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Novel Book Report: The Chrysalids

Not every book I read is non-fiction. In fact, some of the most thought provoking and life altering texts can come from novels. One such book: The Chrysalids. Honestly one of the best books I have ever read in the genre.

If you have been wondering what to read lately, and you haven’t like many of the book suggestions that I have offered on this site, I have got a fun book for you.

You see, I would like to consider my self a philologist of sorts. I like to read the classics and apply them liberally to contemporary culture. That’s one thing that philologists do. The other thing that we do, as long as I am calling my self one, is that we like to take texts that aren’t normally conveyed into the public’s eye and bring them to light.

John Wyndham did a fantastic job with this gripping science fiction novel from 1955.

The book I’d like to bring to your attention is a splendid novel regarding the potential future of the world in light of the never ending threat of nuclear war. But before I get into the world building too much, let me introduce: The Chrysalids.

This book has been a wonderful book to recommend to others as of late, no one has read it and the topic of the science fiction is incredibly palpable. Normally when I open a science fiction tale I am immediately turned off by weird sounding names of characters or absolutely drab universe building narratives. The Chrysalids introduces the farm of Waknak so elegantly and the land of Labrador so well, that you hat will be absolutely floored to learn that this book is highly overlooked.

Okay, I can hear you asking me now, what’s it all about. Well, I am not going to give anything away. I can’t. Really, I can’t. Alright, there are some small details that I can tell you. Like that the story is about a boy named David, and that he lives in a very observant religious community that abhors mutants, “Deviations” as they are sometimes called. But with out getting too much into the nitty-gritty of the book, I wanted to ask you something, if that is cool with you.

Have you ever considered your self different? have you ever met others that didn’t fit in with the norms of the community? Have you ever heard someone being treated differently just because they were not like “everybody”? Have you met anyone who you thought was truly one of a kind? Have you met anyone who was exceptional, or have you ever seen an animal that you had no idea existed?

Again, just thoughts to get your mind turning about this book. But I can promise you that the was the book develops and the gut wrenching emotions that are often evoked are absolutely heart rending. There is this one part that darn near took me to tears all because they said “…I – oh, why do they do that to us? why didn’t they kill me? It would have been kinder than this…” I am telling you, I darn near cried every manly tear in me when I read that passage.

…I – oh, why do they do that to us? why didn’t they kill me? It would have been kinder than this…

The Chrysalids

but it is difficult to explain what it is like to be in the know about this book. It is a lot like bing a part of a really cool work team where you have a strong communication network and great tools that reflect it. Or a social network where the group is incredibly supportive and understanding. Once you have read this book, you can see an idea was growing out of the middle of the last century that would take root in so many important facets of family, friend, and work life.

Oh, the book is like 200 pages. Just go get it already. It is super worth every single guilty minute that you put into it. And for those of you who have read it, speak up in the comments and let us know what you thought of Chrysalids.

One reply on “Novel Book Report: The Chrysalids”

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