The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids

Book - 1955
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Genetic mutation has devastated the world and a bleak, primitive society has emerged from its ruins ; a society which punishes any deviation from rigid norms. Ten-year-old David is having strange dreams about a mysterious city. But in his ultra-religious village of Waknut, all abnormality is abhorred, and he soon realizes that differences can be very dangerous indeed.
Publisher: New York :, New York Review Books,, [1955], (2008 printing?)
ISBN: 9781590172926
1590172922
Characteristics: xiii, 199 pages ; 21 cm

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Dec 06, 2016

The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham, takes place in a post-nuclear world. Exposure to nuclear radiation can cause mutations in genes, ultimately resulting in abnormalities. Growing up in an extremist community where abnormalities were considered abominations, David too accepts this notion, or at the very least, does not question it. Anyone, or anything for that matter, that has any sort of deviation from God’s original creation is classed as an abomination. However, as he grows up, he realizes that these beliefs are fundamentally flawed and that he too may harbour some sort of “abomination”. David has two choices: to free himself or to be found out and be killed. Although this book is initially slow and lackluster, things begin to pick up later in the book. Rating: 3/5
- @JuiceboxZ of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

In a cult Christian community, years after a nuclear devastation, the small town of Wanuk follows God's word on exterminating all abominations. David has lived his whole life in fear of his father's tyranny, although he thought he was safe he soon learned that he is a telepath, and frequently communicates with others his age in his village. Soon he and others in his group meet an entire country of telepaths called 'Zealanders'. For something made in the 1950s I am incredibly impressed with the narrative, however at sometimes, it could get confusing.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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NicoleAgar
Oct 19, 2015

My favourite book of all time! I read it for grade 9 English class, and still love it to this day!
A young boy begins to challenge the way things are in his perfect world when he comes across a little girl, who even though has 6 toes, really isn't all that different.
I always wished there had been a sequel so I could find out what happens to them....

s
skwackles
Jul 30, 2015

I consider this book a very imaginative book. I read it a while ago but I'm adding it here so I can earn a badge. :)

c
Captain_Kitsune_3
Jun 25, 2015

This book's concept is amazing. The idea of it was like a beacon for me, calling me over to read it. Unfortunately, the delivery of it all was... completely uninteresting. It could have been since it was written half a century ago, but John Wyndham's writing style was, in my opinion, unsatisfactory. He mostly just dragged on, and on just to build up to something so... Anti-climactic! I so badly wanted to enjoy it because again, the idea was fantastic, but actual story just did not hold up.

1
1aa
Jun 02, 2015

Having heard of this book for a long time, I decided to read it, and found it a pleasure.

a
anomaru
Nov 28, 2014

This book has a great idea with many lessons to learn, fueling your ‘why-does-the-world-exist’ type thoughts. This post-apocalyptic world keeps David Strorm trapped in Waknuk, a little town where their biggest achievement is perhaps the steam engine, run by poor Corky. After a nuclear war destroying most of our technology, this takes place in the future, oddly enough. Left with only a Bible to start out with, society in Waknuk has struggled to get on the level the ‘Old People’ were at—some now believing that to be a good thing, considering that God sent tribulation among them. With many characters and problems around every corner, things just don’t seem to be happening in David’s favour. Along with falling in love with a family member, being best friends with a ‘mutant’, and living in a society where technology has stopped progressing, David is brought up to believe that ‘mutants’, people who aren’t in the true image of God, must be sent to Badlands. His father has a lot of power in this belief, and yet David is a mutant himself, along with his sister, cousin, best friend, and niece. The mutants are among them, and for David, everything is just happening too fast. Who is this spider-man from the Badlands? What happened to his niece? Will he ever feel completely safe?
The bad thing about this book is that although it’s 200 pages of sheer poetry and has a fabulous plot, it takes a long while to get to a really exciting point, then everything seems to happen at once, only for David and company to continue on with their lives calmly. The ending is quite abrupt, with many dangling threads left to keep you guessing.

2
2101kol
Aug 20, 2013

The story becomes uninteresting and a little ridiculous with lines such as "You are a deviation!"

o
OHN98
Aug 06, 2013

I actually anticipated that this book would be much more interesting than it really was. From looking at the six-toed feet on the cover, I assumed mutants are going to be in it. I knew virtually nothing about the author John Wyndham, so I prepared myself for the worst and hoped for the best. Fortunately, the book started off great. It was about the everyday life of a boy living in a post-apocalyptic society. Wyndham had a great imagination to make up this corrupt world of Labrador, filled with corrupt beliefs and practices. The characters were mostly interesting. Some were cruel and full of prejudice, and others were kind and open-minded. These contrasting characters made the world seem more realistic and vivid, and the one character used as the author’s mouthpiece sounded believable. If there was anything I hated, it was the lack of exploration. For more than half the book the protagonist David stuck in Labrador with very little danger and conflict, when all I wanted to know was more about the outside world. The author gives some information about it, but not enough that would satisfy the average reader. And when the going gets going and the book is at its climax, a lot of detail seems to be missing. The one long action sequence in this book has minimal detail and hardly any emotion. So when you finally finish the book, you wonder if something’s missing or if the author felt like rushing it. Overall, this book is worth a read. I have a feeling that he used his heart and soul to write this book, so I give a nod to Wyndham for this wondrous work.

p
pinky0203
Mar 14, 2013

I have always loved this book. I first read it in High School English class. This is a classic Science Fiction book by a great author. I've always wished he had written a sequel so we find out what happens after David, Rosalind and Petra are rescued. It's also a great cautionary tale about how religion can stifle people. Set in the future hundreds of years after a global nuclear war, the setting is a community of religious and genetic fundamentalists who want to recreate the world that was. They haven't learned anything. "There was the power of gods in the hands of children, we know: but were they MAD children, all of them quite mad?... The mountains are cinders and the plains are black glass -- still, after centuries!... It is frightening to think that a whole race could go insane..." People who learn nothing from history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, the rest of us are dragged along with them most of the time.....

m
macierules
Nov 08, 2012

I don't usually read Science Fiction - but I really appreciate John Wyndham's writing. He creates such interesting characters - and it is unbelievable how relevant the story is today.

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Quotes

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Library_Liz Dec 08, 2016

“But when people are used to believing a thing is such-and-such a way, and the preachers want them to believe that that’s the way it is; it’s trouble you get, not thanks, for upsetting their ideas.”

v
VForce
Aug 23, 2012

The static, the enemy of change, is the enemy of life, and therefore our implacable enemy.

v
VForce
Aug 23, 2012

We are not shut away into individual cages from which we can reach out only with inadequate words.

v
VForce
Aug 23, 2012

Your minds are confused by your ties and your upbringing.

v
VForce
Aug 21, 2012

...you can be your own selves. You don't have to live a pretence. You don't have to watch yourself every moment, and think twice whenever you open your mouths.

v
VForce
Aug 21, 2012

Words have to be chosen, and then interpreted; but thought-shapes you feel, inside you...

v
VForce
Aug 18, 2012

"You can't lie when you talk with your thoughts."
"If you run away from a thing just because you don't like it, you don't like what you find either. Now, running TO a thing, that's a different matter."
"When you do go ashore you never know how the local deviations are going to take you"

AmandaVollmershausen Jun 29, 2012

"The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution: and we are a part of it."

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Captain_Kitsune_3
Jun 25, 2015

Captain_Kitsune_3 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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ReadingintheCorner
Mar 29, 2011

ReadingintheCorner thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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