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4.2 out of 5 stars102
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 20 December 2014
Fast delivery and no faults with the item at all
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on 21 December 2015
Fast Delivery and the book is very well written
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on 21 July 2013
I don't understand the plaudits for this very tedious novel. It's terribly dated, rather pompous in tone, and implausibility abounds. The opening's interesting enough, as the narrator and his wife try to return home to the village of Midwich and are prevented from doing so. Then, however, the narrator switches to a God-like third person narrator who describes events he can't possibly have witnessed. I suppose I can ignore that as a literary device. But I thought this flawed in so many ways I can't think where to start.

There's very little action, and opportunities for actual drama are passed over in favour of after-the-event exposition consisting of interminable and dated dialogue.

The characters are mere ciphers, there to expound on the various political, psychological and ethical issues the novel clearly wants to deal with. Some of these issues are interesting, though the old chestnut of State vs Individual, with the Russians typically putting the State first while our more `civilized' society puts the authorities in an ethical dilemma getting trotted out, Cold War style. But they don't make for a good novel.

The women are especially poorly drawn; after they've done their bit by giving birth to the Children they have no further role to play in the novel. We only get to hear from the Children themselves once, and that mere spouting of ideas.

There is some interesting speculation towards the book's end, and it's thankfully easy to read. But I can't accept that an event of this magnitude would go unnoticed or be covered up for years. Even accepting that, it was a very tiresome read.
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on 14 December 2014
A present so again hope it is well received
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on 3 May 2015
still 'gripping' after all these years
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 June 2013
An intelligent and thought provoking slice of 1950s Cold War-influenced British science fiction. I enjoyed the bourgeoise village life evoked by John Wyndham. That said the book does also show its age: the female characters all underdeveloped, they are generally too distracted, and/or besotted by the Children (the Cuckoos of the book's title), to contribute anything meaningful to the more weighty discussions of the male characters.

It is actually the discussions, and there are plenty of them (perhaps too many?), that are what make the book interesting. The village's resident philosopher, Zallaby, spends pages pontificating about the moral implications of the Children. These discourses embrace evolution, politics, anthropology, power and authority, and philosophy. Some of these discussions are a bit overcooked and I felt the story could probably have been told in about half the total word count.

The ending, which is signposted a good few pages before the last page, is too neat, and I would have preferred a more ambiguous conclusion. One where the reader is left to consider the implications of the Children reaching maturity and what that might mean for the human race. Instead we end the book very much as we start it with Midwich being, quite possibly, the most boring and uneventful place in the UK. Still, there is much to enjoy, and plenty of food for thought in this sci fi classic.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2009
This is my first Wyndham (apart from fond memories of Chocky on TV as a kid.) It's an incredibly economical bit of writing which laces together a faux-realist style with flashes of almost Wodehouseian humour amidst the fundamentally disturbing theme of a Darwinian nightmare embodied in creepazoid kids.
In modern, Hollywood movie terms, The Midwich Cuckoos is a high-concept sci-fi thriller, but it's also a lot more than that. There's a satirical edge to the whole thing that reminds me of Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives. There's a serious philosophical enquiry at the heart of the book which has echoes of Frankenstein. But there's also a B-Movie breeziness to it that keeps the reader entertained till the end.
Having said which, I felt ever so slightly short-changed by the plot's rather abrupt denouement. Indeed, the book feels too slight to bear the weight of its myriad themes and influences. I almost wish Wyndham had explored character - especially that of the children - and plot much further. Ultimately, I don't think Wyndham's novel - delightful though it is - does justice to his brilliant, high-concept premise.
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on 7 June 2016
Liked movie, loved the book.
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on 28 October 2013
This is a 'classic' John Wyndham. Although set firmly in post-war Britain, reflecting village life and communications of a now distant past, it builds up the tension with a gentle but firm touch. A masterpiece of its time - one of my favourites from this author.
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on 23 May 2016
Love it. An easy read.
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