The Kraken Wakes

The Kraken Wakes

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The Kraken Wakes

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The Kraken Wakes is an apocalyptic science fiction novel by John Wyndham, originally published by Michael Joseph in the UK in 1953 and first published in the US in the same year by Ballantine Books under the title Out of the Deeps as a mass market paperback. The title is a reference to Alfred Tennyson's sonnet The Kraken, which describes the Scandinavian sea monster.


The novel describes escalating phases of what appears to be an alien invasion; as told - with quite a bit of wry humour, even when describing manifestly non-humorous situations - through the eyes of Mike Watson, who works for the fictional English Broadcasting Company, and his wife and co-worker Phyllis. A major role is also played by Professor Alastair Bocker - more clear-minded and far-sighted about the developing crisis than everybody else, but with the habit of telling the public far more than they are capable of absorbing at a given moment.

Mike and Phyllis tend to witness the major events, such as they are, but there are no heroic deeds of a mankind fighting for survival. Unlike in H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds", to which an explicit comparison is made in the first chapter, it takes years before humans realize at all that their world has been invaded.

In the first phase, objects from outer space land in the oceans. Mike and Phyllis happen to see five of the "meteors" falling into the sea, from the ship where they are sailing on their honeymoon - an exciting moment for everyone on...
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