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The City of Gold and Lead by John…

The City of Gold and Lead (original 1967; edition 1988)

by John Christopher

Series: The Tripods (2)

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1,530279,264 (3.96)50
Three boys set out on a secret mission to penetrate the City of the Tripods and learn more about these strange beings that rule the earth.
Title:The City of Gold and Lead
Authors:John Christopher
Info:Simon Pulse (1988), Edition: 2, Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

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The City of Gold and Lead by John Christopher (1967)


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English (25)  Spanish (2)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Having re-read The White Mountains, I couldn't exactly stop there. The second in the trilogy is where our inept hero (but at least he can catch, right?!) gets his ass saved by Beanpole at least twice. But not a single live woman exists in this book. The only woman in the trilogy is now dead and on display as a literal museum piece in the City of Gold and Lead.

I started wondering how the rebels living in the White Mountains could hope to sustain themselves without, you know, having kids. How exactly is a group of literally 100% men going to save the world if they have to replenish their stock all the time? I guess this is science fiction, where everything is possible, especially if it excludes women. ( )
  lemontwist | Sep 19, 2021 |
Premise: Two young boys are humanity’s only hope to discover how to defeat the aliens which have enslaved mankind.

Setting: A future Germany which is at an almost Medieval level of technology, and an alien city where the Masters have set up an ecosystem where they can live on the earth..

Plot: Will, Beanpole, and Fritz enter a competition to enter the city of the Masters and serve the alien overlords. Only Will and Fritz succeed, and they must gather intelligence about how to defeat the Masters, survive their brutality, and then escape from the City of Gold and Lead, where the air is poisonous to humans and the gravity much stronger than they are used to.

Characters: Will hasn’t changed much since the last book. He’s still impetuous, impatient, and resentful. But at least he’s aware of his flaws and tries to overcome them. The other characters, Beanpole and Fritz, are not much more than stereotypes. Once again Will proves to be brave and is able to take action when required, although he makes some big mistakes. Interestingly, Christopher spends some time illuminating the characters of individual alien Masters.

Prose: Straightforward and unornamented. I wasn’t ever struck by a particular piece of language or narrative, but it does the job of relating this action-based tale.

Commentary: Again, every character in this story is white and male. There are literally no females in the resistance, which seems crazy, especially with our modern consciousness about diversity. That being said, I liked this book better than the first one. The story is more original. It drags through the initial competition (which I didn’t remember anything about) but moves quickly once the boys get into the city. I felt impatient with Will and his self-pity. It was interesting to see how not all the Masters had the same beliefs about the conquest of the Earth, which made Will’s ultimate victory somewhat bittersweet. Still a pretty good read, all things considered. ( )
  TheGalaxyGirl | Aug 30, 2021 |
Like the first book of the series, it is clearly a children/YA book of it's time. I kept thinking if it were written today, it might be 600 pages and 5 volumes. Instead, he skips alot of complex character development and creation of an alien world and other themes and just goes for the action story. Our hero, Will, who is less of an immature whiny teen than in the previous book, takes a more prominent role in learning more about the Tripods and, possibly, how to defeat them. The complex lead up to that, involving a Games competition and adventures for Will and Beanpole, seemed needlessly long but once the aim of getting to the City is in sight, it moves very quickly. It took a few turns I did not expect and the Masters were not quite what I expected but it was all a very engrossing and fun read. Looking forward to wrapping it all up with the third book.
  amyem58 | Jun 28, 2021 |
When revisiting a memorable book from childhood, it's interesting to go back and see what age it was recommended for. Scholastic says this series is for 6-8th grade, which seems a bit late. The 'great man' theory permeates this (absolutely fine, engaging) series, and I think it does a disservice to the reader's intelligence if they are really reading this in 8th grade (I mean, they are 13-14 years old at that point!). You have the normal issue with most book protagonists - everything important happens to them or near them or with their help, and layered on top of this is a coda where humanity goes back to it's warring ways because they couldn't trust one great man to lead them. I think this series is a fine introduction to science fiction for a young reader, with the understanding that it may reinforce weird beliefs about 'great men of history.'

I give books in a series, with a few exceptions, the same review. ( )
  sarcher | Sep 15, 2020 |
I enjoyed my re-read of this book more than The White Mountains, I think because Will wasn't being as whiny during it. (He was still getting himself into dumb scrapes, but he was more-or-less taking responsibility for them.) There's still a lot less development of either plot or character than I'm used to in the books I read, but I'm also not used to reading children's books. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burleson, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaminara, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hildebrandt, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollander, LisaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lago, EduardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Three boys set out on a secret mission to penetrate the City of the Tripods and learn more about these strange beings that rule the earth.

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Average: (3.96)
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