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When the Tripods Came (The Tripods, #4)
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When the Tripods Came (The Tripods #4)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,501 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
When it comes to alien invasions, bad things come in threes.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Turtleback Books (first published 1988)
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Nov 23, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now, I have made little secret how The Tripods trilogy is my favourite reading material from when I was but a child. I still love it. This is the prequel, written a while after the original trilogy.

I am always dubious when encountering something, added to something great, at a much later date. However, true to form the author doesn't disappoint. The story of how the Tripods came to Earth is told through the eyes of a young teen, Laurie and his friend, Andy. Once again the characters are well wri
Ahmad Sharabiani
When the Tripods Came (The Tripods #4), John Christopher
عنوان: وقتی سه پایه ها به زمین آمدند، از مجموعه چهارگانه های جان کریستوفر؛ نوشته: جان کریستوفر؛ مترجم: مهرداد تویسرکانی؛ چاپ نخست، تهران، مدرسه، 1377؛ چاپ دوم تهران، قدیانی، کتابهای بنفشه، 1385، در 176 ص؛
Farnaz Ps
Jun 07, 2016 Farnaz Ps rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فانتزیها
هیپنوتیزم نوعی حالت خواب یا خلسه مصنوعی ایجاد میکنه تا ذهن فرد موردنظر بتونه نظریات مخالف عادات و افکار خودشو بپذیره. برای اینکار روشهای متفاوتی وجود داره. البته استفاده از تلویزیون هم غیرممکن نیست...ناگهان چشمم به نکته عمیقی باز شد: متوجه شدم که اصلا مهم نیست اطرافیانم چگونه باشند، مهم نیست که از خود راضی باشند و با آدم موهن و تحقیر آمیز رفتار کنند، یا افرادی متزلزل که در برابرمان سر خم کنند. مهم ترین نکته آن است که آنها با آزاد اندیشی و به اراده خود عمل میکردند که در واقع، اصلی ترین خصلت بشریت ...more
The original tripods trilogy was one of my favorite reads as a young adult. This book is a prequel to that trilogy; I have owned it forever and have never read it. So when I found the trilogy (along with this prequel) sitting on my bookshelf I decided to give it another read.

This is a short book but I found it was not as engaging as I remember the trilogy to be. It is a book that basically tells how the tripods came to our world. Overall I agree with the other reviewers that say read the trilogy
Rebecca Radnor
Prequel to the Scifi series that introduced me to Scifi, when I was like 8 or 9 (40 years ago). It's a very short read, well written and kind of terrifying. The invasion of humanity happens very matter of factually. As you're reading it, it all makes so much sense -- and in retrospect you can see its likelihood (assuming any alien race were ever to try to invade us).
Apr 10, 2015 Sahar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's only one thing I can say about John Christopher's works, they are awesome! And if he decided not to share his imagination with us the world would have missed so much
Oct 13, 2011 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book first because it is the prequel to the other three in the series. As I read this I had to remember that it's a children's book. I think as adults we want every children's book to be as captivating as Harry Potter or Narnia, but that's an unrealistic expectation.

That being said, as an adult I liked this book, but as a 8-10 year old kid I would have loved it. Interesting characters, great twists, believable plot. I bet Ethan would really like it.
Grant Herfindahl
This book is very important to the Tripod series. It explains what happened during the war with the Tripods. It also told me how the foundations of the free men were formed. If the Tripods invaded Earth we would most likely not be hypnotized by the TV. This was a very good book.
É F.K. O'Conghaile
I originally read the tripods series many years ago, during my adolescent on-again off-again love of books. This was during an on-again, when I fantastically wondered at the possibilities of a scifi story starring folks around my age. It was wonderful, but I'm reading the series again to see how I feel about it now, and remind myself more of the story. I'm starting with the prequel this time, whereas I originally started with the 'first' one in the trilogy. I recall originally being disappointed ...more
Sean Meriwether
When I was a mere lad I was introduced to John Christopher by way of The White Mountains. I instantly related to the young boys who escaped being capped by aliens, which would make them like everyone else. They risked life and limb to cross a dystopian Europe to escape that fate. I reread it as an adult and saw their flight from “normality” in my own escape from rural NJ to New York to live life on my own terms as a gay man, a reading that Christopher probably never foresaw. I was curious to rea ...more
Robert Beveridge
John Christopher, When the Tripods Came (Dutton, 1988)

This prequel to the Tripods Trilogy, written two decades after the original books, is decent enough, but it certainly doesn't measure up to the three books that preceded it (chronologically) in the series.

Laurie, a British teen, is one of the first in the world to see the Tripods while on an orienteering trip with a friend. The initial tripod, after causing a bit of destruction, is swiftly brought down by the local armed forces. The intellig
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

Something is not right in England.

Laurie's little sister recently started watching a show called Trippies. One day, she disappears. When they bring her back, all she can talk about is peace and Tripods, an alien race bent on bringing peace to Earth. Although they manage to dehypnotize her, people all over start disappearing and showing up with helmets that allow the Tripods to control their brains.

Soon the whole world is conquered by this strange alien race
Jan 03, 2008 Kewpie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent prequel to the Tripods trilogy.

BUT: If you have not read the series, PLEASE HEED THIS ADVICE:

Don't read this until after you finish the original trilogy. I know that it says #1 on the spine, and these events happened before the first three books. Ignore that!

It's more fun to be guessing and wondering with the protagonists in the books than to already have all the answers given to you at first. After you finish all three books, it's fun to see all the little questions you m
Harold Ogle
Mar 02, 2012 Harold Ogle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, sf
A nice stand-alone novel that is a prequel to the more-famous "Tripod trilogy." Reading this doesn't really enhance the reading of the Tripod trilogy, but it is a good story in its own right. It's a bit like reading Bujold's Barrayar prequels, Dickson's Dorsai prequels, Moran's Emerald Eyes, or even Asimov's Foundation prequels: they are in no way necessary to the plot of the main series, but they're still fun to read. Christopher is clearly making a statement with this book about how people con ...more
Christian Saghi
Jun 03, 2012 Christian Saghi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because my dad recommended it to me. Laurie and his friend Andy are the first to witness a Tripod come to earth. In this book Laurie goes with his family to escape the Tripods so they will not be capped and eventually find shelter where the Tripods don't come. My favorite quote from the book is "I wondered about those who would come after-if maybe one day three like us would lie on this hillside in the sun, watching butterflies as we were doing, but able also to look towards a ...more
Apr 22, 2013 Dante rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the Tripods Came, the prequel to the Tripods series, is a fantastic sci-fi masterpiece written by John Christopher. It is the story of Laurie, a boy who lives a pleasant life. That is, until the Tripods arrive on Earth. Soon after the Tripods' arrival, people all over the world begin "Tripping"; they become the Tripods' mindless followers. Laurie must work with his family as well as his best friend, Andy, to defy the tyrannical menace of the Tripods and restore free will amongst the humans. ...more
D.M. Kilgore
Dec 28, 2013 D.M. Kilgore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't my typical genre, but my son loves this kind of thing, so I bought them for him and we read them together. I ended up liking it quite a lot! Creatively crafted, this adventurous sci-fi series is a bit scary, but not enough so to keep us from finishing the series. I found it to be rather brilliant and was excited to complete the series. It might be a bit too mature in parts for my ten year old, but he's mature in many ways for his age, so it worked out. I think I'd recommend it to the ...more
Kerry Johnson
Jun 12, 2016 Kerry Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read & loved The White Mountains when I was a teen. Recently my husband gifted me the 4-book boxed set of The Tripods series, and I read this prequel, When the Tripods Came, with my boys. It's written in the same no-nonsense voice as The White Mountains, but I found this story built more slowly to its exciting climax.

The main character, Laurie, is a teenage boy struggling with family issues (his mom left; he doesn't care for his step-mom, Ilse, and her daughter, and he's distant from his
Wisdom Zelda
Jun 05, 2016 Wisdom Zelda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turn Into a Fortune Teller!

Free Earth.

After three books about the Earth being captive to the Masters, you open this book and the Earth is free. You don’t groan in dismay, you don’t rejoice, but you go on. Which is a good idea, considering this book is nothing like the disappointment of The Pool of Fire.

When the Tripods Came, by John Christopher (yes, I had a feeling that you would remind me that his real name is Samuel Youd), tells of what happened when the Tripods came (I know, pretty obvious).
This was a very good book. I enjoyed it alot, however I didn't think it was as strong as the other three in the series.

"As Pa said, censorship encouraged people to believe nonsense."

"I wanted to ask which war---the Boer or the Crimean? It was amazing how old people could talk about The War, as though that meant something."

"The peace and harmony Uncle Ian and the others claimed to be handing out in fact was death, because without being yourself, an individual, you weren't really alive."
A.E. Shaw
Jan 10, 2013 A.E. Shaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

A very satisfying conclusion (beginning) to the Tripods tales. The hindsight with which this is written is a good suggestion to all writers of series of books that it doesn't hurt to start in the middle and fix the beginning later! All so tonally consistent and quite terrifyingly plausible, this has such detail and humanity at its centre, I'm just sorry to have finished these books, for it'll be a long time until I've forgotten them as well as I had again! Excellent, excellent.
Dec 16, 2012 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of the 1st 3 books of the White Mountains trilogy
Recommended to Kevin by: Natasha Jaques
I loved the The Tripods Trilogy as a kid. I read it so many times. So when my daughter, Natasha, gave this book to me for my 49th birthday, I was delighted. The lackluster nature of the novel, written well after the series, as a prequel, in no way diminished the thoughtfulness and pleasure of the gift. And actually, I enjoyed reading it a lot.
Mia Israelsen Blackwelder
For a prequel, this one is very well done. It's amazingly creepy and simple how the tripods are able take over most of the world. I also love how a little group of humans fight to keep their freedom, and it lays a perfect foundation for the original tripod series. What is so genuinely scary about the tripod series is how viable the method the tripods used to take control are. These books are just as fun to read as they were the first time I read them in college.
Matt Ryan
Jan 17, 2015 Matt Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite this being published around the same time I was old enough to read the original trilogy from the 60s, I hadn't come across this prequel until a month or two ago and immediately set about tracking down a copy. The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire were some of the first books I read in my pre-teens that hooked me into reading as a hobby and so it was great to come back to this as an adult. Still a good read.
Nov 29, 2009 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Tripods series was SO awesome, they was my favorite books when I was about 11 or 12-- I would definitely recommend it for anyone in that age range, an excellent science fiction for those who are perhaps too young for Asimov but who have read all of Dahl-- I was enjoying Bradbury shortly after reading this series... I actually don't think I've found anything quite like this series ever since, but that could be nostalgia talking :)
Jun 16, 2009 Carie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it 3.5. It had the same ominous quality as the original Tripod trilogy and some suspenseful harrowing moments, as well as being a thought-provoking story. It's not as good as the original trilogy, but it really held my interest. I liked the tie-ins to the other books, but I would recommend reading it AFTER reading the other 3 books. I don't think the others would be as enjoyable if you read this one first.
Dec 05, 2011 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not like science-fiction books as a whole, but this one I liked. I thought the plot was clever and believable. (Especially for a book written almost 50 years ago) I liked the conflict that arose and how the characters resolved it. Easy to read. Although I found it in the young adult section of the library, it would be great for older children to read. My 8 and 10 year old children would like it.
4th published prequel.

Even though the events of this story precede those in The White Mountains I still suggest readers read this series in published order, starting with The White Mountains.
Interesting, but I didn't love it. I can't argue with the idea that we waste too much time on things (television, internet, etc) that do not matter and in so doing give up some of our freedom and, one could argue, humanity; but still the premise seems very far fetched. (I've never been comfortable with hypnotism, and I find the events suggested here eerily like the explorations of George du Maurier.)

Nzinga Foster-Brown
This is the prequel to the Tripods Trilogy. The title is self-explanatory - a young boy tells his story about the coming of the Tripods and his family's attempts to escape their grasp. I have not yet read the trilogy, but I have seen the TV series and this book answered a lot of questions. It is a fast-paced and gripping read. I read it all in one go as I did not want to put it down.
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Sam Youd was born in Lancashire in April 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm.

As a boy, he was devoted to the newly emergent genre of science-fiction: ‘In the early thirties,’ he later wrote, ‘we knew just enough about the solar system for its possibilities to be a magnet to the imagination.’

Over the following decades, his imagination flowed from science-fiction into general novels, cricket nove
More about John Christopher...

Other Books in the Series

The Tripods (4 books)
  • The White Mountains (The Tripods, #1)
  • The City of Gold and Lead (The Tripods, #2)
  • The Pool of Fire (The Tripods, #3)

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