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Summary

On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovers an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms are taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loves, and the world as he knows it.

This classic 1955 thriller of the triumph of the human spirit over an invisible enemy inspired the acclaimed 1956 film, directed by Don Siegel and named one of Time magazine's 100 Best Films. Blackstone's edition is read by Don Siegel's son, actor-director Kristoffer Tabori, an Emmy and Audie Award winner, and concludes with the narrator's insider reminiscences of his father's work on the film.

©1955, 1983 Jack Finney (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Science Fiction

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Classic story told well.

The production values are all that let this book down which is a shame as the performance is great. The dates are altered to move the story into the seventies but when you hear it you can't help but be in 1950s America. The ending of the book is different from the filmic endings I have seen and perhaps not as strong but all the sense of dread and abnormalities hidden amongst the everyday is here. Well worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Randall
  • 25-04-09

GOOD READ

Old, dated but a classic, and must read.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Granthum
  • 05-10-17

A timeless classic

After all this time it's still a chilling, paranoid, and suspenseful story. Finney"s writing does get clunky at times, but overall a great story. Tabori's narration is faultless, so I highly recommend the audible version over the print version. Enjoy!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda M. Harp
  • 12-11-15

Classic

Loved this one! What self-respecting child of the 70's doesn't love IBS! This audio version was just as gripping and scary thanks to Mr. Tabori! Wonderful job!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 18-11-07

Classic Fun

Very fun and exciting read. It really does "grab hold of you" from the beginning and doesnt let go. Jack Finney is an amazing writer, and it almost seems like such a "campy" horror story is beneath his skills, but it just works so well. It's fast paced and thrilling, but it also has that 50's "black and white detective story" flare to it.

This is a fun and easy listen... the production was good and the narration was especially well done. The reader does a great job capturing the mood of the characters....something that might be lost in a straight read.

32 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jenna
  • 13-01-09

Warning!

Do not start this audiobook unless you have 6hrs free to sit and listen! You'll be snagged in the first 5 minutes and it won't let you go. Finney's writing style is fluid and captivating. The narrator must also be commended...phenomenal job! My favorite audiobook thus far.

33 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kerri phillips
  • 29-08-09

Interesting to Revisit a Classic

I've always loved the old black-and-white movie and thought it would be fun to read the book. I was not disappointed. A bonus interview at the end of this audio recording proved very interesting, too, as it speaks to both the book and that original movie.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vincent H. Bartning
  • 15-12-17

better than expected!

the story takes place locally for me. In addition, it's very somewhat from the movie versions.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bella Footsie
  • 13-11-17

classic, stands the test of time

this book kept me at the edge of my seat. I actually enjoyed being in traffic. the story was great, the suspense...i just can't say anything bad about this book. yes it's the cliche "something bad is happening and nobody believes it".... But it still feels fresh. the narrator did a great job. excited when needed to be excited. calm when he needed to be calm. the only thing is that I could tell the narrator (by his voice) was much older than the character.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • PlantCrone
  • 18-10-15

Great Noir SiFi/Fantasy Story from the Mid 1940s.

Though the story as told says it's going on in the late 1970s, it's sure not the 1970s I grew up with! Written in the post WWII era theres a very dark side to the story that adds a great deal to it. The narration is spot on..with Kristoffer Tabori's wonderful voice telling the story-he seems made for it!

I'm glad I began listening to this on a friday night..it kept me up late and when I did go to sleep I dreamt of the 'pod people'...did you wonder where that came from? it's from this novel!....Eventually I woke up in the very early AM and went back to my last bookmark to finish listening during the day. It's a longish story but not too long by any means-nothing could or should be edited out.

If you've seen the movie from the late 40s (and if not-why the hell not?) you'll notice some variations but basically the movie stayed with the novel's story arc fairly honestly.

After the ending theres a nice interview with someone connected with both the book and movie-don't remember who. He gives some interesting insight on the movie production -UA gave them 19 days to film the movie and a very small budget-thus the slightly hokey special effects. Worth a listen as a come down from the ending of the story which IS different than the movie.

Well worth your credit-I believe I got it on a special from Audible (thanks Audible) so it was less than 5 bucks. I think I paid 50 cents to see the movie however..that was back in the day when you could get into the movies, buy popcorn, milk duds and a coke for less than a dollar. But then I was making 90 cents an hour so it sort of averages out to todays rates.

Do take a listen to this classic SiFi/Fantasy story. You'll love it!

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 11-06-07

Sci-Fi Pulp

While writing this review, I would be amiss to not mention Heinlein’s “Puppet Master’s” which preceded it, or the 3 direct interpretations that followed it in the late 50’s, 70’s and 90’s. Not to mention the uncountable knockoff’s, the good and bad, and homage’s that this book and the aforementioned titles, inspired. They gave voice to a growing paranoia that was beginning to be understood in the 50’s with the cold war heating up. It asked such questions as, can you trust your neighbor? Can you trust your family and friends? Are they who they say they are? Are YOU who you say you are? Deeper than McCarthyism and the Red Scare, in spite of itself or with full intention, this pulp novel dug its heels into its subject matter and tackled such ideas the only way good sci-fi can, through speculation.

In listening to 6 plus hours straight through I was impressed with this overall. There are minor quibbles that must be mentioned, that it does have some weaker moments and may drag a little. It must also be said this was published in 1955 and is dated a bit, in tone, (the same can be said of "War of the Worlds" for example). One must expect that. The characters can be seen as being 1 dimensional and the main character makes leaps in logic that make little sense, or the opposite and not putting 2 and 2 together faster. These are very minor narrative criticisms, despite these, the novel flows well and has a surprisingly fast pace to it. The Narrator also is spot on and keeps your attention riveted. A very minor complaint is that he can, momentarily, be “overenthusiastic” and can be quite excitable, but still a very good narration.

I would recommend this as a paranoia suspense sci-fi thriller and a study of the Pulp 1950’s era that is still with us today and just as relevant but keep in mind the minor flaws
Enjoyable listen overall.

34 of 55 people found this review helpful