The Kraken Wakes

John Wyndham
The Kraken Wakes Cover

The Kraken Wakes


This is a really good story by John Wyndham, with a strong female main character. It is also a quick read. The title of the UK edition (The Kraken Wakes) references a sonnet by Tennyson - but the US title is perhaps a bit better (Out of the Deeps).

That said, the UK story is better, going by what I read on Wikipedia. I thought the ending was good, even if the resolution was a bit quick. The thing I liked best about this story was the vulnerability of the two main characters. The mental state of Mike Watson (our narrator) was very fragile (edited out of the US version) and Phyllis also has extreme fear reactions.

Phyllis' point of view on the government handling of this really hits home. "... at times I get sick of putting up with all the shams and the humbug, and pretending that the lies aren't lies, and the propaganda isn't propaganda, and the dirt isn't dirt... I think that they are going to let thousands of people be killed by these horrible things rather than risk giving them powerful enough weapons to defend themselves. And they'll have rows of arguments why it is best so. What do a few thousands, or a few millions of people matter?" She points out (rightly so) that commerce is the greater concern than community - perhaps truer now than it was 70 years ago.

Comparing to Wyndham's other works, I rank this right up there with Day of the Triffids. Goodreads raters have been less kind, but still score this pretty high. Yes, the technology is a bit different today, but I think this is still an excellent story! 5 of 5 stars