Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a science fiction classic, both as a novel and as a film. The story has become a part of the cultural background of America. I doubt an election cycle has passed since the book’s publication without one party or the other being labelled “pod people” by some. The idea that those around us are not human is the pervue of science fiction, but it’s also a common sensation, felt by just about everyone who was ever 16, in America anyway. Somewhere in the back of a closet, I have the high school journal entries to prove it.
Mr. Finney gives this feeling life. What if those around you really were not human?
Invasion of the Body Snatchers turns out to be a well-crafted, entertaining novel, even for readers who have seen the movie many times. While I’m not going to make a case for it as great art, it is nice to have a professional quality diversion, an expertly written airplane book if you will. There are even a few moments in Invasion of the Body Snatchers that genuinely gave me the creeps, just the way the original movie did the first time I got the chance to see it on the big screen at a revival house back in college.
And if you went to the same high school I did, or one like it, then you know there really are pod-people out there. In fact they’re all around us.
You could be next.
This review first ran on my old blog, Ready When You Are, C.B. Since moving to this new site I have been migrating my old reviews. I have just over 170 still to go.