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Chocky [Paperback]

John Wyndham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

2 July 2009

Matthew's parents are worried. At eleven, he's much too old to have an imaginary friend, yet they find him talking to and arguing with a presence that even he admits is not physically there. This presence - Chocky - causes Matthew to ask difficult questions and say startling things: he speaks of complex mathematics and mocks human progress. Then, when Matthew does something incredible, it seems there is more than the imaginary about Chocky. Which is when others become interested and ask questions of their own: who is Chocky? And what could it want with an eleven-year-old boy?

A story of innocence and alien contact, Chocky is a sinister tale of manipulation and experimentation from afar.


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Chocky + The Chrysalids + The Midwich Cuckoos
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141042184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141042183
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris was born in 1903, the son of a barrister. He tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote stories of various kinds under different names, almost exclusively for American publications, while also writing detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and then the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories for publication in the USA and decided to try a modified form of science fiction, a form he called 'logical fantasy'. As John Wyndham he wrote The Day of the Triffids and The Kraken Wakes (both widely translated), The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned), The Seeds of Time, Trouble with Lichen, The Outward Urge (with Lucas Parkes) and Chocky. He died in March 1969.


Product Description

Review

'Remains fresh and disturbing in an entirely unexpeceted way' Guardian

About the Author

John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Benyon Harris was born in 1903. He tried a number of careers including farming, law, commercial art and advertising, and started writing short stories in 1925. From 1930 to 1939 he wrote stories under different names, almost exclusively for American publications, while also writing detective novels. During the war he was in the Civil Service and then the Army. In 1946 he went back to writing stories and decided to try a modified form of science fiction, a form he called 'logical fantasy'. He died in March 1969.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from start to finsh 14 Oct 2001
By jms
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book on the recommendation of my mum, and i thought it was great. It keeps you guessing and wondering through the story, and you feel desparate to jump in and talk to the characters to explain what you know but they don't! I also found myself moved to tears at the end, something i certainly had not expected from this type of book! If you are atall into sci-fi, aliens, space or stange happenings, read this book, you will love it!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will mankind ever gain the secret of XXXXXXXX? 2 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is narrated by a farther who finds his eldest son is begining to behave strangely. It begins by asking strange questions and soon Mathew can do things he had never been able to do before. Graually Mathew tells his parents about Chocky who talks in his head and and teaches him new things. However there are people on earth who would rather these things were not learnt by a young boy who might share the secret with everyone. Can Mathew's parents help him through this and protect him, and what is xxxxxxxxxx? I have read this book over and over again and I still find it impossible to put down. It is a wonderful example of Wyndham's ability to place fantastical events into humdrum everyday settings in such a way that you come out of the book seeing your home street as an exciting mysterious place. It also confronts the faer that seems to stalk so many parents: "What do we do if our child isn't "normal"?"
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Innocent Taste of an SF Yesterday 4 Aug 2004
Format:Paperback
Young Matthew Gore is an ordinary suburban boy who begins to hold long conversations with a mysterious presence that no-one else can perceive. His worried parents watch fearfully and try to help the boy, as he begins to produce extraordinary artworks and think in binary. His capacity for physics suddenly becomes boundless and he has knowledge which eminent scientists would find quite amazing. This novel is a record of the ambiguously sexed Chocky's impact on the lives of the Gore family.
Chocky is not a work that fits with our go-faster-stripe marked times. Had it been written today, Chocky could have well been a menacing presence, most likely would have been misconstrued as attempting to conquer the mind of this one child and perhaps next, the world entire. But no, he/she is not a malevolent force, more reminiscent of a petulant, demanding child than remorseless conqueror. And therein, lies this novel's strength, for Chocky is like an innocent taste of yesterday. A reminding flavour of simpler times, somehow ageless like honey; even though it was written quite some years ago and could easily have aged badly. Worth investigating and definitely recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Kindle edition of a fantastic story 17 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't normally submit reviews for Kindle purchases as I read so many books I don't have time to review them.

John Wyndham is one of my favourite authors of all time, and Chocky is a brillant story, and various other reviewers have done the story justice.

However, I felt compelled to write to advise anyone else considering the electronic version of this edition to think very carefully first; it's the worst conversion I've yet to see in a paid-for book. I could have forgiven what are, presumably, OCR errors if it had been free but, sorry, when it's the thick-end of seven quid, I feel cheated.

My advice: buy the paperback until a proof-read Kindle version is available!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very dark, beautifully written - classic Wyndham 12 July 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't be fooled if your only contact with John Wyndham's Chocky was via the original 1984 children's TV series: the book was never intended for children, and indeed is written in a much darker and more fascinating way.
If you enjoy the kind of organic sci-fi that Wyndham has produced such perfect examples of with Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Awakes etc, you will find Chocky at the very least as good as, if not better, than those two titles. Gripping and chilling stuff.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic 12 May 2003
By Alijazz
Format:Paperback
Reading Chocky again was like watching a favourite black and white film. Surely Wyndham IS the Cary Grant of sci-fi writers? I don't know what he looked like, but his prose is very beautiful and refined.
Even now the plot is original - yes, children are possessed all over literature nowadays - but never so intelligently as Matthew by Chocky. You'll think about the issues raised for a long time to come.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing book! 6 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
John Wyndham has to be one of the 20th century's greatest writers. He can write a story which can grip you and keep you gripped. Chocky comes to Mathew through space and time to learn about Earth and to teach Mathew a little about Chocky's culture. This manifests in Mathew's head and sometimes Mathew 'blacks out' when he lets Chocky control him. Naturally, Mathew's parents are worried by this, and what Chocky is and does and their efforts put Mathew and Chocky's relationship in an awkward predicament. I remembered the TV series when I was little and wanted to read the book. Get it! Read it!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By Elise
Format:Paperback
John Wyndham is one of my very favourite authors, and I would say that his "The Chrysalids" is my second favourite book of all that I've read (my favourite is Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice", I can read it over and over; and if you haven't read these two books now, go out and do so immediately!). I've also read his "Day of the Triffids" (also excellent), "The Kraken Wakes" (rather too like the "Triffids" in its premise, but also very good) and "The Midwich Cuckoos" (which inspired the film "The Village of the Damned" and was a strong story and a good read).
Chocky somehow seems less substantial than these others. Although I may be totally wrong about this, it almost gives the impression that it may have started life as a short story and later been a little expanded to make it into a short novel, or perhaps it may have been one of his very early attempts at a science-fiction novel, re-worked in later life.
Given that all novels are a product of their time and must be taken within the social and cultural context in which they are written, some attitudes which would now be considered unacceptable need to be overlooked. However, all of Wyndham's other books that I have read have contained major female characters with relatively strong personalities and minds of their own. The books seem to have a real flavour of the forties or early fifties (which was exactly right in the other books that I have mentioned, because that's exactly when they were written), and therefore some things have to be looked at in this light, and understood. However, in Chocky, there is far more overt sexism and women generally seem fairly two-dimensional - for all it was first published in the late sixties.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I have always loved Day of the Triffids but had never read any ...
I have always loved Day of the Triffids but had never read any of John Wyndham's other books. I am glad I decided to try a few because Chocky was a brilliant read. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Jennie240575
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story but if you are reading it on e ...
Brilliant story but if you are reading it on e books do not read the introduction by Brian Aldiss good as it may be, it takes the surprise out of the plot
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars The ENDING of the BOOK is not HERE!
Don't mistake me; I love John Wyndham, and, while not one of his best, this is still a very enjoyable book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by William H. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I bought this book years ago and loved it,saw it on Amazon an decided to read it again, it's just as good the second time around.
Published 5 months ago by jackie r
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor work by a famous author that contains food for thought
This is one of those books that, with time and exposure, must somewhat lose the 'shock factor' and surprise that the twist ending might have given to readers much less familiar... Read more
Published 6 months ago by K. J. Noyes
5.0 out of 5 stars A boy's "Best Friend"
This was the second of my downloads of the complete works of Wyndham. This one I'd read before. I read it again with joy, and no dounbt at some time in the future will enjoy it... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bill Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
As I thought, classic story. Excellent read. Would recommend.

Read this at school 40yrs ago and enjoyed it. Perfect for reading and bringing back school memories.
Published 8 months ago by sregor
5.0 out of 5 stars Chocky
I remember this book from my schooldays and enjoy the Science fiction aspect of John Wyndham's books. Well written for a wide spectrum of age groups.
Published 10 months ago by S J A
4.0 out of 5 stars Captures the anxiety of the Cold War period
There is something really compelling about John Wyndham's writing. By no stretch of the imagination can it be called great writing; I think it is more to do with the way he... Read more
Published 11 months ago by John Moseley
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
It's not a long read, but the story is so well written. This is one of John Wyndhams finest works.
Published 16 months ago by Katie
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