This Island Earth, the novel, is indeed different from the movie in the second half -- better, in my opinion, although less special-effects-driven. I don't remember the movie explaining the title, either; Jones is comparing Earth to the Pacific islands in World War II where the fighting washed back and forth, and the inhabitants were dragooned into helping build airstrips and such for either side. Here it's a war involving numberless galaxies (where the movie's was just between two planets). The novel is good, but the book is terrible. Pulpless.com's typesetters put in more typos than Raymond F. Jones could have made in a couple of centuries of writing. And the editors let it all slip by. But I don't believe there was any mass-market paperback, so this is the only game in town.
Great '50s science fiction1999/5/25
I was born in 1947 and first read this book when I was in junior high school. I also saw the movie around the same time (say, age 10-13), but it was not as good as the book. Leonard Maltin said of the movie something like "lacks the existential ending of the book." This *really* made me want to reread the book. About 10 years ago, I found a used copy, read it and loved it, then gave it to a friend. So I was thrilled to find this re-issue, produced by Forrest Ackerman, who was the literary agent of Jones and several other science-fiction writers of that era. Jones has a dark view of humanity. As someone who came of age in the '60s, I'm surprised to hear characters in the book (written 1952) express some of the thoughts my friends and I thought were so new during the anti-war movement. Jones is also intrigued by randomness and statistics. This fascination figures in the ending of this book as well as in the theme of his "Non-statistical Man" (also quite worthwhile). As for the existential ending, well, I agree, until we get to the last sentence, which Sartre never could have written. But read it and decide for yourself. Once you do, hook up your interociter and we can trade thoughts.
An imaginitive SF Classic! Dated, but has aged well.2004/5/6
Roger J. Buffington
This is a true Science Fiction classic. I first read it when I was in Middle School, and it made quite an impression on me as a fantastic story with a wild premise, well-told. Picking it up thirty-five years later, the novel has lost none of its punch or impact. This is a true science fiction classic. The premise of the novel is simple enough: Earth is being visited by warring factions of a monstrously large inter-galactic conflict. Each side views Earth as an obscure planet of limited importance, much as the US Navy might have viewed certain obscure islands in the Pacific during the Second World War. The protagonists become caught up in this conflict in a very interesting way. More would be telling, but suffice to say, this is a really interesting story, and its premise has not been done better (to my knowledge) in any science fiction novels that have come later. This one is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys good science fiction.
This Island Earth can be your's if ..........2001/10/13
This book is great if anyone saw the movie and wants to read the book you won't be dissapointed. Although it gets diffrent halfway you can still see parts that the movie did put in. If you are a fan of the movie you can tell that in the book they realy picked out the right actors for the movie. It is an interesting way how Russel Johnsons' character (the professer) blew up in the book than he did in the movie. The interociters also can pick up brain waves. There are typos however that make it anoying. But just the fact that Raymond F. Jones' fun story is available you can surpass that. Prepare to find out what is going on out there over are heads above THIS ISLAND EARTH!
So much better than the movie, but don't get me wrong2009/10/12
Old Sub Sailor
I never knew that there was a book until I bought the movie from Amazon last month; however; I did see the movie when it first came out. My parents took me to see it at a Drive In waay back "in the day". I have remembered that movie for years and watched it on TV when I could. I even ordered one on EBay alas it was a fast copy, rip-off - the guy got shut down pretty quickly.
But, I would like to find the serial version that appeared in Thrilling Wonder Stories. It seems to me that this is the very first Star Trek Book. If the Great One read this book (and I can not believe that he did not), you can even see where the idea for one episode came from. I am not saying what, because I don't want to spoil it for new buyers/readers.
I would like to see the move remade and this time follow the book.
Finally, I do have to agree with regard to the typos. Does PulPless have proof readers? If so, they need to be replaced. This was without a doubt the worst job of proofing or typesetting that I have ever seen. This is why the low stars.