Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Midwich Cuckoos Mass Market Paperback – May 12, 1976

4.0 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Import
"Please retry"
$3.34
Mass Market Paperback, May 12, 1976
$57.04 $2.98
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Up to 50% off featured Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense books
Featured Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense books are up to 50% off for a limited time. Learn More
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

Exciting, unsettling and technically brilliant Spectator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beyon Harris had a variety of careers before becoming an author, but decided to take up writing professionally in 1925. Under several pseudonyms, he wrote numerous short stories for American science fiction magazines. During World War II, he worked in the Ministry of Information before serving in the army, and took part in the Normandy landings. He returned to writing in 1946, using the pen name John Wyndham, and The Day of the Triffids was published in 1951. It was a huge success, and was followed by seven further novels. He died in 1969.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (1959)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345248732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345248732
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,626,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stewart Robotham on October 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a shame to have to give this a 3 star rating. The story has stood the test of time extremely well but, as with so many ebooks, it is riddled with scanning errors. Publishers will have to realise that they must still spell-check and proof-read books once they have been scanned. We would not put up with this in a printed book - why should we be expected to with ebooks? If we all complain then maybe we can get somewhere.
6 Comments 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Wydham takes a look at a very interesting question: what happens with the entire human race is threatened, but our social conventions, politics, and institutions prevent us from saving ourselves? The odd title is a reference to the way cuckoo birds place their eggs in the nests of other birds who mistake the eggs for their own - but even after they hatch the surrogate mothers are compelled by their natures to take care of the babies. In Midwich, at a time when England regarded itself as the most civilized political community the world had ever known (hey, it probably still thinks that way!), the locals find themselves unable to mistreat a brood of alien, mind-controlling children, even though the fate of the world is at steak. Lot's of good narrative and entertaining philosophical conversations among the characters made this a truly great book, in the tradition of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" or Orwell's "1984".
2 Comments 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
One reviewer caught what makes this book noteworthy: What happens when a culture is under attack and the culture's mores and folkways prevent them from adequately defending themselves? What happens when a society's virtues are exploited as strategic and tactical weaknesses by a cruel, cunning, and ruthless enemy? This is the basic question posed by the Midwich Cuckoos.

This is a classic tale of an unthinkable form of asymmetric warfare where an alien enemy exploits the baseline human instinct of nurture as the fulcrum upon which they place the lever of their one military advantage: the telepathic collective intelligence of an army of children.

Those who enjoy the horror genre of science fiction will be somewhat disappointed as is reflected by several other reviewers. John Wyndham is not Stephan King so those looking for a skin-crawling, pulse pounding scare will not find it in the pages of Cuckoos. Those who like a more subtle and cerebral read will find this work both disquieting and thought provoking. I would classify this as more of a psychological drama than a sci-fi horror thriller.
Comment 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Midwich was an ordinary village. Until the Dayout. Everyone in the village was sleeping. Anyone who ventured into the outskirts of the village would mysteriously black out. The next day things were back to normal. But every woman of suitable age was pregnant...
"The Midwich Cuckoos" is a metaphorical title for a book about collective intelligence. The alien children born in the village are identical. Golden eyed, unemotional, endowed with mental powers and superior intelligence. Over the years the Children become a bigger problem. They commit a murder and contol the minds of others. They are cold, ruthless and calculating.
This book has been described as disturbing. When it was first published the idea of children committing murderer was probably quite shocking. These days it seems normal. This is an interesting book but I prefer the apocalyptic scenarios in "The Day of the Triffids" and "The Chrysalids".
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a marvelous book of building small town dread as people wake up from a 24 hour nap to find a perplexed military wondering what happened and why all of the women are suddenly pregnant. As a decade goes by and the mysterious children are born and raised, what follows is a thorough, startling, and occasionally amusing sociological examination of two species who find themselves increasingly at odds.

The problem is the Kindle edition. While there are a few typos, they aren't as rampant as what I'm hearing in complaints of other Kindle released of Wyndham's works. The problem lies in the lack of line spacing and indentation. There are no chapter breaks, no line divisions between chapters themselves. Example:

Final paragraph of a chapter.
CHAPTER TITLE
First paragraph of next chapter.

And none of the paragraphs are indented, leaving the entire book largely a single wall of text. It's still quite readable and I had no problems enjoying the story, but it took some getting used to and I hope a corrected version is made available at some point.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
John Wyndham's 1957 British science fiction novel has been the basis for three movies-- the (excellent) "Village of the Damned" (1960), which follows the book pretty closely; the (obscure, but very good) "Children of the Damned" (1963), which was marketed as a sequel to the 1960 film, but is not a sequel at all, rather an entirely new film very loosely based on the book; and John Carpenter's (terrible) re-make, "Village of the Damned" (1995).

Wyndham's novel starts very slowly, but that is not a flaw; the low-key, matter-of-fact accumulation of details of life in a small British village makes the story's horror all the more potent when the reader (and the characters) slowly realize what has been happening around them. Everyone in a tiny village is suddenly rendered unconscious; they awake a day later, seemingly none the worse for wear-- until they realize that every woman in the village (including virgins) is pregnant. Wyndham's title, "The Midwich Cuckoos," refers to the way some species of cuckoo birds leave their eggs in other birds' nests; the cuckoo egg hatches first, and the cuckoo chick destroys the other eggs. That the mysterious Midwich babies have a similar fate in mind for the people of earth is not immediately apparent, but becomes so only when it seems too late to prevent it.

This alien invasion is far less dramatic that the tentacled Martians of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, or the walking plants of Wyndham's own earlier novel,
...Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: suspense thrillers