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The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
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The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)

by John Wyndham, John Wyndham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,007603,343 (3.81)1 / 253
  1. 50
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Each book compliments the other, describing the same fundamental theme from two points of view. I enjoyed the Midwich Cuckoos more.
  2. 20
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (timspalding)
  3. 00
    The Possessors by John Christopher (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  4. 01
    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (Michael.Rimmer)
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English (58)  Hungarian (1)  All (59)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
“Knowledge is simply a kind of fuel; it needs the motor of understanding to convert it into power.”

Perhaps not one of Wyndham's best known novels and on the face of it this is a fairly straight forward and cosy SF thriller however, read it more carefully and you will realise that it is much more than this.

The village of Midwich is shut off from the outside world and put to sleep for 24 hours. Some weeks later all the women of childbearing age find that they are pregnant, and give birth to golden-eyed children who look remarkably alike and seem to have telepathic powers which they use to coerce initially their mothers than later the villagers as a whole. The narrator, Richard Gayford, is clear that the children are a simple threat not just to the village but also the whole of humanity and must be destroyed, yet he is a fallible narrator who seems quite unaware as to what is going on under his very nose.

By reading purely what is written on the page the novel appears to be a about a struggle between aliens and humans – but delve a little deeper it becomes apparent it's actually about a struggle between men and women. There is pregnancy, abortion, childbirth and motherhood, and whilst the children may have alien fathers they also have human mothers,a point the narrator seems to totally disregard. In fact the women's' opinions go largely unheard. The ending, an act of genocide, only underlines this point.

This novel would no doubt be regarded nowadays as being at the softer end of the SF genre yet still goes on to ask some pretty profound questions about the limits of our culture and perhaps what it means to be truly human, all of which is achieved with subtle irony and ambiguity. This book deserves to be on the 1001 list and also deserves to be read more widely. ( )
1 vote PilgrimJess | Apr 8, 2017 |
Haunting novel about human-ish cuckoos and the way that people are likely to respond. ( )
  kale.dyer | Mar 4, 2017 |
Utterly chilling and years ahead of its time, this is a scifi horror classic that should not be missed. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jan 16, 2017 |
This is one of the books, like The Stepford Wives or Rosemary’s Baby, that has become an icon of popular culture: even if you haven’t read it, or seen the related films, you know the basic premise. I spotted it in the library today and, because I have another of Wyndham’s books lined up waiting to be read (Triffids, no less), I thought this would make an interesting comparison. For some reason I’d always imagined that Midwich would be a horror story, but it’s something far more subtle and sophisticated: a creeping, chilling sci-fi thriller which places its characters in the ultimate moral dilemma.

For the rest of the review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2016/11/19/the-midwich-cuckoos-john-wyndham/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Nov 19, 2016 |
Interesting tale of alien presence for a short period of time in a small quiet village in England. I enjoyed the story, the philosophical musings and while it really wasn't scary, if it were to happen it would be scary. ( )
  Kristelh | Oct 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wyndham, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, Johnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adam RobertsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doeve, EppoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, DeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
F. Nagy, PiroskaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fruttero, CarloForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hills, GillianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogarth, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leger, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lempiäinen, VesaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lord, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lucentini, FrancoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McShane, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McShane, Patrick AlfayaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meriranta, AnettaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minaříková, JitkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priest, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekunen, VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwinger, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Severi, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stege,GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van den Haak-Janzen, J.R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veillon, AdrienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willock, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zhouf, MartinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One of the luckiest accidents in my wife's life is that she happened to marry a man who was born on the 26th of September.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Cuckoos lay eggs in other birds' nests. The clutch that was fathered on the quiet little village of Midwich, one night in September, proved to possess a monstrous will of its own. It promised to make the human race look as dated as the dinosaur
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140014403, Paperback)

Cuckoos lay eggs in other birds' nests. The clutch that was fathered on the quiet little village of Midwich, one night in September, proved to possess a monstrous will of its own. Imt promised to make the human race look as dated as the dinosaur.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In the village of Midwich all the women of child-bearing age become pregnant overnight. When a violent incident occurs, the moral fabric of the village disintegrates and a battle for survival begins.

» see all 4 descriptions

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