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The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
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The Chrysalids (original 1955; edition 1979)

by John Wyndham

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,825782,060 (3.92)215
Member:Liciasings
Title:The Chrysalids
Authors:John Wyndham
Info:Penguin Books (1979), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Read in 2012, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:dystopia, sci-fi, fiction, literature, children, young adult

Work details

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (1955)

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» See also 215 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Like The Day of the Triffids, this is a solid story, well told in first person by a humble, likable, and charming narrator. I find that the magic of Wyndham's writing shows in the style, which is chatty and understated, while also sophisticated and very polite. It's refreshing, considering the time period in which it was written, and it appeals to me. This works as an allegory for any number of social change/social acceptance movements, as well as a defense/demonstration of natural selection. However, the ending adds another layer of sophistication to the story and is fascinating, thought-provoking, and disturbing in its moral ambiguity. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it yet. It's still making me terribly uncomfortable. That's all I'll say to avoid spoilers. ( )
  DorsVenabili | Aug 31, 2014 |
I really loved this book. A definitely recommendation for anyone that liked The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. ( )
  Jayne.Winn | Jun 26, 2014 |
This is the book in which John Wyndham steps out of his comfort zone of writing 1950s 'cosy catastrophes' and produced something darker, deeper, and much much better. Set in post-apocalyptic Labrador, 'The Chrysalids' is the story of how it is to be different in a closed-minded, backwards-looking fundamentalist religious society. Grim, in short. There is none of the light tone and mild humour of his other works, and it eventually becomes disturbing, not to say harrowing. When I first read this book, these many long years ago, I thought it had a happy ending. I am not at all sure it does, now. ( )
  sloopjonb | Jun 7, 2014 |
My reaction to reading this novel in 2005.

This isn’t one of Wyndham’s disaster novels. You could see it as sort of an amalgam of the species supplanting (specifically homo sapiens) The Midwich Cuckoos (though here the supplanting is by nuclear war engendered mutations as opposed to alien-human hyrbridization) and Wyndham’s famous disaster novels.

Here the nuclear war was centuries in the past, and the plot involves a group of telepathic children dealing with their oppressive society which is dedicated to maintaining genetic purity (or, at least, paying lip service to it -- beneficial mutations like giant workhorses are allowed if they only deviate in size) at all costs. Whereas The Midwich Cuckoos was a horror story of man’s supplantation, this novel celebrates the telepathic mutants and the constant change and evolution that is life. It is well narrated by its telepathic hero who briefly glosses over the numerous brutalities inflicted on him and his fellow mutants.

At story’s end, a high tech civilization of telepaths is found in New Zealand.

The narration isn’t as slick or of the same tone as Wyndham’s Out of the Deeps since the narrator engages in a lot of description. ( )
  RandyStafford | Apr 17, 2014 |
One of John Wyndham's classics. A must-read for anyone who likes science fiction. ( )
  turtlesleap | Dec 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Wyndham lumbers his characters with some verbose, pompous speeches about human nature, but his points are still interesting and as relevant today as when he wrote the book in 1955. It's also a ripping adventure.
added by andyl | editThe Observer, Alice Fisher (Dec 7, 2008)
 

» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Wyndhamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, M. JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leger, PatrickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lord, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malcolm, GraemeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powell, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priest, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When I was quite small I would sometimes dream of a city -- which was strange because it began before I even knew what a city was.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Re-Birth is the US title of The Chrysalids.
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Book description
In the community of Waknuk it is believed mutants are the products of the Devil and must be stamped out. When David befriends a girl with a slight abnormality, he begins to understand the nature of fear and oppression. When he develops his own deviation, he must learn to conceal his secret.
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First pub. 1955. Science fiction takes place many centuries after a devastation nuclear war. Enclaves of life are cut off from one another by vast areas of radiation contamination.

(summary from another edition)

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Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141181478, 0141032979, 0141045434

NYRB Classics

An edition of this book was published by NYRB Classics.

» Publisher information page

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