Melinda's Reviews > When the Tripods Came

When the Tripods Came by John Christopher
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's review
Nov 08, 2011

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bookshelves: juvenile-lit, sci-fi
Read in November, 2011

I recently rediscovered the "Tripod" books. This book is the prequel to the "Tripod" trilogy. "The White Mountains" was published in 1967, "City of Gold and Lead" in 1968, and the final in the trilogy "Pool of Fire" in 1968 also. "When the Tripods Came" was written in 1988, about 20 years after the trilogy was written.

Three alien ships crash land on earth, one in England, one in Russia, and another one in the United States. Defeated with little difficulty, the story changes to following a new TV program called "The Trippy Show". The TV show gathers cult followings as they watch cartoon animations of the "tripods" being defeated easily by the humans. But why is the show such a hit? Is there another reason behind the success? It seems the "tripods" learned more about manipulating humans while observing them during the alien attack.

The resultant mind control of the Tripods over humans is carried out when humans are "capped", and the cap controls thoughts and changes their thinking. Only there are some who refuse to be capped. The family we get to know in the book eventually retreats to Switzerland and becomes the base for a rebellion against the Tripods.

As I said, it was good rediscovering these books. They are a quick read, but very solid early science fiction!!

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