Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The White Mountains (The Tripods, #1)” as Want to Read:
The White Mountains (The Tripods, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The White Mountains (The Tripods #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  7,377 ratings  ·  545 reviews
Long ago, the Tripods--huge, three-legged machines--descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods' power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives.

But for a brief time in each person's life--in childhood--he is not a slave. For Will, his time of freedom is about to end--unless he can escape to the White Mountains, wher
Paperback, 195 pages
Published April 2003 by Simon & Schuster Simon Pulse (first published 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The White Mountains, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The White Mountains

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
299th out of 4,853 books — 16,879 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
379th out of 3,190 books — 6,083 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A splendidly written science fiction yarn aimed at the lads and lasses but with enough clever going for it to appeal to older more seasoned readers as well. This is the second novel by John Christopher that I've had the pleasure of consuming and this gent certainly has the prose chops to spin a ripsnorter of a story. My previous experience, the dark, disturbing and fantabulous The Death of Grass), is one of the more under-appreciated apocalyptic SF books I have come across and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ...more
I read this book when I was about 10, but there's a moment near the beginning that's really stayed with me. It's one of those stories where Earth has been enslaved by alien overlords. There are, however, a few bright points in their miserable existences, and one of these is the annual games, where young athletes compete in a kind of Olympics to pick out the fastest and strongest.

The hero and his best friend are competing. They're both top jocks. They're pretty much certain that they'll win and b
Tripods are cool, imagine these fearsome engines stomping around your neighborhood. They are not very practical though are they? Three legs don’t seem to be a very stable locomotive arrangement. The aliens came from light years away can they not spring for some aircrafts or something on wheels? At least double the number of legs for God’s sake!

When I first heard of this series I thought it was some kind of unofficial sequel to Wells’ awesome classic The War of the Worlds. Well, now I know it is
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I've been reading a lot of YA fantasy/SF novels aloud to my husband while he paints his new 40k army. I guess if you're going to dork out and regress, it might as well be all the way. So I pulled this novel out of the vaults--my fifth grade English teacher assigned it as part of an inspired introduction to genre fiction unit. This was our introduction to science fiction. I blame her for launching a number of excessively awkward adolescences. Anyway, th ...more
Amy Sturgis
This young adult dystopian science fiction novel (the first of a trilogy, followed by a prequel) is considered to be a classic, and it's easy to see why. The Tripods (machines? living beings? robots gone wrong? aliens from another world?) rule over the post-apocalyptic Earth, keeping humans in their (faux-medieval) place by means of "capping" them at puberty: that is, surgically implanting metal helmet-like contraptions on people to keep them docile and content. Young Will, the protagonist, flee ...more
After being immensely impressed by The Death of Grass by John Christopher, I decided to start his "Tripods" series right away.

Although the primary target for this series are the readers in the young-adult category, it is so unlike today's young-adult books where the post-apocalyptic/dystopian scenario just serves as an inconsequential and poorly developed background for a cheesy romance between hormonally charged teens.

The White Mountains introduces us to the thirteen year old teen protagonist,
Bob Redmond
One of the best Young Adult authors ever, John Christopher, kicks of his masterwork trilogy with this book about a retro-future in which the world has been colonized by Tripods. Three boys, before undergoing the coming-of-age transformations of Capping Day (incidentally, this has to be the namesake of the Seattle band, remember them?), run away. Will they make it before the tripods find and brainwash them?

It's amazing how much Scott Westerfeld's PRETTIES has borrowed from this series--not that W
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 17, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: adventure loving boys
I was in 6th grade, had just moved to the Seattle area, and was as unhappy as an uprooted, adolescent girl living under perpetually gray skies can be - but this book, read to my class by the teacher, showed me that, hey, it could be worse! I could be on the run, hunted by aliens in giant tripods who wanted to control my brain with a metal cap device on my head. It gave me perspective, you know?
A great introduction to real SF for kids.
Erik Graff
Aug 09, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf fans
Recommended to Erik by: Dorothy Gregory
Shelves: sf
There seems to be some complexity to the Tripod novels and stories written by Christopher (actual name, Samuel Youd). Whatever their order, this book stands by itself as one a reader can begin with, without worrying about what may have been set or composed earlier. It does not, however, tell a full story. The City of Gold and Lead (1967) and The Pool of Fire (1968) complete this particular tale.
While ordinarily regarded as a young adult novel, I did not feel patronized. The protagonist and his
I read this as a child and vividly remember certain particularly fraught scenes but not the overall plot. I read it again yesterday in one sitting.

This book doesn't age at all -- it just as fresh and readable and compelling as it must have been in 1967 when it was first published. The narrator is young Will Parker, still a child, not yet initiated into adulthood via the mysterious "capping" ceremony, where the child is taken briefly away by towering metal creatures called Tripods and fitted with
Aaron Vincent
Also posted here.

This is not included on my book pool but I’ve decided to start my YA-D2 adventure with one of the oldest Young Adult Dystopia fiction there is. I figured that if we really want to explore the ya dystopia genre, we must trace its roots by reading the first books that is published under the genre. John Christopher’s White Mountains, without a doubt, influenced a lot of dystopian novels being published recently. I think that dystopian authors, even if they haven’t read this, owes a
These books are precious to me. But not the type of precious that requires a little hobbit to come along to my lair in my misty mountain hideout and steal them away, take them across some deserts and throw them into some smoking volcanic mountain. No these are precious for childhood reasons.

I first discovered the pleasure of reading through the power of the Chronicles of Narnia. My mother had a small bookshelf on which was kept all her favourite childhood books and as I learnt to read those were
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

Centuries ago, the Tripods took over Earth and enslaved mankind. Every human wears a helmet made of metal that makes it so they are controlled by the Tripods. There is a period of time in one's childhood, however, where one is free to think for oneself.

When thirteen-year-old Will is told that there is a place in the mountains where there are people free of the Tripods, he decides he doesn't want to be capped and runs away. Along the way, he is joined by a c
Mitchel Broussard
While the premise, set about 100 years in the future where giant three legged machines, the Tripods, control every human on the planet, may seem familiar, the execution is wholly original. What i loved about this set up is that Christopher didn't just go with the normal now-all-of-humanity-is-living-in-fear trope, but the entire other direction. Humans worship the Tripods. They have no choice.

The world is basically in a new Middle Age, with Kings, Nobles, and Knights. Will's village is more unto
This is the first of my favourite set of books from when I was a child. The books and the TV serials are wonderful memories for me that I like to relive from time to time.

The reason for the current re-read was that they were discussed on Twitter. Myself and Kiraniumbra convinced Jacob and Karode to read the books and watch the tv series. With strict advice to read the books first. It tweaked me into re-reading them myself. So off I went to pick the trilogy and the prequel from my parents' house.
When my librarian in 6th grade, Mr. Rogers, gave this book to me, it completely captured my imagination. It introduced me to science fiction. It made me want to read the sequel RIGHT NOW. And I haven't read it since then. I was trying to decide what to book talk to elementary and middle schoolers this summer, and I thought -- well, why not do the book that made me excited about reading when I was a kid?

Reading this again was kind of a surreal experience, because it made me realize that I remembe
The White Mountains is the first of a classic children’s science fiction trilogy that was first published in the 1960’s. In The White Mountains, humans live quaint and old fashioned lives in the shadows of the Tripods, large, mechanical beings who rule above humans. Will, age 13, realizes that he does not want a part in the capping process, a creepy and ceremonial event that is required for all villagers at the age of 14. He realizes that those who have been capped obey the Tripods without quest ...more
Title: The White Mountains
Author: John Christopher
Setting: Futuristic Europe
Story Summary: Sometime in the near future the world is ruled by Tripods. All children are “capped” at the age of 14 when they have a metal cap grafted to their heads and they come under control of the tripods. Will and his Cousin Henry don’t want to be capped so they travel across Europe to go to a new land where there are supposedly no tripods. When they cross the ocean they meet a boy named Jean-Paul who loves to in
The White Mountains is a Young Adult Dystopian novel which most likely inspired a lot of the current YA Dystopian novels, although I think it itself probably owes quite a bit to The Chrysalids and obviously The War of the Worlds. The book follows the journey of a group of boys as they leave their small town and head to the eponymous White Mountains. Their journey is inspired by the upcoming capping day in which they would have small caps put on the backs of their head making them obedient and co ...more
Apr 12, 2011 Katharine rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, sf
This is the most affect-less YA novel I've ever read. The tone is so remarkably even-keeled; none of the potential disasters last long enough to be frightening; and then disaster is avoided every time. I didn't dislike it -- it's a pleasant enough read, and quick, and at first I found the even tone charming, until it became clear that it was going to remain precisely the same throughout the entire book. I don't understand its enduring popularity, especially in contrast to the much more emotive s ...more
Andrew Anderson
“Massive alien machines called the Tripods had ruled Earth for hundreds of years and enslaved the minds and bodies of most adults through the silvery caps they made them wear. Determined to escape the ritual Capping ceremony, Will Parker runs away, heading for the distant White Mountains and the small rebel camp there, hoping to join their desperate attempts to overthrow the rule of the Tripods. The journey is long, the missions dangerous and the hopes of survival very slim…”

The year was 1993
I don't understand how I managed to get to this age and miss out on John Christopher's Tripods series. I wish I had read these when I was growing up but it's never too late and I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series. But I'm going to pace myself and wait a little while before I start on Book 2.

Great adventure story, good strong male characters and some interesting explorations of friendship amongst the three boys. I liked the notion that most for the adults are willing victims of the Tripo
Rebecca Osborne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I first read this in Mrs. Adams seventh grade Language Arts class many, MANY moons ago. Something made me think of it, and I decided to read it again. This was the first Sci-Fi book I had ever read, and I remembered that I liked trying to decipher what "ancient" relics were being described. Reading it again as an adult, (it was much easier to figure out what those relics were) I enjoyed it just as much. I definitely like John Christopher's style of writing and think it is a great use of language ...more
I've re-read a lot of important books from my childhood which turned out to be uninteresting or outright silly to my adult self. This one, which I returned to over and over again in elementary school, I feared would be one of these. The alien mind control theme doesn't usually lend itself to being done well.

Thankfully I was very wrong. I just read the entire trilogy to my 9-year-old and it's well-written and compelling. Some of the philosophical questions it raises may be discussed too explicitl
Apr 10, 2011 Connor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Connor by: My dad
This is almost like an upgraded version of The War of the Worlds. It had tripods that ruled the place. These boys are about to be "capped" which means that the Tripods would control them. They have to get away to The White Mountains. It's a very intense story that I read in 7th grade. It's perfect for that age, but it's a great book adults should read too.

I am surprised that this book isn't very popular. It's a great YA book and has a great story. This is the first book in the Tripods series. I
One of those books from my childhood that I re-read in preparation to see if my daughter would enjoy it in a couple years. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my memories - the book definitely feels dated, and is a lot slower than I remembered - I believe the pace picks up a bit in the 2nd and 3rd books, but this one was almost all setup for the concepts and setting of this "post-apocalyptic/post-invasion" novel. I think kids today will have a hard time getting into this one, but I'd consi ...more
This is my 10 year-old's first dystopian! We need to celebrate. Where's the cake? She was intrigued by the idea that aliens had come to earth, conquered, and then... nothing. For a long time. All the people know is tripod dominance. A world without even basic knowledge of the technology that's right in front of you was hard for her to comprehend. Like at the end, when the boys try to flee from the tripod by traveling in the river, thinking that it might confuse their scent. I had to explain that ...more
This was one of the best books I've ever read. Even written for children and young adults, the story still holds up, and strikes fear into my heart when I read it. A group of young boys, afraid of being taken captive by the alien invaders, decides to flee to the White Mountains up north, where there is an alliance of freedom-fighters. This is a book of intense adventure, thrill and awesomeness. I would highly recommend it for anyone who has kids who like to read. I want my children to latch onto ...more
"Τα Λευκά Όρη", εκδόσεις Σίμωσι.

Ο Βρετανός Τζον Κρίστοφερ είναι γνωστός για την σειρά "Οι Τρίποδες", που αποτελείται από τέσσερα βιβλία (τα τρία πρώτα όμως στέκονται άνετα σαν τριλογία), την τριλογία "The Sword of the Spirits" και το μετά-αποκαλυπτικό "The Death of Grass", που είναι από τα πιο κλασικά του είδους. Η σειρά η οποία αρχίζει με το βιβλίο που μόλις τελείωσα, απευθύνεται περισσότερο σε μικρότερες ηλικίες, αλλά μπορεί να διαβαστεί αρκετά ευχάριστα και από πιο έμπειρους αναγνώστες.

Το βιβ
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Too adult? 11 71 Feb 02, 2015 01:39PM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. A YA sci-fi, dystopian, novel from the 70's. Two boys run away so they won't have to get brain implants from giant aliens [s] 5 23 Jun 05, 2014 01:29PM  
Class of 2014: The White Mountains 8 16 Jan 20, 2014 05:40PM  
wrong author??!! 4 65 Jul 27, 2011 09:26AM  
  • This Time of Darkness
  • The Keeper of the Isis Light (Isis, #1)
  • Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet (Mushroom Planet, #2)
  • The Green Futures of Tycho
  • Black and Blue Magic
  • Children of the Dust
  • The Pushcart War
  • The Whispering Mountain (The Wolves Chronicles, #0)
  • Enchantress from the Stars
  • Kraken Wakes
  • The Forgotten Door
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Classic Starts Series)
  • Z for Zachariah
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 th
More about John Christopher...

Other Books in the Series

The Tripods (4 books)
  • The City of Gold and Lead (The Tripods, #2)
  • The Pool of Fire (The Tripods, #3)
  • When the Tripods Came (The Tripods, #4)
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) The Tripods Trilogy (The Tripods, #1-3)

Share This Book

“If one is seeking reasons for disloyalty, it is useful to find something one can resent.” 2 likes
“...nothing was of value, without a mind that challenged and inquired.” 1 likes
More quotes…