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Le Village des damnés (1957)

par John Wyndham

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

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2,462694,615 (3.8)1 / 304
In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed - except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant. The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . . The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.… (plus d'informations)
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» Voir aussi les 304 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 69 (suivant | tout afficher)
I was looking forward to reading this book because I like old-school sci-fi and I find creepy children as horrifying as any other horror fan does but in the end I was left disappointed. I turned on The Midwich Cuckoos almost immediately once it became clear that what I felt was the true horror of the book—the forced pregnancies of all the females of childbearing age in a town—was more of a stepping stone to what Wyndham considered the real story: groups of men sitting around talking about science and philosophy. I get that the book was written in the 50s but don’t give me the coward’s approach to the idea seen here, where men talk a lot about what the impact of this might be on women while delicately avoiding most of what is so truly horrifying about it (society forcing these women to give birth even when it’s clear many would rather not and young girls becoming pregnant before they even hit their teens). There’s some lip service paid to how traumatizing this might be to the Midwich women but by the time the Children are slightly older, the mothers fall out of the story so that an old man can have one last heroic stand for mankind—by slaughtering a small group of alien kids who make it clear they’d rather be left alone. I’m the first person to want to throw creepy children down a well but these kids were pretty benign for the most part. Sure, they talk about eventually trying to dominate humanity and forced a few adults to kill each other when those adults threatened them but I have a hard time cheering for a man who took advantage of their trust in him to murder them all wholesale. Talk about a disproportionate reaction. Plus, why act like it’s a victory? These were just the baby cuckoo birds. The moms and dads are still up there and now they have a reason to be really pissed off. ( )
  jobinsonlis | May 11, 2021 |
Re-read this book again on line (merci, monsieur Kindle).

Like all things Wyndham, this novel questions our comfortable assumptions about what is long lasting. Read it when comfortably settled and I challenge you to not question that state's transience. ( )
  StephenKimber | Mar 5, 2021 |
I could be wrong, but I don’t get the overwhelming impression that John Wyndham was much of an optimist. Humans never come out with the best moral decisions nor are they attributed with much sense - apart from the protagonists.
I had watched this decades ago as a film or maybe a tv series, it was black and white and I was very young. All I remembered was to be strangely fearful when faced with a room of very neat blond children. I was glad I revisited this as the original story, as it is very suspenseful and unnerving. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
The common European cuckoo is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nest of other species of birds. If successful it tricks the host bird into raising its young as its own, but the young cuckoo instinctively destroys the other eggs of the host bird. In a quiet village somewhere in middle England most of the childbearing women fall pregnant at the same time after the village has been sealed off for 24 hours probably by aliens. Wyndham imagines what would happen to the village in this cuckoo like scenario. The novel was written in 1957 and that is when Wyndham places his story and he is not altogether wrong in thinking that the village might want to close in on itself perhaps keeping its shame hidden as much as possible. Anyway it makes for an excellent science fiction story.

Wyndham's science fiction writing although dealing with fantastical events will often pause to think about the issues that the story throws up. In this case it is the battle for survival and the savagery of so called mother nature. The wider issues do not usually get in the way of the development of the plot, or the suspense or the excitement of the action and in this novel it is Mr Zellaby an author of philosophical works, living in the village, who thinks more deeply about the wider issues. Wyndham writes however from a male perspective and the women's voices in the village are rarely heard above the desire to nurture the young. One of the male characters says:

‘If we remember that the majority of feminine tasks are deadly dull and leave the mind so empty that the most trifling seed that falls can grow into a riotous tangle'

It is the men who do the fighting it is the men who take action and it is the men who are in control, but this would be typical of the time in which the novel was set and Wyndham certainly knew and could write about society in England in the 1950's. It makes for a quaint story in some ways, but also it has a certain charm, an innocence perhaps. The setting of Wyndham's stories in rural England reflect the ideal of rural English life, he reminds me of a less radical H G Wells.

This is an imaginative work of fiction written in an easy flowing style with an excellent plot. Many of us know the story from the films "Village of the Damned" and then "Children of the Damned". Published in the science fiction masterwork series it raises its head above much of the pulp fiction of the time and still provides an excellent page turning read 4 stars ( )
2 voter baswood | Dec 9, 2020 |
A very influential sci-fi premise, but a lot of the specifics are a bit dated. (Not too surprising.) Heck, the idea that the women would would unify to have the children instead of aborting them just seems hard to take. Still, an interesting snapshot of the field at a point in time. ( )
  Going_To_Maine | Nov 28, 2020 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 69 (suivant | tout afficher)
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Wyndham, JohnAuteurauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Adam RobertsIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Doeve, EppoArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Ellis, DeanArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
F. Nagy, PiroskaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Fruttero, CarloAvant-proposauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Hills, GillianArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Hogarth, PaulArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Leger, PatrickArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Lempiäinen, VesaArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Lord, PeterArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Lucentini, FrancoAvant-proposauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
McShane, BarbaraTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
McShane, Patrick AlfayaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Meriranta, AnettaAvant-proposauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Minaříková, JitkaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Monicelli, GiorgioTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Priest, ChristopherIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Rekunen, VeikkoTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Roberts, AdamIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Salwowski, MarkArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Schwinger, LarryArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Severi, GiorgioTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Stege,GiselaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Thole, KarelArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
van den Haak-Janzen, J.R.Traducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Veillon, AdrienTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Willock, HarryArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Zhouf, MartinArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed - except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant. The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . . The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.

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