Customer Reviews for

Chrysalids

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A book better for the first decades of the 21st. Century than it was when written in the mid-1900s

    "Chrysalids" is a must read. I am no science fiction fan. Most of my reading is in history, science, religion and politics. However, in this day of advanced discoveries in brain research, DNA, human evolution as well as modern religious fundamentalism and fanaticism Chrysalids is more understandable and meaningful now than when it was written. First published in 1955, I read it in 1958 and again in 1964. The book has remained vivid in mind for more than 45 years of teaching high school and college. I did not like the final pages of the book. It's trite "deux ex machina," but that does not take away from the quality of the story up to that point. I like to believe he had a publisher on his back beating him to meet a deadline.
    Often I have used items in the story as examples for a variety of classes. In 2009 I came across a copy on bookstore shelf. I bought it to see if I truly remembered what the story included. Only one detail in the story was forgotten. I still totally enjoyed it, found more meaning in it, except, as before, the last few pages. All of it held for all these years.
    Lastly, John Wyndham is one of the two authors for whom I have read more than three books. I have been ordering reprints of others of his novels and enjoying them. "Chrysalids" remains the overwhelming favorite. "Day of the Triffids" is still fun and better than others in the same vein. It was made into a horribly bad movie. The story still stands on its own, but you will see reflections of recent movies in it. I saw three movies based on the "Midwich Cuckoos," all similarly horrible films as "Day of the Triffids." But the book is still a good one in its descriptions and characterizations.
    At a minimum, you must read "Chrysalids."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Touching and Thought-provoking

    As a child, I loved the vividly drawn interactions among the characters and their families and neighbors. I wished I could be friends with David and Sophie, and I wondered how brave I would be if I were faced with such danger. <BR/><BR/>As an adult, I think the themes of curtailing individual rights and controlling the pursuit of science remain thought-provoking and topical.<BR/><BR/>No, this is not great literature, but Wyndham is a fine storyteller. This is an engaging, enjoyable book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    Made me think

    this book has some interesting ideas in it. even though it was definetly sci-fi, it seemed to be a realistic world and was put together in a believable way. excellent book, but the beginning confused me a lot- it made more sense the second time through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    Old Friend

    I originally read this novel when I was in grade school, and have loved it since. Titled 'Rebirth', it told the story of a young man who was different in a society that weeded out difference with a vengance. Set in a post-appocalyptic world, any deviation from the norm is considered taboo and is immediately dealt with, either by destruction or exile. The hero of the story discovers that he has a profound difference, telepathy, but it is not noticeable. Tutored by an uncle, who had sufferd a great loss because of the prejudice in his community, the hero learns to hide his mutation and leads a normal life until his sister is born. She is a dramatic telepath, and he realizes that if he doesn't protect her, she will be eliminated as a deviant. Through a course of dreams, he contacts others like himself and his sister, and in a desperate attempt at survival, they set out to meet their saviours. A timeless tale that captures the imagination and heart of anyone who has ever had to deal with prejudice in order to protect someone they love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    How paranoia interferes with the natural order.

    I too read this novel back when I was in Grade 9, and I must admit, it is a very good book. Within these pages, we see how faith and paranoia work together to root out 'abnormalities', passing them off as works of the bad. It is in this book that one gets to connect with the characters and encourage them during their flight from bigotry to salvation. In the end, we can reflect: What does society today pass off as bad? Is it really? and why do people think of it as being so? This novel is truly a cataclyst for the mind, as all good literature are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2001

    Mutant?

    this is the best book i have ever read. It makes you feel special for what you are but at the sametime makes you notice how the human race has the effect to shun people out of their life when they don't deserve. It makes you notice that it is possible to change and that whatever someone says you have to do. It dwells deeply into the beating of children and discriminates against the folk who have been mutated due to nuclear war. I suggest reading this book if you like excitement and gracefulness to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2001

    great

    it took me a while to get to understand and to look into it but as i went it was boring at first but now i love it so much i would read it a second time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2000

    Excellent Novel

    John Wyndham¿s novel, The Crysalids is a futuristic portrayal of survival amongst breeds. This book appeals to people of all ages. The basic content for the novel might be a little too mature for the average grade school student, but the ideas the novel supply are very appealing to most anybody. The idea that the future of the world, is the complete opposite of most people¿s ideologies, is very fascinating to the reader. This novel forces the reader to think, and in turn teaches them a moral lesson. The character¿s conceptions on the world as they know it, are very engaging as well. They see basic animals, such as the monkey, as an unbalanced human being, which holds the image of the devil. The special ability of the selected children appeals to the reader as a reader¿s fantasy. Many people throughout the world wish to hold the same powers as these few kids. This novel allows the readers to imagine themselves as having this unique ability. I would recommend The Crysalids, to anybody who loves an interesting novel and can allow their imaginations to unfold with the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2000

    inappropriate for children

    This is a book many children aged nine or ten to twelve or so might enjoy, but I would not have my own read it and I don't recommend you have yours read it. It teaches them the wrong lessons. It tells us that problems are best ignored, that you don't have to ever grow up if you don't want to. It encourages xenophobia and paranoia (in the popular, non-clinical sense of the word) and--I don't know how to put this delicately--cold-blooded violence. (Although the adult psyche will probably prove impervious, I recommend it for only those adults with a high tolerance for simplistic drivel and badly constructed prose.)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2000

    very silly

    I read 'Chrysalids' yesterday. I enjoyed much of it--the middle much (the beginning and end made all too apparent the silliness of the story--and I read rapidly to avoid stumbling over Wyndham's occasionally clumsy prose and narrative lacunae). Nevertheless, I find--I'm afraid--, 'Chrysalids' fundamentally and irredeemably flawed. 1) In the preface to a collection of what he calls his 'scientific fantasies' bound in a single volume, H. G. Wells explains how he sought in them to introduce just one strange element and to make the rest as realistic and matter-of-fact as possible. Wyndham in 'Chrysalids', on the other hand, piles various unrelated or only loosely related fancies atop one another, suffocating whatever point he wished to make and concocting something of an aesthetic eyesore. 2) The real world problems underlying the fancies of 'Chrysalids' are summarized most succinctly in this passage from its page 186: 'If they ['the Old People', that is, us] had not brought down Tribulation [engaged in nuclear war] which all but destroyed them; then they would have bred with the carelessness of animals until they had reduced themselves to poverty and misery, and ultimately to starvation and barbarism [they would have over-populated the planet--though the immediate effects of over-population are subtler and more insidious than that].' How do the characters in 'Chrysalids' grapple with these problems? They don't; they magically turn into butterflies and flit away to Emerald City. Very pretty for some, no doubt, but the point of science fiction is to make us think, not to lull us to sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2000

    If the future is realy like this...

    This totally futuristic book was one of my literature texts for school and it was DEFINATELY THE BEST ONE! It holds your interest from begining to end bringing a story which in time could become a reality to life. Not to mention making you want more of it in the end. I recommend this book to anyone who believes the future of the world might not be as great as we think it will. Or will it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2000

    Chrisalids

    Ok it looks a bit rubbish but what did i know. I thought but it looks rubbish why read it but I read a bit and from then on I was hooked. I finnished it and read it again not being able to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2000

    incredible!

    wow what a breathtaking book. It was interesting and imaginative from the word go. It really kept my attention, I would highly recommend it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2000

    One word - AWESOME!

    This book is thought provoking and deeply imaginative, what with it's thought-shapes and such. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy or science fiction - a worthy read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    A piece of my childhood

    I've hated literature classes ever since I was a kid. They make us cover the subject in the most boring way u can ever imagine..... till one day we were made to read chrysalids, it was so thought provoking ... I am mesmerized... from then on literature class took on a whole new meaning. I have never been so captured by any fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 1999

    This book is SUPERB

    The Chrysalids was probably the best book ever written by John Wyndham. It has such imagination and creativity, and the characters are great too. If you want a great Sci-Fi book, I highly suggest that you read 'The Chrysalids'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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