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The Tripods Trilogy: "White Mountains", "City of Gold and Lead" and "Pool of Fire" (Puffin Books) Paperback – 25 Oct 1984

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; paperback / softback edition (25 Oct. 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140317228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140317220
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.6 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Koetzsch on 24 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are still smarting over the BBC not producing the third part of the Tripods Trilogy series you should perhaps relax and read this book instead because it is an excellent story.

It's the 22nd century and Earth has been invaded and occupied by the Tripods. Humanity continues to exist but is reduced to middle-age-type farming communities. Nobody rebels against this because humanity is mind-controlled via a cap which becomes compulsory from the age of 16. Will, one of the book's heroes, watches people lose their individuality after they have been capped. As a result of this, he is not terribly keen on being capped and following an encounter with a Vagrant (who happens to be uncapped) decides to make a run for it and join the free people in the White Mountains. He is joined by his cousin Henry, a chap he never really got along with, but by necessity they become friends and venture forth together. On the north coast of France they are joined by a French chap called Beanpole and the three of them undertake the rather hazardous journey to the White Mountains.

In Book Two Will via a process which is not dissimilar from the Olympic Games is picked to enter the Tripod City. Serving his Tripod master in his free time he discovers a lot about the Tripod's plans for Earth. Unfortunately his master also figures out that there is something fishy about Will. In an open confrontation between the two Will manages to kill his Master. With the help of another infiltrator he manages to escape and make his way back to the hide-out of the free people.

In Book Three, the free people organise themselves into a coherent force and start fighting back against the Tripods. And ultimately they evict the lot from Earth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 July 2012
Format: Paperback
The White Mountains

Great story about a future dystopia where alien Tripods have taken over the world and humans live a rural, simple life (which actually looks rather attractive on the face of it). The author does a good job of describing the remnants of earlier civilisation from the point of view of Will and his friends who know nothing of it. I never caught this on TV in the 1980s and it is aimed at teenagers, but a cracking good story. 5/5

The City of Gold and Lead

Generally a worthy successor to The White Mountains. The early chapters continue the journeying, but the bulk of the story is set in the Tripods' city itself. The author makes a good attempt at depicting an alien culture, with very different lifestyles, thought patterns and conceptions of morality and shows the dilemma and isolation of the main characters. 5/5

The Pool of Fire

Final resolution of the crisis with the Tripods defeated. This was good, but perhaps not quite up to the standard of the the first two novels. The resistance managed to rediscover the technology of the ancients remarkably quickly and relatively easily. The Tripods gave up in the end with rather implausible speed. The final chapter showed victorious humankind sadly disintegrating once again into tribal and national factions. A great series overall. 4/5 for the final installment, 4.5/5 for the overall trilogy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Craig HALL OF FAME on 17 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
If you haven't read this, lucky you. It's one of the very best SF thrillers ever written, and having read it to my kids I know it's as fresh as ever.

Set in a post-invasion Britain which has returned to feudalism, its hero and narrator Will thinks his biggest problem is his enmity with his cousin Roger. But when a Vagrant wanders into his village shortly before the annual Capping ceremony he begins to wonder about the Tripods which every adult over 13 serves. What happens to those who get Capped? Why do they lose their curiosity? Was there a time before the Tripods?

In order to be free, Will and Roger must make the dangerous jounrey to the White Mountains (Switzerland) where the last band of scientists are trying to find out more about the aliens which have obliterated all memory of mankind's freedom and knowledge. They're joined by a French boy, Beanpole, in an action-packed chase.

In the second novel, the leaders of the Resistance manage to get Will and a German boy, Fritz, he dislikes into the Tripods city. He discovers more about them, and their horrifying plans...and in the third book, the Resistance fights back.

What is so brilliant about these books is not just the suspenseful plot, but the imaginative details of how the world would be organised if civilsation as we know it collapsed. Christopher revisits this in another trilogy, the Prince-in-Waiting, and it is also the subject of his adult novels, The Death of Grass and A Wrinkle on the Skin. You can read him as a naive young reader, but also as a sophisitcated adult interested in moral philosophy and politics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ben Farn on 31 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
I vaguely remembered the TV series that the BBC made of this trilogy, and recently got it when it was re-released on DVD. I was gutted that the BBC took the decision to axe it at the end of series two, leaving the story on a real cliffhanger ending. I had to find out what happened next, so I set about trying to find a copy of the book - unfortunately it was out of print.

The next thing to do was turn to Amazon to find a copy, and I am really glad I did. I managed to find an original 1980s-era paperback, which was in excellent condition, for just a few pounds. Now I know how it all ends (buy it - it really is worth it) and I have a ~30-year old Puffin book to go on my bookshelf - brilliant all round.

If you like sci-fi, have even a vague recollection of the TV series, or just need a good book to read on holiday - this should be on your list. It's got drama, humour, a plot that keeps you gripped, and gives you plenty of entertainment for a couple of quid. What more could you ask?
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