THE CHRYSALIDS by John Wyndham [[book review]]

I tracked down this 1955 sci-fi novel after reading Stephen King's Danse Macabre (it was in the Suggested Reading appendix). I was hesitant at first of reading The Chrysalids because while I loved The Day of the Triffids, I was less than thrilled with The Midwich Cuckoos (which became the film Village of the Damned).

Glad I read The Chrysalids. IT WAS AWESOME!!! Wyndham packed in a lot of plot in 200 pages; lesser novelists would have made it a 1,000-page epic, or a trilogy.

Like The Midwich Cuckoos, The Chrysalids deals with telepathy. It's set in the future, after an apocalypse. Life is like in the 19th century: agriculture-based. The town the story is set in has fundamentalists running the show. If any resident has the slightest birth defect, they're kicked out of town and will have to survive in The Fringes, where people with apparent post WWIII mutations live lawlessly. The protagonist stays in town because the crazy community leaders don't detect his telepathy.

I don't want to give much more away, but if you dig mid-20th century pulp fiction, pick up a copy. Need more incentive? Like a Robert Heinlein book, The Chrysalids has great quotes, like this one: "...if you run away from a thing just because you don't like it, you don't like what you find either. Now, running to a thing, that's a different matter..."

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