Invasion of the Body Snatchers

By Jack Finney,

Book cover of Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Book description

Celebrate one of the earliest science fiction novels by rediscovering Jack Finney’s internationally acclaimed Invasion of the Body Snatchers—which Stephen King calls a story “to be read and savored for its own satisfactions,” now repackaged with a foreword by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Dean Koontz.

On a quiet…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Invasion of the Body Snatchers as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I came to Finney’s novel after watching both of the excellent (and, for the most part, faithful) film adaptations (1956 and 1978). Finney’s novel is worth a read for its own sake, not least because an incredibly interesting chapter (13) explicitly weaves race into the narrative that’s absent from both films. Finney’s book represents (rather literally) how we tend to see plant life–when we think about it at all–as alien.

Cue alien seed pods that end up on Earth and begin to proliferate wildly–another deep-seated fear we have about vegetation–that they’ll spread and take over. The seed pods colonize humans,…

From Dawn's list on the terrifying world of plants.

All the people you love, all the people you live with—the entire population of your small-town world are methodically being replaced by exact replicas, down to the last detail. The only difference is that they are devoid of genuine emotion. This novel has spawned numerous creepy movies, but something that the novel focuses on is that the aliens destroy entire ecosystems before abandoning the used-up planet. This isn’t about world domination but rather the exploitation of resources with no thought for the indigenous populations.

The imposters are becoming us! Jack Finney’s science-horror masterpiece seems to me like a book everybody knows about but perhaps not that many modern readers have actually read. It is about alien technology slowly replacing people with shallow imposters that threaten to destroy humanity. Scenes in this novel are among the most legitimately scary that I’ve read in fiction. I don’t know another writer who was better at portraying the desperate madness provoked by bone-deep emotional terror. By that I mean, Finney’s characters are at times driven nearly out of their minds with fear. Watching these characters, as a reader,…

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