The Kraken Wakes
The Kraken Wakes is probably the most different of John Wyndham's still read novels. Which perhaps helped me to recognise what makes him stand out in the field of sci-fi. He's a brilliant combiner of elements of both horror and sci-fi to create a chillingly realistic novels with intelligent thoughts and ideas behind them. While he may take inspiration from Verne and Wells (he refers to them within his actual novels in clever metalinguistic intertextual devices) he writes works which are original...more
Oh I'm burning my brains in the back roomIsn't it just ho...more
Almost setting my cortex alight
To find a new thing to go crack-boom
And blow up a xenobathite
It all begins, as a couple of reporters on vacation, start seeing some objects are falling on the sea. After some investigation it seems a l...more
Some form of alien beings arrive from space and settle in our deepest oceans and, even though they cannot exist in the low pressure environment of the surface and we can't exist in their high pressure environment at the bottom of the oceans, it soon becomes clear that the two cannot cohabit the earth and that one of us must go.
I say it becomes clear but as fa...more
We drop nukes on them and they come up to take us, bit by bit. The sea-levels rise...and we're probably doomed!
WAR OF THE WORLDS meets AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH...and its 50+ years old.
Corking and grown-up. My favourite Wyndham novel, but only by a tickle over DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS
Wyndham achieves a kind of chilly realism with this story in which there are plenty of loose ends and nothing is fully explained. The story takes place on more of an international scale than TRIFFIDS and the various set-pieces are very well handled, particul...more
The whole management of the media bit amused me rather, and made me wonder to what extent it's really true that any individual reporter...more
I'm a fan of John Wyndham and his 50's brand of horror sf. Out of the Deeps surpassed my expectations. It has all the makings of a summer blockbuster, probably starring Will Smith. It has a husband and wife team of reporters as the protagonists, a scientist that no one believes, and tentacled aliens that rise from the deep in sea tanks to terrorize the surface dwellers. Let Will do the theme song and you've got a license to print money.
I'll rank Out of the Deeps ri...more
But what sells it is the descriptive language, and the intense...more
I have always loved Wyndham, but the Kraken wakes holds a very special place for me. The aliens arrive almost unnoticed and the start living in the deep sea trenches, (So far so good!) time passes and wham they start raiding random islands and stealing the locals.
You will not believe what you are reading as humanity almost b...more
Many years ago I read and enjoyed Wyndham's more celebrated book 'Day of the Triffids' so when I spotted this book I could not resist giving it a go.
Could a book first published in 1953 about an alien invasion still have any relevance today? Certainly some parts are symptons of their time, there is the old Cold War frictions and people rely on telegraph and radio for their news rather than instan...more
This is not a "shoot 'em up" book, there are few violent incidents, but the creeping horror is insidious and terrifying. I would say the description of the Bathies' sea-tank attack on Escondida in the Caribbean where they begin "harvesting" humans is incredibly disturbing; it's what isn't said rather than wha...more
Who does that? Who promises giant squids and then reneges on that deal? It's like handing a plastic ice cream cone to a child. He'll be like, OH YEAH ICE CREAM. Until he tries to bite it and discovers that, nope, it's just plastic.
This book wa...more
A married couple, both of whom are reporters for the E.B.C. (a fictional rival to the BBC) are on a vacation cruise when they happen to glance up and note that Mars seems exceptionally bright. Then they notice that suddenly there are three Mars-sized orbs that appear to be coming at them at a great speed. These orange orbs ultimately crash into the sea with a great hiss of boiling water. They don’t know what to think, so just put it down to meteorite...more
Comparable to Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, Wyndham’s novel, th...more
The story can seem rather slow to get going, but I think that accurately mirrors the news dissemination in a pre-Internet, pre-24-hour-news world. In those days it was possible to 'bury bad news' or not...more
As with other Wyndham novels, several issues are exposed, some of which seem almost prophetic. What would we do if we can no longer practice world commerce in the manner that we do now? How does the media handle the truth? If there was a real threat, would the gover...more
John Wyndham’s “The Kraken Wakes” is a well-written, rip-roaring monster story that is both prescient and remarkably relevant to the present world situation, nearly sixty years after its publication.
I have been keenly fond of the filmed adaptation of “The Day of the Triffids” since its original theatrical release. Only years later did I realize it was based on a Wyndham novel; it is next on my “to read” list. I was even less aware of “The Kraken Wakes”...more
In a way, he is science fiction for people who don't normally read science fiction, because it is understated and very realistic in fe...more
One of the things I'd say was most interesting about it is that on one level it's a novel about the media - about how incidents are reported and how the public respond to them. The hero and heroine are broadcast journalis...more
What made it better than Lovecraft? The monsters were slightly more interesting, and the characters...more
Obviously there are a number of differences between the two novels, but from the viewpoint of a post-apocalyptic fiction fan, the key difference is timing. The Day of Triffids follows an apocalypse that occurs...more
This book is a slow burn, but goodness is it tense. It's like boiling a frog, it comes on so slowly that you don't realise just how tense you've got.
In some ways, the book is very m...more
The mysterious deep ocean-dwelling aliens are kept at a distance for the story's entirety, and their infrequent attacks are largely made known through dialogue from the novel's main characters; a terribly middle-class 1950s married journal...more
I read my books with an open mind, waiting to be surprised because, we all know the phrase, one shouldn't judge the book by the cover.
So, regardless of the several ideas that floated in...more