The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham


I’m continuing along a John Wyndham theme for day fourteen of Blogtober with The Midwich Cuckoos. Otherwise known as The Village of the Damned in the film versions, it’s one of my favourite sci-fi books. Without giving away any spoilers (for this nearly sixty year old book) it has the best ending of any book I have ever read. 

The Midwich Cuckoos begins with strange events in a fictional British town; everyone is unconscious and aerial images show a strange silver object in the centre of the town. The next morning everyone wakes up as normal, except every woman of child bearing age is pregnant. The resulting babies age rapidly, have strange golden eyes and appear to possess sinister, telepathic powers.

The concept of alien ‘cuckoos’ is a really interesting one, which probably in part inspired parts of more recent alien-invasion books. It’s a subtly that plays on human nature and maternal instinct, which I think is a pretty neat idea.

Like I said, without giving too much away, the ending is the best I’ve ever read. It’s not extreme, or dramatic, but it’s perfect.

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