THE WHITE MOUNTAINS BY JOHN CHRISTOPHER

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Copyright 1967.

Will Parker is a thirteen year old living in the English village of Wherton. Only he is living in a future where the Tripods now rule the Earth. When a person turns fourteen they are Capped by the Tripods. This makes people docile and obedient to the Tripods. Will has doubts about the benevolence of these aliens. Especially after the change that takes place in his best friend. One day a vagrant those that the Capping damages wanders to the village. Only the man who calls himself Ozymandias is actually an uncapped man. He travels looking for young recruits to join a resistance based in the White Mountains in Switzerland. Will decides to leave his village and join them after hearing the truth. He is joined by his cousin Henry. In France they also join up with a young boy who they name Beanpole. The three boys journey through the country and see the marvels of the ruined city of Paris. They have some adventures and manage to destroy a Tripod before reaching the White Mountains and the resistance.

Some thirty plus years ago I was looking for something to watch on a Saturday afternoon. At the local Ma and Pa video rental place I found the first season of the BBC adaptation on one VHS tape. I found it an interesting and enjoyable story so decided to get the original trilogy it was based on. This is actually an early YA series before they were known as YA. Teenagers in a future dystopia. A fascinating idea about aliens conquering Earth and implanting caps on them so they are obedient. John Christopher is the pen name of Sam Youd, an English writer with many post-apocalypse books to his credit. It is said that he has ending the world in every combination possible. I will have to check them out in the future.

The BBC series is available on YouTube for free.

4 thoughts on “THE WHITE MOUNTAINS BY JOHN CHRISTOPHER

  1. I loved the Tripod Trilogy as a kid.

    I’ve reviewed three of his post-apocalyptic novels on my site.

    The Long Winter
    The Ragged Edge (variant title: A Wrinkle in the Skin)

    and… his best known…. The Death of Grass (variant title: No Blade of Grass)

    I found A Wrinkle in the Skin the most satisfying. He’s something of a pessimist — so be warned! https://sciencefictionruminations.com/2019/09/03/book-review-a-wrinkle-in-the-skin-variant-title-the-ragged-edge-john-christopher-1965/

  2. I read the crap out of these books as a kid. I was introduced to them by the famous comics adaptation in “Boys Life” magazine in the early 80s. “City of Gold and Lead” was even better than the first book. I recall being disappointed by “The Pool of Fire,” though.

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