The Chrysalids by John WyndhamThe Chrysalids by John Wyndham

The Chrysalids

byJohn Wyndham

Mass Market Paperback | September 23, 2008

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David Strorm’s father doesn’t approve of Angus Morton’s unusually large horses, calling them blasphemies against nature. Little does he realize that his own son, his niece Rosalind and their friends, have their own secret aberration which would label them as mutants. But as David and Rosalind grow older it becomes more difficult to conceal their differences from the village elders. Soon they face a choice: wait for eventual discovery or flee to the terrifying and mutable Badlands …

The Chrysalids is a post-nuclear story of genetic mutation in a devastated world, which tells of the lengths the intolerant will go to to keep themselves pure.
John Wyndham was born in 1903 in the Midlands. After leaving school, he tried his hand at several careers, including farming, law and advertising, before starting to write stories in 1925. During the war he worked as a censor in the Ministry of Information and afterwards served in the Army. The Day of The Triffids was published in 1951...
Title:The ChrysalidsFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.12 × 4.39 × 0.53 inPublished:September 23, 2008Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141038462

ISBN - 13:9780141038469


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this book! This is one of my favourite books of all times. I always use this as an example of how shorter books can sometimes have much more impact than longer ones; 250 pages and this is one of the most eloquent, intelligent, imaginative books I’ve come across. The Chrysalids has managed to become more relevant than ever, more than 70 years after it was written. Everyone should read this book!
Date published: 2018-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chilling First read this in 8th grade for a class project, but I read it every now and then. The message is chilling and too real; definitely would recommend for lovers of dystopia.
Date published: 2018-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Speculative fiction? Or real time message? When Wyndham wrote this, it was an eerie foretelling of a world to come: speculative fiction at its best. It is compelling and perhaps worthy of a read in today's day and age...does it still ring true?
Date published: 2018-07-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Timely, even now. When Wyndham wrote this, it was an eerie foretelling of a world to come: speculative fiction at its best. It is compelling and perhaps worthy of a read in today's day and age...does it still ring true?
Date published: 2018-07-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Scary Book If you like sci-fi and a bit of a fright this is the book for you. If not, don't read it -- it's too scary and disturbing.
Date published: 2018-07-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed Reading It I enjoyed reading The Chrysalids very much. The concepts and themes in this book are current, even though it's set in the future. I recommend this book for young adults
Date published: 2018-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Holds up over time! I first read this book in Gr. 9 and loved it. I recently bought it to see if I would feel the same after all these years, and I did! It is a haunting dystopian novel with religious allusions and strong themes of intolerance and environmental destruction. It's set in the future, presented much like the past, yet manages to stay entirely relevant and current. I would definitely recommend it for a classroom read and/or for young adults.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful metaphor This novel was crafted so well. For such a short read, it managed to really capture the nuance of what it means to be "othered". Would recommend for anyone getting into fiction that talks about social system structures.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed and fondly remembered Images linger from this book. Particularly when thinking about Labrador and New Zealand, and what may/n't lie in between. Interesting mediation on ab/normality.
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wise children with telepathic power This book has been around since the 1960s. I had to read this in grade 9. I enjoyed and read it again years later. The Chrysalids is a dystopian novel. It's set in the future many years after a devastating nuclear war. It's about a small village where religious fundamentalists lookout for what they call deviations (crops, livestock and people with genetic mutations). Any deviation must be destroyed so that it doesn't pollute the gene pool. Humans with mutations are cast out and left to fend for themselves. The main character, David finds out he is telepathic. It's an interesting read about people's distrust for science and the increase of religious fanaticism. This novel is about discrimination and friendship. It's about lack of tolerance towards difference and how we mistreat those who look different from the norm.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read. Unique take on social issues prevalent in our society. Great messages and lessons from this book.
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbing... but excellent It's an excellent science fiction novel that parallels the fundamentalists of today's world to that of a dystopian fictional society. Albeit this novel was written in the 50s it is still very much relevant today.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from disturbing but good I was made to read this in high school, and remember finding it a bit over my head then, but rereading it now as an adult - I really enjoyed it! - somewhat disturbing, but very relevant.
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic book, easy read there's so much thinking and reading between the lines to do with this book. I had to read this in high school and i'm glad i did. I recently re-read my own copy and it holds up very well over the years. Wyndam does an excellent job at crossing over time periods and delivers fantastic post-nuclear sci-fi that leaves you digging. I look forward to reading more of his work
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay I had to read this for english and i did not enjoy it. It wasn't interesting for me.
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Really Werid The story is strange and it is difficult to get into.
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright This storyline overall was good, but it took a long time to get through. I had to read it for school, but it was a pretty good book now that I look back. A little confusing and boring at times.
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright This storyline overall was good, but it took a long time to get through. I had to read it for school, but it was a pretty good book now that I look back. A little confusing and boring at times.
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright This storyline overall was good, but it took a long time to get through. I had to read it for school, but it was a pretty good book now that I look back. A little confusing and boring at times.
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites A classic way ahead of its time.
Date published: 2017-12-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok read Now, as an adult, I appreciate the underlying themes in this book. However, when I read it as a young student, I thought it was a little strange and boring to read.
Date published: 2017-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from GREAT BOOK Great book. This is book has a similar idea like the book The Giver.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from not a good book I was forced to read this for school and it was so hard to get into it although it did get a bit better towards the end. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic Dystopian I read this for book club as part of our "classics" month. I'd never read this book before and in the end, I did enjoy it. It was slow to start however the second half was quite compelling. This is considered to be one of the early works of dystopian fiction and I can see why. This takes place sometime in the future after an unknown event has decimated a good portion of the world. We never find out what this event is only that it occurred sometime in the past. Despite this book taking place in the future, it definitely "feels" like the past, as there is no technology and gender roles are stereotypical. This was definitely a quick read and I can see why it is still used on the high school curriculum, as there are many themes in the book. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow beginning, good ending A classic book I finally got around to reading. The beginning was quite slow, but the second half was really good and was quick to read. It made you want to read a sequel about what happens next. I'm glad I finally read it.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I loved the beginning, but less and less interested toward the end I was intrigued at the beginning, the theme of the overall story changed to many times. The beginning theme was hiding between powerful and disturbing leaders, then runaway innocent teenagers and a six year old child who were... in love, then futeristic city discovering. the more and more I read the more stories I found in it and the more it felt like multiple separate stories. It was a good lesson overall, intriguing and great writing. I would recommend it but not with the expectations of being an amazing book.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible I absolutely hated this book. I purchased it because it was one of our class' in-class novels, and I found it particularly boring. It didn't attract my attention by any means, and I dreaded having to read it.
Date published: 2017-10-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not a fan... ** THIS IS NOT SPOILER-FREE ** There were a few things about "The Chrysalids" that I really loved. For one thing, the post-nuclear ruins of the world were fascinating and eerie, and the community's reverence for "the Old People" (namely us) was spooky. The setting was well-imagined with its fanaticism and emotional detachment. The themes of Naziism and metaphorical racism were applicable to the social and political issues we face today. The way that "deviants" were treated echoed our current struggles as a society to accept one another. I liked that it was reminiscent of "The Giver" and "Brave New World." David was also a noble, capable, and trustworthy protagonist. Nevertheless, while the first third of the story was engaging, profound, reflective, and mysterious, a lot of the edge was lost as the plot progressed. I lost interest as it devolved into mind-chatter between a large group of interchangeable telepathic characters. Furthermore, Petra was annoying, David's apparent relationship with Rosalind seemed contrived, and several new plot elements were introduced towards the end (including the Zealanders, who were totally random). It became increasingly unrealistic, even for a dystopian novel, until it ended up being rather silly. None of the characters seemed to truly feel anything about their predicament and were happy to just keep following orders or walking along until they reached - well - who knows!? Certainly not these characters! And a point on which I am particularly bitter is the handling of Sophie: a ballsy, fun-loving little girl who disappears for eight years only to return as a love-sick mistress who'd rather die than be cast aside by her cruel, rapist master, who'd happened to show, apparently, some semblance of kindness to her. And what's worse is that she was written in such a way as to justify her attachment to him, like it was completely reasonable and no one could have possibly expected anything different. And, of course, Sophie is also madly in love with David. Everyone is madly in love with David. But I am MOST bitter about the ending. At the risk of giving too much away, I must say: I fail to understand how the murders of TWO full communities can be justified by the explanation that they were "intellectually underdeveloped," when the whole point of the novel (up to that point) was to accept everyone for their differences. (The consequence of failing to do so, is the creation of a cold, harsh, stringent, and unhappy society where everyone lives in fear of everyone else). Perspective is a matter of one's environment, and there is none superior to the other. But by the end of this, the author seemed to be saying: "All perspectives are equal, except for this one, which is more equal than all the others." Can you tell I've read "Animal Farm"? ;) I know that the people of Waknuk were immoral in their thinking, but that did not justify mass-murder. They were simply uneducated and needed guidance. Telepathy is not a requirement for intelligence. The world was more engrossing when it was being revealed little by little, when there were still elements left to the imagination. When Uncle Axel lectured about the surrounding land, I was completely in awe because it wasn't adding up, because it piqued my interest, because it reinforced the theme of environmental damage and how our perspectives are shaped by our surroundings/experiences. Once plot holes started to fill in and become repetitive, I quickly grew bored and ceased to care. It's a shame because this novel had a lot of potential and a lot to say about how we treat one another.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it #plumreview I read this book as a teenager and recently reread it. I still loved it. It is well written and the plot and characters are interesting.
Date published: 2017-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it!! I bought this book awhile ago, and when I finally got around to reading it I could not put it down.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Personal Favourite I read this book in tenth grade English and it has always stuck with me! Amazing story of resisting conformity that is so applicable to our world. A classic and timeless piece!
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE Honestly, read this as a young adult and loved it. It dealt with a group of young people who were outsiders because they were mutants in a post-apocalyptic world where anyone with visible mutation is banished. This may sound like a familiar dystopian trope, but this novel did it first and, honestly, did it better. I loved it then and it still holds up today
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book Had to read this in high school, it was somewhat boring in the beginning but it gets interesting the more you read it.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book I read this book in high school and now own it. I will read it again and again
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not bad I read this book as a requirement in high school, and although it was one of the more memorable novels we were required to read in English class... It was just... Way. Too. Bizarre.
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the best I first read this book for school and re-read it a few years later in an attempt to force myself to enjoy it. I found the entire story line so bizarre it was hard to get into. The ending was incredibly disappointing and the whole book was rather boring.
Date published: 2017-07-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it! I really enjoyed the themes in the book and the story telling was great. I've re-read this book a few times. I highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timeless This book was certainly ahead of its time. The Chrysalids easily makes my top 5 list of all time favourite books. I was first introduced to it back in grade 10 as required reading, but just recently re-discovered it. It was just as good if not better the second read through. The prose is very nicely written, the narrative compelling and highly readable. The Chrysalids can easily be labelled as an old school YA fiction. Despite the religious overtones and the philosophising, this is not a lecturing book, it does not try to tell you what to think or judge you. This book is about conformity in a post-nuclear holocaust world. The protagonist David lives in an isolated community called Waknuk on Labrador (Canada) where anybody having deviations from the 'true image of God' (i.e. genetic mutations) are sterilized and banished from society. At an early age David discovers that he along some other children have this ability to communicate telepathically through 'thought-pictures'. David and his friends have to hide their abilities from society. All is going smoothy until David's younger sister Petra is born...
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great adventure 20 years later! I do own this book and I have read it completely. I 1st read it in grade 10 English class. I purchased the book recently because I remembered that it was a great story / adventure and it still is. I do recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I read this as part of my high school English course, and it is a fascinating read!
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my most favourite books! I had to read this back in high school when we were doing grade 12 literature. I was dreading it but right from the first sentence, i was hooked. I found the book to be so magical and loved all the different lands and fringes.. I purchased it as an adult and have since read it 3 times and now my daughter loves this book too. This author was way, way ahead of his time. Truly unique look into the future.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it when I was younger I loved this book when I had to read it in grade 8, many years ago. I remember it is as fascinating, but I'm not sure if I read it today if it would live up to my first impression.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't live up to my expectations at all When I heard what this book was going to be about, I was SO excited to read it. But it ultimately left me feeling disappointed. It's better in the beginning but then it starts to go downhill. It didn't keep me interested and I just ended up finding the story very boring. I think the idea was great, but the execution was poor.
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Book! I remember being so disappointed when I had to read this book for English class but that changed as I got into the story. It held my attention and more; it ended up being one of my all time favourite assigned reads! Highly recommend this book
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Blossomed my passion for literature This book and The Giver are what first got me hooked on Dystopian Lit. Loved it from beginning to end!
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite I was invited to read this book in grade 8 as it was a must for grade 9. I am now 40 and this is still my favourite book and John Wyndham my favourite author
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enthralling It has definite appeal for young people as the emotions of the characters are quite gripping.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite A seemingly simple, yet powerful story set in a dogmatic dystopian world that raises important questions.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok Ok overall - not as good as I was led to believe
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good School Book Read this for school - while it was an okay school book, I wouldn't have read it otherwise
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommend this!! The Chrysalids kind of changed my life. Kind of. I cannot stress too much on it other than the fact that it was literally a success and the true meaning is so relatable to our modern world today, but I could say that it is a pure dystopian classic. Imagine the book that Lois Lowry's The Giver was originally based on. John Wyndham threw this concept to life and into readers' hands, showing a book (with a horrible, hideous cover) that has so much meaning to it and relates to discrimination in society today. With Petra, Rosalind, David, Michael and the bunch of memorable characters, I would not ever change my experience with this story. It all began with English class. A semester before, I had friends who read this. You know what this means. Friends who do not normally read (only when they are required to) usually have mixed feelings about a book. They could seriously adore everything my province's curriculum has chosen because they never experienced anything like it, or they could find it horrible and so utterly boring that they refuse to analyze it and look for similes and whatnot. Y'all are expecting me to say that I heard great things about this book. My friends hated this novel. I bet that they felt this way because teachers spend so much time on books and we have to do millions of presentations to make sure that we completely understand it all. Although I have spent a month on this novel now (as I am counting), I have enjoyed every second of reading it. John Wyndham knew how to throw suspense in his writing, even better than many modern-day authors do. I never knew what to expect with every chapter going by. Everything made so much sense and it all clicked together as the plot unfolded. Seventeen chapters, so many shocking moments and parts where I wanted to scream. This is the true unfolding of an utter fangirl. "Once we allow things that we know are not right, there's no telling where it will ends. A god-fearing community doesn't have to deny its faith just because there's been pressure brought to bear in a government licensing office." To sum it up in a paragraph, John Wyndham's classic tale is about discrimination and friendship, mainly. David Strorm is our main character, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world after "The Tribulation." This Tribulation essentially refers to a nuclear disaster where all of the land is left radioactive and has caused humans to never see the real image again. Those who are mutants are killed, burned, and so on. Vegetables have to be a certain colour and people have to follow the certain rules. David, his sister Petra and the others all live in a society that has been run down, also known as Labrador. David discovers that he also has a secret that others must not discover, especially his father who preaches against the blasphemies. This novel showcases to what extent humanity can become horrible. Discrimination comes in all ways and forms, and in this case, it was disability. Against it, in fact. It is an interesting story that is a lesson for many. I adore this, it could touch many hearts, and knowing that the main characters themselves who are stuck in a strict society could experience what it is like to be discriminated. The themes that are showcased here could depend on the reader's perspective. Anyone can infer or predict anything about this story. There are eerie relationships (cousins? Really?) but it is an eerie novel at a whole. In a good way, obviously. "The inspector was the inspector, and an important person; all the same I could not believe that the Devil sent Sophie. I found it hard to see how the very small toe on each foot could make much difference either." (55)
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Chrysalids Very unique read,kept me interested.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not one of my favorite classics, but still worth the read. I decided to reread The Chrysalids after finding it at a garage sale this summer. I read it in high school and hated every second of it. This time around, I enjoyed it much more than I did in the past but it’s definitely not one of my favourite classics. The Chrysalids follows a society that finds any defect or deviation in the human form as a sign of the devil that must be destroyed. The main character, David, meets a girl with six toes and quickly becomes her friend. David then begins to question everything he’s been taught about deviations and the true form. What stood out to me the most about this book was how slow the pacing is for the majority of the story. It isn’t until around the last 50 pages that the pace picks up. The slow pace does add intrigue and mystery to the story that is paid off in the end. However, I would have enjoyed a little more information about the ending. A lot of the themes found in The Chrysalids are particularly relevant today, especially with what’s currently happening in The United States with all the intolerance and alienation. The Chrysalids is a novel that takes racism to the extreme making it easier to identify and recognize how revolting this kind of behavior truly is. It also highlights the consequences of a society that bases their ideology upon exclusivity rather than inclusivity. Overall, I would recommend The Chrysalids to anyone. It’s not the best classic I’ve ever read, but its themes are still relevant today and deserve attention and scrutiny in terms of how we think and feel about those who are different from ourselves.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME Read this in school and really enjoyed it. The writing style is dry, so its not for everyone but the story and characters are amazing.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic I remember reading this in high school for English class and I really liked it. So I decided to buy it and reread it. It's just like how I remember it. Recommended even not for school.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic An amazing story, with crazy references to our present, written by an author years ago... very interesting #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a good read it's pretty interesting and I would encourage you to read it!
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I liked the first chapter because it inspired me to read the rest of the story.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from worst book I've ever read I loathed this book, and maybe it was due to the fact that I was being forced to read it for class. Even so, I found the ending completely disjointed from the rest of the novel, and the community set fear, but one that seemed unrealistic, and rather stupid as a whole. If you are interested in reading a novel about religious beliefs that are somewhat twisted/stray from the original writings try the crucible by Arthur Miller.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good concept this book sends a good message and has a good plot. was tiring to me but only because i read it in english class. it was also well written
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dated, but still good Most people read this book in high school, and although I think it has a really great story for a "high school novel", it is somewhat dated. Nonetheless, Wyndham sets up an intriguing (almost x-men-ish) plot that drives the narrative forward and it kept me hook throughout. If anything I wanted more details of the world as a whole rather than just the specific characters' journey.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of the good books read in high school I read this book in high school and loved it!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Very Good Read this book in High school and absolutely loved it, i have kept it in my collection of favourites through the years and it has brought such pleasure to my life. For the year and time written the story was at the beginning of its kind and was very well written, definitely suggest others to give it a try.
Date published: 2016-03-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from overall didn't enjoy The story idea was good but overused and the ending didn't sum it up very well and had some weird turn-of-events that didn't fit.
Date published: 2015-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Old-school sci fi I read this book again because I remembered having to read it way back in grade nine and liking it at the time. This time around I also liked it, but found it a little lacking, a little undeveloped. I think it’s because although Wyndham does an amazing job of telling the plight of a group of telepathics who are considered “blasphemies” by their community of religious and genetic fanatics, the novel is relatively short in length.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Old-school sci fi Really good read from beginning to end
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Amazingly Bland The setting of "The Chrysalids" takes place in a post-apocalyptic, rural Labrador, in which genetic mutations (known as deviations) are both prevalent and despised. It is with this setting that John Wyndham shows us evolution and social change versus conformity with the townspeople of Waknuk systematically destroying or banishing any deviations found using the fundamentalist beliefs of the people, and the telepaths fighting for survival, with help from the advanced civilization of the Sealanders. While "The Chrysalids" should have made a large impact upon the reader, it has instead become an unmemorable piece of fiction. I believe that the idea of change and evolution was portrayed poorly in this book. Another problem of which the novel suffers from would be its diminishing presentation of important plot details within the overarching story. What should have been an interesting plot twist or major advancement is instead presented in a way that is bland, unmemorable, and insignificant. With important events occurring throughout the book, the characters little to no reaction, with them almost simply brushing it off as if it were an everyday occurrence.This dehumanizes the protagonists and detaches the characters from the reader, making them seem as if they were emotionless robots instead of the exuberant characters that they could have been. This is coupled with the deux ex machine ending that had occurred. This ending completely destroys the suspension of disbelief garnered from reading the novel, and makes the struggles of our protagonists seem trivial when the Sealanders had created such a large technological gap between them and the Waknuk people. In summary, the novel "The Chrysalids" has interesting subject matter and messages; however this is marred by its diminishing of plot devices and dehumanization of the protagonists within the story. All in all this novel is unmemorable and I would not recommend this book for a read.
Date published: 2013-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Chrysalids is not as good as I thought it would be! The Chrysalids is claimed as a “must read” from John Wyndham about a boy named David Strorm who discovers his telepathic power and creates a telepathic group along with 9 of his friends, including his baby sister Petra of whom with the strongest and dominant power of all. The telepaths must hide their powers from the rest of rural Labrador or they will be removed from their homes. However, they are eventually discovered and only David, Petra and their cousin Rosalind are able to escape to New Zealand. The purpose of this book is to promote the idea of change and how it is inevitable. An unchanging state leads to a stubborn mindset and is easily defeated against the advanced beings. This book is about a world where everyone tries to achieve the “true image” which uses to describe a person created by God without flaws, or in the book also known as “deviation”. Anyone who is different than “the norm” is to be punished and removed to the Fringes where they do not live a healthy life. The Chrysalids is written during pre-cold war, which is before the nuclear war from the perspective of the author Wyndham. It foreshadows the events after nuclear holocaust also known as “Tribulation”. In my opinion, Wyndham has successfully reached his main idea in regards to the theme of development and evolution throughout the community. Also, the background is set up really well by the author. However, the book has left out many small concepts, including how the community has turned to how it is now, why it is different from the other continents such as New Zealand, and most importantly any elements of surprise. All events are given out without first leading the audience to wondering what is going to happen. Therefore, it was difficult for me to find a value for this book in my life. It was broad and did not have interesting details to capture my attention. Unlike the Uglies written by Scott Westerfeld, it rarely included emotions and feelings coming from the characters in this book. In this book, I could not relate to any of the characters because they did not have a lot of dialogues as to how they feel about situations. Overall, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham is a religious based novel centred around the idea of growth of both people and the environment. It is a book issuing the predictions of impacts after the post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust. However, the characters lack development which is dissapointing as this could have been a far more interesting read.
Date published: 2013-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "Watch thou for mutant!" John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids takes place in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic setting where the Earth was supposedly inflicted by a nuclear disaster and mutations were bred onto humanity. The story zooms in onto the rural town of Waknuk where a young man named David resides. He is surrounded by people who try to conserve what is left of God’s “True Image” by casting away anyone who is physically altered from the Tribulation. David discovers that he and his friends share a deviating trait that could put them into danger under the strict circumstances of their society. He tries to conceal his distinct quality but when the stakes become too high of being identified as a deviation, he and his friends have no choice but to flee to a place where not only they can hope to be safe, but accepted. This book takes you along on a journey of escaping an environment where quality conquers diversity and reviving the authority to be peacefully different. After reading this, I appreciated the way that this book can be relatable to readers and connected to what society is like today. There could have been more of a stronger relationship foundation between some characters and since there were many characters that died, especially at one point where a handful of important characters were killed in one instant, their lack of depth in personality resulted in a dull, meaningless death. However, the book did a great job on building a background to layer the present situation on and describing the telepathic images. I was intrigued about the story and felt like I was a part of the adventure the entire way. I've noticed that a lot of people who read this book were not satisfied with the “deus ex machina” ending but I found that the way that Wyndham ended it relieved the ongoing chase and it clearly drew the transitioning line of chaos into peace. The Chrysalids was a compelling story that took you to a distant, eccentric atmosphere, but was still shaped based from how the world was like in the past and even how it is in modern day society. If only a little bit more time was spent on developing characters and their relationships, this book could’ve left more of an impact on the reader. I recommend this book for everyone to read once because you’ll each relate to it and love it in different ways.
Date published: 2013-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book If you’re interested in books with a great story and full of action, then Chrysalids, by John Wyndham, is the perfect book for you. Chrysalids is set in a post-war, dystopian future where religion has taken over and radiation is rampant after nuclear war. People are born with physical and genetic defects because of the radiation, and are seen as the devil’s creations and relentlessly hunted down and destroyed. David Strorm, a 10 year old boy soon finds that he has telepathic powers, powers that put him in great danger, and has to do anything to survive. There are many unique and dynamic characters in Chrysalids, David Strorm, the main character, Rosalind Morton, David’s love interest, and Petra Strorm, David’s telepathic sister. David, Rosalind and Petra all have to fight for their lives as they try tp escape the tyranny of religion. I don’t know what I would do if I had to leave home, especially if people were trying to kill me. David, Rosalind and Petra all develop strong bonds with each other as they run for their lives. It’s very interesting to read as the runaways grow closer to each other and how their loyalty strengthens, there is a lot of character depth. The characters in Chrysalids are very in-depth characters, and are rather relateable as well. The main theme in Chrysalids is not to grow up too fast and to enjoy your childhood while you have it. That combined with tragedy makes the theme aspect of the story immensely strong. David was just a young boy when he was forced to run away. He had to man up and face the world much too prematurely. People take their youth for granted, they don’t enjoy their childhood to the fullest as they should. Tragedy also plays a big role in theme, when David’s mother turned over his Aunt to the Inspector, she condemned her to death. Tragedy is unavoidable, it happens every day in our lives, and the book re-enforces that statement. Chrysalids is rich in a variety of themes, I but scratched the surface. Chrysalids had my attention from the very first page, I had a hard time putting it down. John Wyndham threw in a rich variety of literary devices, tonnes of cliffhangers and lots of suspense. Suspenseful books are my favourite, they get your attention from the start and keep it until the end. The story was also excellent, full of twists and turns to keep you on your feet. I love books with a good plot, plot is the most invaluable aspect to a story. Chrysalids is full of many good aspects that combine to make it quite a good book indeed. Overall, Chrysalids by John Wyndham was quite a good book; I definitely recommend it, it had my attention from the start and maintained it until the end.
Date published: 2013-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This novel, I read it in grade 8, and have read it over 20 times. It moved me in ways I cannot explain, the book itself has themes about normalcy, its beautiful science fiction at its finest. it challenged every thought I had of what is normal, it is a must read. for everyone, even if you don't like science fiction
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strange yet powerful The first time I read this book, I was in grade 10 English class. We were supposed to read a chapter every couple of nights, but once I cracked this book open, I read it all in one sitting. I love books that question authority. I'd recommend it to people of all ages.
Date published: 2012-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very Interesting... While I liked the overall concept of this novel, I couldn't help but struggle to finish this book. All of the religious beliefs and what not made this very hard to understand and comprehend. After finishing the novel, I do understand the overall premise of what happened, but I just don't like where it headed at times. Overall, it was greatly written, but I just couldn't get into it as much as I would have liked to. I really do love the concept of kids who can communicate with their minds, but all of the other theories and religious aspects made it not so enjoyable. 2/5 2010-067
Date published: 2011-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great classic! I read this book when I was in grade 10, and at the time, I found it a tad uninteresting, but now that I've read it again, quite a few years later, I can appreciate it more, and I found I really respect the story line and the general impression that's been put forward. It's a very interesting idea, similar to The Giver by Lois Lowry. Definitely worth reading!
Date published: 2010-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply: Classic I remember teachers in high school making me read this book, and as I did everything else teachers asked me to do, I hated it. I picked this book up, and after reading it again I realized I hated a masterpiece. Just shows you how naive teens can be. ;)
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Science Fiction Classic A brilliant - and timeless - science fiction piece about a post-holocaust world, where being even slightly different leads to, at least, being driven from the society, and at worst, death. It is a community where religious fervor has reached the nth degree, and impacts every way of life. Deviancy, especially physical deviancy, is considered immoral, and a slight against God. This poses a particular problem for the hero of the tale, as he is telepathic - though he can only communicate with other telepaths - and they are trying to keep themselves hidden. When events out them to their community, they must run, and survive, in a hostile world determined to kill them all. Definitely an easy book to empathize with when I read it as a teenager, as anyone who ever felt "different" can attest to the effort it takes to appear normal, and the pacing of the adventure/escape plot never lets up.
Date published: 2009-06-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Neither Good, Nor Bad So, I had read this book for school. I'm not sure exactly if I liked it or didn't cause we analyzed, wrote many essay (expository, persuasive,debates , etc) on it hence I'm not sure if I really got a chance to enjoy this book. What about you guys? Did you all like it? This books is set in the future ahead of us (2300s), however the people that inhabit in Waknuk (setting of the novel) and their technology is set to the past (around 17th-18th century). This is a sci-fi novel about the nuclear war and the result of it. Happy Reading!
Date published: 2009-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I read it when I was in grade eight, and I thought it was pretty alright. Not amazing or anything, but good. A while ago I found it again and re-read it. It was very good. The story never lets up, there are no boring parts, and it keeps you at the edge of your seat. Maybe it's not the best book for grade eight, most kids that age would find it pretty boring, but a good nonetheless.
Date published: 2009-02-21