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The White Mountains by John Christopher
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The White Mountains (1967)

by John Christopher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Tripods (1)

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1,653294,359 (3.93)54
Recently added bycelesteporche, private library, ericmcherry, macnabbs, erceymour
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    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (KingRat)
    KingRat: The White Mountains contains issues similar to those of Uglies: secret control of a society, "mind control", induction into that society, and rebellion against it while pretending to be a member. There are obvious major differences too. Still, enough similarities in style and substance that I suspect people who enjoy one will enjoy the other.… (more)
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English (28)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This is a boy's adventure story that was first published nearly 50 years ago in 1967. It is part of a trilogy from 1967-8 that was very popular in England apparently. I had heard of it and wanted to read this and was pleased to come upon a copy recently. The story is set in a future England and France, perhaps a hundred years in the future, after machines called Tripods took over and now rule the earth and mankind. We do not know if the machines were created by man and given artificial intelligence perhaps as part of a war, or not. Or, perhaps more likely they came from an invasion from the stars. Are the machines alive or are they guided by someone or something else? At a young age children are 'capped', roughly at puberty, and a thought control device is implanted onto their heads to subject them to thought control by the Tripods.

This story is about young Will who lives in a small village near Winchester who doesn't want this and runs away with a cousin after his best friend is "capped" and altered. He has been told by a wanderer that to the south in white mountains there are free uncapped humans who live where the Tripods cannot or do not wish to go. This is his journey. There is more to the story of course, and I think I was expecting something better, but this was still entertaining. This is a self contained story but there are a lot of unanswered questions and things we want to know and I look forward to reading the other books in this short series. ( )
1 vote RBeffa | Sep 20, 2016 |
I read the whole series when I was a kid. I can still picture the racks at Midland Library where I picked them up. I re-read to see what it was I loved about them. I think the idea of escaping from thought control appealed to me as much then as now. It's a short read, it doesn't talk down, and it is very linear. Will have to order the others from Amazon. (Also, good camping read.) ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
I read the whole series when I was a kid. I can still picture the racks at Midland Library where I picked them up. I re-read to see what it was I loved about them. I think the idea of escaping from thought control appealed to me as much then as now. It's a short read, it doesn't talk down, and it is very linear. Will have to order the others from Amazon. (Also, good camping read.) ( )
  thukpa | Feb 6, 2016 |
I read the whole series when I was a kid. I can still picture the racks at Midland Library where I picked them up. I re-read to see what it was I loved about them. I think the idea of escaping from thought control appealed to me as much then as now. It's a short read, it doesn't talk down, and it is very linear. Will have to order the others from Amazon. (Also, good camping read.) ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
Tripods are cool, imagine these fearsome engines stomping around your neighborhood. They are not very practical though are they? Three legs don’t seem to be a very stable locomotive arrangement. The aliens came from light years away can they not spring for some aircrafts or something on wheels? At least double the number of legs for God’s sake!

When I first heard of this series I thought it was some kind of unofficial sequel to Wells’ awesome classic [b: The War of the Worlds|497179|The Time Machine/The War of the Worlds|H.G. Wells|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357744876s/497179.jpg|1156369]. Well, now I know it is not, but it is still a damn fine ripping yarn. The White Mountains depicts a future where alien overlords have been in charge of our planet for hundreds of years. This is not an origin story so we don’t know what happened when the aliens showed up and how they subjugated the human race. To keep humans docile the aliens weld mind control caps on the adults’ heads. The year when the story takes place is not mentioned, there is even a possibility that the tripods may be man-made rather than aliens. I imagine more will be revealed in subsequent volumes of this Tripods series.

The White Mountains is told from the point of view of Will, the thirteen-year-old protagonist. One day Will decides to run away from his home town to avoid the Tripods' “Capping” process when he comes of age. He is accompanied by Henry, a cousin he dislikes, but insists on going along, on their journey they are later joined by a bright French boy they call “Beanpole” because Will and Henry can't pronounce Jean Paul. Their destination is the eponymous White Mountain, where – Will is told by an apparently crazy old man – there is a community of rebellious “uncapped” people. The book is entirely about their perilous journey to this mountain.

I wish I had read this book as a wee lad of fourteen or younger I would have loved his book to bits and immediately read the remaining three volumes. As an adult reader I really enjoyed it but I wish it was more edgy and dark with lots of swearing! This series is generally regarded as children’s books rather than YA. One thing it does have in common with modern YA books is that the setting is a dystopian with mankind under aliens’ domination rather than some post-apocalypse government. I certainly prefer it to [b: The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)|Suzanne Collins|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775], kids being chased by giant tripods is much more exciting than kids being chased by other kids.

The book is very fast paced with something happening on every page, and there is not much in the way of dialogue. The characters are not developed very much but in a book under 200 pages in length that is forgivable. Certainly Will seems like a bit of an idiot most of the time, Henry vacillates back and forth from being callous to caring, and Beanpole is defined by his intellect only. The other characters they meet on their way just serve to help to move the story along. There is a palpable sense of danger when the kids are being chased by the tripods, but the ending seems terribly rushed.

Any way, I am on board for reading the rest of the series. I would love to know what happen next.

Rating: 5 stars for kids, 4 for adults! ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Christopherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burleson, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Jessica : this, and the rest, with love
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Apart from the one in the church tower, there were five clocks in the village that kept reasonable time, and my father owned one of them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This book is purely science fiction and is a great read for middle schoolers.  The book is about a trio of boys who escape their communities to avoid capping.  Capping is when they are made to be docile and obedient to Masters, an unknown controller.  This is a perfect book to get kids, especially boys since all three main characters are boys, into science fiction.  This is a great book to teach in English classes as the story and structure is strong enough to do analytical reading.  Here is the link to his obituary , who died earlier this year, for kids to read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689856725, 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 18:15:37 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.

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