Here I sit at 19, about to go back to university for my second year studying English and I find myself wondering how I can value a mid 20th century science fiction novel over all the classics and anything else on my bookshelf.
Then I look at the front cover and see the quote "One of those books that haunts you for the rest of your life" and realise that quote sums up in one sentence exactly why I love this book to the exclusion of all others.
I must have first read this at age 11/12 and having done so many times since it NEVER loses its appeal. A love story, a story of immense tragedy, of politics, of the fragility of modern life and above all of the undeniable essential nature of mankind Wyndham incorporates all these facets into a perfect tale.
Perhaps I am viewing it through rose tinted glasses because of the effect it had on me at such an impressionable age, but judging by everyone else's reviews I doubt this very much. I don't think I am being melodramatic when I say this novel opened my eyes to the true nature of the world. The characters are perfect, I felt like they were real people and at the end of every reading I am sad to close the last page and say good bye to them, if only for a short while.
My dog eared and much loved copy takes pride of place on my bookshelf. This is a novel for anybody out there who looked at the world around them and wondered... what if?