21. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Jack Finney (July 25)
As a child of the 80’s, this was a book and a story that I grew up kind of knowing, and knowing about, but never read. I never even saw any of the movies. So it was about time I read it. Or at least, listened to it on my commute to and from work.
The book, which was written in 1955 and is therefore as old as my parents, holds up really well 60 years later. It takes place in a small town, which could still exist anywhere, even though most have become slightly more modern even if they are seemingly cut off from the rest of our high-functioning civilization. It wasn’t until I saw the first movie (after finishing the book, of course), that I remembered when the story was set.
That says a lot about me, and about the book. In my mind, I didn’t even stop to consider that it might have taken place in 1955, and there weren’t many parts of the book that outwardly talked about the time, or the year. The only thing that reminded me was when our protagonist tried to make a phone call and had to keep talking to the operator.
I liked this story, and to tell the truth, I think I liked it better than the two movies I’ve seen so far. I’ve seen the 1956 and 1978 versions, and both, in my mind, really don’t stand up to the book. To be fair, do movies ever? But still, I actually liked the 1978 idea of setting it in San Francisco, which would have allowed NO chance of escape, had the book gone that route. So it’s understandable how the 1978 movie ends, then.
The book DOES end on a slightly positive, Independence Day or War of the Worlds (the movie) note, and I think maybe that might be too much to ask if it were to happen in real life, but here’s hoping it never comes to that.
I absolutely enjoyed the book, and have two more movie versions to watch. We’ll see if I like either of them.