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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 April 2017
I love this book, and its my favourite of all the John Wyndhams, but strangely is not very well known. It raises a lot of great questions about the science and beauty industry. Plus of course the key question: what would you do to stay young? I dont want to give anything away, but this is a great, thought provoking book that has aged well, and if anything seems more relevant today. Its only a short leap of the imagination, so suits those who dont like implausible books. Well worth a read even if you dont normally enjoy science fixtion at all.
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I've re-read this after a gap of around 20 years and it still has interesting points to make about women in the work place and attitudes to beauty. Enjoyed it even more than before!
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on 31 August 2017
I've not read this Wyndham book before. It was fascinating, and it's one I'll read again
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on 23 March 2010
I took a punt on this having been introduced to Wyndham by "Chocky" and enjoyed it immensely. There's something very enjoyable for me about "retro" or "classic" SF, even if it has been somewhat undermined by the passage of time. "...Lichen" begins as a sort of campus novel about real scientists doing science, told in a sparse and gently satirical tone reminiscent of Kingsley Amis and escalates into a peculiarly British take on social revolution.

What makes this book fascinating is also sadly what relegates it to the ranks of "period piece"; Wyndham presents a likeable heroine, a sensible, empowered woman of letters, and rightly prophesies a quasi-feminist revolution based on her scientific discovery. However, the discovery is the wrong one: Unlike R. A. Heinlein in his landmark novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", Wyndham does not foresee sexual revolution arising from reliable contraceptives, but longevity treatments. Nevertheless, this is a charming novel that presents interesting arguments with humour without testing a reader's suspension of disbelief as often Wyndham's American peers.

There are plenty of landmark SF titles that focus predominantly on the subject of super-longevity - Heinlein's "Methuselah's Children", Robert Silverberg's creepy "The Book Of Skulls (S.F. Masterworks)" and the notorious "Bug Jack Barron" - but I consider this the best treatment of the subject, primarily for its measured, academicky approach and making the implications of the science the centre of the plot. So, give it a go if you're a fan of those books, an SF nut or a Wyndham completist.

...Oh yes, I nearly forgot: I've always said "Like-un" and thought that scone should rhyme with gone.
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on 22 September 2016
This book is unfortunately rather dull :
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on 13 July 2017
V good
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on 2 April 2014
Arrived within specified time and well packaged. Book in condition stated and was well pleased with it. It was for a birthday present so have not read it.
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on 13 February 2007
After reading the Day Of The Triffids (also John Wyndham) this was almost definitely going to be a mild come down, but it did its best at the very least. Again working on the same theme of world disaster, this time Trouble With Lichen is set with a predicted future disaster, whereas Day Of The Triffids, is well and truely stuck in the disaster.

Following two main stories, Francis Saxover and his family (Daughter Zephanie and Son Paul) and Diana Brackley, who runs Nefertiti which claims to be able to 'make you look younger' this is on the whole good, but for me there are three subplots which never go anywhere whatsoever, however there is almost a last minute reference to the possible outcome of one of the subplots which also could explain why the third subplot was needed. Its a shame these don't go anywhere, because a bit more substance to the book is really what it needs!
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2007
Not one of Wyndham's better known works, but this is a little gem, with some interesting things to say about scientific discoveries, their popularisation in the media and people's desire for medical "miracles" that turn out to have a darker side. The antagonism between the men and women's positions on the "miracle" seems simplistic and unconvincing at least in modern terms, but probably acceptable to an original reader at the end of the 1950s. Well worth reading.
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on 14 December 1998
Excellent, as always, John Wyndham takes a 'what if' scenario and follows it through, just to see what 'would' happen.
While still a gripping novel, this is not along the same lines as, for instance, 'Triffids'. The pace is more laid back, less intense, yet still keeps you glued to the pages from start to finish. I think that this is because Wyndham does not allow the potential horror to emerge in quite the same way as in some of his other books, rather he pats it back and forth, building tension and excitement - and reaches the climax which is... not quite what you expect.
Brilliant. Read it.
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