Best 1957 Adventures (6)

By: Joshua Glenn
July 29, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1957 adventure novels. Happy 60th anniversary!

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John Wyndham’s Golden Age sci-fi adventure The Midwich Cuckoos.

An unidentified silver object appears in the center of the (literally) sleepy English village of Midwich; and its population is rendered insensible. A few months later, it becomes apparent that every fertile woman in the village became pregnant during what they now call the “Dayout.” Thirty-one boys and thirty girls are born to Midwich. Their eyes are golden, their skin so pale its silvery. As the Children (as they’re known) grow up, they display telepathic capabilities and an ability to control others’ actions — particularly when anyone threatens them physically. We learn that the same phenomenon has happened in several other villages around the world; but only the English, it sees, are so compassionate that they’re willing to raise what appears to be a hostile mutant or alien species. When the Children’s teacher determines to destroy them, will he succeed?

Fun fact: Adapted as Village of the Damned in 1960 — as adolescents, my friends and I were haunted by the final scene. There was also a 1995 remake by John Carpenter; unfortunately, it was one of Carpenter’s weaker efforts.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1957 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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Adventure, Lit Lists

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