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Chrysalids (ab)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  30,317 Ratings  ·  1,349 Reviews
First published in 1955, The Chrysalids is a post-nuclear story of genetic mutation in a devastated world, which tells of the lengths the intolerant will go to to keep themselves pure.

David Strorm's father doesn't approve of Angus Morton's unusually large horses, calling them blasphemies against nature. Little does he realize that his own son, his niece Rosalind and their
Published January 7th 1997 by Penguin Audio UK (first published 1955)
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Jul 24, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Wyndham is often described in rather disparaging term as the main proponent of cosy catastrophe. This based on the allegation that his protagonists tend to be English middle class white males who are not much inconvenienced by the apocalypse, somehow continuing to live it up while the rest of the populace suffer. Having read three of his books I find that while the allegation is not entirely unwarranted it is also not quite fair. I hope to write more about this issue when I get around to re ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This has been on my shelf, unread, since uni, when I picked it up second-hand after reading and loving The Day of the Triffids, recommended to me by my mum. I can't believe I waited so long to read this amazing book, and if there is one book you should read in your life it is this one.

It has been a long time - how long no one can say, though surely centuries - since God sent the Tribulation to the Old People (us), near destroying everything we had built and learned. The Tribulation continues: t
Brendon Schrodinger
It is certainly easy to classify John Wyndham's The Chrysalids as old school YA fiction, from before YA fiction needed a label, but it offers more than your average after school special between covers in that it treats the reader as an intelligent and reasonable person, and that while there is a touch of the 50s to the book, it was certainly way ahead of it's time.

David Strorm is the only living son of a patriarch of an ultra-religious post-apocalyptic community. Faced a level of mutation in the
Dan Schwent
Dec 12, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-sf
The Chrysalids is my new favorite John Wyndham book. It's about conformity in a post-nuclear holocaust world. David and his friends live in an isolated community called Waknuk on the island of Labrador. After seeing one of his friends cast out into the Fringes for having a sixth toe, David begins mistrusting his upbringing. Once he discovers that he and a small group of his friends are telepathic, things only get worse.

Wyndham draws on the paranoia and distrust of the deviations from the norm th
Chris F
Feb 28, 2009 Chris F rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who would like a very obvious example of wolf in sheep's clothing manipulative techniques
At first it seems as if John Wyndham is making the point that those with physical deformities are humans just like everyone else, and should be treated as such. However if we divide this book into heroes and villains, and weigh up the pros and cons for each group we find that the “heroes” are the greater monsters. If the villains are defined by their intolerance of anyone or anything that deviates from the norm then our band of heroes, and their ultimate savior, are the worst offenders. I was le ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brandon by: Alaina
Many years have passed since a devastating nuclear war left much of the world in ruins. A small village in northern Labrador comprised of religious fundamentalists is on the lookout for what they call “deviations” - food, animals or even people who deviate from the socially acceptable norm. Once these deviations have been discovered, it is either to be destroyed on the spot or if you’re one of the few people born with a deformity, sterilized and banished from the community, destined to live in w ...more
Perhaps the best sound-bite from the anti-evolution camp is the one about the tornado. If a tornado hit a junkyard, how likely is it that it would randomly create a 747? I was surprised to learn the other day that the line originally comes from Fred Hoyle, the brilliant but eccentric astrophysicist who also coined the phrase "Big Bang". Of course, it's not a fair comparison. The whole point, as everyone from Darwin onward has explained, is that evolution isn't a one-shot process; it's the result ...more
I nominated this book for my real-life book club because I was trying to think of something that would fit a Halloween-sort-of theme, and some description I saw of this book mentioned the Devil, so why not?

Sorry, book club. Not very Halloween-y, eh? And, apparently (at least in Pittsburgh), really difficult to find. I failed you all this month.

It is a post-apocalyptic novel, though, and I'm usually down for that. This particular post-ap novel is also a coming-of-age story, which I have to admit
Katie Lumsden
Aug 20, 2016 Katie Lumsden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant - one of the best books I've read in terms of dealing with a post-apocalyptic world and what they might mean. The writing is beautiful and the characterisation and world-building subtly done. The society Wyndham builds is terrifying and fascinating, and brilliantly created. I think I preferred the slower first half to the more action-driven second half, but this will still definitely be one of my favourites of this year!

Having recently read John Wyndham's famous novel The Day of the Triffids, which is known more for the film adaptations, I decided to read another of Wyndham's books. The result left me very satisfied and I must conclude that Wyndham now holds a place on my (imaginary) bookshelf of favourite classic sci-fi authors alongside Wells, Asimov and Verne to name a few.

The idea of The Chrysalids is simple but executed extremely well. As a result The Chrysalids is a complement to the aesthetic as well as
M. Ihsan Tatari
Feb 27, 2016 M. Ihsan Tatari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İnsanı insan yapan nedir? Irkı mı? Ten rengi mi? Milliyeti mi? Yoksa düşünceleri ve kişiliği mi? John Wyndham, Krizalitler adlı eserinde tam da bu konuyu sorguluyor işte. Ama bilimkurgunun, hatta belki de biraz da fantastiğin o kendine özgü eleştiri kılıcını kuşanarak, farklı ve gerçeküstü bir yoldan yapıyor bunu.

Hikayemiz Waknuk köyünde yaşayan, David adlı bir çocuğun başından geçenleri konu alıyor. David dış görünüş açısından son derece normal, hatta sıradan biri. Ve bu onun için inanılmaz bir
Sep 07, 2009 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
A post apocalyptic world in which society puritanically tries to resist the deviations that beset their crops, livestock and people through genetic mutations.

David Strorm, never quite understanding his father's fervour for normality soon discovers that he (and certain others) deviate from the norm in a new and undetectable way. As they try to keep their difference hidden and try to be normal, they eventually discover that they won't ever fit in and with the arrival of David's sister Petra, it b
Aug 23, 2016 Conrad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What impressed me the most about The Chrysalids is Wyndham’s resistance for flare. The descriptions are somewhat minimalist. He seemed to love working within the walls of a sci-fi convention to sort of bend the edges of them without breaking them. This sort of restraint is what gives the story its wings as the reader is given an allowance to extend what information is given and fulfill the corollaries Wyndham sets and color in the longer-felt repercussions of living in this world. I found that t ...more
Mattia Ravasi
Jan 06, 2016 Mattia Ravasi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#11 in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2015:

An excellent excercise in post-apocalyptic fiction from a master of the genre - compelling storytelling, intelligent reflections and believable characters. An amazing reading experience.
PS, chrysalids = readers. Think about it.
Paul Reed
Jul 10, 2013 Paul Reed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I usually have a three book rule which states that I only read three consecutive books by any author. It's mostly to stop me from getting bored. Not so with Wyndham. I'm four in and still wanting more. I haven't read the Chrysalids since I was a youth, and, understandably, a lot of the evolutionary/religious themes were lost on me back then. It's a much richer reading experience now. As usual with Wyndham, this is a story which raises all manner of questions regarding what constitutes perfection ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
With this novel Wyndham abandons his contemporary-documentary settings and style and tells a future-post-nuclear-holocaust tale instead - and wow! What a difference!

In contrast to a rather dry telling of a tale in which there is little by way of incident, if possibly a lot by way of thought-provocation, as can be found in The Midwich Cuckoos or Trouble with Lichen, this is a story with much in the vein of adventure story but also a message about religion, (in)tolerance and differences between pe
I've been meaning to read The Chrysalids since it was mentioned in Among Others (reading books Mori mentions hasn't steered me wrong, so far). I'm glad I got round to it. I enjoyed Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, but I enjoyed The Chrysalids rather more: I fell in love with the way he created a whole post-apocalyptic world in just a few pages. I loved all the details of it -- harsh and oppressive as it would be to live that life, it's a fantastic read for someone interested in post-apocalyptic dy ...more
Jun 26, 2016 Yaprak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gerçekten çok keyifle okuduğum bir kitap oldu.

Krizalitler bizi post apokaliptik bir dünyaya götürüyor. Aslında felaketin ne olduğunun tam olarak bilmiyoruz fakat canlılarda görülen mutasyonlar bize her ne olduysa bunun nükleer bir durum olduğunu tahmin ettiriyor. Waknuk köyündeki David'in hikayesini okuyoruz. Waknuk köyü oldukça dindar ve tüm canlıların Tanrı'nın onları yarattığı şekilde olması gerektiğini düşünerek bunun dışında kaldığını var saydıkları her şeyi 'Sapkınlık' olarak nitelendirip
Stacey (prettybooks)
This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
I bought The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids in 2013 when I visited Daunt Books, Marylebone, one of my favourite bookshops in London. I knew that his books were science fiction modern classics and that the two I picked were his most well-known novels.

WHY I Chose to Read It
It had been a while since I read my first John Wyndham novel. I read The Day of the Triffids in April 2013 and haven't picked up a John Wy
Apr 01, 2016 Damon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the best of the Wyndham books. Quite a good adventure about a bunch of kids that are worried about being hunted down by their community in a post apocalyptic setting.
Feb 12, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Review to follow
Aug 28, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book last year for school, and although it took me a while to really get into it, the last hundred pages or so were amazing. I really loved the idea of human mutations as a result of (what I assumed) some kind of nuclear world war. Wyndham would have been heavily influenced by the post-war times that he lived in and I thought his aptitude for understanding the ways of the human race appeared in this book profoundly. I'm obsessed with dystopian/science-fiction novels and this one is p ...more
Rob Bliss
May 24, 2013 Rob Bliss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is seriously good!

It's on par with 1984 and Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies and should be taught in schools (maybe it is, some high schools not run by idiots like at my high school). It is sci-fi and fantasy as much as Orwell is, but Orwell is taken seriously, and this is maybe just seen as a young teen book or something.

Curriculums need to rediscover this book. Its about 200 pages, so dont worry you wont strain yourself. And it'll teach so much in so few pages. Amazing how much Wyndham
Aug 11, 2016 Alihan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tam anlamıyla harika! 240 sayfada on kitap bitirmiş gibi hissettiriyor.
Aslı Dağlı
Sep 09, 2016 Aslı Dağlı rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ayrintili yorumum icin -> instagram: dagli_asli
Arielle Walker
I can't review this without going "off-topic", therefore I can't review this at all, apparantly.
Feb 16, 2010 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved, loved, loved this book! Post-apocalyptic dystopia, religious fanatics, what's not to love?
Sep 03, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In a post-apocalyptic world, David struggles with his culture's belief that plant and animal deviants should be destroyed. Deviants are anything that does not physically or otherwise match the image of God as defined by the deeply religious culture. He meets a girl his age and keeps her deviation secret, then discovers that he and some other children, including his little sister, are telepathic. When the adults discover this deviation, David, his sister, and a friend run for their lives. They ar ...more
Jun 08, 2014 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Somehow or other I’ve managed to reach nearly forty years old without ever reading ‘The Chrysalids’. I am now most definitely hanging my head in shame.

‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ with its sinister blonde haired children in an English country village and ‘The Day of the Triffids’ with its dangerous, sentient plants, just seem a lot more part of British cultural life than John Wyndham’s other books.

Maybe that’s because they’re the two with the numerous film and TV adaptations.

And yet ‘The Chrysalids
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John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris was the son of a barrister. After trying a number of careers, including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, he started writing short stories in 1925. After serving in the civil Service and the Army during the war, he went back to writing. Adopting the name John Wyndham, he started writing a form of science fiction that he called 'logical fantasy'. ...more
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“The essential quality of life is living' the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution; and we are part of it.” 35 likes
“So you're in love with her?' she went on.

A word again ... When the minds have learnt to mingle, when no thought is wholly one's own, and each has taken too much of the other ever to be entirely himself alone; when one has reached the beginning of seeing with a single eye, loving with a single heart, enjoying with a single joy; when there can be moments of identity and nothing is separate save bodies that long for one another ... When there is that, where is the word? There is only the inadequacy of the word that exists.

'We love one another,' I said.”
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