The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham

***** Dangerous children

John Wyndham is one of those authors who in their career have explored a genre, in this case science fiction, in every possible direction and each time have created unique and unpredictable stories, through which they took the opportunity to develop interesting food for thought.
This time, Wyndham deals with the theme of alien invasion, without ever mentioning aliens, but only talking about something that like the cuckoos put their “eggs” in the “nests” of humans and from them children were born, or rather Children, with extraordinary and worrying qualities. This is accompanied by a reflection on the interaction between two species that are competing for the same territory and of which only one is destined to dominate.
A veil of uneasiness covers every page of the novel, without ever reaching excessive drama. Between long conversations characterised by British calmness and the attempt to give the whole situation a logical explanation, in the faint hope that this leads to a resolution, and watered by an excellent tea, the protagonists welcome us to Midwich, where, following a day in which the inhabitants have lost their senses (the so-called Dayout), all the women have become pregnant. Over time the Children will reveal to be something else, despite their human appearance, until they become a threat, in a crescendo of tension.
The expected resolution, given that the book was ending, but at the same time both unexpected, because of the sudden way in which it occurs, and almost obvious, takes you aback and satisfy you.
An interesting element, which I noticed in other works of his, is the role of chance. The narrating voice is found by chance outside the village with his wife on the day of the Dayout and therefore he is spared a direct involvement. Nevertheless, he closely follows the story and finds himself back in Midwich just when it is resolved. In all this we deliberately see the hand of the author who, in my opinion, with great fun, builds a perfect plot, in which every detail has a specific purpose, which, while generating disquiet, also gives a sense of security that suggests that somehow everything will be fine. And it is precisely the curiosity to know how you can ever resolve a seemingly impossible situation that drives the reader to turn one page after another and complete the reading of the book in a short time.

The Midwich Cuckoos on Amazon.


  1. Hi Rita, if you like Wyndham's writing you might like his love letters. New biography just out and I am reaching out to fans.

    1. I already have it in my wishlist on Amazon. :)