Apatt's Reviews > The Midwich Cuckoos

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2457095
's review
Jul 05, 13

Read from February 24 to 27, 2012

John Wyndham's books are often described, labeled or tagged as cozy catastrophe, I am not sure what that means as the two books* I have read so far of his are rather unsettling. My guess is the Englishness of his prose style and the politeness of his characters. As something of an anglophile I very much appreciate this style of writing, it is very comforting and old school, especially with a nice cuppa tea in my hand. The only serious problem with this book is that the plot is so well known. It was filmed a couple of times as Village of the Damned, adapted for radio plays and is required reading in many schools. If you really really have no idea what this book is about here is my ridiculously simplified synopsis:

The women in an English village are implanted with alien babies while the entire village is put to sleep for a few days. The babies grow into hive mind children with mental powers.

These days the hive mind idea is old hat to sci-fi fans, with Star Trek TNG's The Borg, and Doctor Who's Cybermen being the most famous examples (as far as I know). In sf literature beside The Midwich Cuckoos Theodore Sturgeon's classic More Than Human is probably the best known. The main difference is that the Sturgeon's book concerns a small group of homo gestalt people who operate as one being but are also non-homogeneous individuals. In any case you are not likely to have your mind blown by this book.

The book was published in 1957, in those days they tell stories with such economy, a lot of story is packed into about 250 pages. The drawback is that there is little room for character development, so the polite inhabitants of this book tend to be somewhat two dimensional. As mentioned earlier I was already well aware of the plot from the movie versions so there is no surprise in store for me but I still find the book worth reading and immersive. If you are unfamiliar with the story when you read this fine sf classic I envy you.


* The other one being The Day of the Triffids - also a must read classic
6 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Midwich Cuckoos.
sign in »

Reading Progress


Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Cecily I don't think I'd heard "cozy catastrophe" before, but I like it.

I agree that there is little character development, but I think that's often the case with sci-fi. If the plot is good enough, I can overlook it to some degree.


Apatt Cecily wrote: "I don't think I'd heard "cozy catastrophe" before, but I like it.

I agree that there is little character development, but I think that's often the case with sci-fi. If the plot is good enough, I ..."


I urge you to check out this article by Jo Walton (best professional sf reviewer IMO and a very nice lady).


Cecily A good blog; thank you.


message 4: by meyamashi (new) - added it

meyamashi It's a guilty pleasure to read an entire SF book in a sitting or two, and the scant 250+ pages will allow for that. Thanks for your great reviews, Apatt.


Apatt I'm a pretty slow reader, about 100 pages max per day so it'd take me a lot longer!


back to top