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Chocky

por John Wyndham

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1,492549,167 (3.7)124
Matthew's parents are worried. At eleven, he's much too old to have an imaginary friend, yet they find him talking to and arguing with a presence that even he admits is not physically there. This presence - Chocky - causes Matthew to ask difficult questions and say startling things- he speaks of complex mathematics and mocks human progress. Then, when Matthew does something incredible, it seems there is more than the imaginary about Chocky. Which is when others become interested and ask questions of their own- who is Chocky? And what could it want with an eleven-year-old boy?… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 54 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
"When people live their lives by their beliefs reality is almost irrelevant."

When David Gore, the narrator, overhears his adopted son, Matthew, having a conversation with what he assumes is an imaginary friend he becomes concerned. Apart from the fact that Matthew is almost twelve years old and so surely past the age when he should have an imaginary friend, it also seems to be a very strange conversation, with questions no twelve-year-old would normally ask.

David and his wife, Mary, have had some experience with this sort of thing, their daughter Polly had her own invisible friend, Piff, when she was five but Chocky appears to be different. Whilst Polly had been very much in control of Piff, Chocky needs to have things that Matthew is looking at explained to her as if she's never seen them before. Matthew is unable to tell his parents Chocky’s age, where Chocky comes from or even whether Chocky is male or female (he eventually decides on female).

Things get worse when Chocky shows that she can take over Matthew's body as well as his mind and finally that she can talk through Matthew's mouth. Who or what is Chocky? Is she a positive or a harmful one influence on Matthew? David and Mary become increasingly worried, they don’t know how to help their son or even if he really needs help. However, when she saves Matthew and Polly from drowning she comes to the attention of the press as a 'guardian angel' Chocky realises that she has to leave.

By using Matthew's adoptive father as the narrator Wyndham is able to employ him as the voice of reason contrasting him with the emotional response of his adoptive mother. The only thing they agree on is that, although Matthew doesn't seem at all frightened or unhappy, his behaviour is certainly not normal.

But Chocky isn't a malevolent entity in fact she wants to help humanity. Chocky believes that humanity is worth helping. As Margaret Atwood says in her afterword "We are intelligent and intelligence is 'a holy thing, to be fostered and treasured'. Our technology, however, sucks." Chocky tells us that we are using up irreplaceable natural resources but larger more powerful forces will try and stifle more eco-friendly innovation which seems quite remarkable given that this book was first published in 1968.

This is a fairly short novel so I don't want to say much more about the plot but will say is that it’s not difficult to work out what is going on. The science fiction elements are subtle and the book is as much about the relationship between parents and children until the final chapter however this is also a book with a real message, it's brevity means that not a word is wasted making it a quick and compelling read which I would certainly recommend. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Jan 31, 2021 |
I had accidentally associated this with the horror film Chucky which I have no wish to see as I can’t cope with the nightmares that may follow. I don’t believe that’s what this is - obviously I can’t tell having not seen the film, but I think this is different. It has many of Wyndham’s themes in the story but seems a bit more optimistic for the human race than a lot of the books. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
This rating is for the book itself. The audiobook version I listened to was very well narrated--no faults there.

A 12-year old boy, Matthew, is "possessed" by what seems to be much more than just an imaginary friend. This makes for a pretty interesting story, up to a point. The boy's father is the narrator, and he is the quintessential stiff upper lip British man. All the women in the book, meanwhile, are shown to be either not as intellectually or emotionally mature. Matthew's mother refuses to believe it is more than a normal imaginary friend; Matthew's younger sister, although only two years younger, is portrayed as shallow and only concerned with the silly stories of a pony she is always reading. The wife's sisters are just over talkative, prying busybodies. Male characters, however, are almost always shown as reasoning adults open to new ideas. This portrayal of men and women would seem to have been out of date even in 1968, when Wyndham published the book. In 2020, it is absolutely neanderthal.

As for the story, Wyndham doesn't leave himself much wiggle room for how it has to be explained, but when he does, it is a very ineffective, preachy passage that brings the story to a grinding halt. All in all, this book has a good idea, but it really doesn't know what to do with it. So it is mainly a bunch of talk. Read Day of the Triffids for classic Wyndham. ( )
  datrappert | Nov 1, 2020 |
Wyndham is best remembered for disaster novels, like The Day of the Trifids. Chocky, the last novel he published, is not a disaster novel in the usual sense. It is about an alien scout who can only contact an eleven year old human boy. I found this short novel engaging, fascinating even. Wyndham in 1968 was also warning here about burning up earth's non-renewable resources. I recommend it highly. ( )
  nmele | Aug 24, 2020 |
In this novel Wyndham goes against type; yes, the background is entirely realistic, yes, an unexpected science-fictional element affects the life of the narrator, but no, the entire world is not under threat and no, alien invaders are not attempting conquest. In fact the aliens are benign and the narrator's family suffers at the hands of humans - journalists and others.

This is neither the best nor the worst of Wyndham's novels; it's more readable than most but has little incident and I found Matthew's mother a trial; she's stupid and unpleasant. This serves to keep Matthew more isolated but makes for unpleasant reading. It would be unfair to accuse Wyndham of misogyny, however; the protagonist of Trouble with Lichen is rather the opposite of this character. The absence of flawed Darwinist analysis is a relief, indeed this book seems to belie the views Wyndham presented in The Kraken Wakes and The Midwich Cuckoos. This novel and The Chrysalids suggest that humans present more of a threat to humanity than anything else does - now that's realistic.

I've (re-)read all the famous Wyndham novels now, but Penguin have reprinted some lesser known ones and I will happily pick them up if I should happen across them. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (37 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Wyndham, Johnautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Atwood, MargaretIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lord, PeterArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Salwowski, MarkArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schulz, Robert E.Artista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Willock, HarryArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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It was in the spring of the year that Matthew reached twelve that I first became aware of Chocky.
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Reality is relative. Devils, evil spirits, witches and so on become real enough to the people who believe in them. Just as God is to people who believe in Him. When people live their lives by their beliefs objective reality is almost irrelavant
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Matthew's parents are worried. At eleven, he's much too old to have an imaginary friend, yet they find him talking to and arguing with a presence that even he admits is not physically there. This presence - Chocky - causes Matthew to ask difficult questions and say startling things- he speaks of complex mathematics and mocks human progress. Then, when Matthew does something incredible, it seems there is more than the imaginary about Chocky. Which is when others become interested and ask questions of their own- who is Chocky? And what could it want with an eleven-year-old boy?

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Penguin Australia

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Penguin Australia.

Edições: 0141042184, 014119149X

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