The Chrysalids

Mass Market Paperback | September 23, 2008

byJohn Wyndham

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 con...

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...

other books by John Wyndham

The Day Of The Triffids
The Day Of The Triffids

Hardcover|Feb 28 2017

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The Midwich Cuckoos
The Midwich Cuckoos

Paperback|Sep 23 2008


see all books by John Wyndham
Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.12 × 4.39 × 0.51 inPublished:September 23, 2008Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141038462

ISBN - 13:9780141038469

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Customer Reviews of The Chrysalids


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