A Wrinkle in the Skin
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A Wrinkle in the Skin

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A Wrinkle in the Skin (aka The Ragged Edge) is a 1965 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel written by the British author Samuel Youd under the pen name of John Christopher.
A massive series of earthquakes on a worldwide scale reduce cities to rubble, plunging survivors into barbarism. Most of western Europe is dramatically uplifted, transforming the English Channel into...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 20th 2000 by Cosmos Books (PA) (first published 1965)
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Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
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Community Reviews

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Raegan Butcher
John Christopher writes exciting sci fi novels about catastrophic shifts in the world order. He has tackled everything from mass starvation (The Death Of Grass) to epic changes in the earth's weather (The Long Winter) to alien invasions(The Tripod trilogy) to giant earthquakes, which is the central catastrophe of this book.

After an enormous series of cataclysmic earthquakes wipes out modern civilization, a group of survivors struggle to stay alive in the ruins of the British Isles.
This is one of...more
Another apocalypse science fiction book. I read two books of this genre in January 2009 (Happy New Year). The other one was "Alas, Babylon." I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books. This book made me want to be a better walker.
I am discovering that the 1950s and 60s has a wealth of post-apocalyptic science fiction of high quality. John Christopher, like his contemporary, John Wyndham, has an easygoing style that takes you from the perspective of an ordinary life and moves you into a world that gets progressively more broken and barbaric as you go along.

In Ragged Edge, Matthew Cotter, living on Guernsey in the Channel Islands, finds himself one of the few survivors of a devastating earthquake. The disaster is not just...more
this could've been good, if the main character didn't have his head shoved so far up his ass. nothing can compare to The Stand, for my money.
Aline Baldwinalinebaldwin
One of my all time favorites. No monsters - except believable humans run amok and a hopeful ending. I wish there were a sequal.
Jason Carlin
I always seem to find a little comfort in apocalyptic fiction. Granted, it's not the most original genre, but in almost every case I'm reminded of the huge depths of compassion that the human heart is capable of. This type of novel is a great platform to present that tenderness. It only reinforces my conviction that love and concern for other people is truly the only good reason for being alive, and not for personal gain or success. In my view, personal gain and success is something which is int...more
Althea Ann
As a kid, I very much enjoyed John Christopher's books: the Tripods Trilogy ("The White Mountains", "The City of Gold and Lead", and "The Pool of Fire") as well as the related book "When The Tripods Came"; and also his Sword of the Spirits Trilogy - "The Prince is Waiting", "Beyond the Burning Lands" and "The Sword of the Spirits".
The first trilogy is a sort of "War of the Worlds" scenario where human survivalists struggle against the alien Tripods that have taken over Earth. The second trilogy...more
Seth Lynch
British Sci-Fi survivor novel – first published 1965. It’s a format I enjoy and John Christopher is good at it – HG Wells pretty much invented this sub-genre and Christopher turned it into the format we know now. With HG Wells it is about forming a better world after the destruction of the old. With Christopher it is about lowest common denominators, gangs getting together being told what to do by the most brutal of leaders. Intelligence is no match for force – in the short term at least. Longer...more
Feb 27, 2012 Tina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: post-apoc lovers
An interesting non-nuclear post-apocalyptic novel. The novel is very linear (no flashbacks or postmodern elements), given that it was published in 1965. This didn't really detract from the novel, as the pace was quick and there wasn't too much description. The novel also had a strong female character at once point, which was nice to see in a novel from the 60s, and the novel provided instances of both awful people and kind ones which was also realistic. Most of the staples of post-apocalyptic wa...more
Dec 09, 2013 Fence rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sff
In the 1960s a wave of earthquakes brings destruction around the globe. Isolated off the British coast Matthew Cotter thinks that they will be okay, Britain is far from any earthquake zone, pity the poor devils on a fault, but that’s all happening far away. But of course you can’t have a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story without the apocalypse can you?

One night while Matthew is outside, waiting for a dog that has been attacking his chickens the quake hits. Outside, protected by a bamboo thicket Matt...more
Joe Stamber
Some time ago I read another of JC's novels, The Death of Grass, which I enjoyed, so I thought I'd give this one a try. Like The Death of Grass, it's a sort of post apocalyptic road trip. However, instead of all the crops dying, the disaster is caused by massive worldwide earthquakes.

At over 40 years old, A Wrinkle in the Skin is obviously a little dated, but JC doesn't shy away from the nastier side of things - although they are not described as graphically as they might be today. The reader ta...more
Martine Taylor
I love John Christopher's books, and wish they were easier to find. Every one of them I've read has hard to put down. You can't get better sci fi than the tripod series, and I devoured "No Blade of Grass". It is a bummer in a way that it is so easy to compare "A Wrinkle in the Skin" to "The Road" because of the father/child relationship and similar themes in a post apocalyptic world; they are both great reads in their own rights, but I found "The Road" more haunting and more touching in it's por...more
Had to read this for a book group. A mediocre novel with a truly rubbish ending.
Gordon Houghton
A terrific Boy's Own story, packed with incident, and dominated by a strong (and slightly selfish) male lead, at times this story matches the quality of Christopher's wonderful The Death of Grass. But not quite. It's gritty, hopeless, gruesome, emotionally bare - in short, a wonderfully realistic tale of post-apocalyptic survival... But it throws away all that hard-earned realism with a conclusion that just feels out of place. A shame; but well worth reading nonetheless.
Beautifully written end-of-life-as-we-know-it novel which follows the journey of a man and a boy to drowned London. I like John Christopher's visions of dystopia. If you want to know what happens to the wierdos after an earthquake, what happens to the normal people, how you travel without cars or fresh water, and how society may or may not be rebuilt, you will love this book.
John Christopher has the habit of taking a world-wide catastrophe scenerio and using it as a tool to examine human nature in such conditions. This dead horse gets whipped by him over and over again in his novels. And it is engaging each time as well. Definitely his cup of tea when writing. This was another thoroughly enjoyable entree in the genre.
Enjoyed this book, reminded me to an extent of 'The Road' with the journey they took in this. Or rather 'The Road' would remind me of this as it was the later book. Would describe this as an ok story. By the end was hoping for things to turn out well for them. Not as enjoyable as 'The Death of Grass' for me, but glad i read it.
Cheery compared to some of the other 'end of the world' stories out there. It takes place in England and you can imagine a country like England after an Earthquake that changes the shape of the Continents. No more cute little stone cottages.
After a huge earthquake destroys civilizations, two survivors from the isle of Guernsey set out across the now water free English Channel to mainland UK in seach of one man's daughter, meeting evil and crazy people along the way.

This only just pulled out of a two star rating in the last two pages. Before that it was dragging the reader through nothing but despair and hopelessness.

I for one do not believe in hopelessness.
Erik Graff
Sep 08, 2008 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: disaster aficianados
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
A fair end-of-civilization novel using the device of earthwakes and tidal waves. Within science fiction, this is my preferred sub-genre, presumably because of growing up during the cold war.
rambling and boring for a post apocalyptic book. didn't care about the main character or the boy. there were some interesting scenes, but overall, meh.
Eric McGreevy
While reading this I couldn't help but notice the resemblance between it and McCarthy's "The Road." I wonder if McCarthy's read this book?
The Mother of all earthquakes puts an end to the world as we know it. Like Haiti today, but 100 times worse.
Ember Stone-pierce
Excellent Post -Apocalyptic thriller, as real and relevant today as when it as written in 1965.
A darkly pessimistic fable from the master of the button-down apocalypse.
Just like a post-apocalyptic movie. A good, fast read.
Oct 11, 2009 Deidre rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys end of the world sci fi
If you like The Road, you will love this book
Post apocalyptic fiction at its best.
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John Christopher is the pseudonym under which the British science fiction author Samuel Youd has been most successful. Youd has written under the following pseudonyms:
• John Christopher
• Stanley Winchester
• Hilary Ford
• William Godfrey
• Peter Graaf
• Peter Nichols
• Anthony Rye

He is best known for The Tripods trilogy, published under the pseudonym John Christopher.

His novels were popular during the...more
More about John Christopher...
The White Mountains (The Tripods, #1) The City of Gold and Lead (The Tripods, #2) The Pool of Fire (The Tripods, #3) The Death of Grass When the Tripods Came (The Tripods, #4)

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