21 November 2008

Early Reviewers delivers The Chrysalids

Thank you LibraryThing and Random House, for again providing me with a free advanced copy of a novel to read for the Early Reviewers group!

The last book I reviewed for LibraryThing Early Reviewers (also the first one) was the tepid new thriller The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry. It still won’t reach shelves until next month. This time, I received a book “new” in printing only: The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. This is a science-fiction classic originally published in 1955. The reason copies are getting sent out for review now is that New York Review Books is releasing a new printing of it, and they want to drum up interest in a classic that might need extra help getting to the next generation audience. It’s sad that we have a current bookseller culture so focused on NEW that many great works of the past get pushed aside. The current world of big publishing has a very short-term memory, and university and small presses often must take up the slack.

John Wyndham is most famous for the novels The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos. I’ve never read The Chrysalids, a post-apocalyptic tale, and I’m excited that I have the opportunity to review a genre classic for Early Reviewers.

The advertised printing has an introduction by Christopher Priest (author of The Prestige) but I won’t be able to comment on that because the advanced proofs don’t contain the introduction.