The Chrysalids

  • by John Wyndham
  • Narrated by Graeme Malcolm
  • 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Chrysalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation.
Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction - unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work.
David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that he, too, is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce him to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.
The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work from the classic era of science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

THE NORM

YOU CAN'T LIE WHEN YOU TALK WITH YOUR THOUGHTS
I loved the first three hours of this. I loved it, because it intelligently hit one of my pet peeves. I have never understood the hatred toward people who are different. Just today a customer I was delivering to, made a disgusting remark about blacks and it came out of nowhere. As a kid I witnessed fat kids, tall girls, short boys, blacks, girls with freckles, kids who wore metal braces on their legs, people with cleft lips, pimples, etc,... get picked on. In junior high one boy with a very small penis and whose testicles had not dropped was humiliated consistently. Michael Landon was humiliated by his mother for bed wetting. How about the kid in Lord of the Flies with asthma. In our town there is suppose to be a farm with albinos living on it. Teenagers go out there at night to taunt them.

LEFT HANDED
Some might get upset by how religion is represented in this book. They are the bad guys. I have a friend who went to a catholic church and the nuns tied his left hand to his chair so he could not use it, as he was left handed. When I was young I went to a church, where the preacher from behind the pulpit told us that Cain was marked by becoming a Negro. Before the civil war, the Quakers were trying to free the slaves, but the Baptist were preaching that it was okay per the bible for white men to own black men. Last year a preacher of a mega Assembly of God church, stood behind the pulpit and told his congregation to vote against the rights for gays bill. He almost got into to big trouble for that, but managed his million dollar A SS out of it. Religion can be good, but when used for hate, it is devastating.

The Rest of The Story
The last three and a half hours is one long chase scene. It is almost like the first and second half were written by two different people. The first half by a very talented writer and the second half was a hack job. The ending is such a disappointment. As another reviewer has mentioned we are preached at, about being accepting of those who are different but, in the end those who have telepathy discriminate against everyone else. To not have telepathy makes you inferior and you don't deserve to live. End of story.

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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

Disappointing Third Act

Any additional comments?

Well written and fully realized world that disintegrates into a simple chase for the third act and wraps up with a less than inspired ending. A bit of a disappointment after the more fully realized Day of the Triffids, but the book will stay with me nonetheless, especially considering the political times we live in and the monstrous GOP's insane attack on homosexuals, which could very easily have provided the allegorical subtext for this work.

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- Robert R. "Bohemian Bon Vivant"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-14-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios