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The kraken wakes by John Wyndham

The kraken wakes (original 1953; edition 1964)

by John Wyndham

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Title:The kraken wakes
Authors:John Wyndham
Info:Penguin (1964), Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library

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The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (1953)

Recently added byeastlake_uk, Gerard_Scott, plastikwrapt, LindyHope, private library, thejayray, ebethiepaige
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English (28)  Danish (2)  German (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I didn't exactly like this one. There were some really good parts but the majority of the novel was quite boring. Lots of deliberation surrounding what was causing it all (with an unnecessary focus on Russians) and continued focus on how every thing was affecting economies and politics. It was a tedious read for me. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 20, 2015 |
I didn't exactly like this one. There were some really good parts but the majority of the novel was quite boring. Lots of deliberation surrounding what was causing it all (with an unnecessary focus on Russians) and continued focus on how every thing was affecting economies and politics. It was a tedious read for me. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 17, 2015 |
We considered the charts again in silence.
‘People,’ I told him, ‘are continually quoting to me things that the illustrious Holmes said to my namesake, but this time I’ll do the quoting: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Which is to say that if it is no terrestrial nation that is doing this, then – ?’
‘That isn’t the kind of solution I like,’ he said.
‘It’s not the kind of solution anyone would like,’ I agreed.

Groups of red fireballs descend through the atmosphere, and when their trajectories are plotted it seems that they have all are likely to have landed in the deepest parts of the Ocean. Several years later strange evens start to happen at sea, and it takes a while for the two sets of phenomena to be linked.

The book starts with Mike Watson deciding to write a book about what has happened since the fireballs first appeared and then skips back to Mike and his wife Phyllis on their honeymoon cruise, seeing one of the earliest groups of fireballs land in the sea. Mike and Phyllis are radio journalists working for the EBC, and on their return to work they find that any stories related to the fireballs end up on their desks. They seem to have an unusually equal marriage for the early 1950s, indulging in lots of light-hearted banter and often working together, with Phyl's charm helping to get them information that they might not have got otherwise. They are present when the British navy attempts to send a manned bathysphere thousands of fathoms down at the place where a ship disappeared without trace, and after that ends disastrously things go from bad to worse, with the alien creatures in the deeps finding new ways to attack humanity over the next few years. Apparently the British and American versions of this book have different endings and I read the British version which ends on a hopeful note.

I hadn't read The Kraken Wakes since I was a teenager, but I always remembered it as being my favourite of John Wyndham's book, although I had forgotten all of the characters and almost all of the plot. But because I remembered so little I was able to enjoy it as if it was completely new to me. ( )
  isabelx | Sep 1, 2015 |
Consider this book a cross between Wyndham's most famous book, Day of the Triffids, and H G Wells' War of the worlds. Into an already edgy cold war climate come creatures which live in the deepest parts of our oceans and possess advanced technology. Weather it's our fault or theirs things escalate and only one species can survive.
There were two things I liked about this classic science fiction story. The first is Wyndham's playing with the media and the governmental spin put on the events being described in the book. He portray's his government and governments in general as completely useless when they are most needed. The other thing I liked was that Wyndham makes no attempt at any point to describe some monster from the deeps for us. He leaves everything up to our imaginations which, lets face it, can come up with all sorts of horrors to fill the gaps the author leaves. ( )
  ecumenicalcouncil | Jan 2, 2014 |
Fantastic stuff. I've started reading or-rereading Wyndham's novels this year (I recently read [b:The Midwich Cuckoos|826847|The Midwich Cuckoos|John Wyndham|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178729404s/826847.jpg|812592]) and I'm struck by how low-key they seem. Not for Wyndham the heat-ray or giant mechanical monsters of [a:H.G. Wells|880695|H.G. Wells|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1201281795p2/880695.jpg]'s prototypic alien invasion, instead there's more of the mystery and foreboding with the realisation that there is a threat to be dealt with only coming when it's far to late to do anything about it even if anything had been possible before.

The fact that we never know what the 'bathies' look like or their motivations or really anything about them is ever known makes them all the more effective antagonists: creepy and unpredictable, unlike the more conventional human enemy of the Soviet Union, to whom at first their activities are linked. And again, these activities don't start on a flash-bang Hollywood movie set-piece scale - there are just some odd things happening at sea.

Meanwhile, the characters are also fantastic. Michael and Phyllis Watson both know which of them is in charge, and the strong character of the wife makes it all the more effective when she begins to break down and lose hope.

Great book. I think [b:The Day of the Triffids|530965|The Day of the Triffids|John Wyndham|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1283043614s/530965.jpg|188517] is next for me! ( )
  stevejwales | Apr 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wyndham, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kannosto, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lord, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willock, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The nearest iceberg looked firmly grounded.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It all began with a series of fireballs falling into the oceans. When the Admiralty began to investigate, they found that their equipment and personnel disappeared deep underwater.

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