The Midwich Cuckoos

The Midwich Cuckoos

eBook - 2000
Average Rating:
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Rosetta Books

John Wyndham’s 1957 book The Midwich Cuckoos is better known by the more sensational title of its two film adaptations, Village of the Damned. The story begins with Richard and Janet Gayford who have spent the night of September 26 in London, returning to their home in Midwich the following day. Then, in ways that are difficult to pin down, the village seems changed--not quite the same place that it was before. The nightmare that descends on Midwich has dire implications for the rest of the world; whatever dwells there is sowing the seeds for a master race of ruthless and inhumane creatures who are bent on nothing less than absolute and total domination.

In Wyndam’s classically elegant, calm style, this novel explores the arrival of a collective intelligence on earth that threatens to eliminate mankind. The quiet, eerie changes that befall Midwich manifest in strange ways; on the surface, everything seems normal, but scratch a little deeper and there is a clear sense of dread. After the night of September 26, every woman of childbearing age is pregnant, all to give birth at the same time, to children who are all alike--their eyes mesmerizing, void of emotion. These children are innately possessed with unimaginable mental powers and a formidable intelligence. It is these children who develop into an unstoppable force, capable of anything and far out-reaching other humans in cunning.

The London Evening Standard called The Midwich Cuckoos “humane and urbane with a lightly sophisticated wit putting the ideas into shape.” Wyndham skillfully heightens the terror by making his narrative so rational and matter-of-fact. In such a nuclear and technological age, Wyndam’s story is rich in irony in that it is set in the picturesque, bucolic English Village and the “enemy”, the threat, are seeming cherubim.



Publisher: New York : RosettaBooks, c2000
ISBN: 9780795302961
0795302967
9780795302923
0795302924

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Sarah1984
Aug 03, 2017

Let me start off by saying that I did enjoy this book. It was an interesting take on alien invasions.

You couldn't write this book, as it was published, today. All the evidence that refutes Zellaby's belief that the Children may be the 'missing link' scientists have been looking for in human evolution was found (or confirmed as part of our ancestry) after this was written - homo sapiens idaltu, homo erectus, and homo habilis etc. - completely negating all his theorising. Plus the fear that the Soviet Union was somehow behind it all seems funny and a bit irrational to today's reader. I can see why John Carpenter had to change the story so much to fit into 1995's mindset and eliminate the no longer true facts.

I agreed with the way the cold hearted ones are the ones being shown as those with more sense. They might be advocating a horrible solution that causes the loss of human life, but the sooner they make the choice the smaller the loss of life. If the Children were allowed to become Adults imagine the damage they could do, then imagine what their progeny could do. I own a copy of The Day of the Triffids and look forward to reading it at 'some point in the future'.

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 11, 2015

English sci-fi author John Wyndham (he also wrote "Day of the Triffids") took fantastic situations and wrote about them in a realistic way, much like his predecessor H.G. Wells. I'm not sure why he's not better known, as his books are unusually intelligent, provocative and well-written. This was the basis for the film "Village of the Damned," in which a bunch of alien children take over a town. The book is less a thriller and more a speculative novel about how people would actually react to such a scenario. And "Midwich Cuckoos" is an awesome title.

c
CanIGetAHoya
Aug 11, 2015

This is a great science fiction book based in the Cold War time, and it has a really deep and witty sense about the dialogue and text - something I loved very much. I would not recommend this book for people who are not accustomed to the 20th century British customs and language, but it was a great story filled with loyalty, humanity, the will to survive at all costs, and doing what is right even though it seems wrong. Midwich Cuckoos raises the question - What would happen if a species smarter than humans invaded earth and posed a threat to our species? I give this book five stars - IT DESERVES IT

1
1aa
Jul 21, 2015

A book composed almost entirely of dialogue; gets off to a slow start and ends far too abruptly.

s
sydneymore
Jul 07, 2013

A well built story from beginning to end. Classic science fiction.

laustcawz Oct 23, 2012

This book is the basis for the film "Village Of The Damned".

Eerie, but a little show moving.

m
macierules
Mar 23, 2010

Intriguing, relevant; written in an enjoyable style. On the 1001 Books Must Read Before You Die list.

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