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The Kraken Wakes (Classic Radio Sci-Fi) Audio CD – Audiobook, 6 Aug 2007


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (6 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792754123
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405677875
  • ASIN: 1405677872
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 1 x 12.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,065 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

Ingenious, horrifying (Guardian) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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 short 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, The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids, The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned), The Seeds of Time, Trouble with Lichen, The Outward Urge, Consider Her Ways and Others, Web and Chocky. John Wyndham died in March 1969. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tricia Brook on 13 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
John Wyndham thought about rising sea levels long before the rest of us. This sci-fi work remains a small masterpiece. It explores the key issues when society breaks down in the face of unimagined and uncontrolled disasters. The characters of hero and heroine reflect the British writing style of the era, with stiff upper-lipped hero and perceptive heroine who manage their emotions discreetly and without public breast-beating or overt navel-gazing. A great yarn with aliens from outer-space, vast rises in ocean levels, ocean-going traffic no longer possible, and near total failure of civilization to cope! Very well worth reading in light of the rising sea levels that are happening now.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Greshon on 23 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Superb sci-fi novel in the same strain as Welles's War of the Worlds, Abe's Inter Ice Age 4 and Wyndham's own Day of the Triffids.

The Kraken Wakes is more political and, with its journalist main characters (they can hardly be called protagonists - the protagonists are the 'bathies', the things that live in the Deeps) and its constant updates on what all the papers and radio stations are saying, is a satire on the media, and the media's reaction to crises - and also how a single event can can be interpretted and, more importantly, presented in countless, differing lights.

In the continual public rejection of what Bocker, the genius scientist who always correctly predicts what the bathies are going to do next and says it like it is, it's a particular satire on our tendency to ignore and deny crises. In 'Phase 3' (the book is divided into three 'phases') this bears a striking parallel with modern day climate change, as ice caps melt and sea levels rise, threatening to drown the world.

In its drowned world section The Kraken Wakes blows Ballard's Drowned World out of the water.

There's something at the end which smacks slightly of selling out, but even this is nearly acceptable, though it does go against the book's presiding current of doom and inevitable loss.

I wonder why this book never became as famous as the Triffids or why it has never been adapted for film or television. Its world-spanning description of the slow, spectacular and terifying extermination of the human race by an unknown alien force is fantastic dramatic fare.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Brian Flange on 23 April 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although "The Kraken Wakes" never got the same acclaim as Wyndham's (justly) famous "The Day of the Triffids", it isn't just a pale `Triffids' rip-off either. Yes, the book's ending is a bit of a damp squib and, yes, the narrator's wife Phyllis might strike modern readers as a patronising stereotype, but then again ... "The Kraken Wakes" may be just about the best alien invasion story since H. G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds". Wyndham is one of the few British S.F. writers who could match Wells for invention and logical construction. He doesn't go in for histrionics - the introduction of the sub-aquatic aliens is very low-key and the screw oftension tightens slowly but inexorably as the book progresses. "The Kraken Wakes" cleverly combines a Wellsian war between very different species with a Ballard-style environmental disaster. Gradually, control of the high seas passes to the invaders. Strange objects rise out of the waves and kidnap human samples. Finally, the polar ice melts, the oceans rise and the world suffers catastrophic floods. We never get to see Wyndham's "Xenobath" aliens up-close - they remain tantalisingly ill-defined and all the more alarming as they gradually encroach on the deep seas and luckless ships. In amongst the sometimes lame characterisation, there are passages of real nail-biting tension and some very funny swipes at Cold War rivalries. Okay, so maybe the "Triffids" it ain't, but "The Kraken Wakes" is still one of Wyndham's best stories and a very rewarding book in its own right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susman VINE VOICE on 14 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
---------------------There are some spoilers-----------------

The eponymous kraken is a sea monster from Scandinavian folklore.

The Kraken Wakes is an apocalyptic speculative fiction novel by John Wyndham, first published in 1953. It is very much the product of its time. The narrative is the backdrop mise-en-scène of the Cold War society. The outlook of the characters are often quite paternalistic, especially when any women are concerned, and some may find that attitude grating. A book reflecting the attitudes and conventions of the time it was written in. The main protagonists in this case are a husband and wife Mike and Phyllis, who are reporters.

Unlike the Trffids, the nature of the disaster comes on in phases and takes place over a period of about ten years, each phase becoming more and more detrimental to humanity. In parallel the Cold War begins to heat up as mistrust between the East and West believing that what is happening is an escalation in tensions, rather than it being caused by an unseen third party. It's an extra-terrestrial invasion. The first things that are seen are "red dots," of fiery shooting star landing in the deepest parts of the world's oceans, which are actually alien craft. It's ventured that they might come from gas giant planet and like living in high pressure environments and hence their need deep-water home, the book then gives over to a series of attacks by the aliens, they never called krakens in the book, climaxing in the scene that starts at beginning of the novel where rising sea water and icebergs in the Channel have entirely changed the weather and landscape of Britain isles, and where by the characters are trying to escape.
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