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Children of the Thunder

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Science writer Peter Levin sensed a major story behind Claudia Moriss's research into juvenile deliquency. For the American sociologist had uncovered a disturbing pattern of crimes that were unusual even in the rapidly deteriorating society of 1990s Britain.

David had made a fortune creating highly addictive designer drugs. Sheila, alone and unarmed, had killed a Marine com
Mass Market Paperback, Del Rey (First Edition), 341 pages
Published December 13th 1988 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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Invadozer Misothorax Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat
Children of the Thunder is a science fiction novel by John Brunner.

John Brunner has written a really wonderful book 'THE SHEEP LOOK UP' that I should probably re-read. This book came close but not quite to the despondency that Earth is supposed to face in the present/near future.

There is developing computers in this book and witch scares about AIDS making this a little dated, but when the whole think is rolled together then it makes for one loud polluted toxic page fart. Kids. They do the darned
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another hugely compelling dystopian novel by John Brunner who I was introduced to via the very impressive The Sheep Look Up. This story has a similar background of greedy companies and xenophobic governments destroying the world one scandal and environmental disaster at a time, presented in short news clips. However, the central plot is focused on a journalist and a researcher trying to verify stories of children with mysterious powers in an increasingly totalitarian and racist Britain.

I found t
Venus Maneater
Aug 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I wasn't quite here for the hypersexual children and the raping. ...more
Tentatively, Convenience
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's Children of Thunder
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 23, 2013

This might be called Brunner's 'Demon Seed' novel, it centers around exceptionally successfully manipulative children. I'm reminded of the grim picture of children in the background of his Players at the Game of People (1980) (see my review here: ) & of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange (1962), wch I've read, & of John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) (fi
Sas astro
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Recently found this in a charity shop, it's not one of Brunner's best but I kept reading because of his remarkable prescience on the political climate of today. OK he didn't have the same prescience on technology, no smart phones, dial up modems etc. But! The background to this story set in the UK in the 1990's is so relevant to today, crops blighted with pesticides, killing bees, an extreme Right Wing government that only allows "patriotic news" and controls the BBC output. People attacking any ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In many ways typical dystopic Brunner. However, I was surprised (and saddened) at how accurate his description of England actually was, especially given the trends of the last few months as the UK approaches Brexit. Good story, though I must confess I guesses the final plot turn about half way through the book. Still an enjoyable read even if the plot holes were fairly large. Interesting in that I was immediately reminded of Marvel's Jessica Jones first series, though this obviously predates the ...more
Aug 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plague-times
I always appreciate the divide between English and American mindsets in John Brunner’s books. Thankfully the near future he imagined missed the mark by a long shot. Don’t get caught up in those details or the humour will be lost on you. If you are a fan of A Clockwork Orange then you’ll want to read it— read it for the children.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's quite slow to build and the formatting often left me confused about the perspective changes. But it's a fascinating look at the world of today written 30 years ago. It's also quite disturbing in places, and because of the repeated perspective switches and a fairly jumble voice, it's sometimes hard to separate the actions and beliefs of the characters from the overall voice of the book. ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This is really very insightful; amazing really, how many things Brunner got right. Another one where it should be required reading, just so people can make thoughtful choices. What I didn't find was characters to like, and a pretty grim world. ...more
Denise (Zara)
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Hard to get into, since it starts with some serious crimes (rape, murder) but an interesting premise.
T.S. S. Fulk
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was very slow at the beginning, middle and end, but still had ideas that struck an eerie chord with today's societal problems. Creepy ending, but not surprising or engaging enough. ...more
Oct 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult, fiction, sci-fi
Another one that stuck in my head without title attached. I wish it hadn't. ...more
Stuart Lutzenhiser
Jun 03, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Odd Reagan era sci-fi. Well crafted and bits of it not aging well but other bits oddly still resonant.
Jason R
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-shelf
A bit predictable at times, but still surprisingly compelling.
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are ways in which the book now feels behind the times, obviously. No smart phones, still using VCRs and modems (modems!), no web cams. That makes a huge difference in the plot. It also slows down character research, which makes up a large part of the book–but Brunner makes it interesting.

There were some plot developments this time that seemed a little obvious, but while I admit my memory sucks, I’m pretty sure that’s just because I’ve read it before. It made an impression when I was in hig
JS Fidelino
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a really weird novel. My friend Sarah bought it at a secondhand bookstore in Trinoma, probably because the back cover spiel was quite interesting and the cover art was classic old sci-fi book stuff. The novel was published in 1988 and the copy she got was a first print (it probably didn’t get a second methinks). Well, she left the copy with me and out of interest I read it.

The novel was set in Britain in the 1990s, when human society was starting to fall apart and the natural resources w
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have long been a fan of Brunner, and have all but worshiped The Shockwave Rider in a manner most geeks reserve for bigger SF names since my teens. I was, therefore, predisposed to like this book.

If you, dear reader, are not likewise predisposed, I would urge a moment's caution. Without providing any spoilers, let me note that the central themes of this book deal directly with topics about which a great many people have extremely strong feelings. I seriously doubt whether it could be publis
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, dystopia
I liked the premise of the book, not the execution. 1990s Britain is on the verge of total collapse due to economic and ecological disasters around the world. A fascist government is on the verge of taking complete control.

Researcher Claudia Morris discovers disturbing patterns in children crimes and reporter David Levin senses a potential story. They soon discover that these kids aren't just simple juvenile delinquents but something more. Each of these kids possess a strange power of charm. We
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: entertainment
While ,our current world isn't quite as disfunctional as the 1990's in "Cildren of Thunder", there are a great many disturbing similarities. Into this world I went to find both expected and unexpected plot twists as together with the characters I treid to figure it out... and fell victim to the same misleading clues! While the ending wasn't totally unexpected, there were a few surprise twists and when I closed the last page I had a good chuckle! ...more
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was eerie and a bit scary in terms of what the future could bring. Brunner makes it seem all too plausible. There are one or two scenes that are more than PG-13 in case some parent wants to know.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Very dated (1980s), irritating invented jargon, and hamfistedly preachy in places. I did read the whole thing though.
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Horrible Book 10 9 May 20, 2007 06:28PM  

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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie Ro ...more

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