The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids The warning WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT faced me as I went in but it was much too familiar to stir a thought Published in The Chrysalids is set in an imagined future that has uncomfortable simila

  • Title: The Chrysalids
  • Author: John Wyndham Adam Roberts Patrick Ledger
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 376
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The warning WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT faced me as I went in, but it was much too familiar to stir a thought Published in 1955, The Chrysalids is set in an imagined future that has uncomfortable similarities with a repressive past Following a catastrophe known as the Tribulation , the farming community of Waknuk is ruled by puritan fundamentalists who see any deviation The warning WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT faced me as I went in, but it was much too familiar to stir a thought Published in 1955, The Chrysalids is set in an imagined future that has uncomfortable similarities with a repressive past Following a catastrophe known as the Tribulation , the farming community of Waknuk is ruled by puritan fundamentalists who see any deviation from the norm as the devil s work The narrator David is terrified that his unusual ability, telepathy, will make him an outcast in his own community Wyndham brilliantly uses this concept to comment on past, present and future New World Puritans in the cultural hysteria of the Salem witch trials the McCarthy persecutions of the 1950s, and the all pervasive threat of nuclear war.John Wyndham 1903 1969 created some of the most intriguing and intelligent science fiction of the 20th century His gripping stories show ordinary, sometimes heroic characters reacting to unsettling or disastrous events that call into question the very nature of human society With Wyndham s writing, science fiction becomes an instrument to force us to look at our own world with fresh eyes and to examine our comfortable assumptions, from human superiority to the permanence of civilisation These Folio editions feature superb illustrations by Patrick Leger and each novel is separately introduced by science fiction writer Adam Roberts, who praises Wyndham s narratives as some of the most cunningly wound up, potently memorable fictions of the century From the general description of this particular set

    One thought on “The Chrysalids”

    1. John Wyndham is often described in rather disparaging term as the main proponent of cosy catastrophe. This based on the allegation that his protagonists tend to be English middle class white males who are not much inconvenienced by the apocalypse, somehow continuing to live it up while the rest of the populace suffer. Having read three of his books I find that while the allegation is not entirely unwarranted it is also not quite fair. I hope to write more about this issue when I get around to re [...]

    2. This has been on my shelf, unread, since uni, when I picked it up second-hand after reading and loving The Day of the Triffids, recommended to me by my mum. I can't believe I waited so long to read this amazing book, and if there is one book you should read in your life it is this one. It has been a long time - how long no one can say, though surely centuries - since God sent the Tribulation to the Old People (us), near destroying everything we had built and learned. The Tribulation continues: t [...]

    3. It is certainly easy to classify John Wyndham's The Chrysalids as old school YA fiction, from before YA fiction needed a label, but it offers more than your average after school special between covers in that it treats the reader as an intelligent and reasonable person, and that while there is a touch of the 50s to the book, it was certainly way ahead of it's time.David Strorm is the only living son of a patriarch of an ultra-religious post-apocalyptic community. Faced a level of mutation in the [...]

    4. The Chrysalids is my new favorite John Wyndham book. It's about conformity in a post-nuclear holocaust world. David and his friends live in an isolated community called Waknuk on the island of Labrador. After seeing one of his friends cast out into the Fringes for having a sixth toe, David begins mistrusting his upbringing. Once he discovers that he and a small group of his friends are telepathic, things only get worse.Wyndham draws on the paranoia and distrust of the deviations from the norm th [...]

    5. An oldie but a goodie. Dystopian fiction at it's best from John Wyndham. The main character David appears at first to be 'normal'. Anyone with a birth defect is a deviant and either killed outright or sent off to The fringes to live with the other mutant.As he grows up David becomes aware of others like him who can communicate in thought patterns. (Telepathy). This if discovered would be classed as deviant and they and he would be in grave danger. David has to protect his friends and especially [...]

    6. At first it seems as if John Wyndham is making the point that those with physical deformities are humans just like everyone else, and should be treated as such. However if we divide this book into heroes and villains, and weigh up the pros and cons for each group we find that the “heroes” are the greater monsters. If the villains are defined by their intolerance of anyone or anything that deviates from the norm then our band of heroes, and their ultimate savior, are the worst offenders. I wa [...]

    7. It seems wrong for the first adjective I'd use to describe a rather miserable future dystopia to be "nostalgic" but that was the mood this book swept me into. Not a nostalgia for the world described within the book, but rather for the style of writing. I read a great deal of fiction very similar to this in my early teenage years, but somehow, I believe I missed this one. Even if I had read it before, it would've held up to re-reading - this is quite an excellent book. In a post-nuclear-war socie [...]

    8. Perhaps the best sound-bite from the anti-evolution camp is the one about the tornado. If a tornado hit a junkyard, how likely is it that it would randomly create a 747? I was surprised to learn the other day that the line originally comes from Fred Hoyle, the brilliant but eccentric astrophysicist who also coined the phrase "Big Bang". Of course, it's not a fair comparison. The whole point, as everyone from Darwin onward has explained, is that evolution isn't a one-shot process; it's the result [...]

    9. Many years have passed since a devastating nuclear war left much of the world in ruins. A small village in northern Labrador comprised of religious fundamentalists is on the lookout for what they call “deviations” - food, animals or even people who deviate from the socially acceptable norm. Once these deviations have been discovered, it is either to be destroyed on the spot or if you’re one of the few people born with a deformity, sterilized and banished from the community, destined to liv [...]

    10. I nominated this book for my real-life book club because I was trying to think of something that would fit a Halloween-sort-of theme, and some description I saw of this book mentioned the Devil, so why not?Sorry, book club. Not very Halloween-y, eh? And, apparently (at least in Pittsburgh), really difficult to find. I failed you all this month.It is a post-apocalyptic novel, though, and I'm usually down for that. This particular post-ap novel is also a coming-of-age story, which I have to admit [...]

    11. Absolutely brilliant - one of the best books I've read in terms of dealing with a post-apocalyptic world and what they might mean. The writing is beautiful and the characterisation and world-building subtly done. The society Wyndham builds is terrifying and fascinating, and brilliantly created. I think I preferred the slower first half to the more action-driven second half, but this will still definitely be one of my favourites of this year!

    12. Having recently read John Wyndham's famous novel The Day of the Triffids, which is known more for the film adaptations, I decided to read another of Wyndham's books. The result left me very satisfied and I must conclude that Wyndham now holds a place on my (imaginary) bookshelf of favourite classic sci-fi authors alongside Wells, Asimov and Verne to name a few.The idea of The Chrysalids is simple but executed extremely well. As a result The Chrysalids is a complement to the aesthetic as well as [...]

    13. A very thought-provoking and equally entertaining read that explores various themes close to my heart. Amongst them are the notion of the 'ideal' body, the use and abuse of power, the evolution of the mind and the concepts of truth and falsehood. And the best thing about this book is that it features my favourite kind of fictional characters: wise children with telepathic power!

    14. İnsanı insan yapan nedir? Irkı mı? Ten rengi mi? Milliyeti mi? Yoksa düşünceleri ve kişiliği mi? John Wyndham, Krizalitler adlı eserinde tam da bu konuyu sorguluyor işte. Ama bilimkurgunun, hatta belki de biraz da fantastiğin o kendine özgü eleştiri kılıcını kuşanarak, farklı ve gerçeküstü bir yoldan yapıyor bunu.Hikayemiz Waknuk köyünde yaşayan, David adlı bir çocuğun başından geçenleri konu alıyor. David dış görünüş açısından son derece normal, hatta [...]

    15. This was a bit different from The Day of the Triffids, (the only other John Wyndham novel I have read) and a bit similar as well. The Triffids is set during an present day (at the time of publication that is) apocalypse, while The Chrysalids is a post apocalyptic novel set in the future. The plot of both center around characters that are in the run, thought I think it takes longer until that part begins in The Chrysalids. Most importantly for me, I liked both of them.It's an interesting read at [...]

    16. A post apocalyptic world in which society puritanically tries to resist the deviations that beset their crops, livestock and people through genetic mutations. David Strorm, never quite understanding his father's fervour for normality soon discovers that he (and certain others) deviate from the norm in a new and undetectable way. As they try to keep their difference hidden and try to be normal, they eventually discover that they won't ever fit in and with the arrival of David's sister Petra, it b [...]

    17. Another wonderfully written Wyndham book. Similar to some of the other reviewers I find that Wyndham's writing draws you in, and before you know it an hour has passed (Not lost as reading is never about losing time) and you want to carry on to continually find out what happens next.As with some of his other novels I would have loved a sequel to find out how the characters fared on the next stage of their journey, but maybe thats the sign of a good writer, leave the reader wanting more.In my view [...]

    18. #11 in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2015: youtube/watch?v=zIWkwAn excellent excercise in post-apocalyptic fiction from a master of the genre - compelling storytelling, intelligent reflections and believable characters. An amazing reading experience, chrysalids = readers. Think about it.

    19. I usually have a three book rule which states that I only read three consecutive books by any author. It's mostly to stop me from getting bored. Not so with Wyndham. I'm four in and still wanting more. I haven't read the Chrysalids since I was a youth, and, understandably, a lot of the evolutionary/religious themes were lost on me back then. It's a much richer reading experience now. As usual with Wyndham, this is a story which raises all manner of questions regarding what constitutes perfection [...]

    20. I love this book! It affects me every time I read it, or listen to/watch an adaptation of The Chrysalids. The depiction of a post-nuclear world, where a tiny minority of telepaths are pitted against the general population of religious bigots is pure Wyndham. He takes just a small step away, presents a "What if?" scenario, and proceeds to show human behaviour in all its aspects, warts and all.

    21. Gerçekten çok keyifle okuduğum bir kitap oldu.Krizalitler bizi post apokaliptik bir dünyaya götürüyor. Aslında felaketin ne olduğunun tam olarak bilmiyoruz fakat canlılarda görülen mutasyonlar bize her ne olduysa bunun nükleer bir durum olduğunu tahmin ettiriyor. Waknuk köyündeki David'in hikayesini okuyoruz. Waknuk köyü oldukça dindar ve tüm canlıların Tanrı'nın onları yarattığı şekilde olması gerektiğini düşünerek bunun dışında kaldığını var saydıklar [...]

    22. 3.5 out of 5 starsThis was my first John Wyndham book, and though I can't say I loved it, I am definitely interested in reading more of his work. This particular post-apocalyptic setting is very interesting, but the characters took a while for me to get into, and the second half of the book was more engaging than the first. Overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to fans of post-apocalyptic fiction.

    23. I've been meaning to read The Chrysalids since it was mentioned in Among Others (reading books Mori mentions hasn't steered me wrong, so far). I'm glad I got round to it. I enjoyed Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, but I enjoyed The Chrysalids rather more: I fell in love with the way he created a whole post-apocalyptic world in just a few pages. I loved all the details of it -- harsh and oppressive as it would be to live that life, it's a fantastic read for someone interested in post-apocalyptic dy [...]

    24. With this novel Wyndham abandons his contemporary-documentary settings and style and tells a future-post-nuclear-holocaust tale instead - and wow! What a difference!In contrast to a rather dry telling of a tale in which there is little by way of incident, if possibly a lot by way of thought-provocation, as can be found in The Midwich Cuckoos or Trouble with Lichen, this is a story with much in the vein of adventure story but also a message about religion, (in)tolerance and differences between pe [...]

    25. What impressed me the most about The Chrysalids is Wyndham’s resistance for flare. The descriptions are somewhat minimalist. He seemed to love working within the walls of a sci-fi convention to sort of bend the edges of them without breaking them. This sort of restraint is what gives the story its wings as the reader is given an allowance to extend what information is given and fulfill the corollaries Wyndham sets and color in the longer-felt repercussions of living in this world. I found that [...]

    26. This is the best of the Wyndham books. Quite a good adventure about a bunch of kids that are worried about being hunted down by their community in a post apocalyptic setting.

    27. This book had such a promising start, I was convinced I was going to love this, and then rather than the action packed/suspenseful/thrilling parts I was hoping and yearning for, the end consisted of a lot of discussion and everything being way too neatly and quickly wrapped up. If I were a teen and wasn't already familiar with all the philosophical, psychological and religious themes discussed, I might find this more interesting. As it is I see the value in this book having been written, especia [...]

    28. This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge.WHEN I Discovered This ClassicI bought The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids in 2013 when I visited Daunt Books, Marylebone, one of my favourite bookshops in London. I knew that his books were science fiction modern classics and that the two I picked were his most well-known novels.WHY I Chose to Read It It had been a while since I read my first John Wyndham novel. I read The Day of the Triffids in April 2013 and haven't picked up a John Wynd [...]

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