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4.6 out of 5 stars16
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 22 January 2008
I remember trying to read this aged 13 and never making it past the recruitment of the settlers and the history of the island. I even skipped ahead looking for the "action" but eventually gave up.
It's over 25 years later and I've finally read this book. Good grief...how embarrassing was the shallowness of my youth?
What a fantastic story. Almost horrifically clinical in it's detachment incredibly well conceived and thought-through to it's ultimate inevitability.
It's like the excitement of discovering and reading a secret file that somebody didn't want you to see.
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on 25 September 2014
I love John Wyndham. He really makes you think. What if... This book is really interesting. It takes a while to warm up but once you're there, you're hooked.
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on 19 May 2004
typically wyndham. Read after triffids, lichen, chocky and kraken. All wyndham sci-fi should be read now! by all. Insightful, realistic fifties sci-fi. Try not reading this in one sitting. Arachnophobes beware.
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on 1 February 2001
This book is about a community, set up as a lasting memory for a very rich old man, on an island. This island is a paradise in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, the former inhabitants left a lasting reminder in a fuge. A curse to all who inhabit this island.
Was it the curse that made the spiders more efficient killing creatures or the nearby nuclear tests? We'll never know but this story gave me the creeps whenever I saw a spider for days!!
This was John Wyndham's last book and I suspect that it was either a draft or the first of many short stories to be made into a full book. Fortunately for us, his quality of writing ensured that the story is as complete and gripping as all his others are. Get it! Get them all!!
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on 21 August 2005
Hurrying to a dreaded dental appointment, I grabbed this book, thinking: nice and short, cheap and cheerful and written by the brilliant John Wyndham - it's bound to take my mind off the dentist's instruments of torment while I wait my turn. I was surprised to find that although it was a John Wyndham story, the book had been re-written by Jocelyn Potter and Andy Hopkins - rigorously abridged and the language simplified. It is just 54 pages in length and that includes half a dozen or so pages that contain only pictures. So it's about a third of the length of John Wyndham's original (almost 150 pages). This book includes a short introduction and at the end of the book there's a list of activities to carry out before and after reading the story to test and improve comprehension.
The story:
A group of adventurous souls, dissatisfied with modern British society and wanting to make a fresh start like the old pioneers, in a place where they can make their own rules and operate their own political system, leave for a paradise island in the Pacific. They very soon learn that this particular paradise is being over-run by some people's idea of hell: spiders with a hive mentality are covering the island with their webs and eating anything that moves. The newcomers find themselves in dire straights. Can they survive until the next plane or ship visits the island?
Even though it lacks Wyndham's characteristic writing style that I like so much, this is clearly one of his tales and I think that anyone learning English as a foreign language will enjoy the story while learning the language. It is categorised as: Level 5 (upper intermediate, 2300 word); Contemporary; British English. I recommend it to any EFL student who enjoys adventure stories - just so long as they don't have a spider phobia.
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on 23 July 2001
Published 10 years after his death, this book feels like a rough draft of what could have been a great story... It has a good story line but could have done with a little more work. It is not a classic like triffid or chrisalids, but then i think that they may have felt like this story does several drafts before they were released
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on 22 February 2002
After reading Day Of The Triffids and Chocky, I knew what to expect from John Wyndham, and I wasn't disappointed! This book had me gripped from beginning to end, and I don't think I'll ever look at a spider in quite the same way again... Wyndham characterises his heroes wonderfully, and the issues he addresses were way ahead of his time. A must-read, along with all his others!
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on 26 September 2013
I hate spiders ,now im terrified,why did i read this?
The book offers two possible explanations for the spiders one being the much talked about curse laid on the island before the forced evacuation ,the other is due to fall out from a pacific island nuclear test.The reason for the natives being frog marched off the island into a soul crushing refugee camp.

As is often the case with wyndham books the fantastic is made a lot more believable by the mundane small details of the people facing the horror.
It is fascinating especially when the colonialist begin to realise their situation.
It is understated brilliance as is the shocking ending
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on 28 January 2016
Not one of his better works, it just peters out. Very dated. Will not revisit.
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on 27 January 2001
'Web' was the third John Wyndham book that I read, and it follows the same style of his others. It is about a group forming a utopian community on an island, only to discover that the island is covered with the spider web of killer spiders, and one by one the community is killed off. It is a scary, gripping story. With John Wyndham's scientific style still present, it can be distracting if you are unsure of some of the theories, but it is still very gripping nonetheless. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed 'The Chrysalids' or 'Chocky', or reccomend those two books to people who enjoyed 'Web'.
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