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The Tripods Trilogy

(The Tripods #1-3)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,637 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Long ago the Tripods, gigantic three-legged machines, descended upon Earth and took control. They used "Caps," administered ceremoniously near each child's 14th birthday, to control humans' brains and keep them docile. Now there is pleasant life in villages, little technology, and no war--but there is no freedom either. In this powerful and suspenseful series, 13-year-old ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Collier Books (first published 1967)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  2,637 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this as a young teenager and was driven by my passion for H.G. Well's The War of the Worlds. It is a gripping read for the younger reader although I found it a little simple when I re-read them in my late 30's. It is a series of 4 books with the initial trilogy written in the late 60's and the 4th novel being a prequel written 20 years later. All of them are a great read and introduce confronting situations that every teen has to face although these are in a rather unusual setting - namel ...more
Will Hadcroft
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this trilogy. I discovered it via the BBC Television adaptation of 1984/5. Unlike the TV series (which I do like very much), the story rattles along at a pace. The idea of people being Capped so as not to question the status quo has always resonated with me. The Tripod city in the books is a much harsher place than the one depicted on screen. For a children's trilogy, the issues concerning one's freedom to think and speak are handled in a mature way. It's told in the first pers ...more
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These books were one of the few that got me to really start reading on my own as a child. I don't know how accurate this rating would be today, though, since I haven't read them in 12 or 13 years. :)
Neal Shusterman
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Read these as a teenager and loved them. Read them again about ten years ago, and loved them still!
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A very intriguing and enjoyable read.
My favorite character was by far Beanpole. He invents glasses, thinks up steam power, fights tripods with hand grenades, and creates a hot-air balloon. He also demonstrates a lot of character (as well as brains) in the end.
I loved the clincher in the end, that makes you wonder whether the tripods had the right idea in wiping out humans. Can peace and liberty ever go together?
Nadine Jones
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm not actually sure if I read the entire trilogy, or just one or two books, but whichever way, they were memorable and wonderful and stand out as one of the most amazing children's sci-fi books I read.
Rebecca Cynamon-murphy
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
In 1987, I was in the 6th grade when Mrs. Meister, the junior high librarian, did a science fiction presentation. My little soul’s mouth dropped open and urged, “I want to go to there.” I had been scouring the children’s’ libraries available to me to sate my soul’s hunger for the extraordinary and had been consuming a heavy diet of non-fiction about ghosts and weirdly adapted classic horror monster fiction for kids. But her summary of this story plus that iconic cover. I claimed it for check-out ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading the Tripods trilogy nowadays (I first read the books when I was about 14), I'm struck first of all by their Wellsian style and elements (I read them before I'd read 'War of the Worlds' or other of Wells' scientific romances). I'm also struck by their powerful allegorical overtones - fictions of the atomic age that look backwards to the Second World War (a desperate resistance movement fights totalitarian overlords) but which see youth as the hope of the present (very 1960s). Is Julius, t ...more
Jacqueline Yanez
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid trilogy. Good read for the younglings
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A favorite from my youth!
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Quaint. 3.5 stars
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: g_gs
The rating I've given for this book is honest and accurate: one star; I didn't like it. However, this is unlikely unbiased. I was forced to read this in middle school in "Reading" class. It's the first book I remember ever being forced to read, after years of choosing and reading hundreds of books for myself that I appreciated. If I did not already have a very firm foundation of reading that had nothing to do with school and assignment, it's possible this experience would have turned me off agai ...more
I had read this series before, and may have had copies of the original volumes. This edition is the whole series, in one boxed set.


Told from the point of view of an insecure child in his early teens, this book can't be expected to be anything like objective--and it's not. The 'evil alien overlords' aren't particularly menacing. They demand nothing from humans except that the humans (a) worship them uncritically, (b) not use advanced technologies, and (c) not fight wa
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In my teen years I picked up the middle book of this trilogy 'the city of gold and Lee's however it being a bridge to two other books it remained unread and I must have got rid of it ages ago...I did hear after that the story of how this Trilogy was turned into a BBC series but in a similar way remained unfinished as it followed the first two books before money ran out of something.
Anyhow as these things do the book and series gained cult status and I changed upon this at a charity shop and thou
Andy Fletcher
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Tripods are my favourite set of books from childhood and probably still are. I read them every other year. I think I may have watched the first BBC series and then got the books before the second series was released. The White Mountains is excellent. The City of Gold and Lead is probably the best of them. The last sentence of The Pool of Fire is my favourite line in literature. The prequel book When the Tripods Came written years later is perhaps not quite of the same standard, but still hig ...more
Ralph Jones
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20th-century
When I first saw this title, I didn’t think this series would be epic. The Tripods by John Christopher is a series about young boys saving their world from aliens who control robots that look like camera tripods.

Everyone they know has to wear a cap once they turn 14, to be controlled by the aliens. The protagonist, Will, met with a strange man that told him about the outside world. He and his cousin, Henry, and a French kid they nicknamed as ‘Beanpole’, joined the resistance to fight against the
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast read. Interesting concept of alien subjecation of human race that's been going on by mind control for 100 years. Written for Junior reader set but fast read for adults. Bittersweet ending. I read the prequel first. Recommend you do that to appreciate the background of aliens' snobbery. Flawed main character rushes into things/ makes mistakes. (beating of human slaves, those whose minds are broken, some stealing food, runaways, bombs, tearing of people seen from far away, not too graphic) 11 ...more
Maral Haghighi
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book when I was 10 or 11 and I absolutely loved it. I read 3 of them in one week or even less. Even though that it's a really old book and not many people around my age know about this I still recommend all the teenagers to read this book at least once, and believe me, you can't put it down when you start the book. wish I could explain why I liked it or give more description but I can't remember anything about it except the joy that I had while reading the book.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a child I wasn’t a great reader so when my Firth grade teacher entice me with this series full of fantasy fiction, I couldn’t put it down.

Thank you to the writer John Christopher for an amazing and some what frightening world in the very near future.

My love of reading, writing and sci-fi began with your book.
Indigo M
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great, timeless dystopian novel that I recommend to everyone. Personally, I found it to read more like a synopsis than a novel, but I still loved it nonetheless. I recommend it to all YA enthusiasts who are tired of the mainstream.
Brett Wiens
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books as a kid. I read it in elementary school and lots of parts of it stuck with me. I read it to my daughter when she was a baby and was impressed with how much I enjoyed it again, understanding far more.
Bill Hamby
Was such a huge fan when I was kid. Haven't been able to find my old set of books, so I ordered the box set online and reread all the books, including the prequel. Loved every minute of it. Simple, quick read for adults. But, it was challenging for me when I was around 12.
Eve Campbell
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly I’m shook about how great of this book was just read it
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this as a kid. Great stuff for younger readers.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read these in junior high, went back to reading them as an adult and am happy to report they were as good as I remembered.
Charlie Reno
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
It was an okay book.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Still a classic!
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A great introduction to science fiction for kids. These were my favorite books growing up, and I continue to re-read them as an adult.
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: highly-recommend
I loved these books when I was a kid. Super fun and great for contemplating the importance of agency and freedom.
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Sam Youd was born in Huyton, Lancashire in April 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm.

As a boy, he was devoted to the newly emergent genre of science-fiction: ‘In the early thirties,’ he later wrote, ‘we knew just enough about the solar system for its possibilities to be a magnet to the imagination.’

Over the following decades, his imagination flowed from science-fiction into general novels, cric

Other books in the series

The Tripods (4 books)
  • When the Tripods Came
  • The White Mountains (The Tripods, #1)
  • The City of Gold and Lead
  • The Pool of Fire

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