01 January 2011

The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham; another sci-fi classic (and my first review in 2011)

The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham is another science fiction classic that gets under your skin and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.

The Kraken Wakes is an apocalyptic story from 1953 in which Wyndham tells of the demise of the world as we know it at the hands of mysterious sea monsters that have seemingly arrived in our waters from another planet.

It is not clear whether they are malicious creatures who have planned their attack on the earth's population, or whether they are simply reacting to the way in which they are treated by the human inhabitants of the planet. In any event, the wreak havoc upon the earth from the Deeps of the ocean, attacking mankind using guerrilla tactics.

The story is told from the perspective of Mike Watson and his wife Phyllis, both of whom are recording the strange events for the people of the future. It is told is three phases, the arrival of the fireballs that bring the creatures to the Deeps, the beginning of the antagonistic relationship between the creatures of the deep and mankind and the creatures final attempt to change the world.

Wyndham very slowly builds up the climax so that when it arrives it unexpected but thoroughly realistic in the way it is portrayed.

What amazed me most about this book was not only how accurately Wyndham portrayed the tension between the East and the West in the Cold War era and how this effected the world's reaction to the crisis it faced, but also how accurately he seems to have foreseen the future.

Climate change and associated rising water levels play an important role in this book - and contain an important environmental message for those us in the more modern world who are faced with these very real environmental issues.

For those of you who may find The Kraken Wakes a little off putting because it it's 'sea creatures from outerspace' storyline should not worry at this at all. The story is so realistically portrayed that it so easy to imagine something like this happening even today.

The Kraken Wakes is an accurate portrayal of how mankind might face a world crisis as one - this book comes highly recommended from me.

Genre
Science Fiction, Classic

What kind of read is this?
It is a small book, but takes longer to read than you expect. it is also scary, a real page turner.

Do I recommend this book?
Absolutely, even if you don't enjoy science fiction normally. There is more to this book than meets the eye.

Do I recommend that you buy this book?
No, borrowing it or reading as an ebook would be fine.


Star Rating

6 / 8



Really enjoyable and well written. I would recommend it. 


Have you read this book or any of Wyndham's other novels? I would love to hear what you think.