The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids

Book - 1958
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David Strorm's father doesn't approve of Angus Morton's unusually large horses, calling them blasphemies against nature. Little does he realize that his own son, his niece Rosalind and their friends, have their own secret aberration which would label them as mutants. But as David and Rosalind grow older it becomes more difficult to conceal their differences from the village elders. Soon they face a choice: wait for eventual discovery or flee to the terrifying and mutable Badlands ...

The Chrysalids is a post-nuclear story of genetic mutation in a devastated world, which tells of the lengths the intolerant will go to to keep themselves pure.
Publisher: London :, Penguin Books,, [1958]
Copyright Date: ©1955
ISBN: 9780141038469
Branch Call Number: STUDY ENGLISH CHRYSAL
Characteristics: 199 pages ; 19 cm

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r
RoyalJellyIII
Nov 25, 2020

An amazing and classic piece of Sci-Fi history. It is also short, easy-to-read, but does not sacrifice substance. Imaginative and page-turning.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Nov 20, 2020

David Storm is a normal boy living in a not so normal world. After nuclear fallout from an unknown war David lives in the archaic far-future. The town Waknuk is governed by his father Joseph, a very religious pasture who hates anything that goes against the (their version of the) Bible. Because of the nuclear waste there are plenty of people who are born with deformities they're either cast out into the fringes or sacrificially killed. I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone as it's not one for the light hearted and the characters don't do much. This novel is full of religious themes, and references to the Cold War, which was written in 1955. This book can be very depressing at times with all the death and cruelty that's present in the world. @Subsub of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 05, 2020

The Chrysalids was quite the read with adventure, mystery, friendships and hardships throughout. The book shows a post-apocalyptic time where things are completely different and people live much different lives. This novel was very interesting as it explored a different theme and setting while still being a classic novel. The plot itself could have been a bit better and more interesting in a way but overall it was a good read. If you are a fan of classics and sci-fi, this book is for you. What I personally loved about the book is the entire journey from start to finish and how things change and evolve. 4/5 stars
@AleenAther of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

j
jessegabriel
Jul 05, 2020

A (seemingly) post-nuclear world where it is considered a deviation and blasphemy against God to have a genetic mutation (like an extra toe), the book's core meaning is of accepting others even though they are different from you.

The book was not top-tier but it wasn't mediocre either. The plot and concept is genius, an 'abstract' portrayal of a post-nuclear world where our characters grow up. They belong to a uber-religious cult community who considers anything or anyone that doesn't look normal (like a giant horse for example!) a deviation and subject to destruction.

It's a truly captivating story, I enjoyed reading it, especially towards the end where you really get a proper glimpse at what the world they live in is actually like.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Dystopian novels, and most readers looking for a great message in general.

emilyhart66 Oct 09, 2019

When I read this book in high school many years ago it resonated strongly with me. The danger of being different, the "mutation" of religion into a means of abuse and the extremes we can all go to are woven throughout. I have revisited it many times over the years. I highly recommend this author and his other works. Chocky, The Midwich Cukoos, Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes are all especially worth reading.
Rather than being a promotion of Christianity, or forcing it down the reader's throat, this book stresses the dangers of religion gone amuck, religion based on fear, religion as power, religion as control and religion as excuse for intolerance and abuse. The inhabitants of a post nuclear apocalypse world turn to a rigid fundamentalism in their fears of mutation. Everything is judged by a standard which is intolerant of any deviation from the so called norm, even the positive. The book carries the message of inclusion and acceptance with lyrical grace.
John Wyndham was British, not American as stated in another comment.

d
Derringer
Jul 07, 2019

Not being of any Christian beliefs, myself - This vintage SyFy story (written in 1955 by John Wyndham) completely lost my interest once this unwelcome element of religion was worked into the plot-line where it, unfortunately, prevailed right through to the bitter end.

IMO - SyFy and Christianity make for a terrible pairing in any work of fiction. These two subjects are, pretty much, contradictory in nature. And, with that said - I totally resented author, Wyndham for trying to force Christianity down my throat with this nonsensical story of his. I really do.

m
ManMachine
Jun 23, 2019

First published back in 1955 - "The Chrysalids" (written by American novelist, John Wyndham) actually had some real potential to be an intriguing futuristic SyFy story where nuclear radiation has caused startling mutations in all life (including humans) all across the planet.

But, unfortunately, this work of fiction clearly took a religiously snobbish attitude of that of a Christian fundamentalist. (Yawn-to-the-max!) And, as a result - Its sneering, self-righteous arrogance in believing that "god" will save the day completely destroyed my interest in its story.

And, with that in mind - I came to the conclusion that this book (and its utterly useless message) belonged right in the trash-can.

If you’re looking for a dystopian novel that hits deep, this is it. You live with the novel’s dynamic characters in a world full of terrifying zealots in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster (or so it seems). It all feels a bit too feasible. Yet somehow, amidst the horror, you feel deep love and hope. This quote stuck with me because who hasn’t tried or at least wanted to run away? “In my experience, he told me, if you run away from a thing just because you don’t like it, you don’t know what you find either. Now running to a thing, that’s a different matter, but what would you want to run to?” I really enjoyed it. (submitted by LN)

h
humbleworm
Jul 28, 2018

The Chrysalids was first published in 1955, almost a decade into the Cold War and 10 years after the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, but it's still relatively early in a long lineage of post-nuclear-apocalyptic dystopian fiction. Although intolerance, mutation and evolution are critical to the plot and setting, this focuses more on character development in the protagonist David. You'll find many parallels in other journey stories like Watership Down and contemporary social commentaries like Lord Of The Flies (1954). The ending is conveniently conclusive but properly developed.

a
anitalee6923
Jan 28, 2018

I read this book the summer after Grade 9 because my summer school teacher assigned it to us. At first I thought it was too challenging, boring, and I wouldn't actually finish it. Turns out, it's very interesting and I love the mindset of the protagonist. We have some real world issues that are similar to the conflicts found in the book.

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Quotes

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Library_Liz Dec 08, 2016

“But when people are used to believing a thing is such-and-such a way, and the preachers want them to believe that that’s the way it is; it’s trouble you get, not thanks, for upsetting their ideas.”

v
VForce
Aug 23, 2012

The static, the enemy of change, is the enemy of life, and therefore our implacable enemy.

v
VForce
Aug 23, 2012

We are not shut away into individual cages from which we can reach out only with inadequate words.

v
VForce
Aug 23, 2012

Your minds are confused by your ties and your upbringing.

v
VForce
Aug 21, 2012

...you can be your own selves. You don't have to live a pretence. You don't have to watch yourself every moment, and think twice whenever you open your mouths.

v
VForce
Aug 21, 2012

Words have to be chosen, and then interpreted; but thought-shapes you feel, inside you...

v
VForce
Aug 18, 2012

"You can't lie when you talk with your thoughts."
"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."
"When you do go ashore you never know how the local deviations are going to take you"

AmandaVollmershausen Jun 29, 2012

"The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution: and we are a part of it."

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jessegabriel
Jul 05, 2020

jessegabriel thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Captain_Kitsune_3
Jun 25, 2015

Captain_Kitsune_3 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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ReadingintheCorner
Mar 29, 2011

ReadingintheCorner thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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