Originally Serialized in 1954
First Novel Version (The Body Snatchers) published in 1955
Revised Novel Version (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) published in 1978
****1/2 206 pages.
Before I finally read Jack Finney's novel, I watched all four of the film adaptations: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Body Snatchers (1993), and The Invasion (2007). Finney's original novel first appeared as a serial in Collier's magazine in 1954. It was then expanded for novel publication in 1955, under the title The Body Snatchers. When the 1978 film was released, the novel was revised (mainly changing the date to 1976, even though it still feels like a 1950s society) and re-issued as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. As far as film-adaptations-being-faithful-to-the-books go, the original 1956 film is the most faithful and the best overall. The 1956 film changes the ending, though, which isn't exactly a bad thing. In fact, I was all set to give Finney's novel a five star review, until the last few pages. The ending of the novel, although filled with interesting prose and philosophies, really came out of nowhere and did not work for me. Aside from that, the novel is a must-read for any science fiction fan. The 2015 edition also has a very concise introduction by Dean Koontz. In the small town of Mill Valley, California, a mass delusion is going around, where people believe their relatives aren't really their relatives. The truth that lies behind it is truly out of this world.