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When the Tripods Came by John Christopher

When the Tripods Came (1988)

by John Christopher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Tripods (prequel)

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6841821,067 (3.44)30



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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
With this prequel to The Tripods Trilogy written twenty years later, John Christopher tries to rectify some of the issues apparent in the post-conquest world he'd created.

First of all, we have a girl on the cover, which is a good start. Unfortunately, much like Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire of 8000 years hence still tied to analog recordings and room-sized computers even as he added to the series through the 1980s, Christopher is tied to the world as he originally wrote it. The kid sister, the step mom and the grandmothers ultimately have little to do with the creation of the resistance movement.

In the England of the "present-day" we have Laurie and his friend Andy on a camping trip not far from their homes. They witness the arrival of one of the first tripods. Two others land in the U.S. and in the Soviet Union. All of the tripods are quickly dispatched, but tripod or "trippy" fever hits the world after a TV series debuts and the theme song become popular on the radio. It's evident that its not your average craze. The takeover, consisting as it did of mass conversion of the population, was swift and terrifying, and Laurie's uncertainty and fear were well expressed. Much like Will, he's a whiner, but with only one book to expand, he doesn't have the chance to be boring.

Laurie's grandmother is a strong-minded woman and is instrumental in his family's success, but Christopher emphasizes Laurie's father's transformation during the crisis over everything else. Of course, this is stressed as resulting from concern over his wife, daughter and mother. Laurie is also carefully given a girl of his own to pine after, all the more precious because girls rarely join the freedom movement because they're too sissy to take the risk. That is all well and good Mr Christopher, but I've seen how this all turns out in a hundred years or so. Free men will discard their beards long before they do away with the tripods. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Enjoyable young adult prequel to the original Tripods Trilogy which I enjoyed as a teenager - my copy is very well read. I think it probably works best if (like me) you leave plenty of time (years) between reading it and the originals as then it's not too irritating that essentially you know the plot already. Nice to see it all in detail and my only main irritation is the lack of YA girls in the story - it was a bit of a jolt when I suddenly twigged the narrator was a boy. ( )
  lnr_blair | Jan 15, 2018 |
perfect prequel to the original Tripod Trilogy ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This is the prequel to the Tripods Trilogy. The title is self-explanatory - a young boy tells his story about the coming of the Tripods and his family's attempts to escape their grasp. I have not yet read the trilogy, but I have seen the TV series and this book answered a lot of questions. It is a fast-paced and gripping read. I read it all in one go as I did not want to put it down. ( )
  nebula21 | Aug 11, 2015 |
This is a prequel to the author's Tripods trilogy, published twenty years (1988) after that trilogy (1967/8) and after the TV adaptation of the first two books. The story gives a reasonable lead up to the events in the original, following the backstory given more briefly in the middle book of the trilogy, though the Tripods seem to take over unrealistically quickly and the method of take over via a TV programme didn't convince in the circumstances. But a good, quick read. 4/5 ( )
  john257hopper | Jan 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
"The book is frighteningly convincing as it shows the gradual takeover of Earth by the Tripods"
"This book makes a fine addition to the Tripods trilogy, and can be read either before or after the other books. The series is one of the better introductions to SF available for young readers."
added by RBeffa | editAboriginal Science Fiction, Janice M. Eisen (Mar 1, 1991)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Christopherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burleson, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Finelle, DominickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my many grandchildren with love
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An explosion of noise woke me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689857624, Mass Market Paperback)

Long ago, the Tripods--huge, three-legged machines--descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods' power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives. But for a brief time in each person's life--in childhood--he is not a slave. For Will, his time of freedom is about to end--unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists. The Tripods trilogy follows the adventures of Will and his cohorts, as they try to evade the Tripods and maintian their freedom and ultimately do battle against them. The prequel, When the Tripods Came, explains how the Tripods first invaded and gained control of the planet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:38 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Fourteen-year-old Laurie and his family attempt to flee England when the Tripods descend from outer space and begin brainwashing everyone with their hypnotic Caps.

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