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The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

The Midwich Cuckoos (original 1957; edition 1979)

by John Wyndham

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,953573,485 (3.8)1 / 241
Title:The Midwich Cuckoos
Authors:John Wyndham
Info:Penguin Books (1979), Paperback
Collections:Read, Your library

Work details

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (1957)

  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 (55)  Hungarian (1)  English (56)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
  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 |
Nine months after being inexplicably cut off for a day, every woman of childbearing age in the town of Midwich has a child. 60 of these children look remarkably alike. Yet life goes on—until those that have left town are forced by their children to return.

The military works to hide these things from the media. The residents just want to go on. But are these children really children? What should be done with them?

I suspect Douglas Adams was familiar with this book, and got some of his ideas about Earth as computer/experiment from it. But whereas Adams has put a funny spin on his ideas, the questions Wyndham looks at—about identity, species, political/religious/social systems, and survival—are serious and very interesting. ( )
  Dreesie | Sep 13, 2016 |
creepy. I can't remember exactly when I first read this, it was some time after Penelope Lively's Astercote, and reinforced the impression that villages were terrible places to live, from which there was no escape.
Some of the language seems a little dated now, as well as the attitude that weak and feeble women should be sent away from danger, but overall an interesting experiment in how "ordinary" and "next generation" humans might behave. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
This is a truly original bit of sci-fi which, although not terribly well written, has a great plot and, as all good sci-fi must, continues to raise relevant questions for the human race to consider.

The village of Midwich finds itself the scene of a mysterious phenomenon: every childbearing woman present in the village on a particular day becomes pregnant. The resulting progeny are human to only a certain extent. It is the extent to which they supercede humanity in their abilities that eventually provides a threat that must be dealt with.

There is much to like in this short novel. The plot is original and you are driven onward by a curiosity to see exactly what happens next, particularly as the children grow older.

And as they do, Wyndham does a good job of bringing in moral and
ethical dilemmas which confront the characters and using these for the reflective reader to consider when thinking about how humanity currently conducts itself. Issues relating to our relationship with other species of animal, evolution, the treatment of minorities, the legal position of minors in relation to criminal activity and even moral issues surrounding pregnancy and illegitimate offspring. It would make a good set text for a school or basis for discussion for a book club.

What lets the book down is Wydham’s lack of flair when it comes to his writing style. It’s a bit stilted. Me and the missus read this book together out loud to each other and often had to reread parts that simply didn’t scan because of the way the writing was constructed. There was some pretty archaic vocabulary too even for when this was published.

You can also tell that it’s ideas, not characters, which power his writing. None of the characters was particularly well developed and the narrator was the least developed of any I’ve read since Powell’s infamously formless Nick Jenkins. I didn’t particularly care what happened to any of them and, for a novel with a very real threat against humanity, that was a let down.

Still, for a novel which isn’t particularly well written, it is memorable and has had its own unique impact on the sci-fi genre. For that alone, it’s worth a read ( )
  arukiyomi | Jan 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wyndham, Johnprimary 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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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
Haiku summary

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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