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The Chrysalids Mass Market Paperback – Sep 23 2008
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Perfect timing, astringent humour ... One of the few authors whose compulsive readability is a compliment to the intelligence Spectator Remains fresh and disturbing in an entirely unexpected way Guardian
About the Author
John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris was born in 1903, the son of a barrister. He tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote short stories of various kinds under different names, almost exclusively for American publications, while also writing detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and then the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories for publication in the USA and decided to try a modified form of science fiction, a form he called 'logical fantasy'. As John Wyndham he wrote The Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned), The Seeds of Time, Trouble with Lichen, The Outward Urge, Consider Her Ways and Others, Web and Chocky. John Wyndham died in March 1969.
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Top Customer Reviews
It all began with English class. A semester before, I had friends who read this. You know what this means. Friends who do not normally read (only when they are required to) usually have mixed feelings about a book. They could seriously adore everything my province's curriculum has chosen because they never experienced anything like it, or they could find it horrible and so utterly boring that they refuse to analyze it and look for similes and whatnot. Y'all are expecting me to say that I heard great things about this book. My friends hated this novel. I bet that they felt this way because teachers spend so much time on books and we have to do millions of presentations to make sure that we completely understand it all.
Although I have spent a month on this novel now (as I am counting), I have enjoyed every second of reading it. John Wyndham knew how to throw suspense in his writing, even better than many modern-day authors do. I never knew what to expect with every chapter going by. Everything made so much sense and it all clicked together as the plot unfolded. Seventeen chapters, so many shocking moments and parts where I wanted to scream.Read more ›
David lives in a very strict community, where God was the boss and it was up to everyone (especially his dad) to obey him. The biggest message “God” gave out was: “Watch thou for the mutant! The Devil is the father of deviation. Blesses are the norm.” Mutants to them, was the most deadly thing on earth. If an animal was a mutant (four legged chicken, or two headed cow) they were slaughtered, a yield of unusual crops were burned, but a person? They were sent to the Fringe. In David’s community there was the place itself, surrounding the community was the Fringe; a place where they sent mutants as it is a place God does not rule. Outside of the Fringe was the Badlands, given its name as nothing can live there (due to the high radiation levels) His community is in Labrador, Newfoundland, the only place he ever known, which is quite a shame that he had to leave because of his family.
David was born to know that mutants were sent by the devil. His childhood friend, Sophie, was not evil, she was actually quite nice. The only issue with her was for her sixth toe on each foot. Just because she had an extra little toe, doesn't mean she is the Devil’s child, right? This was the first time David started questioning his family methods.Read more ›
What most impressed me was the author's ability to set up atmosphere in the novel. I still to this day, after years between readings remember images I formed while reading the novel. Grass between the toes, the nuclear wastes, the way the children formed telepathic images etc...
One thing that I remember clearly is how the novel was like a breath of fresh air, clean and smooth. There are no frilly edges and there is no attempt by the author to make the book flashy. This makes the book pure and adds to the impact of the story.
As an overview, there are a group of children who are living in Eastern Canada after some type of holocaust (this is never much of a point in the book... no one has memories of it). Their society is strongly anti-mutant with a very strict set of rules as to what is "normal" and what isn't. All of this children are normal looking but are telepathic and form a click of just a small number.
The book is their story of growing up and existing in this paranoid and highly dogmatic society without being discovered and banished or killed.
A definite classic in Science Fiction circles.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a wonderful book to read :) I have really enjoyed this one :)Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
if it was a choice between death and re reading this book again, i would probably choose death. this is the most boring book in the history of books.Published 5 months ago by Lola Halstead
Hooray my CD finally arrived and even though I have not listened to it yet I know I will love it as I am a big John Wyndham fan...ThanksPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Picked this up because my son is reading it for grade 8 English. First read it 30 years ago as a science fiction story; this time around it read like a moral tale. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Steve E