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1. Midwich Cuckoos
2. Myths of Ife
3. Trouble with Lichen
4. The Kraken Wakes
5. The Chrysalids (New York Review
6. Chocky (Puffin Books)
8. Out of the Deeps
9. The Day of the Triffids (20th
10. Rebirth
11. The Seeds of Time
12. The Infinite Moment
13. Tales of Gooseflesh and Laughter
14. The Paranoid Fifties (The Day
15. Consider Her Ways and Others
17. Stowaway to Mars
18. The Outward Urge (Vintage Ballantine,
20. Web (Penguin Readers, Level 3)

1. Midwich Cuckoos
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 190 Pages (2000-04)

Isbn: 014118146X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Cuckoos lay eggs in other birds' nests. The clutch that was fathered on the quiet little village of Midwich, one night in September, proved to possess a monstrous will of its own. Imt promised to make the human race look as dated as the dinosaur. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you're a writer.....
If you're a writer, you'll notice that the children only speak when the book is 80% complete. Quite dramatic & effective.

3-0 out of 5 stars Slow at first, then an amazing ending
In Midwich on one regular day the entire town just falls asleep and anyone hoping to enter the town passes out.This day was known as the Dayout.Soon the people learn that every woman of child bearing age has mysteriously become pregnant as of the Dayout.

Then the Children are born and right away they don't fit in.They all have pale skin and hair and have erie golden eyes.They're also emotionless and have no distinct personalities.

The beginning of this story was really slow and really only talked about the logic of it all and how the people of midwich were coping with these strange Children.The only thing the book really tells you about the Children is that the group of boys have a hive mind as do the girls.Also that after nine years they all look to be about sixteen.

The action of the story only really happens in the middle and end when the Children make a driver crash into a wall when he accidentally knocks over one Child when driving.After that multiple attempts at murdering the Children come but with some people still trying to protect them.

I have already watched the movies based on this book so knew what happens in the end, but what really took me oFf was how the Children behaved when the character Zellaby arrived.Because of the middle and end I gave this book 3 stars, but the beginning was just so slow I had to stop reading this book for a while.However when the story line really comes in to play the book was amazing, and I definitely recommend reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely first rate hard sci-fi, with very British character studies
Viewers of the excellent early film version of this may feel disappointed: the pace is slow, there is lots of dialogue, and the characters are hard to grasp. What's more, the children are more of a threatening presence - they cannot even be told apart reliably - than the active individuals of the film. But if the reader sticks with it, there are great rewards to be found.

First, the principal story is about the village, Midwich, which is as normal a place in the English countryside as one can imagine. There is an extraordinary series of events, first a blackout of all residents in a well defined perimeter, and then the realization that all women of child-bearing age are simultaneously pregnant, about 60 women. The full first third of the novel portrays how residents attempt to deal with the pregnancies, how they establish a kind of solidarity between themselves, that will later prove brittle and prone to violence. It is here that the complex characters are estalished in a brilliant way that is imortant later.

Second, there is the enigma of the children, whose attributes are nothing short of extraordinary, in that they appear to have two massminds, one for girls and the other for boys. They are all able to impell the villagers to behave in certain ways, as in disallowing them to leave Midwich in a time of crisis. As they all appear to be clones, no individuals emerge. What is so wonderful is that so little is explained - virtually all of the action takes place off-stage, including what the children are planning beyond their survival. They remain a splendid mystery with cunningly placed details for the reader to piece together; many interpretations are possible, if the reader enjoys that kind of exercise of the imagination. Interestingly, it is never clear whether or not they can read minds, which is only implied obliquely, and there are limits to what they can see.

Third, the reader never gets a clearly defined meaning for it all, beyond the fact that they are alien and constitute a threat, perhaps to humanity as a whole. Instead, the main characters speculate on it and discuss it, with some very unusual ideas floating about. This too can be great fun, but again, it is piecing together hints. I was left with a sense of mystery at the complexity of the universe, which is such a delight to a middle-aged mind!

Finally, there is the action that a village leader decides to take. While there is very little actual violence, it is always a threat of dread to all the villagers. For all appearences out of character, the leader proves decisive and even prescient. But again, unlike the movie, very little of the final struggle is spelled out.

This is a splendid vehicle for the lively imagination. It is also very British, which will put many American readers off, as we explect clear and fast-paced action, unequivocal explanations, and a wrap-up (with the possibiltiy of a sequel). What you get is a large social drama with subtle characters, the recognition of a new "threat of the jungle" that is never defined and whose meaning remains a delicious mystery. Warmly recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars Children with psychic powers create horror in a village
A mysterious silver object appears one night over the small sleepy village of Midwich causing all the inhabitants to fall unconscious. A day later, on a day called "day out", the object is gone and everyone seems unhurt but the women of child bearing age are found to be pregnant. The resulting children are recognisably human but bear no resemblance to their parents being blond haired with golden eyes. The most frightening aspect is their minds exhibit extraordinary abilities. They act as a collective with respect to their gender such that anything that one boy knows, all the boys know and the same for the girls. As they grow, their ability to control human actions gets stronger. Is this evolutionary leap replacing the entire human race?

There are much debate and philosophising on evolution, invasion, survival and general differences between male and female opinion and emotion. The gestalt group of children develops along the lines of a horror story and keeps the focus on the mystery behind children. The philosophising is quite heavy and ponders the place of humans in the world. The children are devoid of human emotions or a 'moral' sense. The reader learns that there were other groups: one in Australia, one in Siberia, and one in an Inuit community. The title comes from cuckoos, which lay eggs in another bird's nest and eventually destroy the original eggs.

Two (2) stars. Written in 1957 and adapted to a movie Village of the Damned (1995) by John Carpenter this book is a showcase of stilted, middle-upper class England and their conservatism against changes. The writing is gentle paced, the tension is built up gradually, but the result is a little dry and theatrical. Most of the inspiration goes into the idea and only a few into the execution. The children don't do much so it is the observers' thoughts that the reader hears. The chilling alien aspect, psychic powers, would have provided many possibilities. The book features clandestine and sophisticated fear but the Darwinian aspect is diluted as the story reaches the end: the survival of the ruthlessly violent. Undeniable creeping and slightly influential read.

5-0 out of 5 stars an all-time classic
I've only just read this classic for the first time (I only just saw "The Village of the Damned" for the first time a few weeks ago).Still relevant today.Need I say: much better than the 1960 film?This is one of those novels that deserves to be re-discovered by readers (as I have done) and also filmed again as maybe a BBC mini-series a la "Cranford";get Russell Davies or Mark Gatiss involved - keep it faithful to the source novel - how about Christopher Lee as Zellaby.With today's technology one actor and one actress could easily play all the beautiful blonde children.Come on what are you waiting for...get busy.While we wait for them to finish, read the book again. ... Read more

2. Myths of Ife
by John Wyndham
 Hardcover: Pages (1921)

Asin: B003XKHW0K
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3. Trouble with Lichen
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 204 Pages (1973-05-31)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$60.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140019863
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
It came from a lichen. When biochemist Francis Saxover discovered its remarkable properties, the implications terrified him. But Diana Brackley foresaw the coming of a new evolutionary order and with it, a revolution. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good concept, so-so delivery
I bet most of us have thought about having a longer lifespan. If only there was a fountain of youth. Throughout our short lives we worry about that day when we will reach the end of our own personal timeline. As we age we struggle to look and feel young but eventually we have to face the truth - life is short and we're aging every day and there is nothing we can do about it. But what if there was?

In Trouble with Lichen Diana and Francis, a couple of biochemists in England discover a species of lichen that has the magical ability to extend ones life by double or perhaps even triple. The problem is that the supply of this lichen is very limited and it's very hard to grow. Diana and Francis part ways and Diana opens up a beauty spa and uses the lichen in her products on a small but powerful group of women. Of course the secret of the 'antigerone' can't remain a secret forever.

The problem with this book is that the idea is better than its execution. Most of this book is spent setting up for a climax that never really seems to come into fruition. Also, none of the characters really appealed to me. On the plus side, it did conjure up thoughts about humanity and what might happen if we could all extend our lives three-fold. Would we become overpopulated? Could we stay in our current relationships for such a long time?

Trouble with Lichen is a decent read, though it does seem to lose its impact before the end. Still, check it out!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
The lichen in this piece is a rare plant. It has the amazingly quality
of being useful in retarding the aging process in humans.

The discoverers of this decide to keep it quiet, to prevent an
uproar, but inevitably, the secret gets out. Particularly when one use
it was put to was basically in a beauty salon!

Definitely Wyndham's weakest effort.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sleeper
John Wyndham has never been noted for writting fast paced action novels.His novels are more in line of leaving the reader with an expectation of what will happen next.This book starts out slow and never gaines momentum.It is filled with long drawn out and rather boering conversations.After so much of this your expectation is that there will be more of the same.The best thing I can say about this book is,having throuble with sleeping.Read Trouble With Lichen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a genuine anti-aging treatment
A lichen plant is discovered to have anti aging properties when it is spilled into a bowl of milk, and the milk does not turn sour.
The product is manufactured into a beauty cream, but the discovery is kept secret for some good reasons.
An excellent read from John Wyndham. ... Read more

4. The Kraken Wakes
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 240 Pages (1973-06-28)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$33.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140010750
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Ships are sinking for no apparent reason, carrying hundreds to a dark underwater grave. Strange fireballs race through the sky above the deepest trenches of the oceans. Something is about to show itself, something terrible and alien, a force capable of causing global catastrophe. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied
Order received promptly and in good condition. Will use this vendor again if the opportunity arises.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Another astronomical event causes bad things to happen to poor hapless
humanity. Things crash on the planet, and the seas begin to rise. This
is a problem as monkey based bipeds required fairly significant amounts
of dry land to go about their business on a daily business.

However, there are other lifeforms on earth, and some of them live
beneath the waves. They are fairly happy about what is going on. The
remnants of humanity have to make do with less and less land.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth rediscovering
Personally I enjoy "The Kraken Wakes" more than the better known "Triffids". Like that latter title, I would characterize this book as a socio-political commentary disguised as a sci-fi story, with a lot of dry and apropos humor in the depiction of human failings. What is dated about the story - the cold war political landscape, the lack of environmental conciousness, the mid 20th Century technologies - is more than compensated for by the wonderful heart of the book - the delightful love relationship between a married couple. Certainly there is a great deal of British reserve in the depiction of what is a charming balance between emotional counterparts. I also find the idea of a modern world overcome by a rising sea level, albeit from a different cause and at an accelerated pace, rather chilling. (PS I agree the cover art is dopey on this edition. I have a different one with a much better illustration.)

5-0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review
Fans of Frank Schätzing's novel The Swarm might be interested to know that the 2004 bestseller had a 1953 precursor in John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes, another novel featuring humanity under threat from mysterious forces operating beneath the sea. Ignore the middle-class twittering of the two main characters and, instead, enjoy Wyndham's relentless build-up of tension, punctuated by some truly chilling moments, as inhuman entities escalate their attacks. The Kraken Wakes is a personal favourite of mine, from way back, and has much that is relevant today, including such topics as international inertia in the face of abrupt climate change.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's not Wyndham's best, but still a 5 starer
It's not Wyndham's best book, but it still gets 5 stars from me.
A reporter goes on a ship voyage which is then attacked by a Kraken Wake (Big squid monster). It's a lttle slower moving than his other books, so if you are new to Wyndham I would recommend perhaps starting with another such as The Day of the Triffids (20th Century Rediscoveries) or The Chrysalids.
But for Wyndham fans, you will love it. ... Read more

5. The Chrysalids (New York Review Books Classics)
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 240 Pages (2008-11-18)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590172922
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God’s creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction—unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.

At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that the he too is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce h im to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.

The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work form the classic era o science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (156)

5-0 out of 5 stars In a Not So Distant Future
While John Wyndham's "The Chrysalids" was written in the 1950s, it is amazing how relevant his story is to today's world - and how evident some of the thinking is in today's society.A frightening thought, for "The Chrysalids" is a science-fiction novel, one that takes place after a devastating nuclear war, where perfection to an ideal is required and anything or anyone who deviates from that "true image" is killed or banished.A critique on fundamentalism and bigotry, Wyndham's classic will leave readers breathless and in awe.

The story is narrated by the young David Strorm, whose father preaches strict adherence to the "true image" that God intended.In doing so, any crops that deviate are burned, any animals that offend are killed, and any "mutant" child born does not live.David never questions these precepts until he meets Sophie, a young girl who becomes his friend, and who just happens to have six toes on each foot - a deviation that if discovered would mean that she would be sterilized and sent to live in the wild lands of the Fringes, the land where the Devil works.More alarming than his friendship with Sophie, which is cut short when her secret is discovered, is the fact that David and a small group of his friends are deviants as well - not that anyone could tell from the outside.For David's friends can communicate telepathically, and soon enough they find their circle challenged by those in charge who fear having deviants in their midst that they cannot recognize.The only chance David, his cousin Rosalind, and his younger sister, Petra, have of surviving, is fleeing to the Fringes and hoping that a voice Petra hears communicating from a great distance can indeed do something to save them.

"The Chrysalids" is a fascinating, quick-paced read that will leave readers unsettled, knowing how all too likely Wyndham's vision is.The storytelling is straightforward and almost like a diary in nature, but Wyndham's images of a post-nuclear world will certainly engrave themselves on readers' minds.Once David, Rosalind, and Petra flee for their lives, the narrative slows down a little too much, as they meet and escape one scrape after another, but the pace resumes in the final confrontation scene between the Fringe people and the quote-unquote civilized, "true image" society members.The ending seems a bit rushed, but Wyndham rightly leaves the future of his main characters and their success up to his readers' imaginations.Will they find the utopia they expect, or will it also be corrupted by bigotry and ignorance?Wyndham raises many thought-provoking questions but allows the readers to form their own answers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A strong voice against bigotry and hatred
In the post-apocalyptic world, after a nuclear war, there's no place for mutants or for who or what is different from "the plan of God". Religious bigotry and paranoia are taught from childhood in the little village in which the novel is aet, but David will find that i's wrong to cling at static norms, that "Life is change" and that diversity is a richness to be treasure. He and his friensa will flee the bigotry addle village to a land of liberty. a lesson for our times.

4-0 out of 5 stars Effective, relevant after all these years
John Wyndham (full name being John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, ain't that a doozy friends and neighbors) was a mid-century science fiction writer who penned no less than six masterpieces of soft science fiction in his lifetime. 1955's "The Chrysalids" is not only one of these masterpieces, but probably the author's best work altogether.

In it, Wyndham paints a depressing picture of a post-nuclear society several thousand years in the future. While most of the known land remains irradiated and horribly dangerous, small pockets of civilization remain. The novel's protagonist, David, is a resident of a fundamentally-Christian sector of now-subtropical Eastern Canada. The powers that be strive to maintain "normality", meaning that any sort of mutation brought upon by the nuclear and biological blight is shunned and usually destroyed. David, son of a charismatic preacher, grapples with his own conflicting opinions on the matter. All the while, he does his best to conceal a strange secret that threatens to land him and some of his closest friends in very hot water.

Even fifty years after its initial publication, "The Chrysalids" remains a fresh and profound study of childhood innocence in a close-minded society, of the twin detriments of dogmatism and intolerance, and of what it means to be human. The gripping and thoroughly-entertaining story is layered with, but rarely hampered by, this aforementioned insight. The prose is basic, but it works. Characterization is top-notch, especially for such a short novel.

A near-perfect performance, though I had a few qualms with some the sentiment towards the end, which did seem at odds with the the earlier pleas for tolerance. However, this shouldn't keep anyone from enjoying this worthy classic of science fiction, and any fan of the genre should make room for this on his or her bookshelf. It is one of those rare Golden Oldies that has aged very well, and it deserves attention.

5-0 out of 5 stars a brilliant read!
I bougt this book for my kindle after reading The Day of the Triffids. I would recommend this book as I loved it. It ia a great fantasy story, and although neither are books I would usually read, I will now be reading more books from John Wyndham.

4-0 out of 5 stars Future Mindgames
The novel imagines a society where living beings who do not confirm to a 'true image' of God are deemed mutants and deviants. For a work first published in 1955, the plot is as progressive as any 21st century plot.

David, a by-all-accounts 'normal' boy first encounters Sophie, whose parents had hidden her deformity of having six toes per foot from the Inspector and the government. He eventually learns firsthand the terrifying fate awaiting those who are found to be different and unapproved.

Sophie and her parents' fates make David realise that his own ability to communicate with a special group of children through thought-shapes must never be made known to anyone, not especially to one of the fiercest proponent of the fight against mutants, his own father.

When his little sister, Petra, turns out to have the same gift, but in far greater proportion than him, and unconsciously so, that the dangers become even more real.

An altogether gripping novel that questions the relative meaning of being normal, and the oppression of what the majority sees as different. My only complaints are perhaps the sometimes checkered narrative (e.g. David's descriptions of his cousin and love-interest Rosalind in the midst of their escape), and sudden lenghty expository comments by certain representative characters that slow down the action somewhat.

Nonetheless, the inventive blend of sci-fi and southern gothic genres in this work is in itself of literary merit and should appeal especially to young readers. ... Read more

6. Chocky (Puffin Books)
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 160 Pages (1973-01-25)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$37.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140031219
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Matthew, they thought, was just going through a phase of talking to himself. And, like many parents, they waited for him to get over it, but it started to get worse. Mathew's conversations with himself grew more and more intense - it was like listening to one end of a telephone conversation while someone argued, cajoled and reasoned with another person you couldn't hear. Then Matthew started doing things he couldn't do before, like counting in binary-code mathematics. So he told them about Chocky - the person who lived in his head. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Nothing to do with Brian McClair
David and Mary Gore live in the south of England and have been married for fifteen years. The couple have two children - Matthew, who is adopted, is eleven while Polly is nine. When Polly was five, she had an imaginary friend called Piff - both David and Mary were very relieved that Piff was forgotten about and left behind in Surrey, following a family holiday. However, when they notice the one-sided conversations Matthew has been having, they start worrying another imaginary friend is about to move in. This time, admittedly, things are a little different. Matthew, after all, is a little old for imaginary friends - and, rather then bossing his friend around, it appears that he is trying to answer some pretty tricky questions

Eventually, Matthew spills a few more details about Chocky, his 'imaginary' friend. He isn't entirely sure if Chocky is a male or female - though Matthew and David subsequently settle on female. Some of the questions she's being asking are a little strange - why are there seven days in a week, why two sexes, instead of one and where is Earth ? (Third planet out from the sun isn't quite enough). Then Matthew's maths teacher calls round, with questions about who's been `helping' him with his schoolwork. The problem is, as well as his standard work in base 10, Matthew's also working with a version of binary - because that's how Chocky counts. The conflict between the systems is causing Matthew a little confusion, and this is showing up in Matthew's schoolwork. There are also some strange questions in his science class, and a slightly different approach to his artwork. As time goes on, the parents are less and less sure of how to proceed - to the point where they consider consulting a psychiatrist. As it turns out, there's a little more to Chocky than Matthew's imagination, and Chocky's scientific and mathematical knowledge goes far beyond binary. The problem is that Matthew's life could become very difficult if the wrong people ever found out....

"Chocky" is a short book, and is more a children's story than 'grown up' sci-fi. David, who narrates the story, is a very old-fashioned character - but I suppose the story is set in very different times. The writing is very stiff and formal - David does actually say things like "I say, Matthew" - and what should have been a dramatic ending barely raised an eyebrow. The early part of the book reminded me of the joke where a mother knows everything about her children - blood group, allergies, favourite food, friends' names and birthdays, main hobbies - while the father is vaguely aware there are some little people in the house. As a result, I was a little puzzled as to why David was narrating - I really couldn't see why Matthew would choose to confide in him. However, things became even more incredible after a while - these days, I can't see anyone getting away with something like : "I was vaguely aware that Mary was a little distrait, but she had the tact to keep the cause to herself until I had eaten my supper." An easy enough read overall - but certainly not Wyndham's best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alien mind invasion or mental illness
When Matthew starts talking to himself his parents become worried. Then he begins to be able to do amazing things, such as complicated mathematics and extraordinary art. He explains that it is not himself doing these things but the person who lives in his head "Chocky".
Another great read from John Wyndham.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chock Full of...
...delightful surprises!

Matthew, 11, a bright, pre-adolescent boy has been receiving visits from a mysterious, possibly alien being called Chocky. He and Chocky have long, esoteric conversations that suggest that perhaps Chocky is not a resident of Planet Earth. The question is, does Chocky exist? And what gender is Chocky? Matthew initially identified Chocky as male, then later on Chocky is referred to as being female.

The dialog is nothing short of brilliant; the dynamics are uncannily convincing. This is an excellent book.

Matthew has a highly irritating younger sister. I just loved it when their father told her to shut up when she wanted to drone on about Twinklehooves, a fictional horse in one of her books. What a foolish girl chock full of inane chatter. I also thought that response served her right as nobody wanted to listen to her silly palaver. Matthew, on the other hand had an open, receptive mind and was able to receive Chocky.

Chocky comes through for Matthew's irritating sister. When she nearly drowns, Matthew saves her, but says that Chocky saved her. His drawings become startlingly sophisticated, a talent he also attributes to Chocky. Matthew starts to view the world through Chocky's eyes and when his work is submitted to an art show without his permission, Chocky's "existence" snowballs.

The boy's parents fear he will be kidnapped for his knowledge of esoteric matters via Chocky. Chocky realizes Matthew is in danger and that others will try to use him to get to him/her, Chocky and Chocky's information. Once Chocky imparts this final message, s/he leaves Matthew, never to return in any form. It is believed that Chocky is an extra terrestrial.

The conversations between the boy and the being are deep and profound; they expound on questions of routine existence that many take for granted. Chocky raises Matthew's level of appreciation for his life and the people in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cosy tea time read
John Wyndham has such a definitive British style, most apparent in "Chocky". The stiff upper lip element is obvious, when an alien intellignence infiltrates the mind of Matthew, son of a middle class family. It is an understated read, which adds to the "real" element of the atmosphere, which is strong...it alsocreates an air of nostalgia too...Matthew is a delightful character and the family dynamics are all too real, if you grew up in that type of environment. I recommend Wyndham to anyone wanting to test the waters of Science Fiction, but have a fairly conservative outlook. ... Read more

Paperback: 160 Pages (1977)

Isbn: 0722193742
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of classic short stories
While I had some of these short stories in other compilations such as 'Consider Her Ways', there are enough interesting stories I hadn't read to make it a worthwhile purchase! ... Read more

8. Out of the Deeps
by John Wyndham
Mass Market Paperback: 182 Pages (1977-11-12)
list price: US$1.75
Isbn: 034527217X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars War of the Waters
In his second novel, John Wyndham demonstrates the influence of H.G. Wells by writing a book that is similar to "The War of the Worlds."While the aliens in Wells' novel exist on the land, the aliens in Wyndham's novel take refuge in the sea.Looking away from the obvious similarities, "Out of the Deeps" is actually a good read.

As fireballs descend from the sky into the deepest parts of the oceans, the world pays little attention except for the central characters.Phyllis and Mike witness the fireballs on their honeymoon cruise.The "mad scientist" Bocker joins their inner-circle of research despite his thoughts being mocked in many ciricles.When islands of people begin to disappear, Mike and Phyllis seek to find out who or what is doing it.They are among the first to attach the disappearances to the fireballs.Credit must be given to the author.Even while this novel bears a resemblance to Wells' novel, Wyndham ackowledges Wells' novel in his book as a clever frame of references.

Toward the end, the story drags considerably."Phase Three" of the book spends significant time describing the state of the world as the beings apparently win their conflict with humans.The reader is still drawn by the solution to the conflict, which is worth the wait.

John Wyndham's work is often underappreciated in the science fiction genre.While this is not his best work, it is entertaining and unique in some ways.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great early "what if?" alien invasion story!
John Wyndham has crafted a story that is both realistic and fascinating, while never allowing the suspense to drop. The aliens in this story are not here to teach us a lesson on how to properly take care of our world, nor do we ever see them. Their motivations and reasoning are left largely unexplored, but that makes the story all the stronger. The two central characters, Mike and Phyllus, and the pesimistic and overly-intelligent scientist Boker, are likeable. The ending was very sudden and maybe a tiny bit on the disbelievable side, but hey it worked.
Give this one ago, very solid sci-fi novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars As relevent and plausible now as when it was written.
An intelligent species occupying an area of the earth which we cannot is an excellent premise. Creatures comfortable in the deep ocean trenches would surely be a nightmare!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wyndham at his best
I can't understand why John Wyndham's works are not more popular.This book is a perfect example of great sci-fi; interesting ideas, elegantly written, and compulsively readable.There is a sense of wonder here thatis absent from most contemporary work.Wyndham's aliens are unfathomableand implacable, and the scenes of a drowned London are unforgettable. Highly recommended.I wish there were authors around still capable ofwriting books like this, but clearly there aren't.

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare work
It is a shame John Wyndham's books are no longer in print.His writing compares quite favorably to Wells, Asimov, and Heinlein.He should be considered one of the better writers in the field. There is a feeling of horror throughout this book that puts it miles above other "invadersfrom another planet" tales. ... Read more

9. The Day of the Triffids (20th Century Rediscoveries)
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 256 Pages (2003-07-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812967127
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In 1951 John Wyndham published his novel The Day of the Triffids to moderate acclaim. Fifty-two years later, this horrifying story is a science fiction classic, touted by The Times (London) as having “all the reality of a vividly realized nightmare.”

Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids, strange plants that years before began appearing all over the world. The Triffids can grow to over seven feet tall, pull their roots from the ground to walk, and kill a man with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. With society in shambles, they are now poised to prey on humankind. Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (109)

5-0 out of 5 stars All time classic
Re-reading this after many years, it is good to know that the novel still holds up as one of the all time classics of literature. Less of a science fiction novel but more a story of survival against the odds following the total break-down of society. A grand novel from a master novelist.

1-0 out of 5 stars Classic book, terrible edition
Please note that this is not a review of the book itself, which is worth reading if for no other reason than for its influence on the genre.

I'm giving this product one star because the Kindle edition is just riddled with typos. Misspellings, text garbled with punctuation instead of letters--it's unforgivably bad and at times impossible to decipher. Skip this one and download something less sloppy.

5-0 out of 5 stars a good read
day of the triffids would have to be one of the best zombie books ever written without there technically being any zombies actually in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loneliness is our biggest fear
Nothing taps into primal fear like the thought of true loneliness.One of the central themes of countless Twilight Zones was the fear of being alone, whether in a post-nuclear world where every one had been killed or one that looks exactly like our own, only without people.From page one, Wyndham taps into that fear and confronts it at every turn.We start the book to discover that the main character, Bill Masen, has been temporarily blinded by a mutant plant called a Triffid that he was essentially caring for.He finds himself alone, in a hospital, bandages on his eyes, completely apart from the rest of humanity who happen to be enthralled by a rare meteor shower taking place at that time.When the celestial event ends, Masen finds himself even more alone, as the voices around him have gone silent.Removing his bandages, he eventually realizes that while he can see, the rest of the world has gone blind.Masen is alone again, this time cursed to be one of the sightless in the land of the blind.
From here on out, the story follows a somewhat standard post-catastrophe plot line in which survivor fights his way through a decaying world in an effort to reestablish order and sanity; but while the scope of events may be predictable, the nature of the events as Wyndham unfolds them and the immediacy with which he writes gives the story a horror that easily could have descended into camp.Masen meets friends, only to lose them; finds love, only to lose it.The threat of loneliness- of being a seeing freak in the land of the blind, AND of being a human in the land of the suddenly murderous Triffids- lingers over Masen every minute, whether awake or asleep.
"Day of the Triffids" is easily one of the more memorable and haunting entries in the post-apocalyptic novel genre.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
Over a week passed since I got a message that the books had been sent.I emailed an inquiry, but got no answer.After I received the books, I realized they came from overseas.If I had known this I would have been more patient. This information should be made more clear.
The books were in excellent condition and made good gifts. ... Read more

10. Rebirth
by John Wyndham
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1978-04-12)
list price: US$1.75 -- used & new: US$28.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345274504
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
"Re-Birth" is the US title of "The Chrysalids." A science fiction novel by British writer John Wyndham, it was first published in 1955. It is the least typical of Wyndham's major novels, but is often regarded as his best work. It tells of a post-apocalyptic agrarian society. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a Great Storyteller.
This was the second science fiction novel I ever read, and I loved it. I read it in the early summer of 1969, and I was surprised to discover that some of the words of the Jefferson Airplane song *Crown of Creation* were taken from the book. In fact, the novel is a near perfect allegory for the sixties psychedelic movement, although I have no doubt that Wyndham didn't intend it that way, especially since the book was first published in 1955. But clearly the Jefferson Airplane saw the parallels. Here are the lines that were taken from the novel:

You are the crown of creation and you've got no place to go.

Soon they'll attain the stability they strive for, in the only way that it's granted: a place among the fossils of our time.

In loyalty to their kind they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind we cannot tolerate their obstruction.

Life is Change. How it differs from the rocks.


Some of the other lyrics of the song may be from the novel too, but these are the only ones I'm certain of. It's been so long since I've read it.

The young people in the early part of the novel live in a post-apocalyptic world where "mutants" of any kind are destroyed, whether animal or human. It's clear, but understated, that the cause of the mutations is radioactive fallout after a nuclear holocaust. There are vast zones that are so radioactive that no one can go there. The story begins in a town where things are getting back to normal. It's run by religious fundamentalists, and their prime concern is detecting and destroying mutants. And one day a small group of children in this community discover they have telepathic powers. They can hear each other's thoughts and talk to each other like other people talk on the telephone. In every other way they are normal. But they are wise enough to know they must keep their unusual skills a secret, lest they too be labeled as mutants. The *they* in the line: "soon they will achieve the stability they strive for" is referring to the religious extremist group who is in power and who decides who are mutants and who aren't. They seek stability, like good conservatives, but a stability they cannot ever have, because "life is change". The young people end up having to choose between loyalty to their kind (those who can communicate telepathically) and loyalty to the community, including their parents, because the leaders would destroy them if they knew how they deviated from the norm.

Then along comes a little girl named Petra (a younger sister of one of the telepathic young people), who's mind is like a megawatt transmitter! She thinks so loudly that it sometimes knocks the others off their feet, literally. And because of their strange behavior, the conservative townspeople start eyeing them all suspiciously. This causes quite a problem for them before Petra gets old enough to understand what's going on.

Wonderful story. I think this is the kind of story that even people who are not fans of science fiction could enjoy. Windham is really good at telling a story and making you care about the characters. There's one character who lives on the outskirts of the community, a little girl named Sophie. Her parents have moved there because she has an extra toe, and they know that by communal law she would be destroyed if others found out, because they wouldn't want her to pass her defective gene down to later generations. One of the telepathic children meets her early in the story, and she runs away before he can talk to her. She has been at the creek and leaves a wet footprint on a rock. It has six toes. The girls parents come back and talk to the boy and beg him not to tell anyone. So he keeps her secret. It isn't until later that he realizes he has telepathic powers. By that point he realizes that he is in a much danger as Sophie, in spite of the fact that his mutation is easier to hide.

I can also recommend The Day of the Triffids. Both are classic John Wyndham.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rebirth
When this book was published in the US, the publisher renamed it Rebirth. It's an excellent story about fear and intolerance (anyone who doesn't fit the norm is banished). I read this book in the late 60's, and it's still one of my favorites.
Since the writer, who's real name was John Benyon Harris is deceased, I doubt that there will be a sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fast, enjoyable read... that stays with you
As another reviewer pointed out, this book was also published as "The Chrysalids," but I read it with this cover and title. The contents, I understand, are exactly the same.

In a post-apocalyptic world, nearly destroyed by nuclear war, the remaining humans are still trying to stamp out "abominations," whether that's corn that grows wrong or livestock born with too many legs. The guidance comes from religious texts, and David Strom (age 10 when we meet him) is the son of a very religious man. Except that David and his friends have a unique ability they must keep secret: telepathy.

This book was among the first I read when I discovered science fiction in the early 1980s, and I've read it a half dozen times since. It's a short book, easy to read and an *incredibly* crafted world to fall into. At one level it's light stuff, an easy weekend read when you want something that doesn't require your brain in action. But I've found that it has haunted me. Like the best books, there are scenes that I almost "remember," because they are so well written that I feel as though I experienced them.

Indirectly, this story also makes you consider topics like intolerance, dogmatism -- and the observation that everyone does what he thinks is right. But the ethical issues never get in the way of the story.

It's suitable for young adults (there's a love story but no sex, not even a kiss) so you could feel comfortable giving it to a preteen.

I've loved this book for years. I think you will, too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rebirth = The Chrysalids
"Rebirth" is in fact the very same book as "The Chrysalids".Someone must have figured the new title would sell better.Either way, it's an excellent book.Reminds me A LOT of "A Night of Watching", the story of Denmark under the Nazis.That was true, this is fiction, but human nature - good and bad - doesn't change.Real villians, real heroes.I always hoped they would go back for the girls.Yes, we need a sequel!

Check out the rating and reviews under "The Chrysalids".Read it soon.

... Read more

11. The Seeds of Time
by John Wyndham
Paperback: 224 Pages (1973-06-28)
list price: US$12.40
Isbn: 0140013857
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
For the ten short stories collected here, John Wyndham turns his imagination to, among other sujects, body-snatching, time-travel and mind-travel, and the the tricky business of interplanetary colonization. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing
I found this book on my book shelf and couldn't place when I had gotten it.But my book was printed in England around 1961 and I must have purchased it second hand somewhere.I read 8 out of the 9 stories in about 5 - 6 hours until my eyes felt as if they were coming out of their sockets. But I couldn't stop reading them.Each one was clearly unique.In some cases they're comical. In some there's a little bit of horror. In one the pathos is quite effective and not in the least cliche. And one of the stories will have women standing up and cheering. All the stories are considered SF.But I consider them excellent writing with believable characters that you may not usually find as subjects of science fiction.In fact I kept wondering if such writers as Rod Serling or George Lucas are derivative of his work. In any case if you love short stories, pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Short Stories!
Whereas Wyndham may now be best remembered for his novel Day of the Triffids clearly his strenghth as a story teller lay in the short story rather than the novel. These stories, the longest of which is thirty pages, each of which starts on the notion of "what if..." are delightfully entertaining, thrilling or disturbing depending on the tone of the particular story.

CHRONOCLASM: It's the story of a man faced with sudden knowledge of the immediate and distant future and his willing participation (for good and bad) to see the future play out as it has been described to him. Though the threat of a temporal paradox is presented, the story ends up playing out as if paradoxes cannot come into being leaving the reader to ponder if man really has as much free will as he thinks he does.

This is one of three stories themed around Mars. Here the Martians are native humanoids, tall, graceful and cultured. The main character is an expatriot Earthman living the sort of life one of Hemingway's characters would have lived if he had written science fiction. It's really just a lovely mood piece.

Meteor plays on the notions of perception and assumption as it follows the disasterous attempt of a slow ship to colonize a far away world.

Survival is the closest these stories get to pure horror. It has all of the classic themes of man's inhumanity to man and monster within that is released when one's existence is threatened. It is the second story that features Mars but here Mars is an unattainable goal.

This story is another time travel piece but is much more lighthearted than Chronoclasm. What would happen if people from the future decided to turn the past into one giant theme park? How would the citizens of the past react?

Here's another take on time travel. This story works around the idea of different futures arising from different outcomes to decisions. Can true love sort things out when fates goes horribly pear shaped?

Wyndham's writing here reminded me most of H.G. Wells's social comentary science fiction, espcially that of The Time Machine. Here a man gets a brief chance to live in the future when he is mistakenly transmitted into a distant future. Although the future society is no Eutopia it is better than his life in the past. How hard will he fight to keep his future life and do they really want him in the future?

If the woman in this story weren't a Martian (and I think she was a human but of a multi-generation Martian lineage), the story would just be a cautionary tale against domestic abuse.

There are a couple classic Twilight Zone episodes that are similar to this story of man and machine and man becoming machine. It's not particularly unique or clever but still chilling.

The last story of the group is by far the weakest. The book ends on a whimper. Just sing Where Have All the Flowers Gone and leave it at that.

4-0 out of 5 stars Diverse collection of Wyndham's Shortstories
Wyndham, using his creative mind, creates a collectionof stories following the image of his novels; about the inner recesses of the human mind, and how it deals with bizzare situations.Journey through stories of the poeple of the future visiting the past as tourists, alternate time lines, and the last reminants of humanity dwelling on Mars. ... Read more

12. The Infinite Moment
by John Wyndham
 Paperback: Pages (1961)

Asin: B002F11UAQ
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13. Tales of Gooseflesh and Laughter
by John Wyndham
 Paperback: Pages (1966-01-01)

Asin: B001T8CV5O
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14. The Paranoid Fifties (The Day of the Triffids, I Am Legend, Time Out of Joint)
by John Wyndham, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick
 Paperback: 751 Pages (1995)

Asin: B000BUVLKM
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is a trade paperback created for the Quality Paperback Book Club. It contains three classic science fiction novels:1. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham; 2. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson; 3. Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of three fifties classics
This a Quality Paperback Book Club collection of three novels that stand well on their own.

First is The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham, the story of an unbelievable menace - plants from outer space.This story works best in print, where you can imagine the scope of the problem after vast numbers of people go blind and the seemingly harmless plants start creeping around.

Second is the horrific I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson, one of the most horrifying vampire stories ever written and according to the cover Stephen King called it 'an inspiration'.I believe it.There's something about the point of view of the last man alive in a world where everyone else has become a vampire - a man who understands all too well what has been happening because he has been doggedly figuring out the scientific details, but the social and emotional details are even more horrifying.

The third and final novel in this collection is Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick.Well before The Truman Show we have the story of a fifties town that has been built and maintained to provide an environment for one man.Victor Nielson has one special talent that he can continue to use even though he has retreated to a delusional state from his life in the late 20th century, and the government is doing everything it can to help him to do it.

One thing that has kept these stories strong is that they're not about specific gadgets, they're about thematic situations that we worry about even though the details change.What if something seemingly harmless comes along and starts destroying the world?What if everything changes and we're the only one left having to deal with and fight the change?What if we're busy doing something vitally important but we're not sure that it's the right thing to do?

Recommended. ... Read more

15. Consider Her Ways and Others
by John Wyndham
 Paperback: 192 Pages (1970-02-26)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$38.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140022317
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A slim and worthwhile collection
The title-story is a short novel at 63 pages (in the Penguin edition) and the best thing in the book.The other five tales are shorter, and certainly lighter, many involving time travel or alternate dimensions."A Long Spoon" regards an accidental summoning of a demon of Hell and the awkwardness that ensues as the protagonist and wife put him up in a hotel and try to find a way to send him back.A very funny story."Oh Where, Now, is Peggy MacRafferty", on the other hand proves that Wyndham's humor isn't always so agreeable.. it's a fairly awful story that made me pause and briefly consider picking up another book altogether.It seems very out of place here.

Wyndham is almost always worthwhile, and this somewhat slim collection will please Wyndham fans more than others, but even you non-Wyndham-devotees should find entertainment herein, though I hope it won't be the first Wyndham book you pick up.Day of the Triffids is his best work, and I'd start there, ideally.

4-0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review
Consider Her Ways is the classic John Wyndham novella depicting a future society where all men have gone the way of the dodo, and very grim and ant-like it is too. Would an all-female world really be so regimented? Maybe not, but Wyndham's dystopian take on this subject is compelling. The other five stories in this volume are rather a mixed bag, the best of them dealing with time travel and alternative dimensions. After reading these I wondered why the author never actually wrote a full-length time travel novel, although having said that, the short story formula works exceedingly well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Collection of short stories
A collection of 6 short stories written by John Wyndham, certainly worth a read if you are a John Wyndham fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi short stories.
This book features, for the main part, stories that deal in time travel and distortions in time and place. There are some real gems here, not least the title story `Consider her Ways'. In this tale, a young woman wakes to find herself in a futuristic nightmare in which men have become obsolete and women are divided into groups such as workers, servants, breeders and so on. From being an educated, articulate doctor in her own time, she has awoken in the body of a breeder, a gargantuan woman who is supposed to have no intelligence at all and no thoughts beyond eating and producing babies. Her nightmare is in trying to convince those around her that she is not insane and that she is not who they suppose her to be.
Each story is written in a gentle and thoughtful manner, very different from Wyndham's better-known tales such as Day of the Triffids or the Chrysalids. At a mere 192 pages, this is not a book that will keep you going for weeks and it isn't the greatest work ever produced, but it is entertaining nonetheless and certainly worth buying, particularly if you are a fan of classic science fiction.

... Read more

by John Wyndham
 Hardcover: 532 Pages (1964)

Isbn: 0718102096
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17. Stowaway to Mars
by John Wyndham
Hardcover: 189 Pages (1989-04-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$52.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0727817612
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
For a moment he paused on the threshold, looking at the structure in the centre of the floor. He wondered vaguely how they were getting on with it. Mighty long job, building a thing like that. It hadn't looked any different for months, as far as he could see ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars a weak and very dated piece of forgotten science fiction...
'Stowaway to Mars' is an early work of John ('Day of the Triffids') Wyndham, written way back in the 1930s.The book was obviously a dud when it was first published since it was not released in the USA until the 1970s after John Wyndham finally found some success.And the book has not been reprinted in the USA since then either.So I was hoping this lack of attention was unfair and I had bumped into a hidden gem when I found this book at a used bookstore.Wrong.Very wrong.

Well as you can guess from the title, this book is about an adventure to Mars where a female stowaway "with a secret" creates a bit of havoc amongst the all-male crew.While the technology aspects of the story are incredibly dated I found the build up of sending the rocket to Mars to be rather entertaining.However the story degrades rather quickly when they actually land on Mars.The author fails to develop the situation, with the result being a very amateurish effort at describing Martian terrain and life.I was just glad the pain didn't last long since the book is very short.

Bottom line: a rather poor read I'm afraid.John Wyndham wrote much better stuff later in his career.

3-0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars - From Earth
"Stowaway To Mars" is one of John Wyndham's early science fiction efforts, written years before he got his big break with "The Day of the Triffids". This futuristic story is set in the far-off year1981, when a ship called the Gloria Mundi carries the first people to Mars.A young woman has sneaked aboard the ship, and tells the crew of what toexpect when they touch down on Mars.

This novel can be compared to H.G.Wells' "First Men in the Moon". Both stories have been provedinaccurate by that bubble burster called Reality. But this doesn't matter.The imagination of such stories is what really counts. This book is thebeginning of one man's distinguished career.

3-0 out of 5 stars 1930s science fiction
Written by a young, pre-Triffids Wyndham under the name John Beynon, this is a less well developed effort that nonetheless shows his talent. The plot is standard, with an attractive female stowaway joining an all-male crew ona race to be the first nation to land on Mars, but it's graced withoriginal details and intelligent epithets such as "Mind is the controlof brain by memory," and the fast-paced plot keeps you reading. Themost interesting elements are the Martian landscape, the rusty berserkMartian robots, and the sad remains of the Martian people whose cities arelike a series of empty rooms. When the story turns into a space romance,you understand why the stowaway had to be female. Wyndham always wrote witha sure hand, and that was no less true of this early effort than of hislater, better novels. ... Read more

18. The Outward Urge (Vintage Ballantine, 341K)
by John Wyndham
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1959)
-- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001TNUNRW
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Paperback: 128 Pages (2000)

Isbn: 0194230902
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20. Web (Penguin Readers, Level 3)
by John Wyndham, penguin
Paperback: 58 Pages (2000-06-14)
list price: US$9.27 -- used & new: US$21.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0582416973
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The island of Tanakuatua seems like heaven to the 40 people who go there in order to create a utopian society, but soon they start to die in a horrible way and it seems that something strange and deadly is out there in the jungle. "Penguin Readers" is a series of simplified novels, film novelizations and original titles that introduce students at all levels to the pleasures of reading in English. Originally designed for teaching English as a foreign language, the series' combination of high interest level and low reading age makes it suitable for both English-speaking teenagers with limited reading skills and students of English as a second language. Many titles in the series also provide access to the pre-20th century literature strands of the National Curriculum English Orders. "Penguin Readers" are graded at seven levels of difficulty, from "Easystarts" with a 200-word vocabulary, to Level 6 (Advanced) with a 3000-word vocabulary. In addition, titles fall into one of three sub-categories: "Contemporary", "Classics" or "Originals". At the end of each book there is a section of enjoyable exercises focusing on vocabulary building, comprehension, discussion and writing.Some titles in the series are available with an accompanying audio cassette, or in a book and cassette pack. Additionally, selected titles have free accompanying "Penguin Readers Factsheets" which provide stimulating exercise material for students, as well as suggestions for teachers on how to exploit the Readers in class. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mutations
I very much wanted to like this book enough to give it five stars, but the truth is giving it four stars may be generous.The concept behind the novel is brilliant.Unfortunately, the delivery of the story is erratic.While some reviewers suggest only Wyndham fans would enjoy the book, I would tend to disagree.In a better developed form, this book could have enjoyed wider acclaim.

In a book about hostile spiders, Wyndham lays the setting for more than half of the book.Past the halfway point, the reader finally meets the spiders, who are introduced as a "brown patch".Having introduced the villain so late in the book, the conflict comes even later.Thus, the ending seems rushed.Having been subjected to nuclear experimentation, the island of Tanakuatua has only recently been declared safe for inhabitants.An idealist, who's dream of building a perfect society needs a site, purchases the island.Upon arrival, settlers begin disappearing and the natives reveal the source of the "taboo".

Wyndham may be better known for other works, but this brief work is enjoyable despite its flaws.The story demonstrates brilliance in political ideology as well as it understanding of biology.These traits make the book somewhat surprising to be labeled for young adults.

3-0 out of 5 stars Careful which edition you buy!
The version of "Web" that's most likely to come up on an Amazon search is a Penguin Readers "retelling," intended for children and people learning English. Don't order it if you're looking for John Wyndham's original novel -- you'll only end up puzzled and disappointed, as I was when I opened the package this morning.

(And ignore my rating. It's only there because Amazon insists on one.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Giant deadly spiders
When a millionaire chooses an Island to build a new utopian community, him and his party discover that they are not the only people living on the island.
If you suffer from a fear from spiders, this one will give you the chills.
An excellent read.

3-0 out of 5 stars For John Wyndham fans and people who like spiders
I love pretty much everything John Wyndham writes.If you do too, this will be a good read for you.If not, then you may want to skip it.This title offers most of the pleasures of Wyndham- a clear, understated prose style with elements of humor shot throughout. As usual, you get the impression that Wyndham is writing himself into the story as the narrator, a modest, observant, unassuming type who reports what he sees with a minimum of embellishment. Though the plot is unoriginal, the action is very exciting at times and will pull you in. There is some filler, namely a long background of the spider infested island, made palatable by Wyndham's fine writing.It's refreshing to read a short book, at a time when most science fiction authors are apparently paid by the word.If this were written today, it would be 700 pages and part 1 of a trilogy of novels. But Wyndham doesn't need a lot of verbiage to get his points across.

Pretty good, but I won't go back to this time and again as I do other titles of his like "Day of the Triffids" and "Rebirth."

4-0 out of 5 stars Spiders Everywhere
This was John Wyndham's last novel, but it was one of the first I bought, fourteen years ago. I had already read "The Day of the Triffids" and "Chocky". This novel was published ten years after Wyndham's death in 1969.

The story is about an island called Tanakuatua, where a millionaire plans to build a community. The narrator, who lost his wife and daughter in a car accident, volunteers for a position as one of the "pioneers". Little do the settlers realize the island is inhabited by swarms of intelligent, deadly spiders. Radiation from nuclear tests gave the spiders' evolution a bit of a push.

I have a feeling Wyndham had quite a fascination with spiders. In one of his early short stories ("More Spinned Against") a man who collects spiders meets a rather grisly fate. In another of Wyndham's stories, "Wanderers of Time", the heroes are in a remote future where swarms of intelligent ants rule the world. It seems like a similar formula was used for "Web": the idea of humble creatures becoming intelligent rulers.

The premise is a bit reminiscent of "Them" (a giant ants movie), or "Swarm", a killer bees movie, but there is a certain degree of intelligence in the story. ... Read more

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