MisterD's Reviews > Survivors

Survivors by Terry Nation
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Jan 07, 09

Recommended for: John Wyndham fans
Read in January, 2009

Whilst the recent TV series is clearly based on this novel - several of the main characters are there, as are key episodes - it has its own pace and scale. The onset and aftermath of the Death are well delivered, to the extent that we as quickly become innured to the scale of the morbidity as do the protagonists. We immediately become caught up in their daily struggle for survival. The post-apocalyptic world, and the variety of ways in which its inhabitants conduct themselves, is very much in the tradition of John Wyndham's tales.

At times, however, the book doesn't ring quite true. Written in the seventies, it shows its age in a number of minor details, and isn't shy of presenting a gallery of stock characters from those days. More irritatingly, here and there are inconsistencies in the narrative - encounters with other groups of survivors, for example, are rarely followed though to a logical conclusion, though when this is done the excitement and interest are built up to page-turning level. Similarly, in places the time-scale leaps around unsatisfyingly, from second-by-second action to whole seasons in the space of a paragraph.

The final scene is a surprise, well enough, though the revelation is flagged up more obviously than HMS Victory at the Nile; but Terry Nation leaves us wanting more, which is probably the best place to end.

I'd very much like to see a re-write of this book, as I feel the TV programmes addressed some of the ommissions. These criticisms apart, "Survivors" is a good read overall, not overly demanding and, indeed, thought-provoking.
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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Thanks for the helpful review! I'm watching the TV show and wanted to know how the book compared.


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