Review – The Chrysalids

Posted October 21, 2016 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of The Chrysalids by John WyndhamThe Chrysalids, John Wyndham

Flashback Friday review from 27th June, 2011

I’ve been meaning to read The Chrysalids since it was mentioned in Among Others (reading books Mori mentions hasn’t steered me wrong, so far). I’m glad I got round to it. I enjoyed Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids, but I enjoyed The Chrysalids rather more: I fell in love with the way he created a whole post-apocalyptic world in just a few pages. I loved all the details of it — harsh and oppressive as it would be to live that life, it’s a fantastic read for someone interested in post-apocalyptic dystopia.

It wasn’t, really, all that new to me, the modern reader. Still, it felt like it was, somehow. It leaves one wanting more, too. The ending is open enough that goodness knows what could happen, and the reader is given plenty they have to work out for themselves.

Character-wise, I suppose it wasn’t that strong, as the only characters who stood out to me strongly were the really central ones. Most of the group, I don’t think I’ll remember their names tomorrow. David and Rosalind do have a sweetness to them, but at the same time, if I think of what marked them out as people… David’s uncle, who kills someone to keep their secret, and supports David and helps him despite his difference, he’s actually perhaps the most memorable to me, in a way.

There is, by the by, a lot of moral ambiguity.

I’ll be keeping my copy of The Chrysalids, for sure. I’ll want to come back to it.

Rating: 4/5

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