The time-travelling bookworm: ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ by John Wyndham

This famous 1957 novel by British science fiction author John Wyndham is set in a cosy village called Midwich. After an event seemingly caused by aliens, the women of the village give birth to strange telepathic children. The children become increasingly powerful and the adults are desperately trying to stop them. I first read this book in January 2004 (which is where my random generator has landed this month) but I have read it again since, in 2011. It’s a very unsettling book and is open to various interpretations. Furthermore, cold war paranoia can be detected in his work, a presence (I find) in all 1950s science fiction. No doubt I will re-read The Midwich Cuckoos in the next few years.

It’s well-known that the film Village of the Damned was based on the book. The original film was released in 1960 (very soon after the book was published) and remade for 1995.

I highly recommend a YA novel inspired by the story – The Fallen Children by David Owen, which is about three teenage girls in a London tower block.

6 thoughts on “The time-travelling bookworm: ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ by John Wyndham”

    1. Thanks! I think the first Wyndham I was aware of was probably Day of the Triffids. I feel that The Midwich Cuckoos is more sophisticated than that.

  1. I watched the movie, but never read the book. Since I have enjoyed Wyndham’s other novels, I am sure I will get to this one sooner or later. Actually, I just finished Chocky, which was a great read.

    1. The book is certainly worth a read. I think I have read most of his well-known novels. This is one of his best. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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