Customer Review

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is change, that's how it differs from the rocks, 14 Nov. 2005
This review is from: The Chrysalids (Mass Market Paperback)
This was what Wyndham did best: he's created horrible futures for us. He was a dab-hand at the nightmare vision. Like 'The Day of the Triffids' and 'The Kraken Wakes', 'The Chrysalids' points to a grim, dystopian future where people struggle to survive and reconstruct lost order and security after a terrible disaster. But whereas the events that led up to the annihilation of most of the human population in The Triffids and The Kraken were explained in detail in those books, the devastation of huge areas of the planet that are described in The Chrysalids, occurred hundreds of years before the time this story begins. The people have not the vaguest memory and no documented reports of how it happened. It seems probable to the reader, from revelations about the after effects of the killer event, that what happened all that time ago was a nuclear holocaust. All the signs point to it, so it's ironic that the people of Waknuk in Labrador, where this tale is focused, have been struggling to re-establish their lives in the image of the much revered 'Old People' and the halcyon days when life was happy and untroubled by the horrors of what they call 'tribulation'. Even though they believe the Old People brought down the wrath of God upon themselves and their descendents, they know nothing of nuclear war. So they're working to redeem themselves in the eyes of God. One way they try to do this is by ensuring the destruction of mutants. Humans must conform to the image of God, as they believe God intended. Any human that deviates from that norm is considered an abomination. Human mutants are sterilized and ejected from the community, mutant animals are slaughtered and mutant crops are burned. Then, quietly and undetected, a different kind of human mutation evolves. For a long time it goes unnoticed, because these new mutants look normal. However, they have certain mental abilities beyond what is normal and acceptable. This aberration isn't discovered by the normals until some bad luck and carelessness draws attention to the change. When the mutation is discovered, the reaction of the community is ruthless. In their hysterical state of fear and loathing, they mean to root out every last abomination. At some level they must understand that this particular mutation, far from dragging them into mutational melt-down, might actually replace them as the dominant species. The future looks bleak for these young people. They must hide their talent or run away, but where can they go? Life in the wild fringes beyond the slowly genetically stabilizing safe region where they live, is a horrible lurid area of unstable biology and lawlessness, and beyond that chaotic zone there is no life in the burnt badlands.
Wyndham was full of apocalyptic ideas and post-apocalyptic strategies for the survival of the human species. His main protagonists are reasonable, well balanced and humane people who are forced by circumstances beyond their control to be practical - taking whatever distasteful steps seem necessary in order to survive. The stories are always compelling and interesting. The Chrysalids is no exception: interesting characters with a bit of depth, a desperate situation calling for desperate measures, and all adding up to a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 212,967