13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Slow, spectacular and terrifying end-of-the-world sci-fi,
This review is from: The Kraken Wakes (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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Dec 2009 18:43:22 GMT
Brian Flange says:
Thanks, Greshon - I enjoyed your review. Like you, I don't quite know why the slow menace and global disaster of 'The Kraken Wakes' haven't endeared it to film-makers. (Amongst other things, the scenes in Phase One aboard the bathyscape ship are crying out for filming ... then there's the sea tanks ...)
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2010 13:21:02 GMT
Yeah, it's a puzzle. Did you see the recent BBC adaptation of Day of the Triffids that ws on over Christmas? It was really good (better than the 80s BBC version). Perhaps this will begin a spate of new Wyndham adaptations. Let's hope so...
Posted on 20 Dec 2012 18:50:52 GMT
Great review. This novel stuck in my head from the day I read it (around 10 years ago) and it rang true to me as a vision of a very possible future to come. I especially loved the time-scale of it and the ensuing futile attempts to stem the floods... all too familiar now! I've read all of his books and short stories, the first being 'The Chrysalids', which we read in school in the 1970's. That certainly left it's mark. It will be The Kraken's 60th birthday in 2013 - who's up for making a film? (preferably NOT Hollywood!!) I often wonder if Mr Wyndham may actually have time-travelled and then wrapped his findings in Sci-Fi so he could share, but avoid being labelled crazy, lol!!!
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