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Month in review

Reviews:
Bad Cat by Jim Edgar
Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb
(Invasion of) The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
The Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
Cork Boat by John Pollack
The Cylons' Secret by Craig Shaw Gardner
Fighting Angel by Pearl S. Buck
The Floppy Friends Go to the Beach by Nancy E. Krulik
Ghost Girl by Torey Hayden
The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa
How Long Has This Been Going On? by Ethan Mordden
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
McTeague by Frank Norris
Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
Mr. Bounce by Roger Hargreaves
Mr. Funny by Roger Hargreaves
Mr. Noisy by Roger Hargreaves
Mr. Small by Roger Hargreaves
The Museum at Purgatory by Nick Bantock
Not Before Sundown by Johanna Sinisalo
Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber
Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam
Sagittarius is Bleeding by Peter David
The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School by Judy Sierra
Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Wilcox Quilts by Robert J. Schleck

Miscellaneous
Derrick For Dinner
Indoor Picnic
What's Up Doc?

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(Invasion of) The Body Snatchers: 01/13/07

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The original title when published in 1955 was The Body Snatchers but the 1956 film forever changed the name in the mind of popular culture to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The version of I read (for a BookCrossing bookray) was retooled in the 1978 and flushed out from a novella to a full length novel and has the movie title. It also has the ugliest cover art for a science fiction cover I've seen in a long time (but Sean thought the missing noses and mouths were funny).

This updated version also brings the story forward to the mid 1970s (noted mostly in the models of cars described in the books). These little changed details are minor annoyances in an otherwise fascinating tale of domino effect style invasion that ultimately ends in total ecologic destruction. The book uses science fiction and horror elements to question broader themes of culture, immigration and xenophobia.

Best of all, the story takes place in the Bay Area (Mill Valley and Marin mostly). Often times when the Bay Area is used as a setting, geographical areas get moved around or mushed together either for plot reasons or just laziness. Thankfully Sausalito this time is on the correct side of the Golden Gate bridge. This added realism made the story all the more enjoyable (and scary).

While the movie versions are fun, the book is better. It is more coherent and the characters are more believable.

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