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The White Mountains (1967)

por John Christopher

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: The Tripods (1)

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2,527455,890 (3.92)62
Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.
  1. 30
    The Hunger Games por Suzanne Collins (mcenroeucsb)
  2. 10
    Ender's Game por Orson Scott Card (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 00
    Uglies por Scott Westerfeld (KingRat)
    KingRat: The White Mountains contains issues similar to those of Uglies: secret control of a society, "mind control", induction into that society, and rebellion against it while pretending to be a member. There are obvious major differences too. Still, enough similarities in style and substance that I suspect people who enjoy one will enjoy the other.… (mais)
  4. 00
    The War of the Worlds por H. G. Wells (Cecrow)
  5. 00
    The Expert System's Brother por Adrian Tchaikovsky (espertus)
    espertus: Both books begin in a small low-tech village where people's lives are rules by mysterious technology.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Thematically, this has a lot in common with one of my favorite books, [b:The Giver|3636|The Giver (The Giver #1)|Lois Lowry|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342493368s/3636.jpg|2543234]. It's about a boy who discovers that the tranquility of his community comes at a great cost--and then that boy faces a choice. Does he accept a world where most people have easy, lobotomized lives, or does he rage against the powers that are subduing humanity? (In The Giver it's a totalitarian government, in The White Mountains it's aliens.) I don't think this book is as good as Lois Lowry's, but it's got a more adventurous feel to it. There are a lot of heart-pounding moments and there are more terrifying villains.

My main criticism of this book is that the author takes for granted that only boys would be recruited to join the resistance against the Tripods. Ugh, as if! The book was written in 1967, so I suppose the author didn't even consider including a girl in his trio of Tripod resisters. There is only one significant female character in the book, a princess named Eloise, who seems to represent everything Will (the hero) stands against.

If you can get past the sexism, this would be a good read-alike for fans of [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)|Suzanne Collins|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775]. It's less violent so I'd give it to younger readers who are dying to read HG but probably not ready for the murder and politics of Panem. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
Another re-read of a childhood favourite. The first volume of the classic YA dystopian Tripods trilogy. In a world where humans are kept in thrall to the mysterious Tripods by means of metal "caps", bestowed at puberty, young Will discovers that there are free men in the distant White Mountains and runs away to seek them. He's accompanied by his disliked cousin Henry and later joined by brilliant and eccentric French boy Beanpole (Jean Paul). The description of the journey is beautifully done with the trip through the ruins of (never named) Paris a glorious set piece. Christopher shows us the ruined "wonders of the ancients" through the eyes of the boys, and the reader has fun working out how that relates to mid 20th C Europe. The shifting dynamics in the group (and in particular Will's jealousy and pride) elevates the book beyond an adventure story. Can be read on its own but also sets the reader up for the gradual revelation of the nature of the Tripods and the battle for world supremacy in the subsequent "City of Gold & Lead" and "The Pool of Fire". A quick read for an adult but worth revisiting. ( )
  Figgles | Dec 8, 2023 |
This review was also posted here - https://cavetothecross.com/blog/tripods-the-white-mountains/

Having an affinity for War Of The Worlds and alien invasion and dystopian novels and enjoying stories of one-man-against-the-system and escaping society this book probably does the best job of hitting all those marks.

While being a Young Adult Novel, being a story from 1967, this either feels more general because we've gotten less mature or the story holds up as generally good sci-fi. Taking place in a post-war with the Tripods, humanity lives in small villages in relative peace and functions just like any small town. In our initial setting there's mills and churches and homes and community centers. The only catch is that around everyone's 14th birthday a Tripod "caps" you and you become servants to them. The big catch is that no one knows, not even us as the readers, what the Tripods are or what capping even does. Aliens or robots or an unseen nation-state? Capping seems to quell any rebellious spirit against the Tripods but there is something mostly "off" about people that our main character Will seems to notice as his time of capping gets closer. Will's rebellious spirit causes him to want to run away and does so when he meets a fake capped person who tells him about a land of freedom. And it's off on the adventure we go.

Will is a whiney teenager but he's not without his redeeming qualities. Both sides of this swing make him a very believable character and adds some naivety we'd expect from a sheltered life. His adventure out into the world feels very My Side Of The Mountain/Hatch like with the looming danger of Tripods that are unknown and unrevealed.

Will's adventures out into the world and resolving to find freedom is a tale that speaks to a number of people. The setting is quickly established but mystery surrounds to much to uncover. Other than just sheer desire and the loss of one of his friends to capping, it would have been good to develop more of why Will wanted to rebel and run away. One could argue that this would limit in relating to Will, but the character is introduced well enough and it could be done with expanding out that desire for freedom and liberty or that reason why the Tripods should be distrusted when everyone else seems ok with it.

Will seems to grow and change and not always for the better; which, again, puts his character into the believable camp. He almost seems like a YA Holden Caulfield who wants to break free but also do it alone but then resents the isolation of being alone from his point of view. There are times when the author does a good job of showing a flourishing of understanding of striving for liberty. One line stands out well as a turning point, "I have traveled a long road since leaving the village, not only in hard reality but in my attitude towards people. More and more I had come to see the Capped as lacking what seemed to me the essence of humanity, the vital spark of defiance against the rulers of the world. And I had despised them for it." What a great line and a great moment of character growth - although the building to that moment seems to have lost some of the details along the way.

The unfolding of the world is done quite well. The description of old-world tech is there but sometimes the lack of detail or description that the character doesn't have makes it difficult to guess. The author doesn't come from an Ernest Cline authorship of revealing the answer to your reader and then shoving their nose in it again and again in case someone zoned out in your explaining everything to them. The different types of societies discovered are odd but also familiar. In post-apocalyptic worlds, you want to enjoy the journey to see what the world has become and reading this book some 50 years after publication you get more tones of an alien and changed world. With a YA novel, I don't expect long explanations about the loss of the human spirit or why religion is still practiced and clearly there would be a religion of the Tripods that would form. The world is built so that it's stable for believability but the imagination of explaining between the lines has a lot of freedom.

One of the biggest drawbacks, without spoilers, is the ending. From my understanding, there wasn't a whole trilogy planned, and the end - just happens. I enjoyed the mystery of a number of plot points still didn't have mind-blowing revelations but the abrupt and, frankly, borning nature that's less than half a page is disappointing.

But I'm cheating and know there are three other books which I, of course, am going to immediately read. For those actual young adults, the story is straightforward and hits on the themes of the human spirit and liberty. For the adults who haven't lost the desire to read books about running away and being the lone person standing up against the world, you can find yourself in this story as you try to escape - The Tripods!

Final Grade - B ( )
  agentx216 | Aug 27, 2023 |
Written for a younger audience than I was expecting, this is a good introduction to a range of dystopian and sci-fi concepts, with a pleasantly anti-authoritarian bent. I wish I'd known about these when I was younger.

The protagonist is a bit of a whiny brat, but many kids are, and I'm sure it'll be a coming of age story in which he stops being so useless by the end of the third book.

It is a little light on incident, and I could see how some would find it boring, but it's a charming little adventure so far. ( )
  3Oranges | Jun 24, 2023 |
This was more about the characters relationships that I remember. I liked that Will has to pair up with his enemy, and then the dynamic when there are three of them. Also like the use of language and learn some new words like murrain and hard for paved shoreline for beaching boats. ( )
  Castinet | Dec 10, 2022 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
John Christopherautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Burleson, JoeArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hildebrandt, TimArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hollander, LisaDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Petrov, AntonArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.

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