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The Kraken Wakes Paperback – February 7, 1972
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Top Customer Reviews
Phase One of the invasion begins with the sighting of fireballs that land in oceans around the world. They are a strange phenomena but the public soon lose interest. Then ships start to sink mysteriously...
In Phase Two more and more ships are sinking and people are now aware of some malignant force at work beneath the sea. In this stage of the campaign the invaders are bolder, coming onto the shores of remote islands in "sea tanks" and dragging people to their deaths.
In Phase Three the sea level has risen, and cities are slowly being submerged. Morale is low, society is breaking up, and people are living in small scavenging communities as land, food and fuel become scarce.
This is a good disaster novel and well written, but it's not as good as "The Day of the Triffids". In "Triffids" the destruction was sudden and more immediate. In "Kraken" the destruction is more gradual and drawn out, like a sick man fighting an illness. Like a disease, the invaders are never actually seen, but the damage they do is great. Once more it looks like the human race is finished, but the book ends with optimism. A book worth reading.
There's a scifi movie presently at the theatres called Battleship, which is all the rage, about aliens using the oceans for their nefarious deeds, and humankind battling them in some strategic game style manner. Frankly, though its supposed to be a good film, I cant see how it has been filmed while Kraken Wakes has waited almost sixty years without any producers even noticing it even in Britain.
This surprises me because if you havent read the book, it was for its time an original concept oft copied by lesser authors and film makers.
The scenario involves an invading race of beings that require a high pressure environment to live (Jupiter or Saturn are alluded to as their home planet) and find such conditions for colonisation in the abysses of Earth's oceans.
What follows is a gradual invasion from below the sea. First shipping lanes are attacked, with vessels disappearing en route. Then tank like vessels invade various coastal human habitats and using fishing line like strings that stick to flesh like super glue, they start harvesting humans. The humans fight back but then realise the creatures are warming the oceans, melting the ice caps and inundating human coastal cities. Their engineering activity below the sea is also assisting them to surround human civilisation. Society begins to collapse and if you've read Triffids, you know Wyndham liked his stories open ended.Read more ›
I especially enjoy the little exchanges between the narrator and his wife. For me, they really make them into a really believable couple. The technobabble is neatly skipped, and the political wrangling in the background really makes you wonder how we managed to make it this far. If there's a flaw in this book, it's simply the fact that the only human villains are out of date - and that's not the books fault. If you're new to Wyndham, or to SF in general, I would strongly recommend thi book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A brilliant well-conceived and very scary story about unwelcome visitors from a very high-pressure place.Published 11 months ago by Scotty
John Wyndham is an excellent writer, and this book is well written. However, the read is fatally flawed by a mismatch between mood and content. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joel Marks
At this point, only the most obstinate of naysayers would ever deny the alarming evidence regarding global warming, the shrinking of the ozone layer, the melting of the polar ice... Read morePublished 14 months ago by s.ferber
---------------------There are some spoilers-----------------
The eponymous kraken is a sea monster from Scandinavian folklore. Read more
We liked "Letters of Note" so much that we bought it for several of our friends.
My husband thought "Political Order and Political Decay" exceedingly good and... Read more
---------------------------------------------------There are some spoilers------------------------------------------------
The eponymous kraken is a sea monster from... Read more