The Chrysalids – John Wyndham


3 star

I decided to reread The Chrysalids after finding it at a garage sale this summer. I read it in high school and hated every second of it. This time around, I enjoyed it much more than I did in the past but it’s definitely not one of my favoruite classics.

The Chrysalids follows a society that finds any defect or deviation in the human form as a sign of the devil that must be destroyed. The main character, David, meets a girl with six toes and quickly becomes her friend. David then begins to question everything he’s been taught about deviations and the true form.

What stood out to me the most about this book was how slow the pacing is for the majority of the story. It isn’t until around the last 50 pages that the pace picks up. The slow pace does add intrigue and mystery to the story that is paid off in the end. However, I would have enjoyed a little more information about the ending.

A lot of the themes found in The Chrysalids are particularly relevant today, especially with what’s currently happening in The United States with all the intolerance and alienation. The Chrysalids is a novel that takes racism to the extreme making it easier to identify and recognize how revolting this kind of behaviour truly is. It also highlights the consequences of a society that bases their ideology upon exclusivity rather than inclusivity.


Overall, I would recommend The Chrysalids to anyone. It’s not the best classic I’ve ever read, but its themes are still relevant today and deserve attention and scrutiny in terms of how we think and feel about those who are different from ourselves.

5 thoughts on “The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

  1. This was one of my favourite books as a kid (perhaps because one of the children has my name and I’d never seen it anywhere else). It’s true it is quite slow, but I loved the chance to get drawn into these characters’ lives, to see how religious paranoia distorts thinking and can turn to violence, any faster and that message might have got lost. Thank you for reviewing! 🙂

    1. Oh, for sure! I think it’s one of those books that is worth analyzing and disecting in class because it will only improve the reading experience. I wish I would have paid more attention in high school.

      1. Me too, I was crap at school. The Crysalids wasn’t a school read for me, which helped I think, I could take the time to form my own conclusions. I reckon it should be adults going to school, they’d enjoy it much more and learn more.

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