David lies in fear of discovery, for he is a part of a secret group of children who are able to communicate with each other by transferring thought-shapes into each other's minds. As they grow older they feel increasingly isolated. Then one of them marries a 'norm' - with terrifying consequences.
©1955 John Wyndham; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I first read this book in 1970 - required reading in high school - the only one I ever really liked and never forgot it. Very thought provoking. Such a joy to have it read to me now.
But the ending has me wanting more - how do Michael and Rachael get to Zealand?? or are they left behind?
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry. I also love to listen to the same whilst not paying attention to other things. I aim for my reviews to be short and succinct so that they are easy to read.
Although this is a short story it is a great story and one that sticks in your memory. The rendition was very well done. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
It is an interesting and enjoyable listen/read. It takes on the idea of evolution and religion, in a fictional setting. Not only does it entertain, it also makes the listener/reader think.
I like Sophie. There's a feeling of care I have for her from the beginning and I feel sorry for her.
He was understandable. His character voices were fitting.
Yes. I although I think I ended up doing it in 2.
I first read this when I was about 10 or 12. It has stayed with me since and I was thrilled to be able to add it to my rotating library of listening.
Why important? It taught me that I had to think for myself. It taught me that people who were "in charge" were very capable of being wrong. It taught me that different and wrong are two very different concepts. Basically it was a very big part of making me an independent thinker (I hope). If you want your kids to learn those things then get them this book to read - preferably on paper but this audio is a great second best.
The story is still relevant although there are moments when its fiftiesness shows through, although less so than with some of Wyndhams other work. It is pacy enough to be interesting and straightforward enough to capture a young mind. Wyndham is an underrated author and this is one of his best.
Robert Powell's narration is clear and well inflected.
When I was a teenager this book was my introduction to Wyndham and the Science Fiction genre. For years now it has remained a favourite and so it was with with interest that I recently revisited the story as an audio book. After all these years the premise still remains bold, even profound. As a South African brought up during the Apartheid years I'm now aware that the subject matter which focuses on physical 'difference' is still especially relevant. The story too is well paced, firstly intriguing, then later on down right exciting.
If there is a criticism, however, the finale is all a little 'safe'. Perhaps the modern audience is jaded from watching too many 'cliffhangers' at the cinema but I also feel the somewhat anticipated ending is a consequence of the author giving up on the action in order to squeeze in one more moralistic exposition. A serious flaw when the message was already obvious.
Recommened? Definitly flaws and all!
I really enjoyed this book. It is a well-crafted adventure story on a par with Wyndhams classic "Day of the Triffids". The story moves along at a great pace and the characters are well-developed and interesting. Another post-apocalyptic classic from Wyndham that as narrator, Robert Powell does real justice to.
"A great reading of a great work."
I have read all of Wyndham's work since I was a teenager, and The Chrysalids is one of my favourites - though they are all excellent books.
What I like about Wyndham is that he sets his stories in a real world, but usually following, or during, some strange change. The Chrysalids is set in our world but a long time following the change... so long that the world as we know it is almost forgotten by ordinary people, but the people themselves are still ordinary human beings to whom we can still relate.
Robert Powell does a fine reading, paced well, clear and full of characterisation, without falling into caricature. His voice modulates with great subtlety as he reads the female parts, just enough to recognise the gender, without being ridiculous and drawing attention away from the text as some readers do. His interpretation is steady and full of interest for me. I can tell he really enjoyed reading the book aloud, and took care to interpret it faithfully and completely.
I can recommend this audiobook to anyone who admires british science fiction, suitable for teenagers up. There are some adult themes but not gratuitously, and often left to imagination to flesh out the details at which he hints. I wish he had written a sequel.
Totally happy with this book, especially as it is Unabridged. I hate abridged readings, which seem to me like taking a hatchet to my old friends.
Five stars for book and reader.
I read this many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it and it stands the test of time. I do prefer longer books but this is packed with action all the way through. It is set in the future a few hundred years after some sort of world disaster and the only norms can live in peace. Anything that is different in any way is a blasphemy and disposed of accordingly.
The only downside is that you can hear Robert Powell, who is very good, swallow and take in breath. A little grumble but it can be quite off putting.
"What a book"
This book is high recommended. I also read The Day of the Triffids an even better book.
READ IT YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED
Good reading of one of John Wyndhams'sbest books.
"Classic post-apocalyptic fiction"
Set in a future north America, long after a planet-wide (nuclear?) disaster, society has reverted to low tech living and an over-reliance on the Bible to justify their fear of mutants. In a small but extremely paranoid community, a group of children born with enhanced mental abilities realise they must leave or be persecuted as mutants.
Although a short book, Wyndham's writing fuels your imagination to fill in the details, for example, the events hundreds of years ago that led to the creation of the badlands is never explained, but instead is left to you to determine what happened. The fundamentalist nature of the religious leaders (David and Petra's father is the community preacher) and the adaptation of the Bible to suit the anti-mutant agenda is skilfully done. Although written over 60 years ago, the use of religion and fear to control a community has echoes in our world today.
This is my favourite of John Wyndham's novels and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Robert Powell's narration of a familiar book. Highly recommended!
"A Classic, most of the time"
I bought this was I remembered reading it at school and wanted to return to it with more mature ears. I was pleasantly surprised how much more I enjoyed it, which I supposed is to be expected. It's made it onto my will-listen-to-again list which is the mark of a good book. However, there were times in the book where I felt like reaching for the skip-30-seconds button when the descriptive passages became a little long and rambling. It's hard to believe this was written back in the 1950s
"Vacuous time filler"
I'm not altogether sure why this is getting such good reviews.
1) The book really shows its age in the language used (I think "presently" was the most used word in the book). Not so much a problem, just a surprise to me as I didn't read the original publish date.
2) Nothing really happens, well nothing I ever got excited about.
The whole story is is like a long introduction to a longer, possibly more interesting novel. It lacks any kind of drama or suspense and, put simply, is a bit dull.
The performance was good, but the audio quality not so good (dropped a star because of that).
"It's just ok"
I loved 'Day of the Triffids' and listened to it two or three times and got this not expecting it to be any where near as good, I was right. It is not by any means a bad book, and there are some really good moments in it. I might listen to it again and see if it improves with a second read/listen.
I think it started really well but the last hour or so it plummets downhill. Almost like the author could not think of a way to end it and just stuck whatever popped into his head down.
As with all reviews you may disagree completely, as I said it is not a bad book and it is worth listening to if you are stuck for something and have some credits kicking about.
Another good book by John Wyndham, not as good as Day of the Triffids or Midwich Cuckoos but still a good story and, as always, well read by Robert Powell
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