepy atmosphere. If you are a fan of some of the four movie adaptations you may find that there is no surprise left and that the moviemakers have unusually improved on the story. Even so, I would still recommend it with the reservations I have mentioned so far.
It has a great cast and some startling visuals. Nimoy, Sutherland and Goldblum. I have seen this on TV a few times and it is indeed excellent and even somewhat scary, but I still like the remake better. The version stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, and still manages to be crap.
OK, guys, you can stop adapting this book now. It will not be neatly tied up at the end, everything resolved and satisfactorily explained. Not by me it won't, anyway. Because I can't say I really know exactly what happened, or why, or just how it began, how it ended, or if it has ended; and I've been right in the thick of it. Miles, that look, way in back of the eyes, is gone. With this — this Uncle Ira, or whoever or whatever he is, I have the feeling, the absolutely certain knowledge, Miles, that he's talking by rote.
Actually, we can't really conceive of anything very much different from ourselves, and whatever other life exists on this one little planet. Prove it yourself; what do imaginary men from Mars, in our comic strips and fiction, resemble? Think about it. They resemble grotesque versions of ourselves — we can't imagine anything different! Oh, they may have six legs, three arms, and antennae sprouting from their heads" — he smiled — "like insects we're familiar with.
But they are nothing fundamentally different from what we know. View all 14 comments. 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 '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. For all the movies they were in, this might have been their best roles.
The version was just called "Body Snatchers". Veronica Cartwright is also in it which is pretty cool. Never saw Daniel Craig. The novel's ending view spoiler [ is also upbeat, but a bit too magical for me. Much of the horror element of this book hung on the pods' tenacious spread, so this retreat undercuts that. I don't know how anyone could be, but just in case They will duplicate any living or once living thing, but only last about 5 years before falling to dust.
The real horror element is the struggle to believe in the threat, though. It's what makes the take over possible. It's this struggle that most don't seem to acknowledge which undercuts a lot of the criticisms leveled against the book, IMO. It's worth the suspension of belief to follow this theme through the struggle. Many other unexplained phenomena St. Vitus' Dance, rains of toads, human spontaneous combustion, UFO's are mentioned in support of our ability to ignore what doesn't fit.
What else are we missing? The reader did a great job considering he was completely miscast. Great way to re-read this classic. Highly recommended. View all 10 comments. 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 A pretty sinister book, this, containing some really creepy moments. It was written in the fifties, and still carries a hefty punch. A commentary on 50s politics? Who cares - it entertained me and scared the pants off me, so I just have to recommend it. Oh, and check out that scene with the skeletons Apr 20, P. Some trove from the 50s and its brooding obsessions!
First-rate immersion thanks to the dialogue which feels like one in some good ol' corny Hollywood script! View 2 comments. Dec 12, Annelies rated it liked it Shelves: modern-classics , non-contemporary-american. A terrifying story about alien life that takes over human beings but with always a little sprankle of hope and perseverance that humankind can be saved.
Suspenseful read. In the movie version appeared, the first of several. When it first appeared, the mysterious "invading force" was seen as a metaphor for the depersonalization of Soviet Communism; two decades later for gentrification, as in the movie remake set in San Francisco. It appears that our fears of losing our souls, our friendly neighbors and our communities are still easily invoked by Jack Finney's novel and easily transferred to whatever's going on in the world.
In construction, the book's a tad clunky: the physician protagonist does not notice how his hometown Mill Valley's business district and through streets have been deteriorating until it is too late -- a process which would take probably a year in that climate, not a few weeks as in the novel.
Inevitably, and routinely, a "professor" type actually a lecturer in Botany shows up to explain how pod-peopling could work. The movie is one of the rare adaptations that surpasses the print original, possibly because an off-screen narrator is a less intrusive technique than the first-person-limited perspective coming from the book's town doctor. Nonetheless I urge the reading of this novel for anyone who's interested.
It's a quick but highly influential read. View all 8 comments. This is a book about fear and apathy. The kind of fear where you are paralyzed with indecision, where you recognize your own insignificance in the world and where you recognize danger of some sort but are powerless to stop it. Apathy is in the actions of the main character. He is among the first to hear that people "We have met the enemy and he is us" Pogo Walt Kelly I have seen the original version of the movie and the version of the movie and let me tell you the book is actually scarier. He is among the first to hear that people are changed and instead of really acting or investigating he merely passes the buck, recommends a specialist, goes on with his life.
Even when confronted with undeniable proof of the invasion he leaves a couple to 'observe' while he heads back to his safe home far away. Our protagonists briefly leave town and come back and begin to notice how their town is falling apart, wearing out and not being repaired. But they had to leave to notice because the gradual decay was ignored. The book was originally written in the s then the author updated it in to coincide with the remake of the movie. I found that disappointing and really would have resulted in a 1 star deduction; but that is completely cancelled out by the amazing introduction by Dean Koontz.
And this book will having you checking under the bed for Pods Sep 26, The Behrg rated it really liked it.
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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 in this novel felt contemporary. Finney's prose to the excellent characters he develops all play into a story that felt fresh and original, even though I've been familiar with it and the many film reiterations for years.
There were a few parts which dated the book, but overall it didn't feel like something written in a different age. The pace of the book is almost perfect, unraveling the mystery a little at a time, but it really is the characters that carry this novel along. You want them to make it, to beat the overwhelming odds. The only thing I found disappointing was the ending. The novel seems to build towards that, carrying a hopelessness near the ending, but then drifts to a much-too-clean happy ending that felt jarring and forced.
Maybe it was the times the book was written in, but for once in my life, I felt the movie version was far superior as far as the ending went. That being said, this was one of the most enjoyable reads I've read all year. View all 3 comments. May 29, Jamie Stewart rated it really liked it. What a classic. Sep 11, David Cordero rated it liked it. Great sci-fi story. If you're looking for that s pulp fiction-Dell publishing kind of story, you've got it. I wish I could write a story like this. The feel of it, the characters, the small town nostalgia. Excellent novel. Awesome read.
Ah, s science fiction mixed with a touch of horror Cold war paranoia of course! For a genre that is now established as fairly progressive, s science fiction was practically a source of propaganda for the cinemas. The "keep watching the stars" and the "observe your neighbors because they might be pod people" mentality Every proper American knew it Hell, the on Ah, s science fiction mixed with a touch of horror Hell, the only way the first film adaptation could have been any more blunt would have been to colorize it in red, white and blue, using red only on the pod people. Yes, yes, I know I'm mocking this a bit too much perhaps.
Honestly, I enjoy these books though because I find the mentality amusing, while still recognizing the damaging aspect of it. Enough of that now, on with the actual book. So, there's no point in giving a plot description here. The plot has been made into something like five films at this point, and has been referenced in countless other forms of entertainment. The book is a moderately entertaining piece of fiction, that honestly, has arguably been improved by the cinematic adaptations. I rarely say that, but I believe it to be the case here. The films even the s version are much darker than the actual novel, presenting more fear and more of a sense of scale.
Both the 50s and 70s films create a force that is seemingly unstoppable, view spoiler [and in at least one of those films, our heroes end in failure. It is not a great work, and modern readers will no doubt take issues with some of the books views "As most wives, even the wisest, do with any real conviction held by their husbands, Theodora accepted this and made it her own.
Charles Did you try to talk to your Grandpa about the 50's for clues on things like: rotary telephones, lack of disposable plastic items, and bar soap? Jun 18, AM. MissBecka Lolz, Charles you slay me! Great review Tim : Jun 24, PM.
The Body-Snatcher (Fantasy and Horror Classics) - Robert Louis Stevenson - Google книги
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 I love this story. As to the book itself, it's workmanlike, well-crafted, warm-hearted and, though it employs the same timewasting attention to trivial detail as most suspense novels, it never seems as though the author is simply playing for time.
The first half, especially, is tight and satisfying. The ending, it's true, is terrible, and if I hadn't already seen the 50s film version I would have been pretty disappointed, but as it was I'd been imagining the brilliant end to that film repeatedly since I'd started the book, and I was easily able to substitute it in my memory when the time came.
And strangely, even though I pretty much knew the story, something made me read the whole of this pages in a day, something I rarely do. But if I were an artist, painting the way Etta Street seemed to me The Altar of the Dead Illustrated Edition. Henry James.
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