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The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

The Midwich Cuckoos (original 1957; edition 1979)

by John Wyndham

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1,713None4,124 (3.81)1 / 169
Title:The Midwich Cuckoos
Authors:John Wyndham
Info:Penguin Books (1979), Paperback
Collections:Read, Your library

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

1001 (21) 1001 books (18) 1950s (14) 20th century (22) alien invasion (15) aliens (44) British (29) British literature (13) children (13) classic (14) ebook (11) England (21) English (16) fantasy (20) fiction (247) Folio Society (20) horror (71) John Wyndham (16) Kindle (12) literature (11) novel (50) penguin (11) read (26) science fiction (474) sf (97) sff (25) telepathy (12) to-read (25) unread (17) Wyndham (15)
  1. 30
    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. 00
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (timspalding)

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English (44)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
John Wyndham's second most famous story is perhaps the eeriest. A small village in England unexplainably fall unconscious for a whole day and when they wake up all the women are pregnant. The children when born all look the same and start to exhibit dangerous and strange behaviour.
Possibly one of the scariest alien invasion stories ever written the Midwich Cuckoos creeps up on us as we like the inhabitants of Midwich don't take the threat seriously until it is too late. Here is a story in which humanity is all but powerless in the face of an unknown threat. All you can do is hope it all ends well. ( )
  ecumenicalcouncil | Jan 5, 2014 |
Big ship
30 November 2013 ( )
  bigship | Nov 29, 2013 |
This is a re-read of the classic Wyndham SF/horror novel about the simultaneous birth of a new race of sinister near-identical children with frightening telepathic abilities. While the characters are to us now 50s middle class stereotypes, this, like other of his novels, is a taut and horrific story, stripped of the subplots and superfluous verbiage that many novels in this genre contain nowadays. The isolated and peaceful English village that contains a sinister secret is rather an SF/horror cliche, but no less effective for that, especially in a pre-Internet age. Great stuff. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Sep 29, 2013 |
An intelligent and thought provoking slice of 1950s Cold War-influenced British science fiction. I enjoyed the bourgeoise village life evoked by John Wyndham. That said the book does also show its age: not only are the female characters all underdeveloped, they are generally too distracted, and/or besotted by the Children (the Cuckoos of the book's title), to contribute anything meaningful to the more weighty discussions of the male characters.

It is actually the discussions, and there are plenty of them (perhaps too many?), that are what make the book interesting. The village's resident philosopher, Zallaby, spends pages pontificating about the moral implications of the Children. These discourses embrace evolution, politics, anthropology, power and authority, and philosophy. Some of these discussions are a bit overcooked and I felt the story could probably have been told in about half the total word count.

The ending, which is signposted a good few pages before the last page, is too neat, and I would have preferred a more ambiguous conclusion. One where the reader is left to consider the implications of the Children reaching maturity and what that might mean for the human race. Instead we end the book very much as we start it with Midwich being, quite possibly, the most boring and uneventful place in the UK. Still, there is much to enjoy, and plenty of food for thought in this sci fi classic. ( )
1 vote nigeyb | Jun 19, 2013 |
This was such a fun quick read. Cuckoos are birds that do not raise their own young. Instead, they lay eggs in other birds' nests. The natural mothering instinct causes these other birds to raise the baby cuckoos as one of their own. In this book, the small town of Midwich, England is disrupted by a 'Dayout', where all of the residents pass out for a day, not remembering anything. When they wake up, all of the women of child-bearing age are pregnant. The children born 9 months later, although human in form, are apparently an alien species that can exert mind control over anyone nearby. This book was a delightful, fun, and quick read. ( )
1 vote jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wyndham, JohnAuthorprimary 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
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:04 -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)

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